Here Are the Vegetarian Standouts on the Meaty Menu at Chapter One
The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.
All photos by Tara Mahadevan Vegetable tart
Destination: Chapter One (33 Greenwich Avenue, 212-842-9146)
Neighborhood: West Village
Cuisine: American Pub
Overview: Leather is a running theme in the new West Village-located Chapter One restaurant: red leather covers the booths that line the walls as well as the bar stools and chairs. But while that gives the interior a look that borders on upscale, the menu -- spearheaded by owner Damian Collins and executive chef Warren Baird, an alum of the New York Italian trattoria Esca -- embraces American Pub cuisine, marked by simple dishes like collard greens and pork ribs. While Chapter One's menu rolls deep in meat-eater's fare, the restaurant leaves room for its vegetarian patrons, both on its dinner and brunch menus.
Highlights: Chapter One's baby vegetable tart ($19) features a soft, flaky outer-shell stuffed with mini onions, squash, potato, snap beans, and radishes; it's garnished with herbed goat cheese, fried leeks, and hazelnut soil. The vegetables are lightly seasoned, so the the flavors of the goat cheese, leeks, and hazelnut soil do most of the work. The tart goat cheese is infused with a tangy lemon zest, while the fried leeks add salt and crispiness. The hazelnut soil -- made with dehydrated mushrooms, hazelnuts, and hazelnut oil -- is a curious addition, as it is simultaneously nutty, sweet, and crunchy, the texture very similar to bread crumbs.
Fingerlings are all over menus right now, and Chapter One's version comes smashed ($8) and laced with plenty of pungent horseradish (if that's not your bag, you'll want to avoid this dish). The portion is huge; you'll want to share. Chapter One has plenty of other vegetarian side dishes and snacks to choose from, too, such as the baby beets ($8) and crispy spiced chickpeas ($5).