Web Original: Critic’s Notebook: Vegetarian Foodies, Rejoice!

A vegetarian tasting menu worth tasting

Few people appreciate southern BBQ or perfectly cooked lamb chops more than me, but because of the high-calorie, high-fat nature of my job, I almost always choose vegetarian fare when I’m eating out off the clock. But, to tell you the truth, a lot of the vegetarian dishes being served at Philly restaurants are sub par. Chefs feel it’s compulsory to offer at least one vegetarian option, and the results are pathetic pastas or a collection of uninspired veggie-based sides.

That’s why when I recently visited Zahav‘s The Quarter, where a vegetarian tasting menu is offered for the same $65 price tag as the omnivorous version, I was skeptical. But I ordered it anyway. (My husband ordered the regular meat-based tasting.) We split all the dishes, so it isn’t for lack of comparison when I tell you that this vegetarian menu has become my new favorite recommendation for vegetarian foodies. The menu changes weekly, but one of the highlights from my meal was the Tavor cheese konafi with English peas, which had a tangy sheep cheese filling encased with crispy filaments of pastry atop a sweet mash of peas.