Dragonfly, aka heaven for vegans

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

My friend Alexis doesn't get invited along on my restaurant review visits as often as my other friends. Not because I don't enjoy her company, but because she's a vegetarian, and so her ordering options are limited. Not helpful when I need to check out, say, a steakhouse.

So I was delighted to be able to introduce her to Dragonfly, where the menu is completely vegan. It's something most of us take for granted, but I got a big kick out of seeing the sheer joy on her face when she realized she didn't have to ask about the ingredients of our amuse-bouche. Not one of the delicious-sounding dishes was off limits that night--quite a departure from the typical selection of one or two afterthought vegetarian entrees.

And Dragonfly's menu is so fantastically creative, I didn't miss meat one bit. Here's what we ordered: for drinks, a Lavender Gimlet and the house specialty Raenfall, an apple, cranberry and lavender concoction I spiked with vodka.

Fried Green Tomatoes appetizer, beautifully cornmeal-crusted tomato slices layered with ripe red tomatoes and basil.

A pretty pasta and vegan "pate"

And the flatbread of the day, decked out in fresh produce from the Dragonfly garden. That night's included lots tomatoes and various squashes.

Just as lovely as the food that night was the service. Dragonfly's owner/chef Magdiale Wolmark was also our gracious host and waiter, a touch that made the evening feel just that much more special.