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Inside the Wesley, NYC’s Chic New Plant-Forward Restaurant From a Le Bernardin Alum

The Wesley caters to vegetarians and omnivores alike.

A spread of food from the Wesley Teddy Wolff

For those who are vegetarian- or vegan-curious, the Wesley may be for you.

The new plant-focused restaurant in New York’s West Village is cooking up a veggie-forward menu with an eye toward the sustainable. The first outing for the new Mulberry Hospitality group, the Wesley has at its helm executive chef Santiago Astudillo, who’s had stints at Daniel and the Michelin three-star Le Bernardin.

Here, Astudillo has crafted a menu that spotlights seasonal and locally sourced produce. Small plates include a fall kale salad with frisée, shaved fennel, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, squash puree and hemp seeds, as well as royal trumpet mushrooms served two ways. The mushroom ceviche includes sweet potato, mote and coconut leche de tigre, while a simpler preparation sees the royal trumpets served with garlic, thyme, basil and macadamia nut pesto.

Mushroom ceviche from the Wesley
Mushroom ceviche Teddy Wolff

Larger dishes continue to make the most of fall produce, including in a roasted stuffed honeynut squash with black lentils, quinoa, scallion aioli and a chili chimichurri. Omnivores are just as welcome at the Wesley, however, and a trio of mains cater to them. Amish chicken sees a roasted breast and braised thigh accompanied by white corn, shiitake mushrooms and Swiss chard, while a crispy-skin whole trout is paired with a jalapeno fennel sauce, arugula and potatoes with sunchoke puree and trout roe.

The focus on sustainability is mirrored in the beverage program, curated by Gabriel Maldonado (Le Coucou, Llama Inn). Cocktails feature ingredients like vegetable juices and tea—for example, you might imbibe in the restaurant’s namesake drink, the Wesley (vodka, sherry, triple sec, banana, pineapple, black pepper and pea flower tea), or a take on the Aperol spritz featuring carrot. Zero-proof cocktails are also available, and the wine list is composed of bottles exclusively from vegan, organic/biodynamic or female-founded labels.

Whole trout from the Wesley
Whole trout Teddy Wolff

The holistic mindset is even found in the Wesley’s design, with three distinct rooms pulling from natural influences. The bar, or “green room,” showcases a seven-foot living plant wall, while the main dining room, or “grain room,” is awash in neutrals that evoke a wheat field. A more intimate back dining room, the “root room,” comes cloaked in velvet and rich mahogany, for a moodier experience. Wherever you end up, the vibes and the food will have you feeling like one with the natural world.

The Wesley is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

Click here to see all the photos of the Wesley.

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