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Help! Need to please a Vegan and a "Steak & Potatoes" guy?!?

Have a work dinner next week (Tuesday) and one of my colleagues is a strict vegan - another is a "meat & potatoes" kind of guy. Price is not an issue (but being able to get a seat at short notice is). Any suggestions (ideally below ~24th street)? Thanks.

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      1. re: RGR

        Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products.

        Sounds like a tough time choosing a place to eat. They must be good cooks. I bet some kosher places could work.

        1. re: princeofpork

          Kosher restaurants are either meat or dairy. I'd be surprised if the meat ones would work for the vegan, and the "meat and potatoes" guy would not be too happy with the dairy ones.

      2. re: princeofpork

        It actually has NO MATTER how the OP defines Vegan! The Vegan Eater defines it, and there is the tricky part.

        In this case it is civil to speak to both to say,, we are having a "WORK dinner" please give me ideas of what places work for your personal food requirements, so we can choose a place where we all can enjoy this time together? Thanks!

      3. Any good steakhouse should be able to accomodate you. Your vegan friend can ask for vegetables sauteed in oil (no butter), a baked potato without butter or sour cream, a salad with dressing that doesn't have dairy in it, etc.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gutsofsteel

          And if one goes to a total VEGAN place, the steak guy can bring in a White Castle?

          This kind of suggestion, a STEAK house that can give side stuff to a vegan is NASTY.

          Suppose the vegan is the person who decides the deal...that steak now sorta becomes your last work expense dinner!

          White Castle
          351 E 103rd St, New York, NY 10029

          1. re: Quine

            Why is it nasty? Some of the best vegetable and potato side dishes in town are found at the good steakhouses, along with very good steak. Everyone involved could be happy...

              1. re: gutsofsteel

                because maybe they want a vegan entree, and not just a meal of side dishes....

          2. Spring Street Natural has steak and roast chicken as well as vegan food.


            No reservations for parties fewer than six, but I've never had trouble getting a table there.

            1. Thanks for the suggestion of Spring Natural. I've eaten there a few times, but guess I was looking for something a bit more exciting (for me) that would also have decent vegan options. (I think Mr. Meat & Potatoes could probably find a decent steak/chicken/pasta on most menus.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: HungryHomer

                You might want to consider Gramercy Tavern. On their vegetarian tasting menu, they have some items that I think would work for a vegan. I'm sure they'd be willing to serve any of them in full-size portions (presuming everyone would not be doing a tasting menu). It would be a good idea to check and make sure that the dishes are definitely vegan-friendly or could be tweaked to make them so. But, of course, getting a reservation for next Tuesday at a convenient time for you is another matter entirely.


                Gramercy Tavern
                42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: HungryHomer

                  It's not the most thrilling place on the planet, I know. But it's the only thing I could come with where neither party would feel like an outcast or a pain in the ass. Josie's, maybe? It's outside your preferred area, which is why I didn't suggest it earlier.


                  I would not go to a steakhouse. The vegan options will be very limited, so you'd be clearly indicating that you think that your vegan colleague's preferences are secondary to those of your meat & potatoes colleague.

                2. my favorite steak joint is striphouse. they have an awesome truffled cream spinach. they also have other various sides that i think are fantastic, especially the cream corn pancetta. quality meats also does fantastic sides.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: daffyduck

                    Anything with cream would be out because strict vegans do not eat dairy. And last I heard, pancetta comes from an animal....

                    1. re: RGR

                      right, but i meant they have great sides in general. i think quality meat, for example has portabello fries. u should check with the steakhouses though in case they cook their sides with beef fat.
                      sorry i cant say striphouse without mentioning that corn! it is just really freaking good.

                  2. Landmarc in Tribeca might work. The menu offers grilled portobello as an entree, an asparagus risotto (which you could probably request without cheese), and quite a few vegan sides and salads.

                    For the meat & potatoes contingent, lots of options as well.

                    179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                    1. I would suggest a pizza joint.
                      Second suggestion would be to take your colleagues out on separate days. Dumbing things down to satisfy disparate tastes is not the best recipe.

                      1. I don't know if this will work for both of them, but I would go with Italian. I have been to Babbo Otto and Il Cantinori with a vegan. Your vegan client needs to make sure s/he tells them that s/he is one, as a precaution. And I think you can get steak at all of them. Good luck!

                        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                        Il Cantinori
                        32 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003

                        1. Maybe Craft? Definitely wonderful for the meat & potato person, and for the vegan person there are pasta, salad, and lots of different veggie sides.

                          Blue Hill is my second thought, though I'm not sure if their veggie apps/entrees/sides are vegan-appropriate.

