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Date with a Vegetarian; Indian?

I know you can never really trust a vegetarian but I have a 3rd date with one and I'm thinking Indian but I'm open. We've done Chinatown so looking for something else. Don't know the Boston / Cambridge scene so I'm looking for help! Doesn't need to be super-upscale but authentic and romantic would be nice.

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  1. if you want to spend a little more Oleana has a lovely vegetarian prix fixe dinner.

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    Oleana
    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    2 Replies
      1. re: jimmydingle

        You mean me, jimmydingle? Reporting for duty!

        While the ricotta dumplings at Oleana are vegetarian heaven, I don't consider eating elbow-to-elbow in an overheated dining room romantic. If the patio were still open, that would be another story. Coppa is even hotter and more cramped, plus you'll have to wait 1 1/2 for a table since they don't take reservations. Hamersley's is a nice date place, but pretty upscale and expensive.

        I don't know about your date, but lots of vegetarians (the ones you CAN trust) don't fit the old earthy-crunchy stereotype, nor are we all big fans of ethnic food. Whichever category she/ne falls into, I'd suggest Grotto or Rendezvous. They both feel somewhat special, but not in a big occasion way, and I've found the vegetarian options at both to delicious. Grotto is small, dark, with brick and red velvet curtains, and has a bit of a goth feel. Rendezvous is more contemporary, but cozy, and the banquettes (request a corner one) offer more comfy seating.

        At Grotto, I wouldn't miss the roasted buffalo mozzarella with spinach and capers, or the garlic soup (you'll both be plied with garlic, so don't worry), and for you, the gnocchi with short ribs, etc. Great bellinis, too.

        At Rendezvous, the bollito misto over truffled polenta is excellent, they have nice cheeses, and I haven't tried their ginger lentil soup yet, but it sounds great. If you or your date are Julia Child fans, try their chocolate cake; it's her recipe. Bon appetit!

    1. Is your date a pure vegetarian or are they the pescatarian sort? If they do a little fish now and again, I'd suggest a tapas place -- Dali is a very cozy and romantic spot, and sharing dishes makes for a great date.

      Right next door, Bergamot does good veggie food, and the recently moved EVOO has a nice veggie prix fixe for about $30.

      Diva, in Davis Square, is a decent Indian restaurant, and their lounge next door is a nice spot for cocktails. I'm not sure I'd classify it as 'romantic', but it's nice enough.

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      EVOO Restaurant
      350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

      4 Replies
      1. re: Boston_Otter

        Dali is still a great place for a vegetarian -- in fact, they just added a vegetarian main course (beside the veggie tapas). Might be a tad boring as a vegan though. And all of the vegetarian items are marked with a 'v' to make picking less of a game of luck.

        1. re: yarm

          Oh, nice! That's new since I've been there last time. Very cool.

          1. re: Boston_Otter

            Went to Dali a week ago and really enjoyed it. Definitely a lively and warm atmosphere great for a date and the staff was fantastic. We got a drink at the bar while we were waiting and the bartender let us try a couple types of sherry before we decided on which we liked (the Oloroso was great) and educated us a bit about sherry. Our waitress had a lot of personality and did a great job taking care of us and there are plenty of vegetarian options and some very reasonably priced wines. Tapas is always a fun date.

            Oleana is a wonderful restaurant (although in a different price range). Nevertheless, if you want to impress, the vegetarian options are delicious and different than the usual "pasta" dish that most other places offer, the desserts are incredible, and it's definitely romantic.

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            Oleana
            134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

            1. re: Klunco

              The first time I went to Dali, my date and I had a wonderful meal with all kinds of delicious things I'd never tried. Near to the end of the meal, our waitress came over and said that they were having an unusually busy night and needed to get us our bill to make our table available. My date and I were a little annoyed to be rushed out, but smiled and nodded and paid our bill. Without any prompting, suddenly the owner appeared, hugged us, and took us over to the bar to give us some free sherry, apologizing and shaking our hands. It made an awkward situation really charming and won my return business!

      2. Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square has good vegetarian food (and good meat and seafood). Its basement atmosphere can be seen by some as romantic, but could be seen by others as dingy. Most Indian restaurants will offer several vegetarian options, but the ones with the widest range seem to be outside Boston proper. I've heard good things about Red Lentil in Watertown, but I've not been there myself. The Oleana recommendation is terrific, but it will be more expensive.

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        Tamarind Bay
        75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

        Oleana
        134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

        Red Lentil
        600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

        1. Won't help you out right now, but keep an eye out for True Bistro, the new vegan place that's opening soon in Teele Square. I walked by on Friday evening and it looked really pretty.

          In the meantime, if your date is just vegetarian and not vegan, there are lots of options in the North End. Pretty much every Italian place has at least a few good meatless options.

          1. Vegetarian is quite easy. Most decent places that don't explicitly specialize in meat will have veggie options. If she's vegan or eliminates eggs/dairy, things get slightly more difficult. I'd say you give Red Lentil a try, which has great food, but it doesn't really have a "romantic" vibe. Indian is great for vegetarians though, so good idea there.

            Some non-Indian suggestions from this vegetarian: Dali, Ten Tables, Baraka Cafe, Ole, Garden at the Cellar

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            Baraka Cafe
            80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Ten Tables
            5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138

            Red Lentil
            600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472