No two vegetarians agree on what a vegetarian is. Some just eat plants. Others add eggs and dairy. Polls even show some who eat chicken identify as vegetarian. Heck, I saw one guy grilling a steak claim he was a vegetarian because the cow was grain-fed. How does the Sitwell’s coffeehouse reboot fit into this picture? Since vegans and vegetarians are only about 5 percent of the population, it caters to all of the above.
Sitwell’s Act II recently added some meatier items to the menu, such as pork belly buns and bottarga (that’s fish eggs to you and me) pappardelle. These additions don’t appall vegetarians, because in Cincinnati, they don’t have the luxury of being appalled. They’re just delighted any restaurant here takes them seriously. For that other 95 percent, I advise you try the vegetarian options so you can taste just how good vegetarian can be. The menu is full of basics like soups, salads, pasta, and sandwiches, all with gourmet twists. The vegan chili is excellent, as is the Greek gyro, made with roasted, shaved seitan. Sei what? That’s pure gluten, spiced and cooked into a tasty roast. Speaking of gluten, the menu has a large selection of gluten-, soy-, and diary-free options joining the meat-free (and meat-full) ones. As before, the place is as bohemian as Cincinnati gets. Below the vintage pressed-tin ceiling, you’ll find tasty food, hot espresso, and warm conversation—no matter which side of the plant-based debate you’re on.
Sitwell’s Act II, 324 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, (513) 281-7487