Fine-dining steakhouse Skopelos—located inside the New World Inn in Pensacola, FL—added an array of vegan dishes last week to its meat-centric menu. The new items include dishes that focus on fresh vegetable replacements for meat and include a vegan Reuben (made with hearty slices of portabello mushrooms), a cauliflower steak (thick cuts of grilled cauliflower served with a chermoula sauce), and a banana chia-seed pudding for dessert. The shift comes from the restaurant’s chef de cuisine Takara Smith—who adopted a plant-based diet a year-and-a-half ago. Smith began testing the vegan dishes as specials several weeks ago and noticed an overwhelmingly positive customer response. “To go out and have a really nice dinner and a nice fine-dining experience while being able to eat vegan,” Smith told local media outlet Pensacola News Journal, “that’s huge. A game-changer.” While not vegan himself, the restaurant’s executive chef Gus Silivos acknowledged the necessity for offering guests vegan options. “There is that change that usually happens about every 10 years,” Silivos said. “You’re going to have flavor, profile, cuisine, lifestyle changes. You have to adapt as a chef and as a restaurant to stay on the cutting edge.”
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