                          Blue Hill
                          75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

                            1. re: carub

                              Don't think it'd appeal to the meat & potato person at all -- do they even have any meat entree?

                              1. re: uwsister

                                No meat entree's. it's strictly Vegan but they have very hearty dishes.

                            2. Greek or Indian (like Tabla) may work....

                              Of course as someone else suggested, you can always ask the colleagues...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ceekskat

                                i lovee indian food buti dont think indian would work too well. there are lots of options with vegetarian dishes but many of the sauces use ghee or cream. also i dont know too many steak options in indian restaurants. for red meat they generally serve pieces of goat or lamb in gravy which is a bit different from steak. i dont know your friend but i know a lot of people that hate sauces or gravies on their steaks depending on the person it may extend to all red meat so if u do choose indian be sure to ask.

                                1. re: daffyduck

                                  Dhaba is a good Indian restaurant with both meat and vegan options aplenty.

                              2. Blue Ribbon has a very extensive menu, there's bound to be items that'll please both. Back when I lived in Brooklyn, the Park Slope location was always the "go-to" for big groups of mixed diners. And while the Manhattan location's menu isn't quite as large, it looks like there are multiple options for vegans, and not just by throwing together a few side dishes.

                                Blue Ribbon Brasserie
                                97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                1. Definitely ask the colleagues when you have identified a couple of choices. A vegan diner would typically not want to patronize a steakhouse, no matter how accommodating the side dishes.
                                  But since it is a work dinner, they may be more flexible.

                                  Same for the meat and potatoes diner. Since it is a work dinner, they may be willing to eat something a little different for once.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Rasam

                                    Very true. Though I'd say accomodate the vegan, though - after all, Mr. Steak & Potatoes has no dietary rectrictions, theoretically he could eat anywhere. Just explain to S&P that you've got to go somewhere that can work for this other person, and whatever - it's a work dinner. He won't care. Shoot, take them to Dirt Candy (much better than Pure F&W IMHO, as far as veggie restaurants go) - he might be surprised to find some things he quite likes on the menu.

                                    Dirt Candy
                                    430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

                                    1. re: sgordon

                                      a downtown vegan here----don't take a vegan to a steakhouse....italian could be good----particularly if the restaurant was ok with making substitutions. They usually are, though, I can't think of one that I loved. When I worked downtown, I liked eating at Blueribbon Bakery and Peep. Another option could be nice mexican, which I don't eat, but I'd bet a bunch of downtown restaurants are used to making it work. My friends and colleagues have been really, really cool with eating at vegetarian places, that have both vegan and vegetarian food. Things like rich risottos and seitan plus potato entrees usually work for the meat eaters---Counter and Blossom and Red Bamboo would be good suggestions in this category. Sometimes the fake meat seems so real I can't even eat it and all the above have hearty, rich food that a meat and potatos person would find satisfying. Dirt Candy is awesome, but has no fake meat. That said, eating a four course meal at Dirt Candy is a great experience and a filling one. They have hush puppies, risotto, grits, carrot buns that are like pork buns. Its a good value. Another option is somewhere like Tsampa with tibetan food, where your meat eater could eat fish or chicken and have mutiple courses. All the above, except maybe Blue ribbon definitely have alcohol. If you need more vegetarian friendly places that serve meat, let me know, and I can try to remember all the places I went for work when I worked in the Village. Avoid spring street natural which has no ambience and lame food for everyone.

                                      212 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

                                      Dirt Candy
                                      430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

                                      Red Bamboo
                                      140 W 4th St Apt 16, New York, NY 10012

                                  2. Second Gramercy Tavern. Just call a couple days before hand to warn about someone being vegan, and they absolutely accommodate.

                                    If you want something a little cheaper, Hillstone. I think the veggie burger is vegan if they leave the cheese off, and, while a chain, it's by far the best in NY. I'm veg, and for a while my bf was on Atkins, and this was our great compromise.

                                    They're both past their prime, but both Asia de Cuba and China Grill have secret full vegetarian menus, which are really primarily vegan. I've taken vegans to interview lunches at both.

                                    Gramercy Tavern
                                    42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                                    China Grill
                                    60 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

                                    Asia de Cuba
                                    237 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016

                                    378 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: downtownchica

                                      if the steak guy is willingly to not eat steak, green table at chelsea market has 1 or 2 vegan dishes that are good. they also make a great burger in case the steak guy really loves his red meat.

                                    2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We ended up going to Del Posto who were very accommodating - they even have a special "vegan" menu, including two choices of vegan dessert. Everyone was very please with their food and wine (of course). Lobster salad, spring lamb and sweat pea cake for me - yum!

                                      Del Posto
                                      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011