From time to time, I plan to review restaurants that offer (and some that don't offer) vegetarian fare and how they stand up to vegetarian foodie standards. I know that it can be difficult sometimes when going out to eat with special dietary needs, and some places make you feel more welcome and planned for than others.
I hope that these reviews can be helpful for other vegetarians (or people looking to eat healthier) when trying to find a restaurant in which to eat.
Today's review is Grazie's Pizzeria Wine bar
I went to Grazie's for Valentine's day, which can often be a difficult time to be a vegetarian (with all the prixe fixe menus full of the romantically dead lobsters and cows). My boyfriend had reservations for us at a wonderful vegetarian friendly place only to find out that they would not be offering a vegetarian option for Valentine's day. (Nothing says "I love you" like "you can't eat here"). This left him scrambling to find another place to eat, and he stumbled upon the vegetarian friendly Grazie's.
As we approached the restaurant, you could hear how full of life and energy it was, even for such a typically quiet, romantic night. I'm not one for an overly stuffy restaurant, so I love it. There was a beautifully lit patio that stretches around the building completed with a large fireplace on the side.
The wine list was presented first, which was actually something of a disappointment from someplace calling themselves a wine bar. I'll drink just about anything, and I liked the way it was arranged, but they were definitely lacking in a few more options. However, we did enjoy a nice glass of Spanish chardonnay that went well with our food for the evening.
To begin, we chose the cheese platter, which was worth every penny of the $15 price. Unaware of what exactly to expect (the menu did not list the cheeses), we were pleasantly surprised to find the 5 or 6 different kinds of cheeses presented in generous portions. This certainly was not the skimpy cheese plates I'm used to. However, because there was SO much cheese, we felt that it was almost overkill without some tomatoes or bread to cut the the richness. (I'll never complain about too much cheese though).
For our meal, we split the Marcello pizza, which was delicately seasoned with garlic and topped with Roma tomatoes. The crust was thin and crispy and held up well to the rich sauce.
Overall, Grazie's is a place that I would recommend and visit again for some indulgent food and a beautiful ambiance.
One place that I love for vegetarian food that you might not think of when thinking vegetarian is Caffe Boa:
I love the Caffe Boa on Mill Ave. The whole restaurant is just adorable. I often sit in the bar because they have a great happy hour from 4-7 (half priced select appetizers, wines by the glass starting at only $5, and a large selection of beers that are all $2 off). I am a vegetarian, and they have plenty of food that I can eat that doesn't seem like an afterthought like many other places, especially for happy hour. Their happy hour menu includes such gems as the house made ricotta with arugula and campari tomato, penne with mushrooms, delicious bruschetta with olives and capers, and fettucine in a slightly spiced white wine sauce. The menu changes often, so even though you might fall in love with one particular item (RIP cheese and heirloom tomato board), you are sure to find something else that might appease your appetite.
Though a the actual bar is bit small, it has fantastic tall white doors separating the beautiful red brick walls that make it feel much more spacious. Get their early though to ensure you have enough room for the large plates and even larger glasses of wine, especially if you are going with a group.
I would absolutely recommend Caffe Boa for their happy hour, the fantastic and well thought out vegetarian options, delectable pasta, and the great wine selection.