City Pulse

By Katie Calautti

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Veggie-philes still smarting from Zen Palate’s unceremonious Union Square departure: unite! A new eco-friendly eatery has cropped up at 519 Avenue of the Americas (between 13th & 14th Streets).

GustOrganics is the first certified organic restaurant in New York City, the first restaurant in the country to use 100% USDA certified organic ingredients and the first in the world to operate a USDA-certified bar. The Latin-inspired cuisine caters to even the most finicky of customers with a menu that changes daily based on fresh produce offerings.

Adding to the experience, the rustic décor of the restaurant isn’t just pleasing to the eye – it’s been certified as a Green Restaurant by the GRA. Some of the stipulations for qualification include: a full-scale recycling program, using recycled and chlorine-free napkins and non-toxic cleaners, and installing energy efficient lighting.

The pioneer behind this venture – owner Alberto Gonzalez – believes that the higher costs involved in maintaining a certified organic and green restaurant are well worth it for the sake of his vision and commitment to the environment – he hopes his example will be followed by many other establishments.

One place where you won’t see those costs reflected: the menu. Breakfast omelettes and sandwiches are between $10 and $19, yummy grilled organic pizzas on the lunch menu hover around the $7 mark, while dinner entrees range from $18 to $29.

GustOrganics serves breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner, and offers take-out, delivery and dine-in. For more information, visit http://www.gustorganics.com or call (212) 242-5800.

Originally published December 2008

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