Desperately looking for a place to blog about this past weekend, I clicked through the menus of dozens of restaurants to see if any of them had begun offering vegan options that I didn't know about. I was just about to give up when I found this welcome listing on the Formoli's Bistro menu: Seasonal Vegan Board. I promptly called the restaurant and made a dinner reservation.
This dish turned out to be a veritable farmer's market of perfectly sautéed vegetables. Potatoes, kale, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, and beans shared the board with chickpea puree, cilantro coulis, and a spicy red sauce that may have been harissa sauce. It was a beautifully-prepared and satisfying meal, and I would definitely order it again. Since it relies on seasonal produce, the vegetables will probably change from one visit to the next. Although it's listed only on the restaurant's dinner menu, the server thought they could probably serve it at lunchtime too, upon request.
What I love about this approach is that it doesn't require the kitchen to stock any special ingredients just for vegans. For all the chefs out there who think that in order to provide vegan menu options, you must have a separate supply of tofu, non-dairy cheese, or other items you don't use for anything else, please give some thought to creating a vegan entrée out of the same grains and produce you use for your side dishes.
Formoli's Bistro is located at 3839 J Street, and their phone number is 916-448-5699. Their website address is http://formolisbistro.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Formolis-Bistro-206635996017660/?fref=ts. The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.