When my husband and I go out for a meal we have one main objective: find a place where both the vegan and the omnivore can enjoy a good meal. One way to do that is to go to Manhattan where vegan and vegetarian restaurants abound. Another is to find creative chefs in Westchester who can accommodate both the plant-based diner and the meat-eater. I wrote about our terrific experiences at Haven, Sweet Grass Grill and Zitoune here on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2012 and more recently interviewed the vegan-friendly chef of Haven Restaurant in Pleasantville.
Turquoise in Larchmont – a restaurant we have frequented for many years – is another great option for the “mixed-diet” couple.
The Turkish decor at Turquoise is vibrant, lush and inviting. The friendly proprietor, Emin Acar, is almost always at the door greeting customers as they arrive for lunch or dinner. My biggest problem at Turquoise is avoiding the temptation to fill up on the wonderful starters brought to the table which include warm pita, olives in their oil (perfect for dipping the pita), and a flavorful humus.
At Turquoise for dinner last month the meat-eater in this couple ordered the grilled calamari to start; I reviewed the ten vegan meze (appetizer) options and went with the fresh, crunchy Ezme salad.
This salad, with simple ingredients of finely chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, parsley and walnuts, has a wonderful spicy kick.
While my husband ordered the Iskender Kebab (thinly sliced lamb prepared Turkish-style over sliced, warm pita bread with a touch of tomato sauce and yogurt on the side) I reviewed the vegetarian section of the menu (six items, four are vegan and one can be ordered vegan) and requested one of my favorite dishes at the restaurant, the Turquoise a la Turka.
Lightly steamed vegetables with a crunch are delightful! This dish includes okra, eggplant, white beans, mushrooms and broccoli and is served with couscous.
The portions are incredibly generous at Turquoise and I almost always leave with leftovers that are perfect for lunch the next day. The food at Turquoise is consistent and the variety of vegan options keeps me coming back.
895 Palmer Avenue
Larchmont, NY 10538
I Eat Plants columnist JL Fields blogs about her transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle at JL goes Vegan: Food & Fitness with a Side of Kale. Her original recipes have been featured on Foodbuzz, BlogHer and Meatless Monday. She is the editor of the community blog Stop Chasing Skinny: Find Happiness Beyond the Scale. JL is the founder and lead consultant for JL Fields Consulting. She serves on the board of directors of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and the advisory board of Our Hen House. Follow JL on Twitter and Facebook.