Vegetarian meals continue to grow in popularity, and the upcoming Maine Restaurant Week is a perfect example. This year, at least 29 of the participating restaurants plan to offer one or more entrees centered on vegetables and cheese rather than meats and seafood.

According to Maine Restaurant Week organizer Jim Britt, more restaurants are serving vegetarian menu options than they did last year, which was the first year of the event.

Maine Restaurant Week runs March 1-10 and features eateries from around the state serving three-course dinner menus for a special price of $20.10, $30.10 or $40.10. Drinks, tax and tip are extra.

And you might be surprised by some of the establishments catering to the veg crowd. They include Beale Street Barbeque, Duckfat and Twenty Milk Street, which is a steakhouse.

With a few exceptions, the restaurants dishing up vegetarian eats intend to serve cheese-based Italian entrees, with risotto and pasta being the most common.

If you’re looking for vegan food, you’ll find it at Green Elephant, Pepperclub and the Great Impasta. Local 188 is serving a dish that can be easily modified to become vegan, and both Five-Fifty Five and Five-Fifty Five Lounge will make a special vegan meal for Restaurant Week customers, as long as you give them a heads-up when  making reservations.

I hope you’ll join me in letting these restaurants know how much we appreciate their efforts to feed vegetarian patrons by visiting one or more during restaurant week. Your wallet – and your stomach –will thank you.

WHERE TO FIND VEGETARIAN EATS DURING RESTAURANT WEEK

22 BROAD STREET, 22 Broad St., Bethel, 824-3496 – $30.10
Veg entree: Gnocchi with fra Diavolo sauce.
Good to know: The homemade ravioli, another entree choice, changes daily and is often vegetarian.

BACARI, 212 Main St., Brunswick, 725-2600 – $20.10
Veg entree: Crispy layered eggplant.
Good to know: All the appetizers contain meat; however, the baby greens salad can be ordered without the smoked bacon.

BEALE STREET BARBEQUE, 775 Broadway, South Portland, 767-0130 and 215 Water Street, Bath, 442-9514 – $20.10
Veg entree: Burro Vegetalie, a vegetarian burrito, comes with black beans, rice, cheddar cheese, zucchini, onions, peppers, mushrooms, salsa, lettuce and sour cream.

BLUE SPOON, 89 Congress St., Portland, 773-1116 – $30.10
Veg entree: Mixed mushroom risotto.

BONOBO, 46 Pine St., Portland, 347-8267 – $20.10
Veg entree: Taleggio cheese, smoked tomatoes and arugula wood-fired pizza.

BREVETTO KITCHEN, 43 Mechanic St., Camden, 385-7319 – $20.10
Veg entree: Butternut squash and feta lasagna with fresh spinach, rosemary and garlic.

CAFE MIRANDA, 15 Oak St., Rockland, 584-2034 – $20.10
Veg entree: Auntie Fluffie’s Pasta, with Romano cheese and cauliflower, or Burrito d’Evan, with roasted mushrooms, black beans and the standard burrito toppings.

CLEMENTINE, 44 Maine St., Brunswick, 721-9800 – $20.10
Veg entree: Hand-made fettucini with crimini mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula and white truffle oil.

CORNER ROOM KITCHEN & BAR, 110 Exchange St., Portland, 879-4747 – $20.10
Veg entree: Pappardelle pasta and mushrooms.
Good to know: The appetizer choices change daily and will always include at least one vegetarian option.

DUCKFAT, 43 Middle St., Portland, 774-8538 – $20.10
Veg entree: Daily vegetarian panini.
Good to know: The large order of fries that comes with the panini is cooked in duck fat.

FARMERS TABLE, 205 Commercial St., Portland, 347-7479 – $30.10
Veg entree: Housemade fettuccine with Longfellow Creamery Dry Jack, local mushrooms, creme fraiche and thyme.

FIVE FIFTY-FIVE LOUNGE, 555 Congress St., Portland, 761-0555 – $30.10
Veg entree: Truffled mac and cheese.
Good to know: Menu changes daily, and there may be other vegetarian choices. You can request a vegan dish when making reservations.

