Le Bontaniste promotes food as medicine

Food as medicine might not be the easiest pill to swallow marketing-wise. But the team behind bakery-cafe chain Le Pain Quotidien has found a good way to make it more than palatable. Belgium-based founder Alain Coumont introduced the fast-casual plant-based restaurant concept Le Botaniste in Ghent, Belgium, last September. A New York City branch followed in February. The mission: to serve organic, sustainable, healthy food without being preachy—wine bar included. “We are focusing on a back-to-basics approach to food that is about the purity of the products,” managing director Laurent Francois says. 

Garden Growth

Location: The New York City location is a former Le Pain Quotidien unit, set on a primarily residential swath of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Footprint: 1,000 square feet; 59 seats
Sample prices: Cold bowls $6.95 or $8.95; hot bowls $14 

One takeaway

Staff, known as “vegetable warriors,” wear lab coats to reinforce the apothecary theme.

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