Crossroads restaurant very satisfying and often quite delicious. We don't mind eating dishes devoid of meat and dairy; we eat vegetables, grains and fruits all day long. But vegan food, which always gets a bad rap from devout carnivores, is too often made with wheat-based fake meat products that have horrible texture and leave a bad aftertaste in our mouths. Crossroads is definitely different, and not just because of the tasty cocktails. Here's our take:
The Food: We really enjoyed the flatbreads studded with lentils and its dipping sauces, little kale-stuffed phyllo rolls, stinging nettle ravioli in creamy tomato sauce, and beet-colored farro sliders topped with a mess of sauteed morel mushrooms. At times, especially with the breads, maybe the chefs could use a bit more salt, but that's our only real gripe. We refuse to call the hearts-of-palm cakes "crab cakes" because there isn't a fleck of crab to be found, but the texture is sort of similar. They're quite good, as long as you like that hearts-of-palm flavor. The "cheeses" on the cheese plate, all made with macadamia nuts or almonds, are definitely dairy-free, but the soft-ripened cheese (our server said it's the "first vegan Camembert") was surprisingly delicious. And dessert, particularly the mini chocolate bundt cake, was a highlight. Ultimate verdict: All vegan and we didn't hate it.
The Scene: The former Dolce/Phillipe Chow space is more comfortable, feels more everyday with its dark woods and cool light fixtures and has a nice bar if you just want to stop in for drinks. It was full, that we know, so either there are a lot more vegan diners in this town than we thought, or a lot of people are taking their meat-eating friends in for a hunk of lasagna and a glass of wine but keeping the no-meat-or-dairy part to themselves. It might even work.
The Details: Right now it's dinner-only, starting at 5 PM daily. Check it out at 8284 Melrose Ave.