Update: VegiTerranean is still a decent joint on a whole, with attractive staff and uber-cool ambiance. Also, given that Cleveland has no vegan joints worthy of mention, it seems reasonable to just go straight to Akron for food.
That said, the food at Vegiterranean is of mixed quality. The eggplant parmesan, for example, was dull and heavy, and the chocolate mocha torte is overly rich and unmemorable. The carrot cake, on the other hand, was quite good.
A lot of the food here lacks finesse. It's not as delicate and popping-fresh as it should be, considering the high prices; everything gets drowned out in too much cream, too much marinara, overly starchy pasta, etc.
While I appreciate what Chrissie Hynde is trying to do with this restaurant, it really needs to up its game and start firing on all cylinders with smarter, lighter food, and no dull thudding mains and desserts. There's no margin for error when it comes to vegan food, unfortunately; if you mess up, people associate "vegan" with "bad" forever.
Original review (September 2010): VegiTerranean is a sexy, smart and high-end vegan restaurant/bar worth a trip from Cleveland. In fact, skip Cleveland dining all-together and go straight to Akron. While it's a good place on a whole, an a net positive for foodies, vegans and Akronites, it could stand to make a few improvements which I'll outline below.
First, while I was seated promptly by the friendly hostess, my waiter didn't acknowledge my presence for a good 7 or 8 minutes. The hostess seemed to do double-duty to try to pick up the slack. It took another 10+ minutes for the waiter to take my order. Then I waited another 30 minutes or so for my food to arrive. In summary, the service speed and quality were sorely lacking, which was weird, given that it was busy, but not exactly bursting-at-the-seams busy. Lastly, I waited another 10 minutes to get my bill.
The friendly, attentive hostess gave me some high-grade bread and olive oil to apologize for the wait (I didn't even ask), which was a nice gesture.
I started off with an order of Chrissie's "Best Fries" ($4). While she promises they're the best I'd ever have, I have to disagree. They were good, but not great, and I wouldn't order them again; while I appreciated the cleverness of the tofu ricotta dressing that came with the fries, I thought the flavors didn't come together (the ricotta was cold and not seasoned enough, whereas the fries were scalding hot and the skins on them don't mesh with the subtle nature of the ricotta).
For my main course it was a tough decision but I went with a "spinach fettucine with wild mushrooms and smoked Gardein chicken in a roasted tomato cream sauce" ($17). Again, the dish was decent, but not great. I appreciated the large portion size, but the dish felt thrown together haphazardly in a big mash of food. It certainly lacked the sophisticated presentation I would have expected given the price and the ambience of the restaurant.
Finally, for dessert, I had a slice of tiramisu ($8). Once again, the portion size impressed me (if you're there with a date, get a single dessert to share). The texture was about right, but not quite as soft/fluffy as I remember tiramisu being. The coffee flavor could have stood to have been stronger.
The place attracts a slightly older, well-dressed crowd (that said, I showed up in jeans and a t-shirt and wasn't made to feel awkward). If you have a larger group, I would recommend making reservations beforehand.
In conclusion, I applaud Chrissie Hynde for having the guts to open such a cool place in Akron. VegiTerranean isn't perfect, but it shows signs of promise and I look forward to returning.