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Aug 17, 2014 04:57 PM

Any veggie restaurant in NYC like Greens or Millennium in SF?

San Francisco has at least two excellent vegetarian restaurants that simply serve delicious vegetable dishes- no fake meat, no tempeh or seitan (although tofu is in some dishes as itself). Whenever I visit SF I go to Greens, and if it was in Manhattan I'd be there every week or two. I get a similar cuisine in NY by eating veggie dishes at ethnic restaurants of all types, but my menu choices are frequently limited to only one or two dishes that meet my picky food needs at a given restaurant. At Greens I love the abundance of choice.

Am I unaware of great veggie (not vegan) restaurants in NY, or are they simply not here? And if they are not here, why does SF have two and much larger NY none?

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  1. What's the price point of the two that you reference? Are they upscale or casual?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      $100-150 for two with a nice bottle of wine.

      The Serious Eats list has a lot of good places on it and confirms the way I eat in New York - pick from the veggie items at ethnic restaurants.

    2. Dunno anything about Greens, but in the same vein as Millennium is Dirt Candy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I enjoy Dirt Candy for special occasions, but can't make a same day reservation, and not food I'd get hungry for every week.

      2. The list kathryn linked to is a good one (note that Family Recipe has shuffled off the mortal coil). And even though it's vegan, and even though it serves the dreaded seitan, I will throw Wild Ginger at you. I looked at Greens' online menu, and I see some overlap.

        Two other places that I'm not a huge fan of, but hey, I'm not such an authority, are Caravan of Dreams and Candle Cafe. They're also vegan. Deal with it.

        1. SF (and CA in general) has a wonderful year round source of local fresh produce that the east coast just doesn't have.... And either more vegetarians or just a more veg friendly dining scene.
          +1 for dirt candy, blossom, and candle cafe

          For something casual Westville's various locations have an extensive changing list of market vegetable dishes that are more simply prepared yet very good, plenty of choices.

          Le Verdure at eataly might be the closest to the greens menu, they often incorporate cheese and/or eggs.

          Scarpetta has a vegetarian menu that is excellent (scott's wife is/was veg), and for fine dining del posto does as well- they even do a veg version of their lunch pre fixe deal (i would mention when making the reservation via phone).

          8 Replies
          1. re: Ttrockwood

            Café Boulud has a vegetarian tasting menu that I've always thought was excellent (no reliance on meat substitutes).

            Dirt Candy is great, but note that it is closing on August 30th and pretty solidly booked until then. The plan is to reopen in November, but that could be delayed, NY being NY.

            1. re: debinqueens

              Sorry I wasn't more clear. I know lots of restaurants in NY with one or a few veggies dishes I get hungry for (higher ratio at Italian restaurants). Happy to hear about others, but not the root of my question.

              What delights me at Greens is to have such a wide range of choices - experiencing what non-picky eaters get at nearly any restaurant. And at Greens nearly everything is very good to delicious in my experience. And they cook with restraint, not burying you with a single flavor or ingredient. Just very good cooking, where nearly every dish happens to align with my dairy/veg pickiness.

              I actually pretty much avoid veg tasting menus - being vegetarian is a form of picky eater, and throwing yourself on the carnivorous chef's choice of veggie dishes is frequently a fail. True - sometimes it's wonderful, and I go back to have it again, but usually it's an entirely different offering that is not to my taste. Carnivorous Chef's veggie choice is a huge gamble, I like higher odds.

              1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                What delights me about Greens is that it's sitting on the bay and the view is amazing.

                1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                  The bottom line Davy - there just isn't a restaurant in NYC that's anything like Greens. From the setting, to the service, to the food - Greens is unique. Unique to San Francisco; unique to California; and unique to vegetarian dining, with a founding chef who was groundbreaking in that arena, and an executive chef who still is.

                  1. re: DavyTheFatBoy

                    All that I said, Gramercy Tavern.

                    I wouldn't be surprised if the vegetable tasting menu, or a menu that you put together yourself from many of their vegetable options, comes closest to what Greens offers. Their vegetable tasting menu, though, is $102 pp.

                    Another place where you might be able to do really well is ABC Kitchen. High level of cooking.

                2. re: Ttrockwood

                  Keep on forgetting Le Verdure, lots of vegan options there.

                  1. re: villainx

                    Well, the number of vegan options are hit or miss,depends on the day, a lot of the dishes have cheese/egg but they've always been gracious and never given me attitude when i ask them to omit something....

                  2. re: Ttrockwood

                    I love Italian, but strangely not Scarpetta.

                    La Verdure has some good stuff and I lunch there sometimes (although always feels a little pricey, except the soup and sandwich), but I think of it as a lunch counter with some fast service tables, not a nice restaurant I'd enjoy a leisurely dinner at.

                  3. it's all raw, but pure is quite delicious.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: emma20

                      Their ceasar salad is actually cravable... I'm not a big fan of the "lasagna" but the cocktails and desserts are also impressive, i prefer it for lunch/brunch over dinner (fyi lunch pre fixe of $32 for three courses)

                      1. re: emma20

                        Agree, just went here for the first time and found it to be excellent.