Photos by Daphne Cheng
The gist: Restaurateur Ravi DeRossi (Mother of Pearl, Avant Garden) has once again teamed up with chef Daphne Cheng on a groundbreaking veggie tapas bar in the former Bourgeois Pig space (Greenwich Village). Today, the pair opens Ladybird at the corner of West Third and MacDougal, a sure-to-be hot spot with a simple goal: serve great food while raising awareness of the treatment of animals. This is demonstrated not only in the menu, but also in the fact that a percentage of all proceeds will go to benefit the BEAST Foundation, an organization fighting against animal cruelty.
Quinoa Croqueta with szechuan salsa, creme fraiche, micro wasabi
The food: Chef Daphne Cheng also oversees the food at DeRossi's nearby Mother of Pearl, which recently converted to all-vegan fare. At Ladybird, the concept is veggie-focused tapas that range from vegetable charcuterie (smoked carrot, beet chorizo, mushroom pate, etc.) to saganaki (pan-fried mozzarella with smoked carrot and gremolata). Desserts are similarly classic yet unique, including a saffron semifreddo with coriander peach and marcona almonds (pictured below) and churros with chocolate, creme fraiche, and dukkah. Check out the full menu at the bottom.
Saffron semifreddo with coriander peach and Marcona almonds
The drinks: Ariel Arce — who formerly worked at Chicago's famed cocktail bar, The Aviary — focuses on low-ABV cocktails that highlight every ingredient. Try the Red Rail with fresh beet juice, Niepoort tawny port, bitter amaro, and lime or the Himalayan Quail with fresh tangerine juice, French dry apple cider, Thai chili, and lime salt. (You'll notice they feature many of the same ingredients as the food.) The wine list is, of course, sustainably-focused with carafes, glasses and bottles available.
Boozy avocado slushie
The space: Designed by DeRossi himself, the 42-seat restaurant boasts white marble floors, white velvet wallpaper ornate chandeliers and emerald green bar stools and curtains. The green accents are an ode to the restaurant's veggie focus.
The details: 127 MacDougal Street; 212-475-2246. Ladybird is open daily from 5 PM–2 AM.