After the holidays, many of us resolve to trim our waistlines. Yet healthy intentions can easily fall by the wayside when we dine out. Here are some New York City restaurants serving equally delicious and good-for-you options, for when you want to eat light without sacrificing flavor or atmosphere.
Chef Einat Admony prepares Israeli and Mediterranean dishes that are healthy but also addictive. Nibble on fresh hummus and crispy cauliflower while perusing the menu, which is full of flavor-packed dishes such as a Yemenite pizza with shaved fennel, caramelized onions, feta and arugula. The Moroccan curry seafood entrée is full of seared fish, shrimp, scallops, eggplant, baby carrots, kale and bok choy. This is a great pick for a nutritious but romantic evening out in the charming Nolita neighborhood.
Renowned chef and Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Daniel Boulud’s ode to the tastes of the Mediterranean, Boulud Sud has an inherently light side to its menu. Start your meal with an appetizer such as cured Spanish anchovies with shaved fennel and crispy socca (a pancake made with chickpea flour) before digging into day boat Maine sea scallops with cauliflower, chestnut and Brussels sprouts. Dishes here are packed with saffron, green olive, Spanish chili and harissa, resulting in big flavor without any heaviness.
Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Michael White’s Four-Star seafood emporium is a prime place for waistline-conscious indulgence. Start out with a crudo dish, such as Long Island fluke with celery root, apple and hazelnuts; or octopus with chili oil, lemon and parsley. Half a dozen oyster varieties are on offer in addition to appetizers such as peekytoe crab with honeycrisp apple, celery, horseradish and chervil. While the pastas are tempting, skip to the seasonal fish main courses, and while you still have an appetite, savor seared red snapper with kohlrabi, parsnips, cipollini onions, sea beans and hazelnut.
When strolling around the scenic Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, hunger is sure to strike. Find your way to Iris Café, a quaint, exposed brick space with serious food. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this comfortable and casual café has a devotion to wholesome ingredients. For supper, settle in with sweet-and-sour Brussels sprouts or roasted shishito peppers with tahini and sea salt before devouring tilefish with rutabaga, pear and radish, or octopus with sunchoke, Meyer lemon and sunflower.
Shopping in Soho often arouses an appetite — Back Forty West is a lovely restaurant at Prince and Crosby streets where eating light will be far from a chore. With a working fireplace, this is an especially cozy place to sink your teeth into appetizers such as Montauk squid a la plancha with pimento, fingerlings and celery salad, and entrées including grilled Montauk swordfish with smoked kabocha squash and a fennel-cider beurre blanc sauce.
Photos Courtesy of Marea and B. Milne