Vegging Out at Urbanite Bistro
Urbanite Bistro is a fancy, foodie-friendly eatery in Downtown Miami, situated between the Arsht Center and The Vagabond. Recently, they invited me over to their place to sample the veg-friendly fare on the menu.
Despite serving a veritable zoo full of random animals (alligator, boar, guinea fowl, Bambi, and Thumper), they offer actual vegan entrees and creative ones at that. Unfortunately, it's still a rare sight to see that on a Miami menu so I jumped at the chance.
Right now their only vegan appetizer is the excellent vegetable shu mai, which are sort of open dumplings. There are also mushroom empanadas in a vegan gravy but the empanadas themselves are made with butter (hopefully they get hip to Earth Balance soon because they looked delicious). The plates were sized right and actually did the job of enticing our appetites for more.
Two slices of tofu paradise.
Photo by Lauren Reskin
For the main course they offer a vegetarian lasagna with pine nut
ricotta, a vegan tempeh meatloaf, a miso-orange glazed roasted tofu and a
Pad Thai that can be made vegetarian or vegan. As a tofu aficionado
(yes, I know I'm a nerd) I ordered that and was not disappointed. There
were two huge rounds of medium-firm tofu with red quinoa sandwiched
between and all around, and a side of perfectly grilled asparagus. The
quinoa had bits of pecan and date that really added to the dish and made
me wanna chop some nuts into all future batches at home.
Blood Orange Creme Brulee -- pretty, but unfortunately unvegan.
Photo by Lauren Reskin
I can't vouch for their other dishes or their desserts (no vegan options
there, but again I hope they'll add something since they're already so
veg-conscious). Price-wise it's definitely in the upper echelon,
comparable to the prices on the veg options at the Lido at The Standard
or at the vegan mecca Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale. It's still nice to
have another fancy dining option on this side of the Dade/Broward line
and I sincerely hope that more nice restaurants start adding vegan
entrees to their menu. It's the future, or at least a smart thing to do
for the growing amount of patrons who either don't eat meat or are
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