Whatever you do, don’t call abcV a “vegetarian” restaurant. The third in a trifecta of Jean-Georges Vongerichten-helmed eateries in the ABC Carpet & Home store in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, abcV prefers alternative language to describe its meatless cuisine. “For me, [the term ‘vegetarian’] sounds like a disease,” Vongerichten quipped to Grub Street last August. “I like to call it a vegetable restaurant.”
True enough, you won’t find produce impersonating meat at the abcV. Vongerichten and chef de cuisine Neal Harden, who previously worked at the raw-vegan restaurant Pure Food & Wine, have devised a menu (non-GMO, artisanal, and sustainable, of course) replete with minimally processed dishes few people will struggle to identify: avocado lettuce cups, wild mushroom burdock noodles topped with tempeh and pickles, steamed tofu paired with roasted cauliflower and harissa, a whole artichoke with Sicilian olive oil and lemon, and Chinese congee made from forbidden rice and millet.
There will be nary a veggie burger with cashew “cheese” sauce, nor other faux approximations of carnivorous fare. “I don’t believe in doing things like that,” Vongerichten told the New York Times. “Vegetables can stand on their own.”
The new eater is currently serving only breakfast and lunch, with dinner following in a few weeks.