Vegetable Charcuterie: Restaurants Serving Meat-Free Alternatives to Start Your Meal

Meats have been smoked, cured, and preserved in every way imaginable. Now chefs are applying those traditional techniques to produce. The results are full of flavor and satisfyingly satiating. Embrace #MeatlessMonday by ordering animal-free, vegetable charcuterie.

Wild Mushroom Tartare at Mon Ami Gabi, Chicago, Illinois
Steak tartare – minus the steak. Instead, portobello mushrooms are cooked with Grana Padano cheese, chilies, shallots, and herbs, then topped with a sunny poached egg aioli,  and served cheese toast and greens. So meaty and mmm-inducing you’ll never ask, “Where’s the beef?” Make a reservation at Mon Ami Gabi.

vegetable charcuterie

Portobello Mushroom Mousse at Dirt Candy, New York, New York
Spheres of mushroom mousse are coronated with paper-thin slices of grilled portobellos, pear and fennel compote, and nubbins of truffle toast. The best way to enjoy this signature dish is to load up a sliver of bread with all the components. The resulting bite is extravagantly earthy with a touch of sweetness. Make a reservation at Dirt Candy.

vegetable charcuterie

Tomato Tartare at Momotaro, Chicago, Illinois
Take a quick look and you’d swear this was beef tartare. You’d be wrong. The tartare is forged from Momotaro tomatoes and served on Japanese milk bread with Maui onion puree. Make a reservation at Momotaro.

vegetagble charcuterie

Faux Gras at Equinox, Washington, D.C.
This dish is foie-some. The meatless torchon is made with cashews, mushroom powder, and white miso, and rolled in a crust of sesame and pink peppercorns. It comes with quince jam, toasted sourdough, and date honey. Make a reservation at Equinox.

vegetable charcuterie

Beet Tartare at Somerset, Chicago, Illinois
Just beet it. The purple root veg is cooked over the wood-powered grill to add a smoky subtone. They’re mixed with goat Gouda, cumin yogurt, and sunflower seeds, and arrive with petite pitas for scooping. Make a reservation at Somerset.

vegetable charcuterie

Boiled Peanut and Mushroom Pâté at the Bistro at Topsail, Surf City, North Carolina
The secret to this pâté’s richness? A lot of butter, which additionally amplifies the unctuous flavors of the shiitake, chanterelles, and oyster mushrooms. Boiled peanuts lend a meaty texture and plenty of protein to the proceedings. Make a reservation at the Bistro at Topsail.

vegetable charcuterie

Vegan Charcuterie Board at Cosmos at Loews Minneapolis Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The restaurant partnered with local vegan butcher shop – no, that’s not a typo – the Herbivorous Butcher to create this animal-free charcuterie board. It’s decked out with summer sausage, pastrami, and capicola, plus chive-rich cheddar and garlic pepper Havarti. Fresh fruit, nuts, and vegetables complete the presentation. Make a reservation at Cosmos at Loews Minneapolis Hotel.

vegetable charcuterie

Let us know where you’ve been taking advantage of the vegetable charcuterie trend here in the comments or over on FacebookG+InstagramPinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.

Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.

Photo credits: Taylor Crowley (Somerset); Christina Slaton (Mon Ami Gabi).