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Q. My girlfriend insists on eating organic, but I'm not so gaga over granola.


A. Here are a few organic restaurants that will force you to check your notions of health food at the door.

At OtherFoods (47 East 12th Street; 212-358-0103), the light, modern décor is a reflection of the philosophy shared by the three owners, who honed their skills at the Natural Gourmet Cooking School. "We have a more modern approach," says co-owner Jackie Rosenthal. "Our main thing is that the food taste good." The grilled catch of the day ($18), in an Asian marinade of black sesame seeds, tamari, and sesame oil, followed by the flourless orange-and-almond cake ($6) with orange coulis and a dollop of almond cream certainly measure up.

The homey atmosphere at Herban Kitchen (290 Hudson Street; 212-627-2257) -- think exposed brick wall, plank floor, and a tranquil garden -- perfectly complements its organic comfort food. We're talking free-range-turkey meat loaf ($17) and a wonderfully juicy baked free-range chicken ($18) with three-potato (red, white, and Yukon Gold) mash doused with a savory portobello mushroom gravy.

The Candle Café (1307 Third Avenue, near 75th Street; 212-472-0970) dishes up vegan versions of old standards. Only here, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how tasty a grilled-tofu club ($8.95) with crunchy tempeh bacon and a carrot-ginger dressing can be. If you're feeling a bit under the weather, hit the Farmacy juice bar for a nutrient-rich elixir.

Or head to Heartbeat (149 East 49th Street; 212-407-2900) inside the sleek W hotel, where savories like skinless, seared coriander duck ($26) in a sweet-potato sauce with ginger and Thai chili peppers are served in a Zen-ish room full of cascading waterfalls, bonsai-like foliage, and languid tea drinkers.


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