December 1, 2023
Six years ago, Susan Virgilio made the switch to a vegan diet to better accommodate her daughter's vegan preferences. The mother of four, soon their whole family had converted to the diet, making it a part of their lifestyle.

Danville’s eagerly awaited, veggie-forward Blossom & Root will open it doors on Aug. 30, offering the Tri-Valley’s first upscale restaurant menu to showcase vegan fare.

It’s a move six years in the making, says owner Susan Vergilio, whose daughter inspired their entire family to go vegan. The only problem with that lifestyle change? There weren’t many restaurant options at the time where their family could dine out. So Vergilio, whose background is in chemistry and teaching, set out to change that, learning not only how to create a menu of delicious, high-level dishes — the executive chef is Jen Sopinsky — but how to open and run a restaurant.

Blossom & Root is located at 411 Hartz Ave. in downtown Danville. It is the first entirely vegan restaurant in the Tri-Valley area. (Courtesy Cat Fennell.) 

Her goal: “Let’s enjoy kick-ass food without an animal on the plate,” she said.

THE VIBE: Blossom & Root’s light, bright atmosphere is inspired by nature. It’s a welcoming spot with artwork created by family members and wallpaper that sports nature-inspired motifs.

The exterior of Blossom & Root in Danville includes a patio seating area. (Courtesy Cat Fennell.) 

THE FOOD: The lineup of dishes ranges from bites such as spiced nuts ($7) and house-pickled vegetables ($7) to small plates, include crispy, slightly-sweet fritters ($15) served with chipotle glaze, sesame seeds and a creamy herb dressing.

The summer poke at Blossom & Root in Danville is made with carrots, watermelon radish, cucumber, jalapeño, tomato rice, wasabi aioli and other ingredients. (Courtesy Cat Fennell) 

In addition to soups and salads, you’ll find larger plates such as poke, masa cake, a plant-based burger and a mushroom sandwich. The latter is made with breaded, deep-fried maitake mushrooms and topped with a crispy slaw, pickled jalapeños and charred chili jam and served on a soft roll ($26).

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DON’T MISS: The masa cake ($26), made with mole verde, braised cannellini beans, charred corn and tomato salad  is a must-try. Dense and moist, with a slight sweetness to counteract the savory vegetables surrounding it, it’s a clear winner. The vanilla peach bellini ($13), made with vanilla-peach puree, hibiscus syrup and sparkling wine, is excellent too.

DETAILS: Opens at 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday at 411 Hartz Ave., Danville; https://blossomandrootkitchen.com.

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