The vegan renaissance is now. Vegan cuisine—which doesn’t incorporate any animal products, such as butter or eggs—is no longer the milquetoast cuisine of choice for your most devout PETA friends, served with a side of proselytization and self-righteousness. Although only 3 percent of Americans declare themselves vegan, plant-based food is becoming the cuisine of choice—or at least a regular option—for non-vegans who want a meal that will leave them feeling like they’ve made healthy choices… both for themselves and for the environment. To that end, vegan restaurants—some of them quite gourmet—are cropping up around the country, many helmed by extremely well-regarded chefs.
One of NYC’s hottest restaurateurs, Ravi DeRossi, plans to open five vegan restaurants in the next year. “We opened our first four months ago, and every month we’re turning thousands of people away,” says DeRossi, talking about Avant Garden, his white-hot vegan spot. DeRossi has also turned his tiki bar Mother of Pearl entirely