First Taste: You won’t miss the meat at Cow Hollow’s stylish plant-based restaurant Wildseed

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We've all jumped on a wellness trend or two—a new workout class, a few steps of a Korean skincare routine, periodic conscious disconnection from our devices.
If eating more plants is on your list of self-care (and environmental) goals, you may now do a little a dance: Wildseed is a full-service restaurant that's taking vegan eating beyond your usual grab-and-go salad and green juice.

Cute and clean, Wildseed is ideally situated in the Cow Hollow.(Photography by Sarah Chorey)

The conscientious concept comes to us from the folks at Back of House Restaurant Group (A Mano, Beretta, Lolinda, Starbelly, etc). CEO Adriano Paganini tapped chef Blair Warsham, of The Bird, to devise a menu of vegan eats; Warsham got all prolific with a huge menu of meat-free delights centering on purely seasonal ingredients.

There are snacks—think probiotic plates and harissa-spiced veggie chips; shareables—grilled avocado toast, Mexican corn cakes, and curried cauliflower; salads and bowls (try the mushroom-based "neatball masala"); and entrees including a super grain paella, rigatoni Bolognese made with Impossible meat, and a spicy yellow curry. Still hungry? There's dessert too.

Just because this is a plant-based restaurant, doesn't mean it's a crunchy-granola scene. The old Belga restaurant has a bright, effortless atmosphere thanks to a sprucing up by designer Hannah Collins. The palette is warm wood and white with accents of teal in pretty tiles behind the bar and in upholstery on the banquettes. Tropical fans lazily spin overhead and light spills through the windows. It's the kind of atmo that makes you want to eat healthy.

"Wildseed is about giving everyone a chance to make a better choice—a place where you can feel good about the decisions you are making," says Paganini. "Not only because the space is beautiful, but also because you know that the food is good for you without sacrificing satisfaction or flavor."

The beet poke will play tricks with your taste buds. Cubes of chilled beets are topped with slices of cucumber, macadamia crumbles, a dash of ponzu, and sesame seeds, paired with seaweed crackers.

Say hi to our new favorite dish in town, the Mexican corn cakes. A layer of queso sauce is topped with three corn cakes, a few cherry tomatoes, loose corn kernels, lime, and chili. The whole thing channels flavors of a fancy cornbread, with a thicker, richer intensity.

Wood-grilled veggies make their way onto the menu in various forms, including this artichoke served with an herb-seasoned aioli dipping sauce.

What would a plant-based restaurant be without an Impossible burger? Wildseed serves theirs up with thick slices of grilled onion, a creamy chipotle aioli, tomatoes, and a few leaves of butter lettuce. You'll be happy about the side of Belga fries. If Impossible meat isn't your thing, there's also an option for a burger patty made with spinach and mushrooms.

Spicy yellow curry gets the seasonal treatment with fresh onions, eggplant, peppers, kale, and basil, plus a scoop of black forbidden rice.

Dessert here is a must. A clear stand-out is the Meyer lemon agave cheesecake with a gluten-free graham cracker crust and whips of coconut.

The cocktail program is another thoughtful component at Wildseed. The spirits utilized are all local to reduce carbon footprint; ingredients focus on homemade extracts, tinctures, juices, and fresh herbs. The wines are all vegan and organic.

Greenery finds a home in every nook and cranny.

The zinc-topped bar is an inviting spot to have a drink.

A casual spot to meet with friends, the bar area has multiple high-top and communal tables.

// Wildseed, 2000 Union St. (Cow Hollow),
#BackOfTheHouseRestaurantGroup #Wildseed
BackOfTheHouseRestaurantGroup Wildseed

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