Monday, January 30, 2017

Pushkin's Restaurant

I actually feel kind of silly blogging about Pushkin’s Restaurant since, judging from all the photos showing up in my Facebook newsfeed, it seems as though every vegan in town has already been there. But in case there are still a few people out there who haven’t heard, Pushkin’s Bakery opened a restaurant in midtown last month and it’s been a big hit with local vegans.

The menu at Pushkin’s Restaurant is 100 percent gluten-free, but they also offer a separate menu that’s all vegan. I had lunch there last week with my friend Cathy, and I had a terrible time trying to choose from among all the vegan options. I finally decided on the refreshing Green Gem Salad, with butter lettuce, grapefruit, avocado, radish, and a lemony vinaigrette. I had Portobello mushrooms added for an extra charge.

I really wanted to try the Coconut Parfait for dessert, but they were out of them. Instead, I checked out the baked goods in the display case and found three vegan options –double chocolate walnut cookies, chocolate chip muffins, and barracuda cupcakes. As you can see in the picture below, I opted for the fabulous barracuda cupcake.

Pushkin’s Restaurant is located at 1813 Capitol Avenue, and their phone number is 916-823-5520. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Press Bistro

An email came through the other day announcing that the Press Bistro is now serving lunch. I didn't think I cared, because my occasional review of the Press Bistro menu hasn't given me any indication that it's a particularly vegan-friendly restaurant. But I checked to see what they were offering on their new lunch menu.

I found a pasta dish that sounded promising, so I emailed the restaurant to see if the spaghetti was vegan if ordered without the ricotta. I received a very prompt response informing me that it was. With that in mind, I headed to the Press Bistro for lunch one rainy day this past week.

The pasta dish I ordered was spaghetti with tomato sauce, chile, Kalamata olives, and cauliflower. I loved this meal! For starters, cauliflower and Kalamata olives are two of my very favorite things, so to have them in the sauce was almost a guarantee that I would enjoy the dish. But the other thing the chef did perfectly was to use a light touch in ladling out the sauce. It seems like most restaurants these days bring me a sad little mound of noodles, swimming in an ocean of sauce. This dish had a perfect sauce-to-noodle ratio.

I know I sound like I'm gushing, but I haven't enjoyed a plate of pasta this much in years. I only wish it was on the restaurant's dinner menu too. And to all the friends I lunch with, this is probably the restaurant I'm going to suggest the next time we go out.

But what about dinner at the Press Bistro? Well, I'm glad you asked! When I received my response from the restaurant about the spaghetti, the email also said this: "We also always have our seasonal vegetable plate that is vegan."

Seasonal vegetable plate? I didn't recall seeing that on the menu, so I went back to the restaurant's website and checked again. Nope, no mention of this item at all, and I can't imagine why not. I guess it's just one of those secret menu items you have to know about. And now you know!

Now that I knew about it, however, my husband and I went to the Press Bistro over the weekend so I could check it out. It was a lovely dish, with roasted cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, greens, white beans, carrots, radishes, and I don't know what all. The ingredients will change frequently, depending on what vegetables are in season.

The Press Bistro is located at 1809 Capitol Avenue, and their phone number is 916-444-2566. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and for dinner Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.