With the season changing soon, so are the menu items at many restaurants. This week, the love child of modern dining and comfort food, Steuben's, has added several items to its always-tasty menu. (Don't worry, the crispy Brussels sprouts aren't going away. Ever.) One noteworthy change to the menu lives in the nightly specials section. Baked ziti is the new Tuesday special and can easily be made vegetarian upon request. Layered with three kinds of cheese, this cozy baked pasta dish is the first nightly special at Steuben's with a vegetarian option, and is the perfect hearty dish to usher in winter.
The first layer of the baked dish is a creamy ricotta and herb blend. That's topped with ziti noodles in red sauce, then covered in mozzarella, baked to melty goodness, and sprinkled with a generous dusting of grated Parmesan. By description, the amount of cheese may seem excessive, but after diving in, you'll find the ratio of cheese to sauce to carbs is just right.
The warming dish is served with two slices of toasted bread, which will come in handy as another vehicle for consuming the tasty sauce and cheese at the bottom. It's a filling meal, so say goodbye to the idea of ordering four different vegetarian sides just to cobble together enough calories and come hungry for the ziti on Tuesdays. It also makes for great leftovers if you have the stomach of, say, a petite five-foot tall woman, or if you'd like to compliment your meal with a side dish or two (brussels sprouts!).
In an atmosphere where many members of the staff run around wearing shirts that say, "add bacon", you may be surprised at just how many items can be made vegetarian, and not just on Tuesdays. Steuben's has several veggie friendly items every day of the week, like seasonal vegetables (just changed to a mixture of cauliflower, tomato, carrots, and Brussels sprouts), veggie burgers, or the new green beans amandine. The staff is more than accommodating if notified of any dietary restrictions and knows the menu well, so just give your server a friendly heads up if you want the new spaghetti plate without meatballs or the house-made veggie burger vegan, to name just a couple.
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The new items will be on the menu for the foreseeable future, so next time you're at Steuben's for a famous Moscow mule, rest easy knowing there's a vegetarian dish or two -- or three or four -- to try.