On the cutting Vedge

Portobello carpaccio is served with salsa rustica at Vedge (1221 Locust St.).

Whether carnivore or vegan, all food-lovers suffered when chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby shut the South Street doors of their 5-year-old gourmet vegan restaurant, Horizons, in July. But the pain subsided last Friday with the opening of their new Center City restaurant, Vedge.

“It went really well,” Jacoby says about the opening. “It’s an exciting time for vegetables.”

While Horizon’s menu showcased meatless proteins like seitan and tofu, it’s all about the vegetables at Vedge. Traditional meatless proteins are still featured (with dishes like the grilled seitan with black lentils and mushrooms, and the steak spice-seared tofu), but the “Dirt List” section of Vedge’s menu changes nightly and boasts dishes using only organic vegetables from nearby Lancaster farms. Among Friday’s Dirt List were shaved and grilled Brussels sprouts with smoked mustard, and orange and purple cauliflower with lemon vinaigrette and torn herbs.

Vedge’s menu also offers a “For The Table” section with six smaller, tapas-style dishes, and a selection of 14 medium-sized plates.

“This approach allows the guest to decide what they want to do that night,” Jacoby says. “You can come into the bar and have one plate, or you can sit down and go all out, and sample a great variety of dishes.”

Yes, there’s a bar. With eight specialty cocktails (like the smoked cinnamon-hinted Apple “Cide” Car) and 13 beer options (six drafts and seven bottles), there’s plenty of booze to go around. But, first and foremost, Vedge is a celebration of the vegetable kingdom.

“Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay still trash-talk the vegetarian lifestyle,” Jacoby says, “but more and more serious chefs are committing a place on their menus for vegetable-based dishes.
Vegetables are not just for vegetarians anymore.”



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