Vegan food continues to grow in its appeal for fine diners today. It’s great to see Bele Casel at Philadelphia’s hippest vegan destination.
We were thrilled to learn that one of our wines is being poured by the glass at one of Philadelphia’s hippest restaurants and one of the most highly acclaimed vegan restaurants in the United States today.
Vegan dining — in other words, 100 percent animal-free food — is really just beginning to take off in Italy where food traditions can be stubborn and slow to change.
But in the U.S., vegan restaurants have flourished for decades now. Many of them can trace their origins back to the early 1960s and 1970s when Americans, inspired by the free-living movements of the flower power years, became increasingly interested in vegetarian dining.
Does anyone remember, for example, the storied restaurant “The Source” which was located in the heart of the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles? You may remember it from the famous scene from Woodie Allen’s classic movie “Annie Hall” where he crashes into all the cars in the parking lot before being arrested by a “Sunset pig.” Even our blogmaster, Jeremy, now in his late 40s, attended a vegetarian summer camp in Northern California when he was a kid. It was called “Earth Camp One” (no joke! Joan Baez’s son was one of his bunkmates!).
Today, Charlie Was a Sinner, with its retro feel and its vintage cocktail and beverage program, is one of the coolest destinations for complete vegetarian dining in North America. Those are the fava-bean filled agnolotti above.
One of their goals, says manager Pete Venuto, is to create a menu that both vegetarians and omnivores can be satisfied by. The “crab cakes,” for example, a take on the classic east coast dish, is one of the most popular. It’s made from zucchini instead of crab.
Look out for Bele Casel by-the-glass at Charlie Was a Sinner!