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NW Vegan coming to NY

c
climberdoc Feb 17, 2011 06:05 PM

I'm coming to Newark for a wedding on 3/12 and was hoping to have a vegan "fine-dining" experience on Sun 3/13. I live in Spokane, WA where no purely vegan restaurants exist. For this reason I'm looking at this night as an experience I can't get at home and am greatly looking forward to it. The only exclusively vegan restaurant I've dined at is Millenium in SF and it's become my standard for vegan cuisine. I was hoping to find something like this, i.e high-end exclusively vegan hopefully with a tasting option. I'm willing to take a cab to anywhere and price is not a concern. I will be dining alone. I realize there are many options here which is part of what is so exciting about this one night I'll have in NY. Please NY Chowhounds, help me to narrow this down.

  1. c
    climberdoc Feb 19, 2011 05:21 AM

    My thanks to the NY board for the great recs. All of these options are quite exciting.

    So I arrive in Newark on Fri afternoon and am staying at Hilton Newark Penn Station. I have a some sort of rehearsal dinner thing on Fri, the wedding Sat night and am free Sun before departing monday morning. I'm most intrigued by Kajitsu and will plan on making a reservation for the Chef's Counter on Sunday.

    I don't have real high expectations of this Friday dinner being it's at the Hilton and they likely won't be serving anything I can eat anyway. Since I'll still be on west coast time I was thinking of slipping out afterwards for a late dinner. Being a vegan from a smallish town this is just too good an opportunity to waste my appetite on Hilton hotel fare.

    From reviewing the recs, I think I'm most interested and intrigued by Pure Food and Wine. Candle 79, Blossom and Dirt Candy are also possibilities. Could I come in solo to any of these places around 10pm on a Fri night?

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

    Pure Food and Wine
    54 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

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

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: climberdoc
      loratliff Feb 19, 2011 05:51 AM

      Most likely so, although I follow Dirt Candy on Twitter and they do seem to be fully booked fairly regular so it might be worth a call before you head over there.

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

      1. re: climberdoc
        Phil Ogelos Feb 19, 2011 06:14 AM

        just a quick side-note, doctor, to say that solo dining in and around new york city is not at all seen as aberrant: you can eat alone at the fanciest places or at the lowest and no one will think the worse of you. honestly, you're safe in the city now, so do as you please.

        1. re: climberdoc
          PlomeekSoup Feb 19, 2011 03:57 PM

          Candle 79, hands down, is your best bet of those you have listed here (besides Kajitsu). It is my go-to vegan fine dining / special occasion restaurant in NYC and *never* disappoints. They accept reservations (via opentable.com) and it looks like 10pm on the 11th is available. :)

          Enjoy, wherever you may end up!

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

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

          1. re: PlomeekSoup
            d
            DGresh Feb 27, 2011 02:34 AM

            My family just went to Candle 79 after an afternoon at the Met. My daughter is a vegetarian who doesn't like cheese (go figure) but the rest of us are omnivores. It is a lovely restaurant with an interesting menu and deliciious food.

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

          2. re: climberdoc
            Phil Ogelos Feb 19, 2011 04:19 PM

            An addendum to PlomeekS's post, doctor; the Upper East Side (where Candle 79 is) is just about as far away from Newark as you can go and still be in NYC. It's like you're living in Country Homes and going to Opportunity to eat, driving there in a car with a flat tire [it's Friday night in New York -you're migrating along with all the other B&T crowd!] You might save C79 for Sunday, when you have had the whole day to move around the city, and concentrate instead on lower Manhattan -and all the other places named here- for your arrival night. [New Yorkers -they're so +µ%@Ж^ helpful!]

          3. m
            mrsdebdav Feb 19, 2011 12:34 AM

            http://www.vp2-nyc.com/ totally vegan.
            right next door is http://redbamboo-nyc.com/site/ largely vegan.
            http://www.zenpalate.com/ multiple locations
            http://www.goborestaurant.com/ east side and west side
            http://www.soyandsake.com/ I haven't been but the menu looks great.

            I'm going to Seattle in June. Any recs?
            Happy travels!

            2 Replies
            1. re: mrsdebdav
              s
              small h Feb 19, 2011 04:08 AM

              The OP wants fine dining. All the restaurants you listed are casual places.

              1. re: mrsdebdav
                c
                climberdoc Feb 19, 2011 04:58 AM

                Thanks for the list of recs. I wish I had more days to check them all out.

                I live on the eastern side of Washington about 5 hr from Seattle. In the year I've been here I've still not made it to Seattle. I follow the Greater Seattle board very closely and trust the predominance of opinions of that board.

