Posts filed under ‘Dining Out Guide’
Tuscan Tempura of Shrimp, Squid and Vegetables 14.00
Fresh Local Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil 10.00
CARPACCIO of ORGANIC BEEF,
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Arugula, Parmigiano 12.00
RED and YELLOW BEETS
with Shaved Sicilian Goat Cheese “Pantaleo” 9.00
Soy, Scallions, Sesame Oil & Ginger,
Cucumber, Baby Watercress, Daikon Sprouts 14.00
FENNEL and BABY ARUGULA SALAD
with Shaved Parmigiano 8.00
Selected Organic Garden Greens, Fennel, Balsamic 8.00
ORECCHIETTE with BROCCOLI RABE and BOAR SAUSAGE
Hot Pepper and Garlic; Tuscan Pecorino 15.00
PAN-ROASTED ORGANIC BREAST OF CHICKEN
Vin Santo Reduction; Pureed Squash and haricot Verts 20.00
GRILLED NORWEGIAN SALMON with Salsa Verde
Sautéed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Haricot Verts 22.00
Broiled sardines marinated in grappa and fennel pollen served with a mache salad 12
Octopus salumi thinly sliced with arugula, marinated onions and a black olive puree 12
Tuscan black kale stewed with squash and tomatoes served over crostini and topped with a quail egg 11
Organic greens tossed with shavings of Grana Padano cheese, pears, Jerusalem artichokes and a tarragon vinaigrette 12
Roasted squash with radicchio, stracciatella cheese and pumpkin seeds 12
Warm grilled mushrooms tossed with nepitella over frissee 13
Whole Mediterranean sea bream roasted with olive oil, lemon, fresh herbs and garlic 32
Striped bass with clams in a pinecone infused broth with baby turnips, parsnips and baby carrots 32
All natural New York strip steak grilled with aromatic spices and served with roasted garlic 34
C O N T O R N I VERDURE
Market greens sautéed with garlic 10
Low Carb + Weight Loss Options
arugula, herbs, citron vinaigrette, ricotta salata
roasted mackerel, satsuma mandarins, fennel, capers, pistachios
Mozzarella di bufula
figs, calabrian chilies, arugula
rabbit sausage, endive, pear mostarda
veal chop and sausage, kabocha squash, cippolini onions, sage, balsamic
Linguine al granchio
crab, leeks, lemon, bacon
wild boar, cavolo nero, calabrian chilies, pecorino
mediterranean sea bass, mussels,
corona beans, spicy soppressata, oregano
Brasato di maiale
braised pork, bacon, tondini beans, brussels sprouts, chestnuts
Like you, when I come home after a long day the last thing I’m in the mood to do is cook. I’m constantly searching for easy, quick recipes using minimal amount of ingredients (and pots and pans), which is why I was so excited to find these steamer microwave bags from Glad and ZipLoc :
Out comes a perfectly steamed meal in 10 minutes flat. If that’s not enough motivation for you, here’s a recipe to jump start your creativity that I edited down from here:
- Sprinkle a total of 1/4 teaspoon curry powder onto 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each).
- Combine in Medium or Large Ziploc® Zip ‘n Steam™ bag:
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into 12 wedges
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 tsp curry powde
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Fanelli’s Cafe; 94 Prince St. at Mercer St.; 212-226-9412
Sometimes you’re in a situation where you’re at a bar, and the group you’re with wants to order food. I can’t believe I had never been to Fanelli’s before (it’s been around since 1922) – and I can’t really imagine returning after the meal we all consumed last Saturday. Here’s what not to order when eating at Fanelli’s (um, keep in mind we were a hungry group of 7):
-Cornmeal crusted calamari
-Burgers and fries for all.
OOPH. This menu is tough. All bar-type food is. I don’t even know what would’ve been better options (besides leaving and going some place else). For starters, the hummos would’ve been better, but 1 plate for 7 people is not going to work. Grilled portabella mushrooms is another option – though not a very festive one. And we were clearly in a festive type of mood.
Instead of burgers with fries, any of the salads – with the exception of tuna or chicken salad – would’ve been better, my favorite choices being the grilled chicken or grilled salmon.
