The Undercover Vegetarian: Bestia
Anne FishbeinZeppole at Bestia
As is the trend these days, Bestia isn't just geared for meat-lovers, it's a temple to the worship of the bloodiest aspects of meat-eating. There are meat hooks as decoration, and the menu is full of ingredients like beef heart and pig head. All this is to say, if you're a judgmental vegetarian who is genuinely horrified at the glee with which carnivores celebrate their bloody dinners, it might be worth steering clear of Bestia. However, that doesn't mean there's nothing at all for you to eat here.
There's always a salad option, and it's no boring mixed greens affair either. Recently, chicory was mixed with winter citrus and pecorino for a wonderful bitter, sweet, tangy jumble of flavors.
Because the menu focuses on pizza and pasta, there are always a couple of options in both of those sections of the menu. I'd assume most vegetarians grow weary of pizza margherita, being that it's often a fallback for them, but if not Bestia has one. More alluring are the pastas -- hand cut chestnut pappardelle with wild mushroom ragu and a poached egg, or rigatoni with fresh ricotta, tomato and basil oil.
There's also enough on the sides list to make up a simple but satisfying meal, of polenta and wood roasted vegetables.
And of course, there's dessert. Even for the meat eaters among us it's worth eating light at Bestia to save room for the chocolate budino tart, or the zeppole.
As long as the raw beef heart being consumed on the next table doesn't bother you that much, Bestia will accommodate you quite nicely.
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