Monday, October 25, 2010

Eating with Carnivores

Going out to dinner with another couple involves negotiations; what time should we eat, where, when? But the hardest thing for vegetarians is finding a place we want to eat that the carnivores will also like.

Thistle Hill Tavern fits the bill. The new American restaurant, in the south Slope, is committed to local and sustainable produce, dairy, seafood and meat. Locavores and foodies can find plenty to eat and drink here.

And the seasonal produce is so appealing that out meat-loving friends chose vegetarian entrees so we could all share. One salad, a fall green market salad, had speck, which we ordered on the side so we could all taste the roasted yellow beets, honey crisp apples, frisee, pumpkin seeds and pecorino. Even better, the grilled trumpet mushroom salad had 
watercress, shallots, piave vecchio and just the right amount of truffle vinaigrette.

Start with home made pickled vegetables, spicy or not, and curried pumpkin fritters, which could have used more tahini sauce. The grilled beans and charred kale give you more than your quotient of daily veggies.

The menu changes frequently, but the burger and vegan burger come with addictive salt & pepper French fries. Make sure someone in your group orders one so you can poach some fries.

Fall vegetarian entrees include a squash gratin with kale and goat cheese, and a rich pappardelle with roasted pumpkin, mushrooms and radicchio. If you eat seafood, go for the grilled octopus, served now with black lentils, olives and roasted parsnips. There are also curried mussels and Arctic Char with cauliflower.

The menu also includes an inventive cocktail list, local beers like Kelso of Brooklyn and Sixpoint on tap, and Brooklyn Oenology, Social Club Red wine, made in Queens with Long Island grapes.

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