BOOK: "Vegetarian New York City: The Essential Dining, Shopping and Lodging Guide," by Suzanne Gerber (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95)
TARGET AUDIENCE: Those who know their seitan from their soy . . . and the meat-eaters who love them.
QUICK TAKE: The newest addition to the Insiders' Guide imprint, edited by the former "Vegetarian Times" editor-in-chief, covers 200-plus Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens eateries. The signed reviews, though gassy at times, make good copy: Aureole (34 E. 61st St.) gets a nod as offering "one of the most thoughtful, innovative vegetarian tasting menus at one of the most elegant restaurants in the city," even though chef Dante Boccuzzi apparently used to think cooking veg was "a boring pain in the neck." Among the write-ups are lists of ingredients that foil the best attempts to go meatless (i.e., Spanish rice made with chicken stock) and where "heel whores" can shop for non-leather shoes. The index lists restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine (Mock-Meat gets its own listing), price and "vegetability," ranging from fair (two to three ovo-lacto choices and one vegan option) to excellent (fully vegetarian or vegan).
RANT: The guide could be leaner: We'd lose the seven pages of contributor bios, the lodging options (there aren't enough of them to make a viable hotel guide anyway) and the double-spacing.
RAVE: The 20-plus reviewers ferreted out the stories behind the storefronts, making for fun reading while you're chomping on that Veggie Great Dane at F&B (269 W. 23rd St.).
-- Anne McDonough