              2. o
                oceans Feb 19, 2011 12:17 AM

                I highly recommend both Candle 79 and Blossom restaurants. They are both vegan with excellent food and service. My daughter is vegan and we go to either of these two restaurants for special occasions with her. We have never been disappointed. As she is the only vegan among us and we all enjoy these two restaurants, I do think your father could accompany you here.

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

                1. chezfredo Feb 18, 2011 03:51 PM

                  I know little on the topic, but recently went to http://sacredchow.com/ and enjoyed it immensely. It's kind of a hole in the wall, but the food and service were great. Nice selection of wine and beer as well. Sullivan Street near W. 3rd.

                  1. s
                    scotty27 Feb 18, 2011 06:07 AM

                    Kajitsu, Kajitsu, Kajitsu. I am not a vegetarian in practice, but in spirit, yes. This restaurant is wonderful. I'd eat there 1x a month if I had the $. Yes, chef counter is fine for solo.

                    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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

                    1. s
                      small h Feb 17, 2011 07:12 PM

                      Three to consider:

                      I've been to Hangawi several times and recommend it highly. It's a very serene Korean restaurant (wear clean socks - you have to remove your shoes) with lovely and unusual food.

                      http://www.hangawirestaurant.com/

                      I haven't been to Candle 79 or Pure Food & Wine, but I've read/heard positive reports.

                      http://www.candle79.com/
                      http://www.oneluckyduck.com/purefooda...

                      1. k
                        kathryn Feb 17, 2011 06:36 PM

                        How about Kajitsu?

                        http://www.kajitsunyc.com/index.html

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

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: kathryn
                          o
                          orthorunner Feb 17, 2011 06:59 PM

                          Second Kajitsu. It sounds perfect for the OP.

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

                          1. re: orthorunner
                            coasts Feb 17, 2011 07:27 PM

                            i proposed to Ms. Coasts at Kajitsu in the early part of the month and can't recommend it enough. the meal was transplendent. service was phenomenal and the food was so intricately prepared.

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

                            1. re: coasts
                              c
                              climberdoc Feb 17, 2011 08:03 PM

                              Oh boy! I had no idea that a concept like Kajitsu even existed. I'm quite intrigued. I think I may be able to get my omnivore father to join me there. Thanks for this great rec. I agree with orthorunner in that it sounds like just what I'm looking for and perhaps more in that it's a concept I've never experienced. It's gone straight to the top of my list. Congrats on your engagement coasts!

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

                              1. re: climberdoc
                                coasts Feb 18, 2011 04:53 AM

                                Thank you!

                                If you do make it to Kajitsu, consider requesting a seat at the chef's counter. It is non-intrusive and adds to the experience.

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

                                1. re: coasts
                                  c
                                  climberdoc Feb 18, 2011 05:44 AM

                                  coasts

                                  Kajitsu seems like it would be ideal for dining solo. Am I correct about that?

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

                                  1. re: climberdoc
                                    coasts Feb 18, 2011 06:37 AM

                                    Absolutely.

                                    1. re: coasts
                                      Wilfrid Feb 18, 2011 02:24 PM

                                      That surprises me. It's a very, very quiet dining room. I don't think I would have had as much fun there solo as I did with someone else. And I eat solo a lot. (ETA: I didn't notice a chef's counter - maybe that's good for solo dining).

                                      Kajitsu is good, but I'd still pick Pure Food and Wine as the best high-end, exclusively vegan restaurant in the city.

                                      -----
                                      Pure Food and Wine
                                      54 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                                      1. re: Wilfrid
                                        s
                                        scotty27 Feb 18, 2011 02:30 PM

                                        It's a meditative solo dining experience, I'll grant you that!

                                        Not a chef's counter, per se, but about 9 seats facing the chef.

                                        www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                        2. loratliff Feb 17, 2011 06:11 PM

                          Many of the best restaurants (Per Se, etc.) have vegetarian tasting menus, but not vegan. As accommodating as they are, I still don't think they'd be able to handle an entirely vegan request.

                          But... I think you might enjoy Dirt Candy. http://www.dirtcandynyc.com/ They're not exclusively vegan, but everything on their menu can be made vegan upon request. I think you'd be well-served there.

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

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: loratliff
                            c
                            climberdoc Feb 17, 2011 08:09 PM

                            Thanks for this rec of Dirt Candy loratliff! I had a lot of fun reading through their website and the Chef's Iron Chef competition experience. The menu looks wonderful!

                            Since it seems that NY has multiple exclusively vegan/vegetarian restaurants, I'd like to avoid omnivorous establishments for this evening.

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

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