Restaurant News

Ask the Editor: Where to Find Great Vegetarian Cooking in Boston?

This reader is looking for excellent plant-based dining options to start the new year.


Welcome to Ask the Editor, Boston magazine’s dining advice column. Need a restaurant recommendation? Ask a pro.

Field and vine union square

Seasonal veggies are the star of the plate at Union Square’s Field & Vine. / Photo by Adam DeTour for 50 Best Restaurants

Question:

Where to find great vegetarian cooking?

—S.H.

Thank you for teeing up this to-the-point question just before the new year, when many people take the opportunity to detox with healthier eating. In 2019, the trend of plant-based dining is only going to continue—and Greater Boston happens to have many lovely restaurants with chefs who excel at cooking with our regional and imported bounty. Here are a few picks for places prime for vegetarian dining, that won’t leave out omnivorous friends.

Field & Vine is one such place. A 2017 debut from chef Andrew Brady and general manager Sara Markey, it is the newest restaurant on our 50 Best list, thanks to dishes like grilled shiitake with pea tendrils; rainbow carrots bejeweled with cranberries; and a fall salad finished with edible flowers, perhaps some of the same buds that the couple’s artist friend used to hand-dye the rustic room’s linens. The secret garden of an American bistro is “committed to the natural world,” a mission which results in standout plates that showcase every ingredient’s best features. (9 Sanborn Court, Somerville, 617-718-2333, fieldandvinesomerville.com)

Another Top 50 restaurant, Alden & Harlow, is also a fine choice for plant eaters. There is the Ubiquitous Kale Salad, of course, but also small plates like roasted broccoli with butternut squash hummus, tangy cheese, and cashew; and chestnut tortellini, with black truffle fonduta and roasted apple. It’s also one of our favorite bars for ordering mocktails, if you happen to be trying for a Dry January, too. (Alden & Harlow, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-864-2100, aldenharlow.com)

Eric Cooper’s cooking at Forage is informed by his New England upbringing, and experience running kitchens near Acadia National Park, in Boston, and in 24 other countries across two decades as a chef. The Cambridge bistro opened in 2016 from a trio of Ten Tables JP alumni, and like that incubator, Forage offers a $40 vegetarian (or vegan) tasting menu every night, as well as vegetarian options for the Tuesday wine dinners. Meat-free a la carte options change with the seasons, but might include maltagliati with heirloom white pumpkin, leeks, and confit garlic. The creative cocktail program, helmed by Joe Choiniere, complements the experience with ingredients like lemon-thyme shrub, and pickled green strawberry and ginger puree. (5 Craigie Cir., Cambridge, 617-576-5444, foragecambridge.com)

Thanks again for this timely, trendy, tasty question. Here’s hoping you have a healthy and delicious New Year.