Lettuce Turnip the Beet

D and I had a fantastic date night tonight at one of Butcher and Bee‘s Lettuce Turnip the Beet dinner. We’ve been meaning to get to one for a few months now and the timing just hasn’t worked out, so we jumped at the opportunity. One of our favorite veggie-friendly restaurants goes entirely vegetarian (with plenty of vegan options) for 1 night every few months and it’s fantastic–all of their produce and products are local, so it’s a feel good meal all around!

We didn’t exchange many words besides “mmmmm” and “did you TASTE this”, so I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

Eggplant "meat" balls

Eggplant “meat” balls

Potato and Chickpea Vindaloo with Carolina gold rice

Potato and Chickpea Vindaloo with Carolina gold rice

Roasted Zucchini with gremalota

Roasted Zucchini with gremalota

Carmelized okra with ginger tomato sauce

Carmelized okra with ginger tomato sauce

By far our favorite was the ‘meat’ balls— for you meat lovers, imagine the softest and most break-apart meatball you’ve ever had. The texture was fantastic, the flavors are incredible, and it simply smelled like the best of Italy. I could spend weeks trying to replicate these and may never, but I’ll let you know if I do! 😉

The okra was a close second–the ginger and tomato together was a tangy combo, and the sweetness of the charred and caramelized okra was an amazing contrast to that. We ate past our stomachs’ capacity just to avoid leaving any on the plate!

The zucchini was fresh and light, and knowing it came from the Lowcountry was the icing on the cake. Lowcountry produce is just bursting with the freshness from the ocean and emanates the strong SC sun the second you bite into it. With fresh herbs, it was a really bright dish.

Indian food hasn’t been the same since D and I went to Vij last summer in Vancouver so we were excited to try BB’s version of vindaloo. The second it appeared on the butcher block table it was the only thing we could smell, which is always a good sign! It was a bounty of chickpeas and potatoes over Carolina gold rice (a variety previously ‘lost’ and revitalized in the 80’s) with an incredibly flavorful sauce and fresh cilantro. By the time we got to the vindaloo we were stuffed, so we get to enjoy the leftovers again later this weekend!

D summed up the meal by saying “I challenge any person who says that they can’t have a filling and satisfying meal without meat to go and eat that.” Probably our favorite part of the dinner was that there wasn’t a single meat-substitute used– they let the vegetables be the star of the meal and it truly paid off.  Don’t be afraid to eat a meal without a traditional ‘protein’ at the center of the dish, because as proven tonight, vegetables CAN rule the plate!

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