The Undercover Vegetarian is a series in which we look at the vegetarian options at a non-vegetarian restaurant.

Maison Giraud (reviewed this week) is a restaurant with a lot of vegetarian options. Unfortunately, most of those options pale in comparison to the meatier dishes on the menu.

There are salads and soups on the appetizer list, but almost all fall prey to issues of blandness, particularly the soup au pistou and the vegetable salad that comes with the “soup and salad.” The most interesting vegetarian appetizer option is a charred tomato and basil flat tart. Its pizza-like personality speaks nothing of what Giraud is so good at — namely classic French cooking — but it is tasty nonetheless.

Vegetarians will recognize the one meat-free entree as a classic in the repertoire of upscale chefs who know they need a vegetarian option but don't really want to think about it: mushroom risotto. It's a perfectly respectable version, but again, it has very little to do with the things that can make this restaurant so pleasurable.

There are plenty of fish and seafood options. But for the strict vegetarian, I'd say fill up on the things Maison Giraud does well: bread, perhaps a nice cheese plate, and then maybe order two desserts. It's not a particularly balanced or healthy meal plan, but it's where you'll find the most meat-free fun here.

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