Try the Irish-Inspired Vegetarian Eats at the Penrose
Baked eggs in tomato sauce at The Penrose | 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: The Penrose (1590 Second Avenue, 212-203-2751)
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Overview: Ruairi Curtin -- owner of the West Village's Wilfie & Nell -- opened the Penrose just over two years ago in Yorkville. The Penrose's cuisine is supposedly Irish-inspired, though you'll find mostly familiar dishes, like macaroni and cheese and a burger, plus a few unexpected twists and turns on the menu, such as fried shishito peppers paired with pimento cheese, and chicharrones. The ambiance of the Penrose matches the cuisine; the restaurant exudes a countryside warmth that is welcoming and relaxing for its patrons. Though meat is quite prevalent at the Penrose, there is still ample room for vegetarians on both the brunch and dinner menus.
Highlights: On the brunch side, the Penrose's baked eggs in tomato sauce ($11) is a modern spin on the Arabic and Israeli dish shakshouka. Instead of using chile peppers and onions, typical to traditional shakshouka, the Penrose uses goat cheese and chives, both of which add a pungency to the dish. The homemade tomato sauce is very light; the creaminess of the goat cheese, which is baked into the eggs, complements the dish.
Your other midday vegetarian option is the avocado on toast ($11), but the Penrose is pretty flexible: You can order any of the restaurant's brunch dishes without meat.
As for dinner, you'll find several vegetarian dishes in the shared section -- fried pickles, macaroni and cheese, and those shishito peppers -- as well as one entree, a grilled portobello sandwich, to which you can add cheese and caramelized onions.
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