Executive chef/owner: Shawn McClain
Location: 1460 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (map)
Resident Foodies say: Green Zebra is a modern vegetarian restaurant that makes you forget you are eating vegetarian. The dishes are so very interesting and tasty, served on quite generous tasting plates. Chef Shawn McClain (also of Spring and Custom House in Chicago) has put together one of the most impressive arrays of vegetarian dishes we’ve encountered. There’s even one nonvegetarian dish for those who don’t believe that vegetarian can be just as tasty and filling as the standard fare.
Green Zebra’s incredibly innovative vegetarian dishes have both Western and Asian influences. Our favorites were the slow roasted shiitake mushrooms with crispy potato and savoy cabbage. Not only was the presentation beautiful, the combination of soft shiitake mushroom and crispy potato encasing was scrumptious. We also loved the creamy parsnip and leek soup, which was a heavenly creation.
We do have one caveat to note: although the vegetables are incredibly fresh, one should not necessarily assume that all of the vegetarian dishes are for the most health conscious (meaning that some probably use butter and/or salt). Having said that, plenty of the dishes are for the health-minded (or at least seemed so to us). And we counted 11 dishes that were vegan. Green Zebra has something for everyone.
Spence Farm poached egg, smoked potato puree, country sourdough
vegan Thai spiced sweet potato-coconut soup, crispy rice noodles
slow roasted shiitake mushrooms, crispy potato, savoy cabbage