Naples’ The Bevy doesn’t skimp on decadence with its meat-free dishes. Photo Courtesy The Bevy/Samantha Bloom.

Table Service

It’s Quite Easy Eating Green

Plant-based dining reaches new heights through special menus at fine restaurants and a bumper crop of local vegetable-focused cafes.

When people fantasize about Spanish cuisine, they usually picture the epitome of traditional tapas such as gambas al ajillo (golden shrimp with garlic and chilis in an unctuous olive oil bath), or the prized, acorn-fed Iberian ham and its rich marbling. But in Naples, Lamoraga offers a different perspective. The contemporary Mediterranean oasis on U.S. 41—with its undulating ceiling panels, stark white bar stools and a wide-open kitchen that can be surveyed from any table—is modern in more ways than one. That forward-thinking mindset is most notably applied to its menu. The restaurant bills itself as a hotspot of Mediterranean fusion and tapas. And while you can indulge in a Valencian paella with chicken and saffron-soaked rice, there’s also a plant-based version—as well as other vegan dishes, such as deep-fried shiitake and oyster mushroom ‘calamari,’ a pincho (a tapa you can pick up, or pinch, with your fingers) of smashed avocado and plantain, and Andalusian gazpacho swirled with basil oil—all without a trace of meat. The genesis of Lamoraga’s plant-based offerings dates back about two years to when the restaurant began hosting monthly vegan dinners that have turned into passion projects for owner Thomas Nütten and chef J.C. Perez. The two create a new four-course, $29 menu each month, with much research and development for every dish. The vegan menu is offered for one or two days, alongside the regular a la carte omnivore options, which now also includ
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