And if we really wanted to re-deux our burgers, we could’ve eaten them bun-less, with salad instead of fries, and asked for dressing on the side. But sometimes you just need a scratch day. And that’s ok, too
Fig + Olive: 420 West 13th Street; Tel: (212) 924-1200
Prix-fixe menus can be difficult to navigate – those limited options may not be the same choices you normally would make if given the full menu. Prix-fie on New Years is even more challenging as you’re now also battling the effects of alcohol, friends, and a boisterous table on your selection process!! A group of 8 of us ventured to the meatpacking’s Fig and Olive on New Year’s, one of my top ten favorite restaurants in the city.
The first part of the menu is devoted to tapas – little dishes the entire table can share…and this is where trouble can arise if not careful. The crostinis - which come as 3 slices of little baguettes – are amazing but if you’re going down this route remember this is your carb choice for the meal. Choose any one without the cheese, with the exception of bell peppers + goat cheese. I love any of the ceviche + tartar options, as well as the vegetables. Here’s what you’ll want to avoid: olives, carpaccio, charcuterie + pate, jamon iberico, cheese + all options listed under appetizers, + soup & crostini. I know that’s a lot of fun stuff to avoid but you’ll thank me later.
As far as salads, here’s what i’m into: fig + olive salad has way too much cheese, chicken salad looking good, tuscan salad I’m not digging your proscuitto, olive oil toasts, or ricotta tapenade, shrimp salad I like you – but not your ricotta toast, salad nicoise is always a great choice, caesar never really is.
Moving onto pasta: these portions are huge. Unless you’re sharing with your dining companion, keep on moving.
Favortite options under rotisserie + grill: that’s easy. It’s you, grilled branzino. It’s always been you. Rotisserie chicken sounds delicious but the side of mashed potatoes is a total siren, as is the couscous which accompanies the grilled lamb skewers. Too hard to avoid, so why even bother.
Main courses – here’s who I pick for my team: chicken paillard, salmon, veal tenderloin, + trio de la mer. The paella + mediterranean tasting didn’t get bids because they’re just too big + too carby.
One of my most favorite things about a wedding – besides of course partaking in the festivities celebrating the newly bethrothed – is cocktail hour. It’s an opportunity to meet other guests, catch up with old friends, and look at what everyone else is wearing. It’s also an opportunity to marvel in (let’s hope) an elaborate display/orgy of food and cocktail options. Throw in a few martinis on an empty stomach and it can also be pitfall for disaster. Here’s some ways to make cocktail hour – whether it’s a wedding, holiday function or friend’s party – work with you, not against you.
While I board a very early LA-bound flight to my dear friend’s wedding this weekend, here’s a quick check list of ways to stay in control while at a cocktail function:
#1. Don’t come famished. Snack on a small handful of unsalted almonds or walnuts, string cheese, plain low-fat Greek yogurt (packed with more protein than American brands), or turkey slices to tie you over.
#2. Don’t reach for the wine/champagne/martini until you’ve had at least something to eat. You’ll have a clearer head when following through on #3. See below.
#3. Survey the food options. Obviously the best scenario would be crudités with low-fat dips and dressings, but we can’t all be this lucky. If we were – we’d fill up to half our appetizer-sized plate with this type of vegetable greenery.
Scan for protein options first: shrimp, sashimi, chicken skewers, etc. The plainer and sauce-free the better. Fill up to a quarter of your plate with any lean-appearing protein option. Last comes the carby options. If you can, opt for the whole grains and think of Mediterranean foods: hummos (yep, it’s a carb), pita bread, etc. Delicious and filling and I absolutely love that food.
#4. Get a drink. If you want one, that is. And by drink I mean: wine, light beer, or any liquor you like paired with soda, diet tonic, or seltzer. Keep it simple. As far as my beloved martinis…they’re salty and delicious but more caloric than other options. Choice is yours. Choose wisely.
#5. Reconvene with your friends. They’ve been looking for you. (If they’ve been connected to your hip this entire time, proceed to #6.) Claim a window sill or high table or anything else far away from that food line and make it yours.
#6. Embrace this time. Savor your food, your drink and most importantly – your friends and conversation. That’s what this has been all about all along.
#7. If you think you want more food, double up on the veggie and protein opions and skip the second serving of carbs. Alternate sparkling water with your alcohol choice.
#8. Enjoy. Fête the couple.
#9. My best secret: Vitamin 10 water before you sleep that night.
Josie’s: 565 3rd ave; 300 amsterdam
Josie’s is an old standby; locations in both Murray Hill and the Upper West Side make it popular with recent college grads as well as moms pushing strollers. It’s vegetarian and omnivore friendly, there’s never a wait, and their carrot/sweet potato puree with foccacia is to die.
