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.

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.

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

cutting down.

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