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Can a restaurant achieve enlightenment? Seattle’s premier vegetarian haunt, perched like a lotus in Wallingford, comes close. Chef and co-owner Colin Patterson wants dining to be intentional and communal: hence, one or two five-course prix-fixe seatings comprise the night, and before dinner he sounds a gentle gong for a collective moment of gratitude. If it all sounds a little woo-woo—oh yes, he also owns a yoga studio—just hang on until the food arrives. Patterson, former chef of the famous Blossoming Lotus on Kauai, is truly an herbivorous genius. He’ll top a salad of frizzled greens with grilled peach, dill dressing, and feisty julienned strips of cayenne, for instance, or build an ethereal lasagna of—get this—golden beets, creamed spinach, heirloom tomatoes, and figs. Food, in short, to satisfy the most carnivorous skeptic and—against this uniquely wholesome backdrop—feed the soul.

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