I had the same experience described before. Only one vegan entree - the curry-, not impressive, but came with a tasty lentil soup. The cocktail and alcohol list is pretty impressive and the place is nice and cozy, but it leaves much to be desired. Good service experience.
Moosewood was recommended to me when I went to New York on vacation. I was warned that they served fish. After a 10 hour drive, we hit up Moosewood. I was excited because I had received one of their cookbooks as a gift and was familiar with them.
The restaurant wasn't what I imagined. It was very gimmicky. There were shelves with cookbooks, mugs and sweatshirts for sale with the Moosewood logo on them.
It was very busy the night we went but it didn't take us too long to get a seat. It was either an owner or manager who lead us to our seats.
I was a bit disappointed by the menu. Only one item could be veganized (a lentil curry dish).
While we were looking over the menu, the owner/manager seated a well-dressed woman besides us. The owner/manager was incredibly friendly with this woman and took the time to explain their menu and the alcohol choices to her. The boyfriend and did not experience that and I wondered if it was because we were young or how we were dressed.
Our meal was good and we ended it with a slice of vegan chocolate cake. I was disappointed to spend that much on food and have there be only one vegan option.Pros: good food
Cons: lack of friendly service, expensive, few vegan options
As said in the other reviews, there are only a few very unimaginative vegan options to choose from and nothing that even the most novice chef couldn't make at home. For a place with such a rich history of pioneering vegetarian food I expected more.
The night I went they had one veggie curry dish that could be made vegan. Since this was the only vegan entree of the night I had no choice. It tasted like something I could whip up with $5 of ingredients.
Here's to hoping they can step up their game.
Cons: bland food, high price
The first time I went to Moosewood was 1984. I had 3 of their cookbooks. I was looking forward to an updated menu. We had the coconut croquettes which were tasty and not greasy. Definitely needed the chutney. The Black Bean Ful was okay with cuke slices, tomato and pita. The Samosas were good and filling, but not worth the price. The tomato barley soup was really good. The guacamole was not tasty at all and total mush.
Few vegan options for such a famous restaurant. The fare was not much more than you could make at home, but uses lots of local ingredients. Didn't get to try the beer. Perhaps next time.
Nice atmosphere for lunch or dinner with friends. Very good service. Longer drink list than food menu. Not sure it's worth the price if that is an issue. However, they do strive to cater to many diet needs and disciplines.Pros: Service, Atmosphere, Special diets
Cons: Pricey, Not inventive
I found sufficient choices for a vegan. Of the 4 entrees, 2 could be made vegan, one was only lacto vegetarian, and the last fish. Both appetizers could be made vegan. So I had sufficient options to choose from. We had a Stewed Batilgian and Vegetable Feijoada. Both were delicious. The Egyptian red lentil soup was also very good. Our dessert was a very tasty vegan cranberry-blueberry crumble. The ambiance was relaxed and friendly. We were seated near the bar, but the clientele there were not intrusive and did not detract from our dining experience. Moosewood is still a very worthwhile restaurant to dine in.Pros: vegan choices, excellent food, pleasant ambiance
The three reviews previous to mine are correct. This place is stuck in the 1970's. It's only barely vegetarian insofar as it serves fish, but I've eaten at many dead meat restaurants that offered more vegan options than here. Look at the menu: 1 page of entrees, 1 page of salads and sandwiches and sides, and 5 pages of booze! Among the sides, top of the list is Bread and Butter. The word BUTTER is given as much prominence as the word BREAD! No alternatives to butter, not oil, not avocado, not tahini, only butter. Of the two vegan entrees of the day, neither was no more imaginative nor better tasting than what you probably prepare at home. Unless you intend to get plastered, spare yourself the disappointment and stay home. Or walk around the block from Moosewoods to Greenstar Natural Foods Coop. You don't even need to walk around the block, as both Greenstar and Moosewoods are accessible from and connected to the same indoor mini-mall.Pros: iconic
Cons: not vegetarian, not vegan, not imaginative
For a vegetarian restaurant I was really disappointed with the variety and quality of Moosewood's vegan options. Their cocktails and dessert were good, but everything else sucked.Pros: Good cocktails, Good desserts
Cons: Hardly any vegan options, Not very good food
I am vegan, and I find Moosewoods to be one of the most disappointing vegan options within Ithaca. Most of the food could easily be cooked at home and is not very imaginative. The restaurant relies heavily on dairy as a crutch for its dishes, and even has a fish dish! As a vegan the options are as limited as at any other restaurant to be honest. Highly disappointed.Pros: Local ingredients
Cons: Dairy heavy, Unoriginal
20 years ago I got a job at a juice bar. I was not vegetarian, not a cook. Moosewood cookbook really helped me and slowly I made the joyful changes to veg life...but that's another story. Now here it is my first chance in Ithaca and naturally I want to go to Moosewood Restaurant. I read reviews about this place being all hype so my husband and I tried to manage our expectations. The one vegan entree sounded bizarre-pecan loaf with barbecue sauce so we opted for soup and salad. Before I get to the unimaginative salad, let me just say that I was very surprised to see a bar in this "vegetarian/healthy" restaurant but ok whatever. The real beef I have is the 4 pages of liquor in the menu plus an insert of drinks plus a cocktail special on our table! This was a real turn off, I'm not talking beer and wine but all the hard stuff too. Why? Do people in Ithaca like to order tofu and get hammered? I felt like I was in Applebees or TGI Fridays. Now back to the salad-lettuce, carrots, cucumber, tomato, olive. Thats it folks. I thought perhaps being vegetarian they'd include a bit more variety a bit more wow but instead I felt like when I am forced to eat at an Italian restaurant when my dad is in town because it was that same uninspired salad with all the usual,predictable veggies. The tahini/miso dressing was very good and to be fair it was all very fresh but unsatisfying. The soup was potato/arugula and it was just ok. The service went like this: as soon as the waitress saw we weren't ordering drinks she decided we were not important enough to pay attention too. Our salad came first, 20 minutes later the soup #usually its the other way around but she didn't even ask us!# We ordered a dessert of berry crumble-it was tasty but again not worth the hype. So fellow veggie lovers here's my advice: if you want to get snockered and eat psuedo veg food go to Moosewood-pick up a t-shirt & book you'll think your at a tourist attraction OR if you want to go to a vegetarian/vegan wonderland go to the Green Star Market, a huge CO OP with a great salad bar, breakfast bar, lots of vegan options and friendly staff members. They have a modest sitting area but you wont mind. My husband overheard a staff member talking to a customer at the salad bar saying, "you eat here every day dont you" the guy said, "yea, what else would I do-go to moosewood"Pros: outside sitting, lots of cookbooks
Cons: too much liquor, too much hype, too little veganism
After much anticipation, I was a little surprised that the lunch menu was quite limited. We broke out of our vegan diet and had the most delicious tomato soup. And the lemon tahini salad dressing was great. The bread was great. Our main courses were very average and not worth mentioning. They do have an extensive bar and wine list so if we drank alcohol I suppose that would have been nice. The atmosphere was wonderful. And the serving staff was great.
