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What's the best veg restaurant (upscale) in the City?

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This is a 40th b-day dinner for the galpal...should be more upscale, nice wine list, you know the drill. Been to Candle Cafe and Candle 79, both great. Been to Hangawi which I like a lot. Blossom, eh, didn't do it for me. Many critics, both good and bad, of Pure. I've never been there.
Any thoughts on Pure and or any others please?
Many thanks in advance.

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Candle 79
154 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021

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  1. See if Blue Hill either has a vegetarian tasting menu, or can prepare one.

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    Blue Hill
    75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

    1. it's not a white table cloth place but it's really good, and not cheap. the best veg restaurant I've been to in NYC. even meat loving bf loves it.
      Dirt Candy.

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

      1. Devi on 19th between Union Square and 5th ave. Vegetarian indian, great vibe and the food is wonderful!

        1. I went to Pure on my last birthday - many delicious things and fascinating to prod and attempt to figure out.

          For expensive veg my brother loves Kajitsu. He wasn't impressed by Dirty Candy.

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          Kajitsu
          414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

          1. For a strictly vegetarian resto, I'd say Dirt Candy, hands down. It's not crazy expensive (under $20/entree) but that's more on account of meat making up the bulk of the cost in most restaurants. I'm not vegetarian in the slightest - I even make fun of them on occasion - but Dirt Candy was spectacular.

            Another option is to go Italian - there are nearly always vegetarian primi and pastas. If you can get a rez on a Monday, the Batali / Bastianich family of restos are doing the whole "Meatless Monday" thing, where there are vegetarian options available for every course, even the secondi (traditionally a fish or meat course) - Del Posto would probably be easy for a Monday night, and you never know when there'll be a cancellation at Babbo.

            I'll also second Tabla (very easy to put together a veg meal there) and possibly Devi - although they just got a new chef, so I can't comment on how they are currently.

            Blue Hill, as suggested above, I'm sure would put something together for you. Gramercy Tavern is another option - they have a "Vegetable" tasting menu that's more of a tribute to veggies than strictly vegetarian, but with advance notice they would certainly make alterations to accomodate you.

            Pure - bleh. Don't forget they're not just vegetarian but raw / vegan. Unfortunately, however nice the presentations are, the prices are nowhere near justified for what they're serving. Also, their attempts to simulate cooked food (i.e. the crusts on their "pizzas", their "pastas" etc) all fall rather flat. None of my vegetarian friends even like them.

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            Babbo
            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: sgordon

              I agree that the best vegetarian meals can be found at non-vegetarian restaurants. I like Candle 79 a lot, but the other purely veg places tend to be underseasoned and not very satisfying.

              Unless you're vegan, I'd go with sgordon's advice to assemble veg meals at places like Babbo, Lupa, Gramercy Tavern, or any other restaurant that strikes your fancy (though I'd avoid the Momofukus, The Breslin, and other meat-centric places),

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              Lupa
              170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

              Babbo
              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

              Candle 79
              154 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021

              The Breslin
              20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

            2. Dirt Candy - the food was inventive and delicious. It reminds me more of southern cooking in terms of how heavy it was, so if your friend is a light eater, it may not be to her taste, but I really enjoyed my birthday dinner there. One point - it's a tiny place, around 12-15 seats, so it's not ideal for large parties. Also, for a special occasion dinner, you may want to ask them to not seat you in the back when making the reservation - there's a table that's wedged between the restroom and the kitchen exit, which may not provide the ambience you are seeking. Not sure about the wine list. Gobo is good, but may only have organic wine and may be more casual than what you are seeking.

              Also - I think EMP does a good job of accomodating vegetarians. Tamarind and Devi also accomodate vegetarians. I had good experiences at La Grenouille and Felidia. I've found many Italian restaurants offer good vegetarian options as well (it was really easy to put together a vegetarian meal at Babbo and Scarpetta) and the wine list shouldn't be a problem.

              I hope your dinner turns out well!

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              Babbo
              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

              Felidia
              243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

              La Grenouille
              3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

              Scarpetta
              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

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

              1. Dovetail is have a Monday night vegetarian & vegetable focused menus for 3 courses plus dessert for $42. I've been meaning to try it.

                1. My GF is a vegetarian and every upscale restaurant we've been to in NYC has accommodated her with veg tastings (even Le Bernardin) as long as they have advanced notice (mention it during rez and again when you confirm rez). Just FYI, Daniel, one of our favs, has an actual vegetarian menu. As mentioned by others, EMP has always done a great job of taking care of vegetarians. The Modern Dining Room is also a great choice.

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                  Le Bernardin
                  155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                  1. Thank you all so much!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Tenacious G

                      Hangawi on East 32nd Street; the BEST UPSCALE (you did say "upscale," right?) in NYC.

                      http://www.hangawirestaurant.com/

                    2. It appears Scarpetta has added a full veg menu (8 apps, 8 entrees) to their usual fare:

                      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

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                      Scarpetta
                      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                      1. the tasting menu at pure food and wine was incredible - i went with a group of four, and for some courses they gave us each different dishes, all of which were delicious! i was impressed by everything from the service to the presentation, and i couldn't recommend it more (though obviously some posters disagree).