Choice (M)Eats and Other Options
My heart is still pumping out massive amounts of saturated fat coursing through my veins after sampling food from more than ninety restaurants and food vendors at The Village Voice’s 4th Annual Choice Eats in New York City.
Did I have to try every skewered, fried, seared, poached, pickled, baked or broiled piece of flesh that came my way? No, but it would have been a great disservice to my inner meat addict to leave those morsels behind. Props go to The Village Voice staff for managing to keep the crowds under control—even at the evening’s peak, I never felt as if I was going to get trampled in order for some map-wielding foodie to make her way to the Del Posto booth (although, believe me, people had done their homework and showed up with highlighted ground plans of their most desired destinations).
Of course, the evening wasn’t all meat. I think I noticed some abandoned broccoli at one point and savored the fruity deliciousness of a Calvados “French Margarita,” which I counted as a daily serving of fruit since it had lemon juice in it and at least tasted like apples.
Since spring is around the corner (and I’ve got a suit to fit into for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah) here’s shout-outs to those daring restaurateurs who are featuring some fresh, spring seasonal vegetarian dishes. Check out this top five and go out and eat something green:
The Fat Radish
Chef and restaurateur Ben Towill and his business partner Philip Wisner have created a trendy downtown vibe that still pays homage to London’s original Convent Garden marketplace. Go for the celery root pot pie with black garlic and Gruyère cheese.
I usually prefer my Bánh mì with a big slab of pork belly. But hey, sometimes if you squint and take a hit of weed, tofu tastes just as good. You can forget the illegal substances and enjoy the fresh flavors at An Choi, a Vietnamese eatery that offers some great vegetarian options including grilled portabello and lemongrass tofu.
(Photo: Opening Ceremony)
What could be more evil than going to a restaurant that specializes in the meaty street food of central Italy and avoiding the pork? You’ll think differently after ordering their mozzarella sandwich with a side of cooking greens with garlic and chile oil.
With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, I couldn’t resist going on the hunt for some south of the border love. While specializing in ceviches, Mercadito also churns out a trio of unique guacamoles, tacos with black bean hash and a roasted cauliflower with epazote-garlic vinaigrette—all washed down with a selection of more than 60 tequilas.
Normally it would take everything in my power to resist the Vanderbilt’s country pork paté or mussels with bacon and beer, but with a refreshing carrot salad with spiced yogurt and sweet pea soup, I’ll be ready to slip into that suit in no time—no alterations or defibrillators needed.
(Photo: Off the Presses)
i can vouch for both the pot pie at the fat radish and an choi’s banh mi (their meatless pho is even better). the liptauer sandwiches a few doors down at cafe katja are pretty vegtastic as well.