Other ethnic restaurants like Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, Thai, etc., seem to have many more protein-rich options. But, Italian restaurants can’t seem to do much better than pasta with veggies, which, however tasty, is fairly high in calories and low in protein.
But that was before La Bella Italia in Virgina Beach recently introduced a whole vegan menu (on the back of their specials menu). Kudos to them!
If you live locally, or happen to visit the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in the eastern part of the sate, I highly recommend the dishes created around Gardein brand faux “chicken,” as the rest of the vegan menu is made up of items from their main menu that are naturally meat- and dairy-free.
I ordered the mushroomy Marsala, as you see here. But this is only half of the order! It was so large (at $18.95) that I brought half home and enjoyed it for lunch the next day. I spruced it up a bit for its photo op, arranging the “side” of vegetables (sauteed zucchini–of which there was none leftover for my lunch–red bell pepper, and onion) over the top and adding a sprinkle of pistachios and a couple of basil sprigs (which I highly recommend!).
With several other Gardein dishes on the menu, one even with vegan cheese (!), I can’t wait to go back. At long last, there is an Italian/continental restaurant in our repertoire that my husband and I enjoy equally.