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ION Restaurant, Connecticut

by Samantha DiMauro

May 19, 2015

© Syda Productions | Dreamstime


Some restaurants are worth a road trip. It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown, Conn., is a hidden gem in the north end of the this small college town’s Main Street, and they dish out delectable, 100-percent vegan meals, desserts and cocktails that hardly disappoint.


The first thing you’ll notice is the ambiance: rustic, sultry and quite literally down-to-earth. Potted plants lift their branches toward the softly glowing overhead lights, the walls are adorned by locally-made art and all of the tables are made from smoothly polished, natural wooden slabs, accented by fresh flowers and flickering candlelight. Just by taking a recycled seat, you’ll feel like you’re saving the planet.


One of their most famous starters is a plate of massive sweet potato fries with a side of organic, smoked ketchup. They pair well with the tempeh “crab” cakes — a tasty vegan take on the seafood dish topped with lemon aioli to wit — and a glass of the Root n’ Ginger cocktail, made with ROOT liquor, organic ginger brew and a hearty slice of ginger.


I’m not exaggerating when I say everything on the menu is worth a try. The culinary creativity of Head Chef Tamara Cayer will keep you coming back to try a bit of everything, like the southern plate piled high with southern-fried tofu, sauteed greens, black beans and cornbread. Keep an eye out for specials like pizzas topped with beet pepperoni and seitan-walnut sausage.


And don’t forget to finish your dinner with shot of Fire Cider! This stuff comes with a welcome kick, as it’s made with organic apple cider vinegar, ginger, horseradish, habanero pepper, garlic and turmeric. (You’ll also detect some fresh citrus-fruits and a dash of honey.) Traditionally, this age-old drink has been used to support a healthy immune system or alleviate a hangover, and a healthy boost for your digestive system after your undoubtedly big meal.


ION Restaurant

606 Main St.

Middletown, Conn.

860 346 9210



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