Montarra is a fancy restaurant in Algonquin, which likens itself to a downtown Chicago restaurant (minus the drive). I was skeptical. We’ve been to some other “nice” restaurants in the ‘burbs and they are a joke. There is nothing vegan on the menu, but if it’s really a “downtown Chicago restaurant,” the chef can come up with something creative, right?

When our server came to take our order, I informed him that I was vegan. I didn’t even get to finish my sentence (“is there something that the chef can put together?”) before the server responded with “you want the vegan plate?” As if that was something on the menu. Yes, that is exactly what I wanted. I patiently waited, hoping for more than a plate of soggy vegetables with some minute rice.

Instead of the typical grilled vegetable plate, this was put before me:


Tempura asparagus with corn, arugula, and a tomato sauce. The waiter confirmed with the chef that the tempura did not contain eggs and I dove right in. It was delicious. I have no problem with Montarra calling itself a downtown Chicago restaurant. We will definitely visit again.

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The ambiance and service are nice. There was a gorgeous chandelier hanging above our heads. The cocktail list looked good, but I was driving, so I didn’t try anything.


  1. Hi Kristen! I live in Woodstock too and just became vegan two months ago,due to a friend being diagnosed with breast cancer. Its so hard to find places that cater to vegans(except the wonderful Expressly Leslie of course!) Cant wait to get ideaa from your blog. Thanks!

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