33 Carmine St.
Phone: (212) 920-5072
Outfitted with exposed brick and communal tables, Ellary's Greens looks and feels like a health-focused restaurant. There are stools lining the long counter, where competent staffers make "Beauty" drinks with aloe vera juice and banana-cacao-ship smoothies. Though Ellary's lights candles and serves beer and wine at night, it's best to go here during the day for a leisurely, virtuous breakfast or lunch. In the warmer months, you'll find open-air windows, light and simple food, and friendly servers who won't judge you for having any food restrictions. The wide-reaching menu focuses on vegetarian food—with limited meat and fish options—and the variety is nice. The kale salad with toasted barley, crimini mushrooms, and butternut squash is a success: It's flavorful and hearty enough to almost warrant the steep $14 price tag. Choose that over the escarole and smoked-tofu salad, and keep in mind that the portions are small. A portobello mushroom wrap sandwich with chipotle-chickpea spread and sauerkraut is tasty, but it's more of a snack than a full-on lunch order. Grilled salmon with "lemon confit" (it's just squeezed lemon) and a side of steamed kale make for a nice dinner. Sure, they are dishes that you could easily make at home, but that's the appeal of Ellary's: You feel like you're eating in your own kitchen—just everything's fresh, organic, and super healthy.