There’s two ways to tackle this menu: one is to share appetizer-sized portions with your date, the other to get your own entrée. I think sharing is more fun and luckily RW did too. Here’s what we split: roasted beet salad, grilled calamari, and the wild shrimp fajita. If not for all that carby/delicious sweet potato puree, the dumplings or edamame would’ve been another good choice, but remember to choose your carbs wisely. The seared jumbo crabcakes would’ve been another good bet, at least because they are pan seared and not fried. Probably the least good option on the appetizer list is the squash soup: it’s hard to share, carby AND caloric as it’s made with oil and cream and swirled in pesto. Avoid.
Any one of the entrée salads sounds delicious, and are well proportioned in good amounts of protein/carb/fat, but let’s be honest: salads are not the most festive of dinner choices.
And of these 3 veggie-friendly options sound good. Word about the angel hair pomodoro, I’d suggest sharing it as restaurant-sized plates of pasta are usually way more than the recommended portion size:
|Roasted Butternut Squash Soup ginger, organic pumpkin seed-basil pesto swirl||5.75|
|Organic Mesclun Greens choice of balsamic vinaigrette or red wine-wasabi vinaigrette||6.75|
|Roasted Beet Salad organic baby arugula, greek feta, walnuts & balsamic and truffle oil||7.75|
|Jumbo Lump Crabcakes organic mesclun greens and lemon-basil aioli||11.00|
|Steamed Organic Spiced Edamame toasted sesame-sea salt shake||6.75|
|Thai Chili Seared Wild Shrimp baked flour tortillas, guacamole, mango salsa||9.75|
|Ginger Grilled Calamari golden pineapple & red pepper salsa||9.75|
|Steamed Belgian Potato & Broccoli Dumplings roasted tomato & white truffle coulis||8.75|
|Pan- Seared Spicy Organic Black Bean Dumplings miso-mango sauce||8.75|
|Steamed Wild Shrimp & Veggie Dumplings lemongrass-tamari sauce||9.75|
|Warm Macadamia Crusted Natural Chicken Breast Salad organic mesclun greens, mango, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, organic orzo & balsamic vinaigrette||16.75|
|Seared Asian Marinated Organic Tofu Salad grilled vegetables, chickpeas, avocado||14.75|
|Grilled Brandt Natural Sliced Sirloin Steak Salad baby arugula, natural goat feta, artichoke, beef steak tomatoes, bermuda onions with organic steak sauce||19.75|
|Veggie Plate Deluxe roasted portobello mushroom, fennel, asparagus, carrot, oven-dried roma tomatoes, tamari brown rice, sautéed greens & maple-glazed winter squash||15.75|
|Organic Angel Hair Pomodoro organic plum tomatoes, garlic, basil & olive oil||14.00|
|Organic Three Grain, Portabella Mushroom & Soy Cheese Veggie Burger*||14.00|
|Ancho Rubbed Grilled Prime Brandt Natural Sliced Sirloin Skirt Steak natural white cheddar mash potatoes 7 baby string beans with our own organic steak sauce||22.75|
|Char Grilled Brandt Natural Beef Cheeseburger** daily ground brandt beef, toasted organic bun, natural white cheddar & air-baked organic belgian fries||15.75|
|Seared Yellowfin Tuna Burger ground yellowfin tuna, air-baked organic belgian fries||18.75|
|***Sesame-Ancho Rubbed Aquanor Natural Salmon hand-famed & organically-fed cranberry-sweet potato mash & grilled asparagus with mango-jalapeno pepper salsa||20.75|
|***Citrus Marinated Natural Chicken Breast Fajita||17.75|
|***Seared Thai Wild Shrimp Fajita||19.00|
|Roasted Portabella Fajita peppers, onions, organic pinto beans, tomato-basil salsa, guacamole, organic low fat sour cream** & steamed whole wheat flour tortillas||15.75|
|Wild Shrimp “Un-Fried” Organic Brown Rice wok-sauteed shrimp, tamari, garlic & ginger, brown rice studded with peas, onions, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy||19.00|
|Roasted Natural Half Chicken smashed potatoes, sauteed asian long beans, carrots||18.75|
|Fresh Black Squid Ink Linguini wild gulf shrimp, little neck clam daily fish, fennel & baby arugula in a tomato-white wine sauce||20.75|
|***Grilled Natural Chicken Breast Teriyaki wok sauteed chinese long beans, broccoli flores, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, & asian greens with tamari brown rice||17.75|
|Natural Turkey Meatloaf au jus, sweet potato mash, & cranberry-apple chutney||16.75|
Many of the entrées come with seductive sides – white cheddar mash potatoes with the skirt steak, air-baked fries for the burgers, smashed potatoes along with the half chicken. Provocatively delicious. Of course, sharing this with your date would mitigate the harm…and this is a good place to remind you that it’s your own foot on that gas pedal.
