MeetMoi is all about introducing you to new and interesting people nearby that you can meet up with in person. This post is part of a series of posts to give you hints on where to take your new Intro on an impromptu date. Get more ideas here.
By Ella Riley-Adams
If you’re a diehard meat-eater and general restaurant connoisseur, don’t let that stop you from going out with someone who eschews all animal products. Thankfully, New York City offers a wide range of date options for vegans and all-food lovers alike. There will be no staying home to chew on carrot sticks and tofu. Where to take a vegan, and still enjoy yourself:
Escape from New York: Pure Food and Wine This Gramercy Park eatery features an entirely raw, vegan menu. Don’t worry, you won’t be munching on lettuce leaves the entire evening. How about some pear ravioli with smoked long pepper mousse and preserved lemon to start? Pure Food also serves an extensive list of organic wines. We call it an escape from the city because in the summer, guests can sit in Pure Food’s private garden. All of a sudden, the world gets a bit quieter. Twinkly lights criss-cross the dining area; the atmosphere is intimate and serene.
Casual Lunch: The Organic Grill Nestled in the East Village, The Organic Grill is an unfussy, delicious date spot. Your vegan will be pleased by the selection of vegan cheeses, raw vinaigrettes, and vegan pierogies, while you can get a wild salmon fillet and a side of cow cheese. After your meal, walk around the East Village and make your next stop People’s Pops.
Savoring Summer Snack: People’s Pops Whether you pick up an icy treat at the 1st Ave stand, in Park Slope, at Chelsea Market, or at the many Brooklyn flea markets, you’ll soon find yourself refreshed and joyous. There’s something about popsicles that revert us to childhood–ask your date if he or she has a good story about making sandcastles or playing capture the flag. People’s Pops takes fresh, local fruit and herbs and makes them into lollies. They also offer shaved ice, from an actual block of ice. Both are great, less stomachache-inducing (and vegan!) alternatives to ice cream.
Taste Bud Adventure: Dirt Candy A New York Magazine Critic’s Pick, this restaurant bases its menu off the idea that vegetables are the “candy of the earth.” Though not entirely vegan, Dirt Candy’s selection offers multiple dining options for the strict veggie eater. Laugh over the wine list, which includes descriptive phrases like “dances on your face” and, “how dare we serve something as banal as a chardonnay! And yet…”
Outdoor Foraging: Union Square Green Market If your date falls during the day on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, go to Union Square. Marvel at the red rhubarb, the golden peaches, and the crisp lettuce. Decide on your groceries with a recipe in hand, or just judge according to appearance. Then, take your veggie treasures home and cook up a fresh meal. It’s a charming, familial way to get to know a person.
Brooklyn Getaway: Eagle Street Rooftop Farm This Greenpoint garden covers 6,000 square feet of a warehouse roof along the shore of the East River. Though Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is closed to the public for all of August, it will reopen in September when those cooling autumn winds come through, making the view of Manhattan’s skyline even better. Invite your date to volunteer among the plants one sunny September Sunday. If all goes well, take some produce home and share it over a glass of wine.