Best Of

Best Vegetarian Tasting Menu


At Agern — Danish entrepreneur Claus Meyer’s luxe Nordic retreat inside Grand Central Terminal — Icelandic chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason offers vegetarians a taste of American terroir with unexpectedly nutty, tart, and fermented results. His $120 “Field + Forest” menu is a veritable feast, and every bit as engaging as its $140 animal-rich counterpart. The eight-course procession kicks off with snacks like chewy dehydrated carrots and culminates in sweets accented with pine and sorrel, evoking the forest. A provocative take on potato salad (one of Gíslason’s favorite comfort foods) finds the spuds mixing it up with smoked mayonnaise, pickled rose petals, green rhubarb, and egg yolks cut into modernist ribbons. Gíslason reserves his most dramatic presentation for a single baked beet, which arrives looking positively prehistoric surrounded by a thick crust made of salt, vegetable ash, and egg whites. In a few knife taps, the root vegetable is unearthed and carved tableside, its crimson slivers added to a painterly array of pickled, fresh, and fermented beets. Acting as the prix-fixe’s breathtaking crescendo, the multilayered dish also features miniature loaves of soft, sunflower-seeded rye bread on the side. Zachary Feldman

89 East 42nd Street, Manhattan