Salad—it’s not just for rabbits, or Real Housewives. With the weather warming up, we’re reminded that beach body season is coming up quick. Looking to eat a little lighter? Here are five restaurants whose salads are worth your fork-time. By Jessica Allen.
Allswell doesn’t always have salad on its menu. Instead, this gastropub in Brooklyn changes up its offerings daily. But when it does offer the green stuff, you’d be wise to order it. We’re still thinking about the surprises within a pineapple, smoked date, blood orange, and pickled onion salad, and that was months ago. A fig, candied walnut, endive, and gorgonzola version has recently been in heavy rotation.
If “salad” to you means “salad bar,” then Jacob Soul Food Restaurant and Salad Bar is your place. Two huge steam tables take up approximately half of this Harlem establishment, offering fruit, dressed salad, pasta salad, potato salad, corn salad, mozzarella salad, and marinated veggies, in addition to collard greens, rice and beans, fried chicken, biscuits, and whatever else the chefs whip up that day. On Sundays, Jacob’s features free entertainment, usually jazz and R&B.
Chop’t Creative Salad Company calls itself “the leader of the premium salad restaurant segment.” But don’t hold that against this restaurant, with its several locations throughout NYC and DC. Just head to the original one, in Union Square, get on line, and prepare to be impressed. You can make your own salad or salad sandwich using more than 60 different ingredients, or you can get one of their classics, including the Kebab Cobb (grilled chicken, feta cheese, red onion, pita chips, and peppers, expertly chopped to your specifications).
A salad at a sushi restaurant? Why not? Especially when said salad consists of seasonal Japanese veggies, such as wakame, a deep green sea plant, and hijiki, a brownish sea vegetable. Shipped dried, they are rehydrated, turning slightly salty in the process. The dish is macrobiotic and life-giving. The Brooklyn restaurant, however, with its concrete floors and walls made from what appear to be recycled shipping containers, could use some cheering, and yet the constant crowds in front of Momo Sushi Shack don’t seem to care.
Pure Food and Wine only serves raw food—nothing processed, nothing packaged, nothing cooked over 118 degrees. Lately, its salads have included Tuscan kale with orange and shaved fennel, candied almond crumbs, and orange blossom scented honey, as well as another made from beets, daikon, shredded cabbage, jicama, and cashew, with a sesame crunch wasabi aioli. A lunch, brunch, or dinner in this Gramercy vegan restaurant’s back garden, sipping organic wine, noshing on freshness, just might rejigger your world view.