Posted by Jennifer
There are a few things in life which are both beautiful and virtuous. The food at our neighbouring restaurant, Mela (7A Yorkville Ave), is among those things. Its Italian vegetarian soups, salads, sandwiches, and mains feature vibrant colours.
Three of our four purchases are vegan. The non-vegan selection is a lasagne with spinach noodles, ricotta, and a bouquet of vegetables of which broccoli is most prominent. Unlike most lasagnes, this one is light on pasta and cheese, heavy on the vegetables. A heavier hand with seasonings -- salt and perhaps a shower of herbs would lift it beyond the ordinary.
A quinoa salad is better. With a high ratio of vegetables to grain, the red cabbage, kale, celery provide great crunch against the tender grain. While many dressings are too acidic, this well-balanced vinaigrette is a perfect complement to the salad.
The star of this meal is the breaded eggplant and basil panini with a tomato dipping sauce. Grease-free and gilded to a crisp, this is the best panini we have had lately. The excess dipping sauce goes well with the lasagne.
For dessert, we try the wild blueberry pie -- also vegan. The filling is good with its intense berry flavour. The spelt pastry is another matter. A little soggy yet a little tough, it does not overcome me from my vegan dessert prejudice.
The total for this lunch is $26.08.
Photo by Gina