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Aug 5, 2010 08:48 AM

Paired 'regular' and vegetarian tasting menus.

With a vegetarian wife, it is a rare occasion when we can order a tasting menu as most menus don't have an adequate vegetarian options on their tasting menus. We did have one marvelous pairing at the old Aureole where there was a vegetarian menu paired with the usual menu in which the dishes were similar but different in the necessary way.

Does anyone know of another similar option. We will be at eleven madison soon and were hoping for advice.


Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

135 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

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  1. bigalz, are you making sure that the kitchen is aware of your wife's dietary restrictions before you arrive? Many upscale fine dining establishments will be able to accommodate her needs for a tasting menu if given notice. Have you tried requesting a vegetarian version of the tasting menu in advance? It never hurts to ask.

    That said, Gramercy Tavern has a vegetable tasting that can be made vegetarian upon request. What's nice about GT is that you can have the chef's tasting and your wife can have the vegetable tasting with only vegetarian components. And they're very flexible about allowing for substitutions if something on the prix fixe catches your eye.

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn


      Thanks for the advice. I have called on occasion and usually they say a vegetarian plate can be put together. I have not gone as far as to ask for a vegetarian tasting. I think I will do so in the future. The tasting you describe at GT sounds like the one we had at Aureole. I'll update with the results.

      1. re: bigalz

        EMP was amazing. They could not have been more accommodating. I called a few days ahead and informed them of my wife's dietary restrictions. We did the Gourmand menu which was made vegetarian for my wife. 4 hrs later we left more than satisfied.

        1. re: bigalz

          Thanks for reporting back! Glad to hear that you and Mrs. bigalz enjoyed your experience at EMP.

    2. In addition to the regular menu, Daniel has a separate vegetarian menu. They used to offer a vegetarian tasting along with their regular 6- and 8-course tasting menus. The veg tasting is no longer on the website, but I think if you call in advance and ask, they would probably be willing to put one together for your wife.

      At Cafe Boulud, one of their 4 menus, Le Potager, focuses on vegetarian dishes. They offer a regular tasting menu, and I'm sure if you call and ask, Chef Gavin Kaysen would be happy to organize a vegetarian tasting for your wife.

      As far as EMP goes, on the 3-course prix fixe, there are only two vegetarian-friendly appetizers and none on the main course menu. However, let them know ahead of time, and they will put together a veg-friendly main course for your wife. If you want to do either the 6-course seasonal tasting or the 11-course Gourmand, you would have to discuss in advance whether they can put one together for your wife. EMP's staff is *the* most accommodating in the city, so I'm betting they would do it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RGR

        Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how it goes.

      2. I do this ALL THE TIME! I don't eat meat, but my fiance does, and I always call ahead and have never had anyone tell me no. Sometimes I get a pescatarian version, sometimes straight vegetarian (depends on the restaurant). We love tasting menus and this has never been a problem for us.

        EMP will absolutely accommodate this. We were going to do a tasting recently and they told me to simply call 24 hours before so they could tell the chef. They were happy to oblige given notice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: piegirl74

          Thanks so much for the info. I'll let you know how it goes.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. We had a great veggie tasting at Del Posto. No useless roasted veggies, etc. It actually appeared that they put as much thought into the veggie tasting as the meat tasting. Yum!

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