This ‘Fine-Casual’ Salad Spot Could Be a Lunchtime Game-Changer

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“Winter Flowers”: cauliflower, romanesco, spinach, toasted hazelnuts, shallot vinaigrette. Photo: Melissa Hom

Considering the wild success of Sweetgreen, it’s no wonder that others want to tap into the desire for luxurious, locally sourced salads. Enter Verde: a concept started by Gonzalo Gout (the opening general manager at Cosme), and his childhood friend, entrepreneur Alejandro Porteny. They say that Verde’s back-of-house operates just like a fine-dining kitchen, working with farms to create seasonal recipes, while their front-of-house runs the kind of fast, grab-and-go service that New Yorkers need.

Verde wants to steer away from the DIY salad-making style, and instead “curate the greens” by offering recipes from a specific chef. (This composed-plate style is also favored by the NoMad team, who will soon open their own fast-casual spot, Made Nice.) First up is Cosme alum Mariana Villegas, who came up with “Winter Flowers” — cauliflower, romanesco, spinach, toasted hazelnuts, and shallot vinaigrette — and “Tri-Color Beets” — beluga black lentils, poblano-pistachio, castelfranco, apple-cider vinegar, and lime yogurt, among others. Customers can then select a protein, and the high-end options include shrimp, burrata, and steak. (The salads cost $11 to $14, and proteins $4 to $7.) The MP Shift designed the space, which is more warm and welcoming than most fast-casual “fine-casual” restaurants. Take a look — Verde opens on Monday:

“Tri-Color Beets”: beluga black lentils, poblano-pistachio, castelfranco, apple-cider vinegar, lime yogurt. Photo: Melissa Hom
“Mushrooms”: oyster, maitake, king trumpet, shiitake, shimeji, purple mizuna, rainbow swiss chard, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar. Photo: Melissa Hom
“Fingerling Potatoes”: winter herb pesto, italian frisee, celery ribbons, dates, dill, fig vinegar. Photo: Melissa Hom
Steak and salmon are two of the protein choices. Photo: Melissa Hom
The MP Shift designed the space. Photo: Melissa Hom
You can take your salad to go, but it’s a nice place to hang. Photo: Melissa Hom

Verde, 22 W 25th St., between Broadway and Sixth Ave.

This ‘Fine-Casual’ Salad Spot Could Be a Game-Changer