A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of dining at Wildseed, Marina’s new fully plant-based restaurant on Union Street. As you know we are seeing more and more vegan/plant-based restaurants and dishes pop up, so I was very curious to check this one out. The restaurant is Back of the House’s newest concept, which replaced the old Belga restaurant. While it is plant-based, they do still offer cheese on some of their dishes — though you can of course get it without. Something cute to note is that they offer “Belga Fries” on their menu as an ode to what used to be in the space. My group didn’t order these, but I still thought it was nice.
I was there on a double date when my boyfriend and I were doing Whole30, and they had quite a few Whole30-friendly options on their menu (even dessert!). Sadly, given that we were on this diet, we couldn’t try any of the beautiful cocktails. One in our group got the Pistachio Blossom (bourbon, pear, clover blossom honey, hibiscus, grapefruit, pistachio rim), which looked incredible! My boyfriend and I stuck with a large bottle of sparkling water, which I’m pretty sure was around $10 or something crazy.
For the food, we ordered the following dishes to share:
Ceviche of King Trumpet Mushrooms (leche de tigre, avocado, mango and seeded chips) — Definitely had a very typical ceviche kind of taste to it, loved the combination of avocado and mango.
Beet Poke (macadamia, baby cucumbers, ponzu, sesame & seaweed crackers) — I always enjoy any dish with beets, though I was hoping that this would taste a bit more like poke and a bit less vegetable forward.
Wood Grilled Artichokes with Fine Herb Aioli — Super tasty, can’t go wrong with grilled artichokes.
Wood Grilled Heirloom Carrots (harissa, lemon crema, mint, almonds) — This was on the “sides” section of the menu, but was my favorite of our starters.
Ensalada Andalusia (butter lettuce, red chicories, Marcona almonds, coconut “bacon”, black ash cheese, smoked paprika, honey sherry vinaigrette) — This was easily my favorite dish of the evening! Loved it so much that I wanted to order a second. The “bacon” made from coconut was a standout for me.
For our main, my boyfriend and I split the Impossible Burger protein style on lettuce instead of a bun. It had grilled onions, chipotle aioli and tomatoes. This was good but nothing outstanding — in hindsight I wish we would’ve tried their house Wildseed Burger (mushroom and spinach patty, oven roasted tomatoes, chipotle aioli). Next time! Our friends ordered the Rigatoni Bolognese (Impossible ground, spinach, parmesan; can substitute with gluten-free penne), which they loved.
Last but not least, dessert! To our pleasant surprise, they had an option without added sugar, the “Banana Whip” complete with concord grapes, red wine almond tahini cinnamon sauce, toasted coconut, hemp seeds. This is definitely something I would make at home (over and over again!) using frozen bananas. Loved it.
The restaurant was packed on a Friday at 7:45pm. They don’t take reservations (at least not yet, maybe they will at some point — this is kind of a miss in my opinion), so I would recommend joining the Yelp waitlist as soon as it opens. When we joined we had to wait about 90 minutes for a table, which ended up being perfect with our timing. By the time we were done with our meal the place had cleared out quite a bit. And yes, we saw all the “typical Marina people” you’d expect to see at this kind of establishment — plus the large majority of the diners were women.
Overall, we had a great experience and would certainly go back. We loved the trendy nautical decor and the service was great, plus I’m excited to try out other items (and drinks!) on their menu. They just launched happy hour too, if any of us can ever make it to the Marina by 6pm…