Any time a conversation turns to the sorts of restaurants Santa Fe lacks, more than one person will mention vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
It’s been a stereotype for decades: Restaurants your grandfather might, much to your chagrin, refer to as “ethnic” — Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Indian, Greek, Persian, Lebanese, etc. — have long been default dining destinations for vegetarians. In Santa Fe, India House, India Palace, Paper Dosa, Raaga, Saigon Café, Pho Kim, Pyramid Café, Cleopatra Café, Jambo Café, a half dozen or so Chinese restaurants, and others offer a fairly wide selection of vegetarian dishes — and some devote entire sections of their menu to vegetable dishes.
“Pasta-heavy menus can easily be marketed as ‘vegetarian,’ ” Priceonomics notes. I’ve suffered through plenty of so-called vegetarian dishes at Italian restaurants — haphazard plates of spaghetti tossed with basic tomato sauce, slimy sautéed squash and zucchini, a handful of black olives, and a smattering of grated cheese. Local Italian restaurants perform somewhat better when it comes to veg-friendliness. And it should be noted that we are clearly in the “post-no-substitutions” era, and many kitchens are willing to make omissions on request.
One of Andiamo’s signatures — crispy polenta with rosemary-Gorgonzola sauce — is meat free, and they offer two vegetarian pizzas and fettuccine with a variety of vegetables. Two of the dishes for which Il Piatto is famed are vegetarian — pumpkin