Ayurveda Cafe’s prix fixe meals consist of 10 rotating vegetarian menu items that span the six Sattvic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. Drinks such as the mango banana lassi are less concerned with balance, favoring sweetness above all else.
Green Symphony's chefs cull zesty ingredients to craft body-nourishing platters and Korean cuisine. Appetites arise from slumber with breakfast offerings such as organic oatmeal splashed with açai fruit purée. Sandwich sages construct breadstacks from South Asian–inspired tempeh, then top their creations with the finest blue, feta, or brie cheese found beyond Mickey Mouse's pantry. A hefty dessert menu gilds sweet teeth with pear-ginger bars and homemade muffins, and bodies find a healthy boost with juice blends including the Cleanser, in which cranberries, carrots, and beets canoodle with barley greens and aloe juice.
Chef Laura Pensiero has trained at the French Culinary Institute, possesses a background in nutrition, and radiates with genuine enthusiasm for healthy, local and sustainable foods. So, it’s not entirely surprising she’s racked up some local and national fame, including features in O Magazine and the title as one of Hudson Valley Magazine’s Four Best Veteran Chefs in 2012. Best of all, patrons don’t even have to visit one of Pensiero’s award-winning restaurants, Gigi Trattoria or Gigi Market, to get a taste of her food; they can stop into Just Salad, where she is the master-mind behind all the recipes.
Dedicated to providing healthy and fast meals, Just Salad assembles more than 14 varieties of wraps and salads, or puts customers in charge, allowing them to concoct their own lunch from a wide range of fresh vegetables, cheeses, proteins, and Chef Pensiero’s homemade dressings. Salads are tossed inside reusable bowls, which the shop encourages customers to bring back on their second, third, and so-on visits. In return, they’ll receive two free “essential toppings”—such as lentils, mandarin oranges, and artichoke hearts—and one free cheese tossed onto a salad, tucked inside a wrap, or pelted at their mortal enemy.
When Sarma Melngailis stumbled upon the idea of a raw, vegan diet, she decided to try it out for two weeks tops. By the end of her first week, though, she knew she’d found something that would not only guide her personal dietary choices in the future but could also inspire a new business. One Lucky Duck is the third notch in her entrepreneurial belt, just behind her other restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, and a cookbook called Raw Food/Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow. From locations in Chelsea and Gramercy, she and her staff dole out savory entrees, such as zucchini and tomato lasagna, falafel, thai lettuce wraps, and a portobello and hemp-seed burger. They’ve even mastered the art of the vegan dessert, including moon pies, mallomars, and milk shakes, and magazines such as InStyle have lauded their freshly pressed juices.
The first half of the name Tiffin and Thali refers to the lunches that mothers and wives packed up for their family members in British India, while "Thali" points to the tradition of presenting a spread of pan-regional dishes on a circular steel tray. Embracing both of these concepts, the chefs forge meaty and vegetarian-friendly cuisine for dine-in, takeout, or delivery by catapult. Grilled servings of lamb chops or prawns can emerge from the kitchen along with one of the menu’s fragrant curries, which submerge tofu, chicken, or fish beneath a spiced sauce such as tikka masala or vindaloo.
Dosa Delight's chefs prep a menu of authentic Indian dosas, samosas, and sambar with an eye for vegetarian, vegan, and kosher options. The aroma of cooking spices wafts from the kitchen into the simple dining area, where servers deliver dosas—pancakes made from rice and lentil flours and stuffed with savory or spicy filling. In a dish of vegetable uthappams, chefs sprinkle thick pancakes with carrots, peas, chilies, and tomatoes. Desserts surprise sweet teeth with unexpected ingredients, such as the gajerla's caramelized grated carrots served inside an edible jack-in-the-box.