FIVE FIFTY-FIVE, 555 Congress St., Portland, 761-0555 – $40.10
Veg entree: Truffled mac and cheese.
Good to know: This will be a larger portion of the entree than is being offered from the lounge menu. In addition, the menu changes daily, and there may be other vegetarian choices. You can request a vegan dish when making reservations.

GREAT IMPASTA, 42 Maine St., Brunswick, 729-5858 – $20.10
Veg entree: Creamy polenta with fresh vegetables served with a spicy tomato, mushroom and onion sauce.
Good to know: This entree is also vegan and gluten-free.

GREAT LOST BEAR, 540 Forest Ave., Portland, 772-0300 – $20.10
Veg entree: Spanakopita made with pastry dough, spinach and feta.

GREEN ELEPHANT VEGETARIAN BISTRO, 608 Congress St., Portland, 347-3111 – $20.10
Veg entree: Spicy basil noodles, tofu tikka masala and green curry vegetable.
Good to know: Everything on the Restaurant Week menu is vegetarian, and much of it is vegan and gluten-free too.

LOCAL 188, 685 Congress St., Portland, 761-7909 – $30.10
Veg entree: Caramelized onion polenta cake with market vegetables and balsamic aioli.
Good to know: Order it without the aioli for a vegan dish.

OLD PORT SEA GRILL AND RAW BAR, 93 Commercial St., Portland, 879-6100 – $30.10
Veg entree: Truffled mushroom risotto with portabella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
Good to know: All the appetizers come with meat and seafood additions; however, you can request a vegetarian version of the fennel tomato soup without the shrimp topping and the wedge salad without the pancetta.

ONE DOCK, One Dock Square, Kennebunkport, 967-2621 – $30.10
Veg entree: Mushroom risotto made with Arborio rice, shiitakes, crimini mushrooms, butter, Parmesan cheese and white truffle oil.

PAOLINA’S WAY, 10 Bayview Landing, Camden, 230-0555 – $30.10
Veg entree: Vegetarian wood-fired pizza of the day.
Good to know: Another entree choice is the daily pasta, which is occasionally vegetarian.

PEPPERCLUB, 78 Middle St., Portland, 772-0531 – $20.10
Veg entree: Choices change daily and may include roasted portabello, eggplant and tomato, quinoa pasta with ricotta cakes or Thai coconut curry tempeh.
Good to know: This vegetarian-friendly establishment is offering four courses for $20.10, instead of the standard three. Each night features five vegetarian entree choices, many of which are vegan and gluten-free.

RICETTA’S, 29 Western Ave., South Portland, 775-7400 and 240 U.S. Route 1, Falmouth, 781-3100 – $20.10
Veg entree: A small one-topping pizza, a small specialty pizza or a create-your-own pizza.

SALT EXCHANGE, 245 Commercial St., Portland, 347-5687 – $30.10
Veg entree: Wild mushroom risotto cakes, farm greens salad and truffled black barley risotto with red wine poached egg.
Good to know: Known for its small-plate concept, this restaurant offers three courses of app-sized eats with an extra charge for dessert. Order a side of shaved black truffle for an additional $10.

SEA GLASS, Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road, Cape Elizabeth, 799-3134 – $30.10
Veg entree: Handmade ricotta gnocchi with San Marzano tomato sauce, olives, basil and Grana Padano.

SHAY’S GRILL PUB, 18 Monument Square, Portland, 772-2626 – $20.10
Veg entree: Penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, capers, pesto and white wine.

SLATE’S RESTAURANT & BAKERY, 163 Water St., Hallowell, 622-9575 – $20.10
Veg entree: House-made crepes filled with portabella mushrooms, local goat cheese, sweet peppers and caramelized onions, served with a side salad.

SOLO BISTRO, 128 Front St., Bath, 443-3373 – $20.10
Veg entree: Risotto with mixed organic vegetables and Romano and Asiago cheeses is the vegetarian entree choice.

TWENTY MILK STREET, Regency Hotel, 20 Milk St., Portland, 774-4200 –  $30.10
Veg entree: Wild mushroom risotto with roasted pepper, Manchego cheese and truffle oil.

Find more details and the full menus at www.mainerestaurant week.com.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at: [email protected]