Serial New York restaurateur Ravi DeRossi revealed to Eater this week his plan to eliminate animal products from as many of his 15 bars and restaurants as possible, which include the popular cheese-centric Bourgeois Pig. This Valentine’s Day, DeRossi will begin the transformation of his holdings by eliminating animal products at tiki-bar Mother of Pearl and replacing its current menu with Polynesian-inspired vegan dishes such as apple and oyster mushroom skewers, green mango poke, and rum fried rice. In May, he plans to shut down his most popular restaurant, Bourgeois Pig, to reopen it a month later as vegan tapas eatery LadyBird. Most exciting of all, DeRossi plans to expand his upscale Manhattan vegan restaurant Avant Garden to a central Williamsburg, Brooklyn location where he will turn an undisclosed building on Manhattan Avenue into a veritable vegan mecca. The project will feature several distinct spaces (namely the Avant Garden bistro), tasting table, vegan butcher shop, and fast-casual underground sandwich shop. “I’m more worried about my conscience and living without the weight on my shoulder of the damage I’m doing, and the suffering of animals,” DeRossi—a long-time vegan who until now has found success in operating non-vegan restaurants—said.
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