Vegan Restaurants, Green Passion in Upscale Dining Fashion

From tried and true green dining spots to new restaurants with a vegetarian emphasis, Upscale Living Magazine picks some tasty vegetarian and vegan restaurants to sample and taste in good health!Kale Salad at Candle 79 New York Restaurant

Candle 79- New York City  |  Here it’s all about the “green” philosophy. Add passion, sustainability and the belief that eating plant-based food is the simplest way to create a more balanced and sustainable world and you have Candle 79. All three locations feature true to season fresh fruit, produce, herbs and other natural ingredients expressed artfully and with thought.

Try some of their menu choices such as the hydro garden farm edamame with Celtic sea salt, chili and lemon, or the steamed or fried dumplings dressed with seitan, broccoli, toasted cashews and sesame-ginger soy sauce. They are absolute masters at choosing mainstream comfort food and giving it a new-fangled green flare such as the BLT sandwich, tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, cayenne aioli and potato fries. For a real treat, try the Candle 79 Marketplace where you choose four of the following: gingered brown rice, chipotle black beans, chipotle grilled tempeh, quinoa pilaf sautéed greens, grilled asparagus, grilled oyster mushrooms, polenta fries, ginger miso-grilled tofu sautéed broccoli and cauliflower, string beans and almonds, cornmeal-crusted zucchini served with a choice of two sauces to accompany: Jalapeño-avocado, lemon-garlic tahini, chive, miso-lemongrass, Caesar or live jalapeño. Decisions Decisions….

Hangawi Restaurant

Hangawi- New York City  |  HanGawi was developed as a delicious means in which diners can learn how to eat a healthy diet and to vegetarians a complete vegetarian meal. Throughout Asia, there is a strong belief in harmony and balance embodied in the principles of yin and yang, or um and yang as it is known in Korean. Everything in nature is balanced by the opposing forces of yin and yang: moon and sun, man and women, fire and water. In order to achieve good health, the food you eat must also be a balance of these forces of um and yang. A healthy vegetarian diet should be a balance of um foods such as green vegetables and fruits, and yang foods such as roots, radishes, carrots, and potatoes. Taste  the chilled pumpkin porridge silken tofu with sautéed spicy kimchi or the Organic Zen Bibimbap, organic vegetables, mushrooms and mountain greens atop organic brown rice served with hot sauce, gluten free organic kale dumplings, organic kale and tofu dumplings wrapped in tofu skin. The wine list is superb. To that I say hearty cheers.

Franchia Vegan Cafe

Franchia Vegan Café -New York City  |  Enter to find a multi-level space with a mix of modern and traditional Korean décor, accented by heavy dark wood grating. A spectacular mural ceiling, reminiscent of a Korean Palace makes for a vibrant ceiling.

Small plates such as the sweet corn cilantro pancakes, crispy scallion pancakes, spicy    kimchi pancakes and combination pancakes with sweet corn cilantro, scallion and spicy kimchi pancakes. Next try the spicy vegan ‘buffalo’ wings soy ‘chicken satay’ sticks with barbeque sauce. Another delicious choice is the Peking buns, steamed buns stuffed with crispy vegetarian ‘duck’ and scallions and the kale and chick pea patties with tofu and crispy breadcrumbs served with vegan mayonnaise sauce.

The Manchurian cauliflower sticks simply pairs crispy cauliflower with a spicy sesame sauce while the Franchia’s noodles, Penang noodles in spicy curry and coconut broth  noodles in spicy curry soup with soy ‘chicken’, vegetables and tofu is a true signature dish. The vegetarian Bibimbap or Stone Bowl is a new choice, an assortment of vegetables, mountain roots and greens over rice or crunchy organic tempeh, vegetables and mushrooms over rice

For a very special treat, Franchia offers the finest teas from various tea plantations in Asia.  Their Wild Green Tea from Korea comes directly from the rocky slopes of Mt. Jilee and is 100% natural. What differentiates Franchia Wild Green Tea from other green teas is its natural production process from growing in the wild to being harvested by hand to their unique processing method. A perfect accent to a perfect meal.

ION Restaurant, Middletown, CT

ION Restaurant- Middletown Connecticut  |  Proudly voted Connecticut’s Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant in the Hartford Readers’ Poll since 1992, this dining spot offers creative choices which are artfully created and presented as such. Enjoy such tasty dishes like white bean rosemary hummus with tahini, olive oil and vegetables, served with black pepper chips or for a delightful comfort food choice, indulge in the vegan interpretation of Shepherd’s Pie or the authentic perfectly seasoned yam quesadilla stuffed with yams, cilantro, red onions and olives with spicy tomato cayenne cheese. Smoothies such as the chocolate, peanut butter and banana, hit the spot. For a fun spin, stop into ION’s  for their free knitting classes, held the first Saturday of each month from 3:30-5:30pm, where their hope is that you will come to knit and stay for dinner. Learn about bobbins or bobbles, work up an appetite and dine!