As I go along here, I promise to document every dinner out at a new-to-me restaurant. Now, I only eat out about once a week, so in the meantime, I figured I'd go back in time and mentally revisit places I've been in the past. Along those lines, I recently dined at Palmetto with a friend of mine. It had two things going for it right off the bat.
1. It's 2 blocks from my apartment.
2. They bring you bread right away.
You see, when I get hungry, it comes on fast and turns to ravenous mighty quickly. I may even start to whine - just ask my adoring husband. So, restaurants in close proximity that bring bread right away are key. (A side note about bread: Most bread is vegan. It's just flour and water, people. Now occasionally a restaurant will have some gross eggwash or cheese thing going on with their bread, so you should always ask. At Palmetto, I was good to go). In addition to these triumphs, they also had no problem bringing me olive oil instead of butter. Score.
Now, I should mention that I always try to scope a restaurant's menu online before going so I can make sure there is at least one thing that appears vegan or at least able to be veganized. At Palmetto, the "Vegetarian Chickpea Stew" caught my eye. I knew I still had to be careful because such things could be made with butter, but our well-informed waiter assured me it was not, and so I placed my order. Meanwhile my friend ordered a salad to start - the "Mixed Green Salad with Beet Tartar"- and got it without the cheese. She claimed it was because she just wasn't into cheese that much, but I think it was so that we could share, kindly lass that she is.
So, share we did. She's not a huge fan of beets (crazy, I know) and this salad had TONS so I gobbled those up for her. I must say the salad was delicious and it might be worth going back just for that. When the entrees came, I was delighted by what looked to be an amazing meal - chickpeas, artichoke hearts, kale. Some of my favorite foods all in a light tomato broth. And it was pretty yummy. The only thing I take points off for was the kale to other stuff ratio. I could have had more kale. Also the texture of the artichoke hearts with the chickpeas was a bit weird. However, the perfect seasoning of the sauce made up for it all. To fill my need for greens, I ended up ordering a side of Sauteed Spinach with Pinenuts and Raisins that was off the hook.
Meanwhile, when we first arrived we asked to be seated in the warmest part of the restaurant, as it was a typically chilly day in San Francisco, and we were seated in the lovely atrium area, which is great for people watching, but which was definitely NOT the warmest place. We both walked through the restaurant to go to the bathroom and found it much more comfy in there. Chilly or not, the food was good, and I deem Palmetto a success. Vegans, bring your others.
Oh, and my friend claimed the "Pappardelle Bolognese" was delicious. Then again, her lack of love for beets might indicate that she has no idea what she's talking about. :)