This was not our first visit to Haven. Last year my husband wanted to treat me to a vegan dinner for my birthday. I didn’t really want to trek into Manhattan so I turned to Google to find plant-based options in Westchester. The first hit was for Haven – I studied the menu and, to my surprise, the menu actually had the words “vegan friendly” next to items in the starter, entree and dessert sections! My husband called the restaurant to confirm that “vegan friendly” actually meant vegan. It did. Needless to say, we dine there frequently.
When we walked into Haven for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week we were greeted warmly and the manager immediately said to me, “You can order any vegan entree from the regular menu and it will count toward the prix fixe menu.” Aw, she remembered me!
Those delectable treats could be a meal!
Because we have a few favorites on the regular menu we ordered one item before perusing the special menu: Crispy Chickpea Fries with Spiced Black Cherry “Cream.”
Naturally, I started with the Vegan-Friendly Soup of the Day: Butternut Squash soup, garnished with pomegranate syrup, crispy spinach and pickled onion.
For the main course, I ordered a plant-based entree from the regular dinner menu: White Bean “Meat” Balls with Soba Noodles: Spinach & Pomodoro Sauce.
We were both incredibly pleased with our dishes. My husband said the pickled fennel paired beautifully with the tenderloin as it brought out a rich flavor. I loved the non-traditional soba noodle as an alternative to heavier pasta with the “meat” balls. We were, once again, awed by the generous portions and we both went home with leftovers – because we saved room for a sweet treat.
I know, I know, we had a feeding frenzy and we could still eat dessert? We both chose the light, fresh, vegan offering: Fresh berries and sorbet.
Haven’s Hudson Valley Restaurant Week menu demonstrates the creativity and generosity of the chef, Daniel Petrilli, and his approach to vegan and vegetarian diners shines through. He makes a point to include plant-based customers on the restaurant week menu and is flexible by using the regular menu to accommodate vegans, as well. I once asked the chef why he was so vegan friendly. Is he vegan? No. One of his best friends is vegan. Chef Daniel Petrilli watched his friend dine out in frustration and made a commitment to honor vegans in his own establishment. He said he enjoys making vegan dishes. (Isn’t that refreshing?) I enjoy eating them!