It’s always important to seek positive changes as a New Year begins to unfold.
Here at the Oldways Vegetarian Network (OVN), as we scan the horizon for signs that plant-based diets are gaining momentum, it’s thrilling to see what’s happening from coast to coast on the restaurant scene. A recent report from the National Restaurant Association, based upon their survey of more than 1,000 professional chefs, includes vegetarian appetizers and fruit and vegetable sides for kids among the top trends for 2015.
Vegetarian and vegan options are popping up on menus everywhere, as are restaurants that serve only plant-based meals. Chefs are playing with the potential of plants as never before and creating award-winning dishes they are proud to showcase. Hats off to them for furthering a world where anyone can delight in what’s on the menu.
Feeling restless? The Huffington Post offers this tantalizing list of the Top 25 Vegetarian Restaurants in the World
Here’s a look at some restaurants in the US where the Oldways team has enjoyed memorable plant-based meals. Be sure to call ahead to make reservations. And let us know if you have some favorite plant-based eateries to share.
Miller Union, Atlanta, Georgia
This restaurant has opened in an industrial part of town – the Westside – yet it fills your plate with deep rooted, rural beauty. Chef Steven Satterfield creates beautiful dishes using locally raised Southern food with a twist. Consider black-eyed pea and benne seed hummus or root vegetable and Vidalia hash. Vegetarian plates, put together upon request in the kitchen, offer fabulous greens, roasted veg, and lots of color and flavor.
Oleana, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Chef Ana Sortun, master of the tantalizing flavors of Turkey and the Middle East, serves up delicious, innovative food, including apple fattoush and chickpea terrine. Request a number of small plates, or order from the vegetarian tasting menu. And dip into the outstanding wine list. You’ll find the wait staff to be very knowledgeable and helpful.
Oxheart, Houston, Texas
Located on the fringes of downtown in the former Erie City Ironworks building, this restaurant is easy to miss. But once you summon the courage to walk through its funky, unmarked front door, you’ll find a lovely room, an enchanting menu, and people who love serving 4-7 course dinners, with or without wine pairings. Chef Justin Wu knows how to make vegetables exciting with dishes such as cured and smoked butternut squash coated in pea tendrils, or winter beets marinated in tangelo juice, umeboshi, coconut, and shiso. Ask to sit at the Chef’s Table and you’ll be able to watch the kitchen staff assemble their works of art.
True Bistro, Somerville, Massachusetts
You can count on great food and wine and a relaxing atmosphere at this charming, intimate vegan restaurant. Our favorites include the roasted beet salad, the smoked potato-kale cake, the corn crusted oyster mushrooms, and the Vietnamese crepe. Chef Stuart Reiter also offers legendary meals to celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day.
Vedge, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
All vegan all the time, this elegant City Center restaurant is a must visit for anyone who loves fabulous food. We’ve been lucky enough to eat here twice, and would return in a heartbeat. Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby push root vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu to the limit.
We’re still dreaming about the roasted rutabaga salad and the portabella carpaccio. And don’t miss The Dirt List.
Le Verdure, New York, New York
Looking for a good, quick meal in the big city? Sample the delicious food at this casual, counter-style restaurant within celebrity chef Mario Batali’s Italian marketplace. Le Verdure serves fresh, seasonal vegetarian fare from their chalkboard menu. Perch on a bar stool, have a glass of wine, and take in the beauty of the nearby produce section and all the action around you as people shop for food or sit down to enjoy it.