Mezze Place might be a quaint Astoria restaurant, but it regularly transports diners to the far reaches of the Mediterranean with a modern menu of dishes big and small. Chefs mince and chop international ingredients—from Moroccan spices to Tunisian lamb and Greek cheeses—to create flavors more mouth-watering than a garden hose in your mouth. The bill of fare incorporates close to 20 vegetarian and vegan options, and a separate dessert menu features semolina cake with walnuts and raisins and a kataifi pastry with rose water, pistachios, and three cheeses.
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.
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.