If your un vero amore
is Italian food, here’s something special for you. Coletta
is a dashing, vegan and kosher, upscale Italian restaurant with romance and simplicity that exists everywhere; subtly. Found in its rustic yet dreamy bohemian wall décor, in the the creases of the intricate molding...even in the comfort of its roomy well-lit wine bar. Founded by Guy Vaknin, located in Gramercy, New York. Vaknin is the mind behind other popular vegan establishments- Beyond Sushi and Willow and the newly opened Anixi. His formative childhood growing up in an Agrarian settlement in Israel provided the basis for his love of agriculture and bringing values like culture and sustainability into his approach of making food.
Now back to Coletta- overall, the food was fantastic. The standouts were: the Wild Mushroom Truffle Pizza, the Olive and Rosemary Bread, the brilliant cheeseboard, and the chicken piccata which tasted surprisingly authentic. With its hanging pendant globe light fixtures, its wooden flooring and candlelight setting the mood, the vibe is undeniably intimate. When it comes to finding classic Italian vegan food with an equally inviting atmosphere to match, Coletta will win every single time.
With an extensive menu of old and new Italian favorites, it's hard to choose just one dish. For starters though, the Olive and Rosemary bread is sensational! Even before you peel back its layers on the cutting board with the knife, you can tell that its olive oil/aged balsamic, glistening surface hid impossibly light and fluffy layers. The labor that went into this loaf was truly an act of love. The rosemary bread comes with three dips: olive oil and aged balsamic, sunchoke and herb 'feta' dip, and for those who like spice, a sundried tomato and garlic confit dip.
The cultured cheese board started as a special and wasn't even on the regular menu when we visited. However it is has since been updated to a full time item and rightfully so because this board was life changing. Never has a vegan place gotten a cheese board so right. A mouthwatering spread of aged, smoked and other bursting with flavor assortment cheeses including "Ricotta" and “Cambleu,”plus plant based “prosciutto,” + "pepperoni", fresh honeyed figs, herbs de Provence, caper berries, apricot marmalade alongside the stunning olive and rosemary bread. If you are only going to order one thing, this is it. Nothing else matters if you get this- the cheeseboard is more than a dish- it's an experience.
The Eggplant lasagna used a vegan ricotta that was very creamy and seasoned with thyme and basil. The ratio of eggplant and seitan to pasta was perfect and the presentation was five stars.
The Wild Mushroom Truffle Pizza gives you classic Italian with an earthy twist. The smoky seared mushrooms and sweet caramelized cipollini mushrooms are a great contrast to the lemon ricotta. The flavors are smoky and tart with fresh rosemary and red chili making prominent notes in the palate. All of the flavors come together in a way that makes this pizza really enjoyable but more importantly unforgettable.
The Chicken Piccata is a fresh burst of flavor. The vegan chicken is drenched in lemon caper sauce and very hearty in taste. It is paired with baked lemon potatoes and garlic broccolini creating a strong, bright flavor. Chicken lovers vegan or not will definitely find deep satisfaction with this exquisite dish.
And because it wouldn't be a true Italian meal without an elegant Italian drink- the Strawberry Bellini is a must-have. Fresh strawberries and sparkling prosecco- you definitely don't want to miss out on this one.
This beverage, along with the other items on the menu is vegan and kosher. So you can have your sweet fix while still keeping it compassionate. Peace does begin on your plate (and now drinks!) after all.
Coletta is, at its simplest, the place for enjoying wholesome food and enjoying easy company.
*All menu items may be subject to change- unavailable or modified to a new version from the time of publishing this article
Images: DR Original Content
Words by: DR Staff