Thanks to the rise of healthy food delivery services and nutritional bloggers, sticking to a clean, well-rounded diet at home is easier than ever. But Manhattan’s best new restaurants beckon, and with them, their menu options (which don’t always share your dietary goals). We had to wonder: Is it possible to eat out as well as you would at home and still enjoy what the city’s most talented chefs have to offer? According to nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, the answer is yes.
When Snyder sits down to eat, she and her clients (including Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, and Kerry Washington) are not counting calories. “I don’t think it’s necessary or effective for long-term weight loss or health.” Instead, she trains her eye on nutrient-dense whole foods that can be broken down easily by the body. Rule number one of dining out, she says, is to start every dinner with a green salad. “I call it the bulletproof vest. It’s a great [source of] enzymes and fiber,” which, she notes, also acts as a natural source of portion control.
But when it comes to choosing an entree, she looks for appetizing vegetable-driven main courses. “Meat can be very acid forming,” she explains. Snyder prefers fish to red meat as a source of animal protein, especially if it’s been broiled or baked. “Pan-seared means [the kitchen] is adding oil and cooking the fish in its own fat.” Though, when considering chicken or steak, the cleaner the source, the better, says Snyder. “There is plenty of organic, free-range meat offered in New York City.” She also steers clear of dairy, like heavy cheese and cream-driven sauces—especially in excess.
With those ground rules in mind, we asked Snyder to browse the menus of five Manhattan hot spots, from Midtown’s French revival, Chevalier, to the East Village’s latest love letter to Mexico, Rosie’s. Here, what to order when you nab one of the hardest reservations to get in town.
THE RESTAURANT: Untitled
THE APPETIZER: Cauliflower, curry, and crushed black sesame
THE ENTRÉE: Black bass with bok choy and mushroom broth
At the Whitney Museum’s new organic ground-level restaurant, there are enough healthy options that Snyder says you can easily steer away from “depleting ingredients” like Caesar dressing or fried food. “Anything that says fritters means fried, which I would not order—cooked fats can congest your body.” Instead, she’d opt for the curry-spiced cauliflower followed by an entrée of black bass served with fiber-loaded bok choy and immune system–boosting mushroom broth.
99 Gansevoort Street
THE RESTAURANT: Upland
THE APPETIZER: Little gem salad with Queens Farm lettuces, almonds, pear, and chardonnay vinaigrette
THE ENTRÉE: Whole crispy hen-of-the-woods mushroom, Cloumage, and herbs
THE SIDES: Seared brussels sprouts, Meyer lemon, oregano, and chili
After nixing hunger pangs with an antioxidant- and vitamin-rich salad, Snyder says she would continue to fill up on this Flatiron restaurant’s organic veggies. “Not every restaurant offers really filling, protein-dense vegetarian options, but since this one does, why not go for an alkalizing, veggie-based dinner?” She has a point. Immunity-boosting hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, “revered in Japan for their amazing health properties,” are enhanced with fresh herbs; meanwhile, brussels sprouts, which Snyder points out “are a great source of protein and calcium,” come with a kick of chili and a spritz of Meyer lemon—“a great liver-supporting and detoxifying food.”
345 Park Avenue South
THE RESTAURANT: Rosie’s
THE APPEITZER: Nopales ensalada
THE ENTRÉE: Enchiladas suizas with mixed wild greens or chicken
The first thing to catch Snyder’s eye on the menu at the new East Village Mexican eatery is the nopales ensalada. “I love that they have nopales,” she says of the calcium- and antioxidant-rich cactus. “It’s a great beauty food”—one made all the lighter when ordered without queso blanco. For a main dish, the spicy enchiladas suizas come one of two ways—Snyder says she would opt for the vegetarian version with wild greens and black beans “plus a side of guacamole.” Though, she notes that the organic chicken is another healthy alternative. Whichever way you order the dish, she suggests holding the melted cheese and cream.
29 East Second Street
THE RESTAURANT: Chevalier
THE APPETIZER: Spring salad
THE ENTRÉE: Halibut à l’Orange
When going French, it’s best to start simple, says Snyder. “Fancy appetizers can lead to more digestive work and bloating.” Instead, a foliage-driven dish, like Chevalier’s spring salad will benefit you later in the meal. “The fiber helps you digest everything you eat afterwards better, and it acts as a natural form of portion control without having to count calories.” For a main course, the nutritionist tends to favor fish over other animal proteins. Halibut à l’orange is a no-brainer. “According to some fish lists, halibut may be a fish lower in toxins,” she points out. Though vegetarians might have luck making a special request for a vegetable plate. “They have a lot of vegetables scattered throughout the entrées and offer green asparagus as a side—hopefully [the restaurant] would be accommodating.”
28 West Fifty-third Street
THE RESTAURANT: Marta
THE APPETIZER: Insalata verde
THE ENTRÉE: Pizza bianche primavera
THE SIDES: Black rice and spring peas
Pizza is the menu highlight of this restaurant making waves at the Martha Washington Hotel. Luckily, Snyder says to dig in as long as you don’t suffer from gluten intolerance. “Order one loaded with veggies like cremini mushrooms or spring greens and herbs, sans cheese,” she says. “Start with the insalata verde, then order the spring peas,” which come with an unsung superfood: “Black rice is said to be high in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory qualities.”
29 East Twenty-ninth Street
The post How to Eat Healthy While Dining Out: What to Order at 5 New York City Restaurants appeared first on Vogue.
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