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Restraining Order: Eating Healthy at Fashionable Spots

WWD asked three top nutritionists to analyze the menus at some of the fashion folk's favorite spots: Fred's, La Esquina, La Grenouille and Indochine.

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Despite snow last week, swimsuit season is fast approaching. Worried about the extra inches but don’t want to become an antisocial vegan hermit? WWD asked a few of the city’s top nutritionists to pick healthy — but still satisfying — meals at four fashion-favored eateries. It’s as close as you can get to having your cake and eating it, too.

Heather Bauer, RD, CDN founder of nu-train and dietitians Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN and Dara Godfrey, MS, RD

This story first appeared in the April 13, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Order two appetizers, making sure one is a salad or a vegetable and the other is protein-based; or just order a main course. If you are still hungry, order a side of steamed vegetables. Also, have your water glass filled at least three times.”

LA GRENOUILLE
ORDER: La salade d’endives, poires et noix au roquefort (endive and pear salad with roquefort cheese); la sole grillée, sauce moutarde (grilled Dover sole with mustard sauce); le poulet paillard with thyme and braised lettuce (from the bar menu).

AVOID: Les quenelles de brochet lyonnaise (although fish can be healthy, “lyonnaise” preparation includes cream, bread crumbs and an onion butter sauce).

FRED’S at Barney’s New York
ORDER:
Market salad; grilled hen-of-the-woods mushrooms; tuna tartare; roasted asparagus; chicken paillard; pan-seared salmon (with sautéed spinach and tomato-scallion salad).

AVOID: Grilled calamari (it’s lightly breaded) and Mark’s Madison Avenue Salad, because it has a lot of added fats. If you only include one or two fats — for example, the dressing (on the side) and the avocado — this salad could work.

LA ESQUINA
ORDER:
Ceviche estilo Acapulco (fish, lime, avocado, tomato, jalapeno); ensalada mixta (cabbage, string beans, cucumber, red onion, tomato, queso fresco and get the mustard vinaigrette on the side); mango y jicama (jalapeno vinaigrette on the side).

AVOID: Ensalada de la casa (it has too many fats in it) and elotes callejeros (it’s corn, but it’s smothered in butter and rolled in cheese).

INDOCHINE
ORDER:
Spicy beef salad (dressing on the side); summer roll of shrimp and chicken (try to avoid overdipping rolls in the peanut sauce); steamed Chilean sea bass (in a black bean chili paste, with a sesame-ginger soy broth on a bed of bok choy).

AVOID:
Grilled eggplant; steamed Vietnamese ravioli; grilled salmon with teriyaki plum sauce (salmon is healthy, but the sauce is likely high in sugar and salt).

Oz Garcia, Ph.D.
“Opt for red sauces instead of white, which are usually the healthier option. After ordering, drink a glass of water or tea, and be wary of restaurant portions, which can be two to eight times the size of a regular portion. If you do want an alcoholic drink, opt for a glass of red wine, which contains reservatrol — a powerful antioxidant.”

LA GRENOUILLE
ORDER:
La salade d’endives, poires et noix au roquefort (ask for no cheese and the dressing on the side); la sole grillée, sauce moutarde; homard et lotte aux endives (lobster and monkfish with endives); le bass à la sauge et courge (bass with sage and butternut squash).

AVOID: Le bisque de homard (lobster bisque) and oxtail braisé au vin de Bourgogne (braised oxtail).

FRED’S at Barney’s New York
ORDER:
Grilled shrimp with lime and ginger; tuna tartare; roasted asparagus; Estelle’s chicken soup; crab and shrimp salad with endive, radicchio and arugula; certified Angus sliced steak; black pepper crusted tuna (served with baby bok choy and mixed-green salad).

AVOID:
Chicken alla parmigiana and the pizzas.

LA ESQUINA
ORDER:
Mango y jicama; ceviche estilo Acapulco; pollo con mole negro (half a roasted chicken, toasted sesame seeds, string beans and white rice).

AVOID: Empanadas de chorizo, flautas de rabo (oxtail taquitos) and carnitas Michoacán (crispy pork tacos).

INDOCHINE
ORDER:
Spicy beef salad; filet mignon carpaccio; summer roll of vegetables and king crab; grilled salmon (ask for light on the sauce); roasted boneless Cornish hen; vegetarian assortment.

AVOID:
The fried spring rolls and crispy whole red snapper.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, founder of Skinny in the City
“Before heading out, grab a piece of fruit or high fiber cracker with a low-fat cheese so that you keep away from the bread basket. Don’t drink your calories. Stick to wine or hard liquor with no-calorie mixer like seltzer, diet soda or olive juice and always have a glass of water on hand.

LA GRENOUILLE
ORDER:
Le poulet de grain rôti forestière (grain-fed roasted chicken with mushrooms); les cuisses de grenouille sautées à la Provençale (frogs legs sautéed provençale style — but ask for light on the sauce or sauce on the side).

AVOID: Les quenelles de brochet “lyonnaise” and le choix des hors d’oeuvres. (Many French appetizers are high in saturated fat, so you are better off with a salad or a noncream-based soup.)

FRED’S at Barney’s New York
ORDER:
Grilled hen-of-the-woods mushrooms; grilled shrimp with lime and ginger; tuna tartare; Estelle’s chicken soup; chicken paillard; black pepper crusted tuna; pan seared salmon.

AVOID: Lasagna bolognese and the pumpkin tortelloni.

LA ESQUINA
ORDER:
Vuelve a la vida (yellow-fin tuna and shellfish ceviche with tomatoes and chipotle); ensalada mixta (without cheese and the dressing on the side); pollo Dominguero tradicional (get it without the papas fritas and ask for double string beans instead); pescado a las brasos (grilled fish of the day, with sautéed onions grilled vegetables).

AVOID: Costillas de puerco (glazed pork spare ribs) and fried plantains.

INDOCHINE
ORDER:
Spicy beef salad; filet mignon carpaccio; summer roll of vegetable and king crab; steamed Chilean sea bass; Vietnamese bouillabaisse (sea scallops, prawns, shrimp, baby squid, mussels and cabbage, in a lime leaf and galangal sauce).

AVOID: Crispy red snapper; crispy shrimp and crispy bean curd (whenever you see “crispy,” read “fried”).

 

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