October is National Vegetarian Awareness Month. Whether it’s your everyday lifestyle or you practice Meatless Mondays, these vegetarian dishes are packed with so much flavor that even a hardcore carnivore could appreciate them. Dine at these NYC restaurants throughout October – and beyond – to enjoy some of the best veggie dishes the city has to offer. By Sarah Shaker.
Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna, Pure Food and Wine
Ooey, gooey, comforting lasagna can indeed be light and healthy. Pure Food and Wine, a New York hot spot for raw organic fare, boasts a Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna as one of their most popular dishes. Basil pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato marinara and macadamia pumpkin seed ricotta are layered between slices of fresh zucchini and tomato for a vegetarian twist on the otherwise meaty, creamy Italian classic. For a seasonal ending to your meal, try the Chocolate Pot de Creme with balsamic-glazed figs and hazelnut-fennel seed biscotti.
Fresh Cut Pumpkin Pasta, David Burke Townhouse
Throughout the year, David Burke Townhouse offers a full vegetarian menu daily for both lunch and dinner. A favorite on the fifth season of Top Chef Masters, Chef Burke’s exceptional vegetarian menu gives both vegetarians and meat lovers alike the opportunity to indulge in some of the best seasonal produce. The Fresh Cut Pumpkin Pasta with arugula pesto, chanterelle mushrooms and parmesan cheese is an exceptional fall meal for those of us who crave pumpkin everything. Vegetarian appetizers include Farm Egg Ravioli with wild mushrooms, brown butter and sage. Another main dish not to miss is the Honey-Soy Roasted Cauliflower with red miso-yuzu butter.
Karmic Kale Wrap, Blossom Du Jour
259 West 23rd Street
New York, NY
One of our favorite city spots for vegetarian and vegan eats, Blossom Du Jour, is serving an autumn dish kale fans are sure to love. The Karmic Kale Wrap features sweet potatoes, an obvious fall favorite, and is made with olive oil, garlic, lemon & sea salt rubbed raw kale and tahini dressing. In keeping with the harvest theme, the city eatery is also serving mini vegan pumpkin pies at their flagship location in Chelsea.
Tandoori Vegetable, Pie Face
With 6 Manhattan locations, Pie Face is serving up delicious savory and sweet pies around NYC. This month, go for the popular Tandoori Vegetable pie, packed with carrots, potato, peppers and a rich curry-spiced sauce in a flaky puff pastry crust. These adorably made pies even smile back, so what’s not to love? And make sure to try their fresh pastries and strong coffee when you’re in need for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Market Vegetable of the Day Platter, Blue Ribbon Beer Garden
We know you’re more than familiar with Chef/Owners Eric and Bruce Bromberg’s Blue Ribbon empire, most notably their recently opened stand alone fried chicken joint in the East Village. For those looking for something lighter, but not in the mood for their famous sushi, head to the Lower East Side beer garden for a Market Vegetable of the Day Platter, which changes seasonally. This veggie dish is served with a side of house-made coleslaw, grilled corn bread and bean salad for a full meat-free meal.
Fresh Kale Salad, Delicatessen
Who knew the SoHo restaurant known for their comfort food classics, like Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Beer Battered Fish and Chips, has an outstanding raw and vegan item on their menu? Stick a fork into chef Michael Ferraro’s Fresh Kale Salad featuring shiitake mushrooms, golden raisins, cashews, sprouts, silken tofu and a mirin vinaigrette. If you’re in the mood for their well known cozy fare, you can choose from their MacBar list, which includes some vegetarian options like Margarita Mac with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, parmigiano and fresh basil.
Choose from an array of vegetarian dishes at Ristorante Asellina, located in the heart of the Flatiron district at the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel. Asellina is known for their menu of organic and authentic Italian specialties. Start with the Bruschetta with creamy burrata, peppers and eggplant before indulging in a range of veggie-friendly pizzas, salads and pastas including Baked Eggplant with fresh ricotta, tomato, basil and Arancini stuffed with mozzarella, mushroom and sun-dried tomato.
Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich, 'sNice
We believe it’s never too early in the season for Thanksgiving flavors. ‘sNice has brought back the Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich this week with Tofurky, roasted sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts topped with homemade mushroom gravy and cranberry relish on a crisp baguette. The Park Slope outpost of this vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant is a reliable family dining destination for neighbors and a great spot to get some work done while enjoying a snack on their spacious outdoor patio.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.