New Yorkers are pissed restaurants won’t serve romaine lettuce

They’re the romaines of the day.

Romaine lettuce has been a veggie non grata since Nov. 20, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against consuming it due to an E. coli outbreak. Although they walked the warning back on Monday, narrowing it down to lettuce from northern and central California, that’s where much of the country’s romaine is grown — and New York’s top Caesar salad-slingers aren’t taking any chances.

For safety’s sake, several city restaurants known for their creamy, crunchy Caesars have either retooled the dish or are removing it from their menus entirely until they get a stronger all-clear from the CDC. It’s leading to some surprising culinary controversy.

“Some people are actually pissed off,” Admir Alibasic, executive chef of Ben & Jack’s steakhouse in Midtown, tells The Post. Alibasic says they’ve had to toss in some extras to keep Caesar-loving customers happy. Recently, some regulars who had frequented the now-closed Flatiron location, came to the Midtown outpost jonesing for a Caesar. The group was so disappointed, Alibasic says the restaurant provided them with a round of drinks and cab fare.

To help placate disappointed, salad-craving masses, Ben & Jack’s is offering its house-made Caesar dressing — made special with a few unexpected ingredients, including capers — on any of their other salads and will also give any customers who ask a free 12-ounce bottle of the stuff to take home.

Chef Michael Lomonaco, of Columbus Circle steakhouse Porter House Bar and Grill, has taken a less drastic tactic for his eatery’s Caesar: He simply subbed in a mix of various kales and some field greens.

“The flavor of the kale marries well with the Caesar dressing, and it holds up well,” Lomonaco says. “It’s kind of a pleasant change.”

‘[Customers] agree that the taste is different and better. Maybe we’re not going to go back to romaine.’

At Good Enough to Eat on the Upper West Side, chef Georges Masraff says the CDC alert also has inspired an appetizing alternative. He’s using little gem lettuce and says diners aren’t rioting.

“Nobody asked to shoot me,” he says. “[Customers] agree that the taste is different and better. Maybe we’re not going to go back to romaine.”

The new leaf has inspired Masraff to change up the Caesar at the 37-year-old restaurant in other ways. Along with the little gems, he’s added thin slices of fried garlic. He also considered adding thin slices of hard-boiled eggs, but stopped short. “I don’t want to go too far,” he says.

Then, some folks haven’t felt the need to turn over a new leaf at all. At Harry’s steakhouse in the Financial District, executive chef Joe Mallol says Caesar salad has been on the wane in recent years as customers opt for healthier salads. He’s removed his from the menu with the CDC alert, and says no one seems to mind. “I don’t really have too much clamor for it.”

At Carmine’s, the 28-year-old Italian joint with locations on the Upper West Side and in Times Square, the Caesar salad has long been one of the most popular dishes. But they’ve removed it from the menu until romaine is totally cleared.

And don’t even ask them if they can make it with kale instead.

“It’s not something we even considered,” says Jeffrey Bank, the CEO of the restaurant group behind Carmine’s. “The last time I used kale for anything was decorating a corned beef platter for my deli in 1999.”

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