Maine Restaurant Week—an annual event running March 1 through March 12 that encourages people to explore the state’s restaurant scene—has seen an increase in the diversity and sophistication of veg options offered at participating establishments over the years. The 2017 Maine Restaurant Week will feature 70 restaurants, 34 of which will be offering vegan meals and 58 of which will be offering vegetarian ones, citing public demand for healthful and sustainable dining options. “We started Maine Restaurant Week nine years ago,” event organizers tell VegNews, “and being inclusive of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free customers has been important to us since year one.” Participating restaurant Gather, located in Yarmouth, is offering vegan root vegetable curry with lentil ragu and a mini bundt cake with raspberry coulis, while Petit Jacqueline in Old Port is preparing cassoulet de legume served in a cast iron skillet with roasted root vegetables and sautéed kale. This increase in veg options falls in line with other food industry trends, as new plant-based products on the market increased by 32 percent in 2016.
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