Crossroads | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Crossroads

photo by Anne Fishbein

It’s amazing that it took as long as it did for a truly trendy, upscale vegan restaurant to emerge, one with great cocktails, a killer wine list and an atmosphere to match its swanky Melrose Avenue location. In the two years since Crossroads opened, chic vegan restaurants have become a bit of a trend, with even a couple of meat-loving chefs jumping on the bandwagon. But Crossroads remains the standard-bearer, the place you take your meat-free friends on their birthdays and secretly enjoy your meal every bit as much as you would if it were sprinkled with bacon. Chef Tal Ronnen and crew focus on the vegetables themselves rather than messing around too much with fake meat (aside from a couple of “comforting classics” for the vegan desperate for veal scallopini), and each dish is a fully realized composition, making for a meal that’s far more compelling than the usual grain bowl or collection of sides. Your rapini might come with black garlic and toasted hazelnuts; your “crab cakes” made from hearts of palm might make you swear off the fishy version for good.— Besha Rodell