The subtle charm of the East village comes from the unique variety of hidden eateries & shops; specializing in anything from mac & cheese to tequila , and even vegetarian French cuisine. Yes, vegetarian French cuisine – two words you normally don’t associate with one another.
Enter Table Verte, the first vegetarian French restaurant to exist in downtown Manhattan. But that’s not all. They even have a vegan and gluten-free menu.
Yes, the tables are green (verte), and the space is small – so come early or reserve your spot ahead of time. Not only is it a perfect intimate date spot for when you are taking out a meat/dairy/gluten free companion, it is also BYOB (wine & beer) for a small corkage fee.
Take note: this is not your typical vegetarian/vegan restaurant. There is no faux “meat” here (tofu, tempeh, seitan). Instead, French Culinary Institute trained Executive Chef Ken Larsen likes to craft dishes around foods in their true, mother nature given form.
I joined a small group for a press dinner where Chef Larsen presented us some of his signature dishes to dine on (all GF for mine of course)…
Not sure how one conceptualizes this dish, but chef Larsen managed to do so…deliciously.
All of the above were gluten-free and vegan. Of the three, my favorite was the carrots – which had a slight moroccan curry flavor.
Something I never thought to put together was strawberries & brussels sprouts – but the balsamic was a perfect tie in and the dish was actually great. What made the chef put these 2 ingredients together? He saw them next to each at the farmer’s market and voilà!
This was my GF substitute for the gnocchi (which I really wanted).
I’m not a huge bean fan but the yam cake was fabulous. Layered with nutmeg & cinnamon, it could have easily been on the dessert menu.
This was my favorite dish of the night (I know, shocking – considering there were brussels sprouts). Nice flavor/texture balance.
And for dessert:
I always thought aloe was used for sunburns but apparently it’s used to make desserts as well. Unique flavor combo that was very refreshing.
We also had the chocolate (GF, V) ganache made with avocado.
Honestly, I was full after the second dish. Nine dishes later and I could barely breath.
Pros: Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menus – something for everyone! Except the carnivores of course.
Cons: Small space and no hard liquor.