Any of the fajitas are a great choice when sharing with your date. The tortillas are whole wheat (and small), the sour cream low-fat (and organic), and best of all there’s no cheese, so you don’t even have to worry about being tempted.
***Best entrée options if deciding to order separately: the salmon, the tuna or the chicken teriyaki. I’d just (try to) go easy on the rice or sweet-potato mash. Even better: speak up and ask the waiter if you can make a substitution.
Sushi Roku: Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Las Vegas, Scottsdale
Ooph. Tough weekend. I’ve written here how I think eating in big groups can be hard when trying to stay true to your own health goals. Add to that mix seemingly endless sushi – not to mention wine – and Halloween candy – and 9 girls on an Arizona bachelorette party. And that was just Friday night. Not so easy. It’s just one of the many personal choices you’re forced to consistently make throughout your own journey: do you sit there consciously counting your sushi rolls, distancing yourself from the experience, denying yourself the reward of fully enjoying the company of great friends and food?! No! Of course not. Do you lose control and make the sushi platter your own personal plate? Let’s hope not.
Discovering how to do things in moderation can be daunting. It’s much easier to take that “all-or-nothing” approach than be truly disciplined. Remaining self-aware enough to realize when you’re pleasantly satisfied rather than uncomfortably full is easier said than done. This requires you to remain focused in the present, and above all else: discipline, discipline, discipline! But we all “mess up” and the truth of it is, that’s what makes us complex, interesting – not to mention human. The secret is to not beat yourself up so you fall so far off the wagon there’s no getting back on. I can more than relate when a client tells me she “cheated,” “had the worst weekend ever” and “absolutely cannot stick to this.” And naturally, it’s easier to help my clients find their own definition of feeling fulfilled and satisfied than my own. And that’s just how it goes.
So back to the adventures and misshaps of own weekend: ouch. First of all, sushi is a really tough choice. Not only do we tend to over-eat this salty carby delicacy, once I tell you the recommended sushi portion size, you may forever lose your taste buds for this dark horse.
As you may already discovered, rice can be difficult to eat when trying to lose weight. It’s very calorie-dense and easy to overeat, especially when the portion size is just 1/2 cup. Though a serving of brown and white rice has the same amount of calories (about 100), the difference is in the fiber. Brown rice has about 1.5 more grams of fiber per serving than white, and when you’re aiming for 25-30 fiber grams a day, every little bit adds up.
One roll of sushi is made with at least 1 cup, if not more, of this sticky white devil. You can see how easily calories can add up! In order to avoid sushi diet pitfalls, follow these guidelines:
- Options to start: miso soup, seaweed salad, oshitashi (steamed spinach with soy sauce), naked green salad (with side of ginger dressing) or shumai split with your date.
- Main course #1: Choose 1 of any of the following rolls: california or eel, shrimp, salmon, yellowtail, tuna with avocado &or cucumber. Ditch the lite soy and ask for the less salty ponzu sauce for your sushi.
- Main course #2: Tuna tataki or tuna carpaccio.
- Main course #3:
- 6 pieces of sashimi.
The spicy rolls (though delish, I know!) add calories and fat. Just 1 tbsp of spicy mayo adds 100 calories and 13 grams of fat to your sushi. Not to mention the tempura is deep-fried; a cardiologist’s nightmare. Here’s the deal with edamame: though I love it for it’s isoflavonoids and LDL-lowering benefits, it’s very carby and a tough way to start a meal. So for now, leave it alone.
Self-disclosure: I didn’t follow these rules Friday night! And it’s ok. More than. It doesn’t happen EVERY Friday, and as long as you get right back on (a good) track when you fly back home to your real life after a very fun and festive weekend, you probably won’t even see your misshaps rear their ugly head.