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Please help me, I have a close friend who we are taking out to dinner for her birthday in a week and she only made one request - she wants to be able to order a vegetarian risotto (no seafood or meat, cheese is fine of course). I have no idea who has that on their menu now. So please reply if you know of any place serving a good veggie risotto - preferably in DC or MD (VA is too far). Thanks.

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As a vegetarian who loves risotto, here are places I've enjoyed it:

Butterfield 9 (and it's organic to boot)

Firefly - this one's my favorite, although I believe they've changed chefs/menus since I was there...

Cafe Milano (however their current menu doesn't list it, but I bet they would make the asparagus risotto without the meat) - you have to deal with the attitude there and the "scene" though...

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I was at Hook yesterday and the mushroom risotto was excellent. The vegetarian risotto that was the vegetarian option at vidalia for a long time was always wonderful, but sadly, when i was there a couple months ago they'd changed the veg. option to a blue plate special, a mix of vegetable sides. So, i'd check the vidalia website to see if they are currently offering the risotto. But the one at hook was really good too, if you, like me, really like mushrooms and don't mind a risotto that really has a lot of them in it. when i went to bebo, they told me the risotto was not vegetarian, but they might have changed it since then.

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KeithA said:
Please help me, I have a close friend who we are taking out to dinner for her birthday in a week and she only made one request - she wants to be able to order a vegetarian risotto (no seafood or meat, cheese is fine of course). I have no idea who has that on their menu now. So please reply if you know of any place serving a good veggie risotto - preferably in DC or MD (VA is too far). Thanks.

I had a mushroom risotto last week that I enjoyed very much at Primi Piatti (20th & I) last week. It is not on the menu, so I don't think they have it every night. I found the pricing to be expensive and the food I would call good - very good (probably 2 1/2 - three stars), my issue is with the high prices (It was about $150 a couple no alchohol, two courses one dessert with shared spoons) you expect so much more and that is why it does not shine through. It could and would be a great place if the prices were cut by 25%.

If for some reason price was no object, I did really enjoy my the food (the pasta was freshly made - very enjoyable). The shared dessert (mango cheesecake) was missing something, the mango flavor did not come thru. I love mango and was disappointed.

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I found these three threads, each of which had their most-recent post nine years ago: Asian Dumplings, Steak Frites, and now, Vegetarian Risotto.

It's very easy to find Vegetable Risotto - which, in reality, isn't real risotto, but a vegetable-based rice dish - chefs like Roberto Donna, Cesare Lanfranconi, Enzo Fargioni, etc., must cringe at the thought of these stirred-rice dishes being called "risotto," and I will aggressively fight the misuse of the term. 

Also, even vegetable risottos are generally made with chicken stock, sometimes veal or fish stock - it's very rare to find a purely vegetarian risotto, which is why I think this thread may be the most important of the three. Are there any authentic, "real" risottos out there that are made with vegetable stock? Almost surely, they'd all be made or finished with Parmigiano Reggiano, so they'd be lacto-vegetarian, but that's close enough. 

Assuming these parameters (cheese is allowed; no type of meat stock is allowed), where can we find authentic, traditionally made, vegetarian risottos in the DC area?

I wonder how many vegetarians in this city realize that I have great empathy for them being vegetarians, and that I could *easily* become one myself - forced to make a choice, I'd give up meat before I gave up dairy, and although I'd miss it, I'd adapt and live quite happily (fermented grape juice counts as being "vegetarian," doesn't it?)

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10 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I found these three threads, each of which had their most-recent post nine years ago: Asian Dumplings, Steak Frites, and now, Vegetarian Risotto.

It's very easy to find Vegetable Risotto - which, in reality, isn't real risotto, but a vegetable-based rice dish - chefs like Roberto Donna, Cesare Lanfranconi, Enzo Fargioni, etc., must cringe at the thought of these stirred-rice dishes being called "risotto," and I will aggressively fight the misuse of the term. 

Also, even vegetable risottos are generally made with chicken stock, sometimes veal or fish stock - it's very rare to find a purely vegetarian risotto, which is why I think this thread may be the most important of the three. Are there any authentic, "real" risottos out there that are made with vegetable stock? Almost surely, they'd all be made or finished with Parmigiano Reggiano, so they'd be lacto-vegetarian, but that's close enough. 

Assuming these parameters (cheese is allowed; no type of meat stock is allowed), where can we find authentic, traditionally made, vegetarian risottos in the DC area?

I wonder how many vegetarians in this city realize that I have great empathy for them being vegetarians, and that I could *easily* become one myself - forced to make a choice, I'd give up meat before I gave up dairy, and although I'd miss it, I'd adapt and live quite happily (fermented grape juice counts as being "vegetarian," doesn't it?)

How do you define "risotto?" You say that chefs "cringe at the thought of these stirred-rice dishes being called "risotto," " in a way that makes it seem that something like Keller's mushroom risotto cannot by definition be an actual risotto? What's the differential?

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18 hours ago, DonRocks said:

It's very easy to find Vegetable Risotto - which, in reality, isn't real risotto, but a vegetable-based rice dish - chefs like Roberto Donna, Cesare Lanfranconi, Enzo Fargioni, etc., must cringe at the thought of these stirred-rice dishes being called "risotto," and I will aggressively fight the misuse of the term. 

Add bouillabaisse and aïoli to the undercard fight.

18 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Also, even vegetable risottos are generally made with chicken stock, sometimes veal or fish stock - it's very rare to find a purely vegetarian risotto, which is why I think this thread may be the most important of the three. Are there any authentic, "real" risottos out there that are made with vegetable stock? Almost surely, they'd all be made or finished with Parmigiano Reggiano, so they'd be lacto-vegetarian, but that's close enough. 

Assuming these parameters (cheese is allowed; no type of meat stock is allowed), where can we find authentic, traditionally made, vegetarian risottos in the DC area?

Palena if you take the frighteningly outdated and hopelessly backwards metro system,  or The Grill Room.  5+ years of making risotto for Frank (risi e bisi included, with a coddled egg, Reggiano and summer truffle; saffron & eggplant; artichoke and mint; chanterelle and escargot, many others...) I can’t recall every using stock, even if bone marrow was added.  Only water or vegetable/mushroom broths.  There is no need for the protein-based stock as it muddies the other important flavors and the rice’s starch provides the body.  Stirring is folksy and all but if you peek under the lid, the rice stirs itself.  If you don't cook risotto with a lid, then that's too bad.

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