Overthrow Hospitality is an NYC leader among plant-based restaurants (Avant Garden and Ladybird among them), and this year’s Cadence, which opened in the East Village on March 31, is emerging as the group’s crown jewel.
The narrow restaurant’s interior shines like precious stones, with a gleaming marble bar, emerald-green tiled floor and shades of blue and bronze throughout. If you snag one of the 12 seats at its popular chef’s counter, it’s like dining in a dainty music box. There’s also room for about 18 more in the outdoor dining setup on East 7th Street.
Executive chef Shenarri Freeman has created a list of vegan soul food hits, including a standout southern-fried lasagna. Layers of pasta, pine nut ricotta, spinach and a red wine Beyond Meat bolognese are rolled into cylinders, breaded and deep-fried to golden. Every bite of the lasagna is perfect—crisped at the edges with a yielding chew and zippy sauce that’s allowed to shine. It also has the added satisfaction of a nice crunch thanks to its turn through the deep fryer. And it's an excellent study in subtlety. Any more crumbled meat substitute and it would have become a "Beyond Lasagna," rather than the signature dish that it is.
Other menu highlights include silky smoked grits (rich with torched oyster mushrooms, plump, bursting corn kernels and crispy garlic and shallots like savory candy) and hearts of palm cakes with chickpeas, prepared with a lightly crunchy finish and flaky center served atop a perky chipotle aioli slaw. Beer, wine and cider are also available.
Cadence is located at 122 East 7th Street and is open Wednesday-Friday from 5pm to 11pm, Saturday from 2pm to 11pm and Sunday from 2pm to 10pm.