Happy Vegan Valentine's

Vegan surges big for Dallas restaurants on Valentine's Day 2018

Vegan surges big for Dallas restaurants on Valentine's Day 2018

Mudhen flatbread
This flatbread is as vegan as they come. Photo courtesy of Mudhen

Those who forecast restaurant trends have put vegan dining at the top of their list for a couple of years. Now Valentine's Day in Dallas is here to prove them right, as a trailblazing passel of Dallas restaurants observe a vegan Valentine theme.

Spiral Diner is on the list, which is no surprise; the mini-chain with three locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Denton is a vegan-only concept and the area's longest-running and most acclaimed vegan outpost. Of course their Valentine lineup would be vegan.

V-Eats is the vegan restaurant that opened in Trinity Groves in 2016. It being vegan also makes this an obvious choice. They hosted a Valentine's Day dinner in 2017 that was a major sell-out, and owner Troy Gardner vowed to do it bigger and better in 2018.

Café Momentum is the downtown Dallas restaurant that serves as training facility for juveniles. Their vegan trump card is the recently arrival of chef John Mercer, a chef with lots of experience in vegan cooking, at Whole Foods Markets and V-Eats. His presence has stepped up the restaurant's vegan game, and that includes this Valentine Day dinner.

Mudhen Meat and Greens, the Dallas Farmers Market eatery from restaurateur Shannon Wynne, is not wholly vegan but its menu is loaded with vegetables and veg-friendly dishes. They did a vegan Valentine's Day dinner in 2017 that was a smash. Doing it again was a no-brainer.

Below are the menu details for the vegan Valentine's Day dinner options, some of which are already on track to sell out. If you seek a more comprehensive list of Valentine's Day dinner options, click here.

Be Raw
Three-course meal begins with vegan spicy tu-no sashimi. Entree consists of choice of their signature coconut kale enchiladas, or raw nachos made with corn-free cassava tortilla chips and chocolate molé. Third course is a chocolate dessert platter. 5-9 pm. $60 for two. 214-234-0106.

Cafe Momentum
Four-course dinner begins with an amuse of pickled local beet. First course features choice of marinated hearts of palm; or a house-made charcuterie plate with oyster mushroom rilette, eggplant bacon, and cashew chevre. Second course offers a choice of beets three ways – roasted, smoked, and pickled – or mushroom soup. Third course offers choice of seared king oyster mushrooms with caramelized spaghetti squash; or smoked pecan bratwurst with butternut squash risotto, baby spinach, and fried parsnips. Dessert is a duo of sticky toffee pudding and devil's food cake. 6-9 pm. $100 per couple, or $140 with wine pairings. 214-303-1234.

Mudhen Meat and Greens
Four-course dinner comes with optional beer and wine pairings. First course is basil flatbread with roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, broccolini, and macadamia nut ricotta, on a crispy crust brushed with basil pesto. Second course is a massaged kale salad, with curly kale, red quinoa, and brazil nuts in a pomegranate vinaigrette. Third course is butternut squash risotto with roasted root vegetables and cremini mushrooms, finished with a sherry reduction. Dessert is gooseberry cobbler with roasted quince and oat crumble topping, served with almond ice cream. 6-10 pm. $40, or $65 with wine or beer. 214-698-7000.

Nature's Plate
Company specializes in plant-based meals to go, which makes them the best option for those who want to do Valentine's at home. They have a three-course meal of kale salad with lemon garlic dressing; choice of red Thai tofu, Southwest baked potatoes, or enchiladas with cheese sauce; and for dessert, choice of chocolate pudding or peanut butter-chocolate sandwich cookies. Deadline to pre-order is February 8, with some available in the store February 12-13, as well. $36.40 for two. 469-307-4217.

Spiral Diner
Veteran vegan mini-chain features three special Valentine's Day dishes. Spicy buffalo artichoke dip has spinach, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella cheese in a spicy, creamy dip served with toasted bread or corn chips for $8.95. Vodka sauce arrabbiata has penne noodles topped with spicy tomato and cashew cream sauce cooked with a spike of vodka, plus meatballs and grilled asparagus, for $14.95. Dessert is a spicy teddy bear sundae with spicy chocolate bundt cake, topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, and cinnamon gummy bears. 11 am-9 pm. Dallas 214-948-4747, Fort Worth 817-332-8834, Denton 940-514-0101.

V-Eats is doing a four-course pop-up dinner in the space next door that was previously Fat Chicken restaurant, in order to accommodate a larger crowd. The meal begins with an amuse bouche with choice of green papaya salad with crushed peanuts or loaded baked potato soup with maple-bacon crumble. Appetizer options include coconut & heart of palm ceviche, or panko-fried mozzarella sticks with marinara. Entrees include hen of woods & spinach ravioli with spicy roasted tomato sauce; crispy Thai chicken with red coconut curry and coconut milk rice; farfalle alfredo with lemon-butter seared trumpet "scallops"; or seared cauliflower steak with sherry hen of the forest mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Every table gets a bread basket, plus seared Chinese broccoli, petite zucchini, patty-pan squash, and carrots. Dessert is a flight with triple chocolate cake, rose petal gelato, and cherry torte. You can also order a cheese platter with bleu cheese, hard cheddar, herb goat cheese, olives, and dates for $17. $50 or $100 for two. Tickets can be purhased on eventbrite.