My friend got a little annoyed with me when I dragged her to what appeared to be some kind of “vegetarian” restaurant for a post-event drink and snack. At first glance, I too, thought we were in the valley of the vegans with my choice. Personally I don’t have as serious of an issue with vegetarianism or even veganism. I guess I’m basically a vegan given my work-week fondness for green juice, non-dairy milks, veggies, nuts and seeds, and if you don’t count the eggs I eat for breakfast and the meat (sustainable meat I will have you know) I like to eat on the weekends. Vegans would disgustingly beg to differ, however.
But we were both pleasantly surprised to find that while the menu did skew toward plants, the vegetable-forward twist on classic meat dishes like beef tartare (here, it’s beet tartare) really hit it out of the park. The tartare was a nice, minced salad of sort with a soft texture and brighter, cleaner taste rounded out by a little umami-rich anchovy in place of the beef, and and the caraway rye tartine layered with kuri squash, miticrema cheese (spreadable Spanish sheep’s milk cheese), preserved tomato and maitake also had that nice balance of bright acid, slightly sweet and savory.
To be fair, there is meat on the menu for those having a kiniption fit about the vegetarian lean in the form of lamb chop scottadito with sheep’s milk feta and salsa verde; salmon crudo with macrona almond, garlic rice crackling and ponzu, and soy-cured washy beef with yuzu, pine nut and spicy mayo, for example.