Best Nonvegetarian Restaurant for Vegetarians - 2007
Lido at the Standard
An utter lack of decent vegetarian restaurants in our area dictates that noncarnivores must compromise and seek the next best thing: nonvegetarian dining establishments that respect and cater to those who don't eat meat. Problem is, there aren't too many of these, either, and even fewer that go beyond good intentions to actually create great meatless meals. Luckily we have Lido, located in the splendidly sun-kissed Standard Hotel and Spa. Superstar chef Eric Ripert was originally paid big bucks to draw up the menu here, but the results proved surprisingly small. Enter Lido's nonsuperstar chef Mark Zeitoni, who wisely trashed Ripert's ripoff and replaced it with a selection of light, luscious, spa-worthy creations. We assure you: No animals are harmed during the preparation of puréed pumpkin soup with nutmeg-flecked cauliflower flan ($7) or beet carpaccio with watercress and aged sherry vinaigrette ($11). And that's just for starters. For main course, diners can choose a threesome from a list of greens and grains, then mix and match them with any of a half-dozen sauces ($18). For instance, the Italian grain farro comes tossed with rosemary and parmesan, and can then be sprinkled with some truffle vinaigrette or you may opt to splash it with sundried tomato and citrus sauce instead. Perhaps you'll select grilled haricots verts with lemon and sea salt to go along, and top it with a dab of yellow tomato béarnaise sauce, and finish the plate with quinoa and dried fruit not sure what sauce you'd choose with that one, but to have to grapple with such a dilemma is a vegetarian's delight. So are salubrious salads and other lunch options served alfresco by the picturesque bay.