nice vegetarian meal in december
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.
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.
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)
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.