The new location in the historic Tiger building is an incredible space. Bigger than I expected, with a nice bar in the front and a vegetable bar in the room we were seated in near the kitchen. Dimly lit and romantic, it doesn't disappoint. There were a lot of staff milling around busily, and the owners Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby were very visible throughout the evening. The widows were enormous, the architecture was amazing and the space felt open. Wood inlaid floors and arched entryways completed the picture. The menus at Vedge are globally inspired, using locally sourced ingredients. No animal products are used in the Vedge Kitchen. This in itself was amazing considering the creamy sauces I tasted.
Dirt List, a daily changing menu of seasonal vegetables. A complementary plate of bread, and oil infused with garlic, chive and parsley was sent out to our table. The Ramen bowl, pho broth, men ma, shiitake, grilled scallion, cilantro came out first. The soup had a strong sweet flavor and was served with chopsticks, but we discarded those right away and used a fork. The soup was just okay, I think--nothing too spectacular, but a nice beginning to the meal. The real showstopper for me was the Portabella carpaccio, salsa rustica, arugula crema, olive oil, crostini. It reminded me of filet on crostini with horseradish. It was that good. The presentation was nice.
Superthin shaved portabellas lined up on a cutting board, with crostini. Oh, I did run out of the crostini. There were only two crostini halves on the board. I had to ask for more, and she bought me two. I needed about six though. It was still fabulous despite the absent accompaniments.
From the Dirt List, we ordered the Baby broccoli: roasted black & white sesame seeds, smoked soy sauce and the Brussels sprouts: shaved and grilled, smoked mustard. The broccoli was a very small portion of two little trees, deliciously cooked and marinated in a soy sauce sesame seed combination. The taste was very nice. I really could have used four or five more trees, though.
Okay, so portions are small. You do have to order at least three dishes, and possibly four or five if you do what I did and order the less expensive ones. Brussels sprouts are something I have just recently acquired a taste for, and I usually just roast them in the oven with a little olive oil. These fine sprouts were roasted and shaved to perfection. A lovely, and amazingly creamy mustard sauce adorned this wonderful dish. a lot of time and care went into this dish. Delicious. The service was fairly smooth, especially considering they just opened up a couple of weeks ago. I swear I ordered the truffled fingerling fries "for the table", but they never came out. I was really looking forward to those, too. On the suggestion of the waitress, I ordered the
Bahn mi crostini,lemongrass tofu, daikon, cilantro, creamy sriracha. This was not a good choice for me. Chunks of tofu aren't really my thing, and it was poor judgment on my part. I couldn't choke it down. My husband was the winner on this round, and I found myself dipping into his Grilled seitan, black lentils and mushrooms, creamy horseradish, kohlrabi.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I had to order my own plate after I sent back my banh mi. Never having prepared seitan before, I was pleasantly surprised by its consistency. It has a great meaty texture that I loved. This dish would be difficult for me to duplicate at home, but I must try. The black lentils were scrumptious with the grilled seitan. This was a good sized portion, and also the most expensive option on the menu at $16. Hands down the best dish of the night. Still feeling hungry, we requested the dessert menu. Rick ordered the Grahams 10 Year Tawny Port, which he proclaimed as the best, and I ordered a glass of wine to go with my Sticky Toffee Pudding: salted caramel, pumpkin ice cream. Dessert was divine. Perfect for the season, the pumpkin ice cream, made with soy, was delicious. I never missed the dairy. Dinner was $185 out the door. Seemed kind of steep to me, but then I realized our bottle of Pinot was $65 alone. I should have ordered more of the filling dishes off the menu, because I probably could have kept eating. Though it's fun to taste a lot of different items, it's a lot of work choosing what to order. And as a relatively new vegetarian, a lot of the dishes were foreign to me, so I was unsure of what I would like. On the way out, I ran into Owner Kate Jacoby by the hostess stand, and she was very friendly as she asked me how I enjoyed my meal. Great experience. I am sure it's no easy task to run a solely Vegan restaurant in the city. They have been doing it for years though, and have been successful. There is definitely a need and a clientele that will frequent this establishment. I'll surely be back, and I'll be bringing a Vegan friend with me.