Friday, May 21, 2010

Cafe Allegre

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Cafe Allegre in Madison, CT.  It's a comfortable yet elegant restaurant located close to the Madison Green on Main Street.  The menu is Italian - American, featuring well executed standards such as chicken parmesan, eggplant rollatini, and an array of seafood options.  So why would a vegan eat here, you might wonder?  Well, the dinner was to celebrate a family birthday, and it was mom's choice.  Fortunately, even though there was a vegetarian option of pasta primavera, I chose to request something off menu and was pleasantly surprised.

I highly recommend this option when dining out as a vegan.  Scan the other offerings and come up with something that would appeal to you.  In my case, I asked the chef if he could create something from the following items:  portobello mushroom, cannelini beans, broccoli rabe, and marinara sauce.  It felt kinda like I was orchestrating an episode of "Chopped," but in this case there weren't really any exotic ingredients.  I always enjoy seeing (and tasting!) what the end result is.  Here's how it looked after I drizzled marinara over the top:

The chef at Cafe Allegre handled the challenge well.  Not only was the plate gorgeous, but it accommodated my vegan and gluten-free needs and was incredibly flavorful.  The broccoli rabe was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of bitterness.  It helped that it was soaking in a generous amount of olive oil and sliced garlic.  This is a perfect restaurant for vegans and non-vegans alike, as well as those with gluten-sensitivities.  It's so nice to find a place to eat with family and friends and feel like a regular person! 


Jan said...

Thank you for your post on "Cafe Allegre". We go to the shore quite often and are always interested in a new restaurant. From the way you described Cafe Allegre, it seems like it would be a great place for all diners, especially since it will accommodate special requests.

Anonymous said...

Have you suggested that they add that meal to the menu? It would be nice if we didn't have to "work" so hard for a vegan meal! Cafe Allegre has wonderful food; I would go there often for their spinach stuffed Portobella mushroom app (has cheese and butter but I'm sure they would modify)

Mary Lawrence said...

I did tell the server to send compliments to the chef who I thought did an exceptional job with the presentation. I said it was delicious, and everyone at the table agreed it should be a regular menu item because it showed creativity beyond the standard pasta primavera or grilled veggies and rice options. I suppose if enough vegans (and even non-vegans!) go there an ask for it, we might see it on there!