At Westville, the Best Meal Is Built With Sides

Market plate at Westville East | Tara Mahadevan
Market plate at Westville East | Tara Mahadevan

The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.

Destination: Westville East (173 Avenue A, 212-677-2033)

Neighborhood: East Village

Cuisine: American

Overview: Westville opened its first location in the West Village in 2003, and thanks to its success, three more locations followed in the ensuing nine years. Westville now has outposts in the East Village, in Chelsea, and on Hudson Street. Each address serves a menu of American comfort dishes with a grownup twist, offering, for example, a grilled cheese made with gouda on a Portuguese muffin or a veggie burger topped with spicy tartar sauce. Westville is ideal for a wide variety of diets, including vegan, and the market side menu is particularly excellent.

Highlights: But really, you should order a market side, the list of which changes daily depending on seasonality and availability. Each side costs $6, but you can buy four -- and create a great alternative to an entree -- for $15.

On our last visit, we chose the brussels sprouts with honey dijon, soy glazed tofu with broccoli, fried plantains with cotija cheese, and zucchini with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. The brussels sprouts had not been steamed long enough, but the honey dijon packed zing, and the pungency of the horseradish went straight for the sinuses. The soft tofu and crunchy broccoli were soaked in soy sauce, and the dish provided nice contrast to the fried plantains, which were sweet, soft in the middle, and crispy around the edges, almost as good as what you'd find in a good Caribbean restaurant. The zucchini was simple and light, complemented by just the tomato and mozzarella.



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