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Vegging Out at Urbanite Bistro

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Urbanite Bistro is a fancy, foodie-friendly eatery in Downtown Miami, situated between the Arsht Center and The Vagabond. Recently, they invited me over to their place to sample the veg-friendly fare on the menu.  

Despite serving a veritable zoo full of random animals (alligator, boar, guinea fowl, Bambi, and Thumper), they offer actual vegan entrees and creative ones at that. Unfortunately, it's still a rare sight to see that on a Miami menu so I jumped at the chance.

Right now their only vegan appetizer is the excellent vegetable shu mai, which are sort of open dumplings. There are also mushroom empanadas in a vegan gravy but the empanadas themselves are made with butter (hopefully they get hip to Earth Balance soon because they looked delicious). The plates were sized right and actually did the job of enticing our appetites for more.
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Photo by Lauren Reskin
Two slices of tofu paradise.
For the main course they offer a vegetarian lasagna with pine nut ricotta, a vegan tempeh meatloaf, a miso-orange glazed roasted tofu and a Pad Thai that can be made vegetarian or vegan. As a tofu aficionado (yes, I know I'm a nerd) I ordered that and was not disappointed. There were two huge rounds of medium-firm tofu with red quinoa sandwiched between and all around, and a side of perfectly grilled asparagus. The quinoa had bits of pecan and date that really added to the dish and made me wanna chop some nuts into all future batches at home.

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Photo by Lauren Reskin
Blood Orange Creme Brulee -- pretty, but unfortunately unvegan.
I can't vouch for their other dishes or their desserts (no vegan options there, but again I hope they'll add something since they're already so veg-conscious).  Price-wise it's definitely in the upper echelon, comparable to the prices on the veg options at the Lido at The Standard or at the vegan mecca Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale.  It's still nice to have another fancy dining option on this side of the Dade/Broward line and I sincerely hope that more nice restaurants start adding vegan entrees to their menu. It's the future, or at least a smart thing to do for the growing amount of patrons who either don't eat meat or are cutting down.

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