Restaurant Week: Top Picks for Vegetarians

Richmond Restaurant Week is almost here! This semi-annual event is a way for Richmond diners to enjoy a prix-fixe meal from the city’s best restaurants while supporting a local charity. This year, each meal is priced at $25.11,with $2.11 per person going to FeedMore. FeedMore is an umbrella non-profit organization that consists of the Central Virginia Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Community Kitchen.

As a vegetarian, it can be somewhat difficult to choose which restaurant you want to visit during Restaurant Week because you have to sift through the menus posted at to find the ones that offer vegetarian options for every course. Twice a year, I find myself shaking my fist at the computer, whining “why can’t Acacia give a vegetarian a little love on restaurant week?!”

If you’re looking for a great vegetarian meal during Richmond Restaurant Week, I have done my research so you don’t have to. I looked for creative menus from great local restaurants that included vegetarian options for all three courses. Here is my list of best vegetarian menus for Fall Richmond Restaurant Week 2011. I have included only the vegetarian options here, but you can view all of the full menus at With the exception of Europa’s menu, you get to choose one item from each course per meal.

Europa (Choice of 3 starters and 1 dessert or 1 starter, 1 entree, 1 dessert)
Course 1 (Starters):
Soup of the Day
Mixed Green Salad – cherries, fennel, gorgonzola and sherry vinaigrette
Arugula Salad – sun dried tomatoes, roasted mushroom, manchego, balsamic vinaigrette
Stuffed Peppers – pesto, risotto, goat cheese and fresh herbs
Eggplant Fries – with romesco sauce
Course 2 (Entrees):
Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi- braised rapini, roasted garlic, and a saffron, fennel broth
Course 3 (Desserts):
Lemon cheese cake with macerated berries

The Dining Room at the Berkeley Hotel
Course 1:
Sweet Potato Fritters – Pan cooked sweet potato fritters over stewed lentils with a chevre mousse
Fall Vegetables – Oven roasted eggplant and squash served with a balsamic gastrique
Field Greens Salad – Fresh field greens and fall vegetables tossed with white truffle vinaigrette dressing
Course 2:
Mushroom Ravioli – House made ravioli filled with mixed mushrooms and finished with sage butter sauce
Pair with Sea Ridge Syrah/ $7 per glass
Course 3:
Bourbon Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Caramel Sauces
Molten Chocolate Cake
Cheesecake with Fresh Berries
Vanilla Ice Cream

Julep’s New Southern Cuisine
Course 1:
Roasted Butternut Squash, Bourbon, Vidalia Onion Soup finished with Black Strap Molasses Creme
Fried Green Tomatoes served with Peppadew Aioli
Manakintowne Mixed Greens – Firefly Farms Black & Blue Cheese, Cucumber, Roasted Red Peppers and a Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
Course 2:
Chipotle Mac and Cheese with Grilled Asparagus, Spinach, and Caramelized Vidalia Onions
Course 3:
Sorbet of the Day
Chocolate Cheesecake
Cinnamon Bun White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Bourbon-Brown Sugar Sabayon

La Grotta
Course 1:
Zuppa del Giorno – Homemade soup of the day
Insalata Mista – Mixed fresh greens with homemade balsamic dressing
Pasta Combo – Chef’s choice of two different homemade pastas
Course 2:
Pasta Special – Chef’s choice
Agnolotti alla Panna- Homemade ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta cheese in a light cream sauce
Course 3:
Tiramisu – Lady fingers dipped in espresso and Marsala wine layered with mascarpone cheese
and topped with shaved chocolate
Torta all’Amaretto – Homemade Amaretto cake

Zeus Gallery Cafe
Course 1:
Warm spicy pumpkin soup with creme fraiche and pumpkinseed oil garnish
Wedge salad with buttermilk bleu cheese, applewood bacon, cherry tomatoes, and cumin vinaigrette (I’m sure you could request no bacon)
Course 2:
Mezzi rigatoni tossed with arugula, tomato confit, cracked black pepper, and ricotta sauce
Course 3:
Key lime pie
Belgian chocolate pate
Warm apple cobbler

Hungry yet? I can’t wait to try some of these menus! However, I thought of something else (because I think of everything). If none of these menus excite you too much, or you don’t want to fight the crowds at this popular Richmond event, or you can’t get a reservation at the restaurant you wanted, you might want to go the homemade route.

If you do not want to go out for restaurant week but you still want to help FeedMore, why not make this delicious meal at home, and make a donation directly to FeedMore instead? I am sure they would appreciate your donation of funds or time if you feel inclined to help out.

Veg:ology DIY Restaurant Week Menu

Spa Salad with Avocado, Lime and Pomegranate

Balsamic Baked Tofu with Swiss Chard and Tomato Gravy

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundaes with Guinness Caramel Sauce

So. . . what do you think? Are you going to Richmond Restaurant Week? Which menus are you excited about?

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