I’d actually never been for vegetarian food. I know nearly every new restaurant has a vegetarian dish on the menu, and I’m sure they’re good, but I figured I’d go to a restaurant that specializes in vegetarian (and vegan, and gluten free) food and get the real experience. The interior of the restaurant reminded me of a big house or a hotel lobby, with an exposed radiator, distinctly non-business looking windows, and a fireplace. Given its location, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a hotel here at some time in the past.
I ordered a Wild Fire (chili infused gin, aperol, port, cranberry, pineapple, bitters), which promised to be “spicy and delicious”. And it was spicy and delicious, but it was more of a tingle than a burn. Then again, maybe I’m too accustomed to the tear-inducing, nose-running heat of Caribbean ginger beer. The pineapple came in late with its distinctive sweetness (a bit different than any other kind of fruit sweetness), while the cranberries were very subtle, not providing much on first impression but a lingering astringency in my throat. They became more pronounced after a few sips.
I love beets, so it’s fitting that I ordered the Gnocchi Beets here, which feature yellow beets instead of the archetypical red beets (which sort of threw me off for a bit; I was thinking “where are the beets?!”). Luckily, the flavour was largely the same as the familiar and much-loved red beets. The gnocchi was served with marinara sauce, which was quite sweet, particularly when eaten with the sweet beets. The cheese actually acted as a good backdrop here, although I almost wished it were sharper to balance the sweetness of the beets and tomato sauce.
My first time dining at a vegetarian restaurant was a success; in fact, I didn’t even miss the meat. The cocktail was well-made, and the location is central. I’d come back.