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nice vegetarian meal in december

helenhelen Nov 12, 2012 09:47 PM

I am coming to NYC from Toronto in December and want to indulge in delicious vegetarian food that we may not have in Toronto. I tried to make a reservation at Dirt Candy for December 28th on the Open Table website but it looks like they may not be open on that day. Where else should I try to have a similar (or at least very tasty) dinner on that day instead?

Last time I was in NYC, I tried Kajitsu (amazing!) and Cafe Blossom (okay). I wouldn't mind returning to Kajitsu but I also wouldn't mind trying somewhere new.


  1. k
    kathryn Nov 13, 2012 05:41 AM

    Due to Sandy, OpenTable does not work for many restaurants right now. They may also not take them that far in advance. I'd give them a call.

    From the Dirt Candy site:

    (Update: as of Tuesday, November 6, Dirt Candy has re-opened! Seriously. We’re open. You can eat here! People have been confused, so be confused no longer!
    I’m in the middle of re-opening Dirt Candy and so far the biggest problem (besides having to remake everything from scratch, all at once) is that my internet service is out. Verizon told me, “We don’t know why it’s out, we don’t know when it will be back, and it may never be back.” As you might imagine, these are not the words I wanted to hear. The biggest thing I need internet access for are Open Table reservations. To their credit, Open Table is being really great about this (a huge improvement over my last interaction with them) but for now, if you want a reservation (or need to cancel a reservation, or change a reservation) please call the restaurant (212-228-7732). I’m really sorry for the inconvenience, but just imagine: it’s only a single phone call for you, but I’ll be answering the phone all day long.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      helenhelen Nov 14, 2012 12:15 AM

      thank you! i emailed dirt candy and they told me they will be closed for holidays from dec 22 until jan 2.

      1. re: helenhelen
        intrepid3591 Nov 14, 2012 05:34 AM


    2. sgordon Nov 14, 2012 05:50 AM

      My first thought would have been Dirt Candy as well, but with them out of the picture I'd consider Tulsi - fantastic Haute Indian, with a very extensive vegetarian menu - the chef is vegetarian (even though his most famous dish is his lamb chops) so he puts a lot of thought into his veggie entrees. There's even a full vegetarian tasting menu.

      The other option would be Italian - there are always vegetarian pasta options for main courses. Scarpetta has a full vegetarian menu (not just pastas) in addition to their regular menu, although you've got a Scarpetta up there so maybe it wouldn't be terribly exciting. Babbo has solid veggie options, and for something cheaper but still nice you could make a meal out of a bunch of veggie antipasti at Lupa. Also be sure to hit up Il Verdure at Eataly - they're a great lunch option, all veggie menu.

      Public almost always has at least a couple veggie apps and one veggie entree on their menu - and not toss-offs, but good, creative stuff worthy of the menu there. Unlike some of the above you'd be limited to just a few options, though.

      There's also a new chef at Kajitsu - I've heard good things, and the menu is likely quite different than it was the last time you were here, so a repeat trip might not be out of the question.

      Depending how much you want to spend, most high-end places will have veggie options as well, though they might not be listed on their menu - I believe there's a vegetarian version of the EMP tasting menu (not sure, though, now that they've changed to a tasting-only format) and were you to go to any of the big four-starrers they'd be sure to take care of you, as long as they knew in advance. I probably wouldn't do, say, a place like Le Bernardin (where the specialty is fish) as I'm not sure you'd get your money's worth, or one of the Haute French places - but Del Posto would probably have a pretty special secondi option. (There are already veggie options for the other courses)

      1. Motosport Nov 14, 2012 10:12 AM

        Hangawi is fabulous!!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Motosport
          sgordon Nov 14, 2012 11:50 AM

          Oh, yeah - how could I forget HanGawi? (Shoot, we're regulars there for chrissakes... and we're not even vegetarians!)

          HanGawi - delicious. Arguably the best Korean restaurant in Manhattan, veggie or not (at least traditional Korean - we'll leave out the uber-fancy Jungsik)

        2. LeahBaila Nov 14, 2012 12:32 PM

          Candle 79 is always a treat, even for a meat-loving fool like myself.
          I would also consider some of the vegetarian Indian options, such as Saravanaa Bhavan.

          5 Replies
          1. re: LeahBaila
            intrepid3591 Nov 14, 2012 12:44 PM

            candle cafe west is good fyi

            1. re: intrepid3591
              LeahBaila Nov 14, 2012 12:51 PM

              Cool, didn't know about this location. Is it new?

              1. re: LeahBaila
                intrepid3591 Nov 14, 2012 01:02 PM

                not sure…its nice, attractive and good food

                1. re: intrepid3591
                  LeahBaila Nov 14, 2012 01:08 PM

                  Good to know! Thx again...

              2. re: intrepid3591
                helenhelen Dec 1, 2012 02:08 PM

                just looked at their menu and it sounds delicious

            2. h
              helenhelen Dec 1, 2012 02:00 PM

              thanks for all the suggestions so far!

              i will be going there with a friend who has been eating a macrobiotic vegetarian diet lately. any places that are tasty and have good options for her?


              1 Reply
              1. re: helenhelen
                dpastor Dec 9, 2012 08:03 AM

                I went to Candle79 for the first time and went back to Hangawi for the umpteenth time. Hangawi is so special, though it was noisier than usual. One thing I've always treasured is the zen like atmosphere, you feel like you are in a Korean temple. And the food is amazing and unusual. The prix fixe is no longer a great deal because the choices are mediocre. Get the emperor's rolls and the assorted pancakes for apps, try one of the porridges, and then get bamboo rice and one of the mushroom or root dishes. And don't miss the desserts - the blueberry coconut cake is to die for!

                Candle79 is nice (sit upstairs, too crowded downstairs) but not sure why people rave about it. The kale salad and hummus were very nice. The risotto was quite good, but nothing blew me away.

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