Monday, March 14, 2011

Plant food on the menu in Beantown

For my birthday (29 of course), my husband treated me to a weekend trip to Boston. A pleasant train ride from Portland and we were in the city of John Hancock and John Singleton Copley. Our first order of business was to check into The Lenox, my favorite place to stay in Boston. It's not only an impeccable boutique hotel with two bars and a restaurant, but a modern oasis offering up-to-date amenities and an industry-leading approach to conserving resources, employing energy efficiency and using natural cleaners. The rooms are stocked with recycling buckets (covered in a stylish rattan) and Aveda toiletries. Ours even came with a Pure Room air purifying system.

Here's one of the views from our corner suite, with the Old South Church on the left, the Public Library in the foreground and the Hancock Tower on the right.

While we were in town, we checked out the new treasure-filled Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts. Of course, we couldn't pass up the chance to eat in the New American Cafe in the glass enclosed courtyard.

On the busy weekends, it's a good idea to show up a little before noon if you don't want to wait for a seat in this light and airy restaurant. The current menu doesn't offer any all plant-based entrees, but I did order a lovely salad and an indulgent order of house-made potato chips.

The mixed greens came topped with cauliflower (stained pink from the vinaigrette), carrots, shallots and pecans. It was bright and refreshing.

This was just one of many memorable meals I enjoyed while in town.

Two of the restaurants we dined at serve up unique cuisine resulting from the blending of two exceptional food cultures. At Mumbai Chopstix on Newbury Street, we enjoyed the zesty fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine. While at The Elephant Walk on Beacon Street, we savored the mingling of Cambodian and French cookery. Both restaurants offer numerous vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Oddly enough, the spot where we found the most comprehensive plant-based menu was at a steakhouse. The Oak Room and Oak Bar are two opulent establishments inside The Fairmont Copley Plaza. At the start of the year, the luxury Fairmont hotel chain unveiled its new Lifestyle Cuisine Plus menu, which features vegan, raw, macrobiotic, and gluten-free dishes, at all its properties.

I chose the chickpea and roasted tomato dip with raw vegetables to start and selected the curry spiced tofu with Asian cabbage slaw, rice noodles and mango chutney for my entree. Both were excellent.

And for dessert, I savored this soy milk yogurt parfait, which proved a smooth finish to a very sweet trip.


Meg Wolff said...

I'll make note of these, Avery! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Meg, thank you for your report on the Oak Room/Oak Bar at the Copley. We used to go the the Oak Room for special occasions and loved it. But, since adopting a macro/vegan lifestyle we felt we had to give it up.
So happy to hear that they have moved in that direction!
Nancy R.

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