The vegetarian dining scene in D.C. might not be at the same level as L.A. or Portland just yet. But that doesn't mean diners who want to skip meat are stuck with boring salads or side dishes anymore. Local chefs and restaurants are highlighting veggies in all kinds of dishes traditionally made with meat, and the options are constantly changing. Here are 10 new vegetarian offerings to try right now.Read More
Veg Out with 10 New Meatless Offerings from D.C. Restaurants
There's so much more than just salads and side dishes.
1. 2941 Restaurant
2941 Meatless Monday gives diners an eight-course parade of vegetarian dishes that change weekly. Their vegetarian tasting menu ($70) debuted as a temporary offering in October of last year, but it will continue into 2016 due to popular demand. It's available on Monday nights during dinner service and does not need to be ordered by the whole table. Previous offerings have included couscous en papillote with caramelized lemon, fall vegetables, and chermoula; warm mushroom tartlet with roasted porcini, shaved celery, and mushroom foam; and squash cannelloni with tangerine gremolata and citrus sauce. Reservations are recommended.
2. 701 Restaurant
Pot au feu is traditionally made with beef, but 701’s version ($23) of the French stew uses caramelized onions to create the rich broth. Root vegetables and oat dumplings add substance to the hearty dish.
José Andrés dubs marinated beet “the other red meat,” and he’s made it the star of his "beetsteak" sandwich ($5.99). It’s accompanied by pickled red onion, sprouts, and romaine on an olive oil brioche bun. It comes with a side of homemade chips.
4. Clyde's of Tysons Corner
Meatloaf is a love it or hate it type of food, but for those who love it, Clyde’s has created a vegetarian doppelganger (no, it’s not a tofu loaf). It’s made with mushrooms, walnuts, chickpeas, red peppers, oats, breadcrumbs, and eggs. The dish ($16.95) comes with mushroom walnut pâté, parsnip puree, acorn squash, kale, and mushroom gravy.
Even though it’s not strictly traditional, Daikaya offers a vegan ramen option ($13.25). The vegetable-based shio broth is finished in a wok to add a roasted flavor, and the dish is topped with a medley of veggies like Brussels sprouts, bean sprouts, snow peas, carrots, onions, wood ear mushrooms, and braised shiitake mushrooms.
Equinox’s plant-based menu section rotates every couple of months. Several of the new winter options are plenty rich and filling, even without the meat. The truffled potato and forest mushroom pierogies are served with leek fondue, celery root cream, and toasted pine nuts ($15), and the French lentil and white bean cassoulet comes in flaked puff pastry with tomato and roasted sunchokes ($15).
Garrison’s farro cavatelli ($25) packs in three different types of broccoli— broccolini, broccoli rabe, and local broccoli from One Acre Farm. The stems are made into a puree, and the dish is topped with garlic confit, red pepper flakes, and Parmigiano Reggiano. The farro itself is made with a blend of three types of flour milled in house.
8. Sticky Fingers Bakery
This vegan bakery offers a meat and dairy-free version of a warming winter lasagna ($7.75). Expect layers of pumpkin, spinach, and sage and cashew cream.
Vegans can now try Sushiko's omakase menu without having to turn down the chef’s creations because of dietary restrictions. The vegan omakase ($80) changes nightly and features both sushi and non-sushi Japanese dishes, including courses like agemono with Brussels sprouts, ichimi togarashi, and ginger caramel and mushimono with house-made tofu, asparagus, black seaweed caviar, and tamari. The experience must be booked 48 hours in advance.
10. The Royal
The Royal’s ever-popular arepa can be veg-friendly, too. The fried squash arepa ($10) is stuffed with tempura-style fried acorn squash, black beans, avocado, crema, and cojita cheese.