Upscale Vegetarian [Food/Vendor]

2007 Sep 19
My husband and I will be celebrating out anniversary next month and I'm in charge of finding a restaurant for dinner before we catch a show at the NAC. As we are both vegetarians, I'm looking for a place that has at least a few high-quality (read not a plain old pasta dish) vegetarian entrées to choose from.

The straight-up vegetarian places we go to are pretty casual in nature and I was hoping to get suggestions for someplace relatively upscale. Also neither of us are too familiar with Gatineau so I'd like to keep suggestions to this side of the river. Fire-away foodies!

2007 Sep 19
Off the top of my head, I was going to suggest the East India Company. But then I checked and I see you already have it as one of your favourites. :)

Let's see what others come up with...

2007 Sep 19
all the more reason to check out gatineau then! honestly, the best vegetarian places i have found are on the other side of the river. the drive to chelsea is beautiful this time of year (you can take to long way through the park). or it is about a 25 min drive on the highway.

i'm also vegetarian (for almost 20 years now) and my two favourite spots are

Cafe Soup'Herbe in chelsea

or chez eric in wakefield (wakefield is a great destination spot on a fall weekend! neat shops, bakeries, good food)

in ottawa, i find things are pretty much the same. i generally stay away from pasta, so i can't give advice there.

what about beckta? they have a few veg options.

2007 Sep 19
I've called Domus in the past and asked them to make me a vegan entree. There wasn't any choice, but the dish that they came up with for me was super! I've also done that with the Urban Pear.

While I haven't been there before, I've heard that Sante (Rideau and Sussex) has vegetarian options on their menu.

2007 Sep 19
another idea, though it isn't upscale, is ethiopian food. my husband and i really like the vegetarian mixed platter at the east african palace (rideau st). i have heard good things about horn of africa too, but haven't tried it. you could dine a little more cheaply, then splurge on some champagne and dessert for after the NAC show.

close to the NAC is the manx. it is a pub, so not upscale, but they have a really good selection of well made vegetarian food. and an great selection of beer and whiskey.

2007 Sep 19
I agree that "upscale" vegetarian is tough to find without going ethnic. Well, I KNOW you said no to Quebec, but I know that Les Fougeres - which is quite upscale- has an entire vegetarian menu in addition to thier regular menu - which you can check out on thier website in advance to see if it looks appealing to you. Also, if you wante to go REALLY REALLY upscale, Signatures also has a vegetarian menu called "Cordon Vert" - actually not that bad a price for $48 a person for 5 courses- see the link here (scroll to page 8):

Other than that - how about a higher-class japanese/sushi place? - lots of veggie maki available. Carribean Flavours - well, I can't really call it UPSCALE per se based on the plain decor, but it's not like, a gross fast food restaurant or anything, and the food is AWESOME. There are a multitude of veggie options including jerk tofu and tempeh, and a variety of roti.

Let's see what else? - Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro is VERY game-meat-centric, however they always have one veggie entree on the menu - the reason I mention this is because everytime I've looked at thier veggie selection I've been very impressed with the creativity - it's never just some dumb pasta - last time I was there it was a veggie shepard's pie, and looking at thier website the current veggie options on thier menu include:

MIXED GREEN SALAD Inuit crowberry tea and lemon vinaigrette

GATHERING NATIONS SALAD 3 lettuce, frisee, peppers, carrots, onions, dressed w/ maple mustard vinaigrette. Topped with pepitas and sunflower seeds.

POOR HUNTER'S PURSE Chive crepes filled with wild mushroom ragout on a bed of baby spinach and balsamic drizzle

TURNOVERS CON QUESO Queso fesco and pepper jack cheese filled turnovers with pico de gallo and sour cream

QUINOA & POTATO CAKES Queso fresco, roasted cream corn, frijoles negro sauce and cherry tomato salsa

2007 Sep 19
Sacred Garden? Never been but I've heard good things from veg friends.

Edit - I already see you've been there and posted your review :)

2007 Sep 20
Really great suggestions everyone and thanks for the in-depth comment FiH. I'll take a look at those menus and consider voyaging into Quebec....

2007 Sep 20
At the risk of shilling for our own business, ZenKitchen offers monthly gourmet vegan dinners out of downtown Ottawa's Chelsea Club. The dates probably won't match with your anniversary, but our dinners have become popular (with carnivores and vegetarians both) for birthday and other celebrations. for dates, past menus and pics.
Happy eating!

2007 Nov 26
My wife and I had the privilege of attending yet another one of ZenKitchen's monthly gourmet vegan dinners at the Chelsea Club. We are NOT vegetarian (au contraire), yet rarely have we dined better on meat than we have with ZenKitchen's offerings. This month's dinner on November 23 featured Japanese fusion dishes. We started with an out-of-this world smokey adjuki bean soup that easily could have been a meal by itself. This was followed by a delicious root salad with ginger-sesame-ponzu dressing. The main course was a "sampler platter" of Japanese delicacies such as wild mushroom gyozas, roasted chestnut sweet rice, roasted African and Japanese kabucha, to mention just a few items on the plate.

Many of the monthly diners at these events are regulars like ourselves and most, I would assume, are carnivores too. Yet we come back, month after month, because ZenKitchen's vegan dinners are simply so delicious that we can't stay away. If your idean of fresh vegetables, and especially mushrooms, is Loblaws, give ZenKitchen a try. But you have to hurry, the Chelsea Club can accomodate no more than 40 people for these dinners and they are selling out really fast. In fact, many devotees are prepaying a number of offerings just to make sure there is going to be place for them.

Ottawa may lack an upscale vegetarian or vegan restaurant. Just look at ZenKitchen as such a restaurant that is open, alas, only one evening a month.

2007 Nov 26
The Urban Pear always has one vegetarian main course on the menu as well as a salad, an anti-pasti plate & sometimes another composed vegtarian appetizer. Soups sometimes are veggie aswell.
They don't do pasta in the evening so you will never end up with that as a choice.
If you make the reservation a few days in advance or more they will organize a choice of two main courses for you & probabley an appetizer aswell. The menu changes there all the time so even if you didn't request the second vegetarian choice you can ask them & they will usually come up with another menu item on the spot. They also always have a fish main course if you are a fish eating vegetarian.
But best to give them some noticed so you really get something special.
Hope you have a nice time:)

2007 Nov 28
Mmm, the Zenkitchen dinners are wonderful! I have been hesitating to post about it, simply because the venue is small and I don't want miss out!

They also occasionally have wine pairing, and once this fall they offered beer pairing.

2007 Dec 12
The Green Table on Wellington and Holland - awesome! Best veg*an food in Ottawa. No joke! Find it too high on salt though...