Follow the yellow brick wall to your green table at Table Verte. Taking over the East Village space formerly occupied by sister restaurant Taureau, the new French vegetarian bistro had its soft opening on October 18.
After watching Forks Over Knives, a documentary advocating a plant-based diet, owner Didier Pawlicki of restaurants Taureau and La Sirene, along with fiancé Jeane Fournier, went vegan for several months. They’ve since returned to an omnivore’s diet — running both a fondue and a filet mignon hotspot has its temptations — but with a greater reverence for the art and health benefits of meatless meals.
“It’s one thing to be vegan or vegetarian and another to be healthy,” notes Fournier, who manages Table Verte. French-trained vegan chef Kenneth Larsen is focused on offering a vegetarian and healthful menu with fresh, local ingredients; expect plenty of organic produce and no processed foods.
The nascent vegetarian and partially vegan menu features a classic ratatouille served hot or cold, an allium-stocked crock of French onion soup, a “salad of roots,” mixed mushroom ragout and stuffed roast squash. And because healthy dishes don’t really cancel out pommes frites (a.k.a. fries), Table Verte offers a side of greens or white rice yam cake with entrées. The restaurant is currently open for dinner only, but a promising brunch is coming soon.
Opening days may mean a sparse web presence, plus no telephone line nor credit card machine; it also means no liquor license. (Bring a favorite bottle along on that date.) Swing by in the next few weeks to test and offer feedback on Table Verte’s preview menu before the official launch. The kitchen tells us their cassoulet special made from hearty vegan beans stewed with roasted shallots is simply délicieux.
127 East 7th Street, between Avenue A and First Avenue
Image courtesy of Kate N.