From Scandinavian meat-free dishes in New York City to exotic Indian cuisine in St. Louis to modern American vegetarian delicacies in Seattle, the list of restaurants offering creative and delicious ‘out of the ordinary’ meatless and vegan meals is on the increase.
Restaurateurs and chefs around the country are embracing the healthful eating trend and meeting the demand for new and flavorful menu choices by cooking with more exotic fruits and vegetables, different grains, beans and other legumes.
Health experts have long hailed the health-boosting nutrients vegetables provide. With Spring in full swing, chefs have a broad selection of seasonal fresh produce to look forward to and incorporate into dishes. So what do celery root and mushroom crostini, butternut squash panzanella, and cauliflower risotto have in common? They have all debuted on a Meatless Monday menu at Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, New York.
Whether new to the movement or practicing for years, incorporating Meatless Monday is good for business. According to avid supporter of Meatless Monday chef/owner Jeff Gimmel of Swoon Kitchenbar, his meatless options have become so popular that they have been added to the regular menu. “We’ve stuck with doing Meatless Monday for three years because it continues to be well received,” said chef Gimmel.
The benefits of restaurants doing Meatless Monday range from increased business on a typically slow Monday to tapping into new crowds of vegetable-loving patrons. By simply highlighting existing vegetarian options and providing nominal discounts on Meatless Monday, restaurants reap the rewards of serving healthful options.
In support of restaurateurs who embrace the health mission of going meatless on Mondays, following are notable, coast-to-coast call outs.
Smörgås Chef, a full-service café located at the Scandinavia House Cultural Center in New York City, launched their first Meatless Monday menu in March. The $35 three-course, prix fixe dinner was based on the New Nordic Cuisine that uses local, sustainable, and all-natural ingredients. On their Meatless Monday menu was a fresh kale salad with house-made ricotta salta and raisins in an apple vinaigrette followed by a main course of caramelized and roasted cauliflower, poached egg, pearl barley and figs.
St. Louis, Missouri’s Rasoi consistently garners rave reviews as a neighborhood gem. This exotic “fit for foodies” eatery raises their commitment to wellbeing saying their Meatless Monday menu supports healthier people and a healthier planet. With familiar items like vegetable samosas, mulligatawny soup, aloo gobi, baingan bharta and tandoori mushrooms consistently touted as excellent, new and loyal patrons alike enjoy the many delicious flavors of India found on their menu week after week.
Chef David Murff and the culinary team at Jimmy’s on Broadway in Seattle joined the Meatless Monday movement as a New Year’s resolution to add healthier menu choices, one Monday at a time. Located in the trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood, chef Murff was excited about creating new and unique modern American vegetarian options using local, fresh ingredients that can be paired with one of their 22 flavorful draft beers on tap or one of Washington’s fine, local wines.
Want to get your favorite eating place on board? Just ask the chef; that’s what we do! Here’s a toolkit we put together for restaurants interested in doing Meatless Monday.
We love hearing about new Meatless Monday restaurants! Tell us what your local restaurant is serving. When you spot and report a Meatless Monday eatery in your neighborhood, we’ll put it on the Meatless Monday map and share your find with fans and followers around the globe!