There are destination restaurants (ones you go to for the experience), and there are neighbourhood restaurants (ones you go to because they happen to be in your neighbourhood. Moosewood is a destination restaurant. I would almost suggest making a trip to Ithaca just to eat at this wonderful restaurant. The ambience itself is quite casual and down to earth. It is the food and the service that are excellent. The menu changes daily, and the day we dined there, EVERY item on the menu except one, was vegetarian! We tried 2 appetizers and 2 main dishes, and they were all excellent. They have a very creative beverage list as well. Dont miss the fresh fruit sangria. Go to Ithaca just for Moosewood!Pros: Taste, Service, Quality
I have been going to Moosewood for the past ten years. Every day there are five or so entrees to choose from, and almost always you can find one you would like. They do use lots of eggs and dairy, but usually have a few all veggie stews or salad plates. Not only are their main dishes delicious, but they have excellent soups and desserts. Sometimes the service is slow and if you go during the busy times there can be a wait. Overall a really good place to go out to eat out.Pros: excellent food, healthy cuisine, good portions
Cons: busy, service as be slow, can run out of food
I had heard of Moosewood through its cookbooks, and had thoroughly checked out their website before my visit. I guess I had a slightly different idea of what to expect. Given their prices and reputation, I thought the restaurant would be a little more upscale, but it was fairly casual. There were several hungry children with pasta bowls hovering around. I think maybe I was overdressed.
The food was tasty; just nothing special given the reputation and the price. We ended up with the roti and the lasagna. The roti was comprised of a whole wheat burrito wrapper with indian spiced sweet potatoes and veggies. It gave me a good idea for leftover indian food, but at $15 seemed pricey. It was severed with brown rice and a salad, which was fairly standard, but I did appreciate the homemade dressings. The lasagna was tasty, but it seems kind of pathetic that a vegetarian restaurant couldn't have something a bit more creative. As a vegetarian, it seems like lasagna and Portobello are the default safe choices at standard restaurants. Without the expectations and maybe slightly lower prices, I would definitely have been more impressed. Ideally, I'd give 3.5 stars, but without that option, I'm going with 3. I think we had much better luck in Ithaca ordering vegetarian items from ethnic restaurants, especially Sticky Rice.
Cons: pricey, atmosphere is ok
People get so excited about Moosewood because of the cookbooks. I admit, when I visited Ithaca I was psyched to know that Moosewood is here! But it's pretty overrated, in my opinion. If you're vegetarian there are tons of options, especially if you eat fish, but if you're vegan, it's very limited, usually only one dish per night (the menu changes daily). And if you are a soy-free vegan, you can forget about it. Other than salad and hummus, there aren't going to be options for you.
I will say though that their salads are fantastic. If you go in just wanting a salad, you're in luck. And their dressings, many homemade, are delicious too.
Cons: not much variety, limited vegan options, pricey
My husband and I are lacto-ovo vegetarians, so there was a lot of options for us on the menu. We ate there twice and both times it was great. I especially loved their tofu-ginger dressing. Salads were fresh and the soups were great. I can see where it would be more disapointing for vegan's and I would expect by reputation that there waould be more available to them on the menu.
The menu here changes nightly. So while this does mean that everything is fresh and local, that means that you can't look up ahead of time what they will be serving. Often there is only one vegan option; at most there are two. They have four entrees per night, one of which is always fish. The desserts are very yummy. Lunchtime is a much better deal. Also, sitting in the bar and just ordering an appetizer is often a much more affordable way to dine there.
For a restaurant that touts itself as vegetarian, it is quite disappointing to dine there as a vegan. Dishes tend to be heavy in cheese.Pros: Local foods
Cons: Expensive, Small selection, Few vegan options
- Link to this page from your site. Entry info.
- Return to Ithaca Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
- Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
- Why was my review removed? - details
- Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
- Has Moosewood Restaurant closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
- This page has been viewed 1989 times since Jan 2013.