Vegetarian At The Elm

There’s not a lot of vegetarian food on the menu at The Elm, a bar and restaurant in the basement of the McCarren Hotel in Williamsburg. There are a few good apps and sides: the vegetable tempura was lightly fried and delicious, and blistered shisito peppers are elevated with a splash of orange. But I have a friend who works as a bartender there, and he told me that when the right chef is in the kitchen he’ll put together a huge seasonal vegetarian plate my friend referred to as “the Garden.” Another chef was working that night, and he created an incredible vegetarian pasta at my request. Strozzapreti, a thick, curled pasta was dressed with a dandelion and lemon pesto, topped with crispy bits of fried onions and crunchy almonds. I also got a side order of the smoked maitake mushrooms. This is something for mushroom lovers only — the cooking process intensifies the deep, mushroom flavors. I love mushrooms, but even I thought they needed a little bit of acidity to offset the intense earthy flavor. Giving the maitakes a quick dunk into the pesto from the pasta did the trick nicely. It’s not a cheap meal, by any means, but The Elm does quite well by vegetarians if you ask the right questions.

The Elm — 160 North 12th St

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3 Responses to Vegetarian At The Elm

  1. Without Bacon says:

    What do you think about places that do great vegetarian food but don’t have it on the menu? I feel like it almost doesn’t matter how good the food might be, because (if I haven’t been there previously) I would check the menu to see what the options look like, and if the menu doesn’t have anything, I would rule it out, and there’s no way to know they might make a great pasta or whatever. Would love a good tasting menu at $65/four courses, if it was a well thought out vegetarian menu.

  2. Pingback: Mushroom Bruschetta At Myrtle & Gold | brooklyn vegetarian

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