Chef Chloe Coscarelli, a longtime vegan and award-winning chef, first gained national attention on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars as the first vegan chef to win a culinary competition on national television. This summer she achieved another personal “first”: by CHLOE, her own quick-service vegan restaurant in New York City.
While the menu is entirely vegan, Coscarelli said she wasn’t aiming to “preach” to meat-eaters. Instead, she said her goal in developing the menu was to present healthy and satisfying plant-based food that would be appealing to everyone. Accordingly, by CHLOE presents a focused menu featuring a handful of house-made burgers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts, which she told us she carefully designed to have universal appeal.
At 185 Bleecker Street in the West Village, by CHLOE has a bright and airy storefront with small tables, communal seating, and an outdoor patio area. Super Chef visited during by CHLOE.’s third week of business, and Coscarelli described last month’s launch as a running start: the restaurant has been an immediate success, with lines at times reaching to the door.
At the time of our visit, the restaurant was crowded well past the neighborhood’s typical lunch rush, and seating was available, but competitive; we chose to sit outside on Bleecker Street. Wait staff delivered our orders on metal trays with diner-esque, black-and-white paper place mats that matched the restaurant’s nostalgically decorated menus.
The Guac Burger, served in a cartooned paper sleeve, featured a black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty with fresh corn salsa and chipotle aioli on a whole grain bun. The Spicy Thai salad (with apricot-sriracha glazed tempeh) was generously portioned and filling. The Pesto Meatball sandwich, our favorite, was rich and flavorful, with housemade almond “parm” and cashew “mozz” alongside sweet peppers and pesto. For dessert, we tried both of the restaurant’s delicious daily smoothies: green, and peanut butter-chocolate. by CHLOE also serves Juice by CHLOE., Coscarelli’s line of cold-pressed juices, and a selection of bottled beers, wines, and juice-based signature cocktails.
Coscarelli has also published three cookbooks: Chloe’s Kitchen (2012); Chloe’s Vegan Desserts (2013); and Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen (2014). We’ll be searching for that meatball recipe!