Reviews

Scarpetta

Worth the Splurge at Scarpetta--

 

 

If you choose only one restaurant to sacrifice a break from your training diet, I suggest Scarpetta, one of five of Scott Conant’s Zagat rated gourmet restaurants located at the Fontainebleau Resort on Miami Beach. No need to actually break since Chef Mike Pirolo, protégé of Executive Scott Conant, James Beard Food and Wine Magazine Award recipient will cater to your every dietary wish.

 

Much like its NYC location, the manager says “the genuine honesty of the soulful Italian cuisine is what sets our food apart from other Italian fare”. Miami’s menu leans more towards seafood and uses fresh local produce. And while both menus maintain the integrity of traditional Italian dishes, even spaghetti with red sauce has Scott’s signature stamp that keep celebrities coming back for more. In addition to delicious homemade pasta, all produce is ordered locally, meats are grass-fed and hormone free. Customers can make special diet requests without calling in advance. With an attentive abundant staff, requesting no fat, oils or salt was graciously obliged. Being vegetarian wasn’t an issue, with at least a handful of items offered.

 

Specialties of the house include Agnolotti Dal Plin, a lite ground meat mix (pork and chicken this evening) stuffed thin pasta sheath with fondue type sauce called fonduta; Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli, Roasted Alaskan Halibut, Seared Scallops and Spaghetti Pomodoro. Four homemade bread choices served included an incredible Stromboli with melted cheese and salami slice. The side of eggplant tapenade was such a healthy tasty treat that I can personally live off of.

 

It’s not hard to imagine why celebrities flock to Scarpettas. Movie stars, musicians and athletes, which include regulars from the likes of A-Rod, Matt Damon and John Legend. According to the manager, most prefer heavy protein dishes like Black Cod or Roasted Baby Chicken and their famous Spaghetti Pomodoro.

 

The chef’s choice menu with our preferences was a great way to sample several of the chef’s best for a fixed reasonable price. Starting with the Tuna Susci and raw yellowtail sashimi, an ideal choice for any diet.  Black Tagliolini, pasta with mixed seafood, sea urchin & bread crumbs and Pappardelle, short rib ragu offered a tasty lean sliced meat with a tasty blend of textures from the risotto, chestnuts and fresh herbs. Our vegetarian opened with asparagus soup, served tableside over a dollop of goat cheese and fresh asparagus, proceeded with the Barrata salad with fresh mozzarella, and entrée with a vegetable terrine ground in lentils and layered with greens and sun dried tomatoes. Desserts were a must try, the coconut panna cotta, caramelized pineapple & guava “soup” was very light and three cheese Cheesecake with fresh and frozen mango granite & pistachio brittle crust was truly unique and worth the mini size splurge.

 

If you don’t have the luxury of eating on site, Scott has two fabulous cookbooks, Bold Italian (Broadway Books, 2007) and Scott Conant’s New Italian Cooking (Broadway Books 2005) and you can try recreating the dishes on your own.

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 Take Out Tips for special diets:

 

Weight loss/calorie watch

Skip the bread and start with the tuna or yellowtail appetizer, or the Burrata arugula salad, roasted Alaskan halibut, turbot or black cod.

 

Body building

Since approximate protein portions are 7oz for fish, 13oz Veal Chop, 12 oz NY Strip or ½ Roasted Baby Chicken, no need for double portions, though you can by request. Order tuna or yellowtail appetizer, Burrata arugula salad, braised short ribs of beef, roasted Alaskan halibut, Black Cod, Imported Turbot, seared scallops, short rib ragu or Bistecca DiManzo.

 

Endurance athletes

Enjoy the bread, asparagus soup, Burrata arugula salad, vegetable Terrine, spaghetti Pomodoro, and coconut panna cotta essert

 

Vegetarians

Asparagus soup, Burrata arugula salad, vegetable Terrine, Spaghetti Pomodoro, Coconut Panna Cotta dessert

 

Low fat/low cholesterol

Plain bread with eggplant tapenade, tuna or yellowtail appetizer, Burrata arugula salad without mozzarella, Roasted Halibut, Imported Turbot or Cod.

 

High calorie/weight gain

Bread, Crispy Fritto Misto, Creamy Polenta, Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli, Angliotti Dal Pin, Black Tangliolini, Roasted Baby Chicken, Fennel Crusted Lamb Loin, Mediterranean Branzino (gnocchi), Milk fed veal chop

 

 

Scarpetta

Fontainebleau Resort

4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140

877-326-7412

http://www.fontainebleau.com/web/dining/scarpetta

Chef Scott Conant website: http://www.scottconant.com/home

 

 

Prime 112

Arriving at Prime 112 reminded me of driving to the start of one of my 5k races.

The anticipation of what I heard to be the ultimate dining experience siting shoulder- to -shoulder with some of MIA’s signature VIPS gave me an adrenaline rush. I could hardly wait to eat after the manager I interviewed prided that “‘112’s foods are sourced weekly to only the finest & purveyors of aged meat, fresh fish & seasonal vegetables & fruits”. Yum to come!

 

As you’re escorted to your table, you’re can feel the food energy & taste the aroma of their amazing dishes as what appears to be the meal of their lives. The excitement kicks up your metabolism before you’re seated & you’ll need it as most of the dishes are a caloric investment well worth it.

The overly accommodating service team delivers a triage of homemade breads—wheat with dried fruits, cheese & pumpernickel while efficiently taking your drink order. Starting with a tasty soups or appetizers is a must, I recommend the lobster bisque which is rich but not heavy but filling enough to augment indulging in too many rolls.

 

The fitness-minded steak lover will enjoy the prime dry aged filet mignons, NY strips, T bone or rib-eye, prepared in 8, 12, 20, or 22 oz portion sizes.  Since each 3 oz prime filet costs you about 270 calories per serving & 20 grams of fat, it’s wise to order the smaller portion or share with your dinner partners if you’re on a calorie or fat restricted diet program. Whether your training for cross fit or the ING marathon, the variety, creativity & generous salad, soup, potato & vegetable food portions will make you forget the ounces of beef you shared for nutritional sake.

If you’re in need of extra calories, by all means order the 12 oz portion of meat, since the 810 calorie, 60 gram fat is not nutritionally over the top & gives you exponentially more nutrition than numerous other meals in town for the 83 gram protein, B vitamin & mineral loaded value.

 

If you’re watching calories, you can also choose less caloric rib eye or opt for the 244 calorie, 53 gram protein, & 2 gram fat yellow fin tuna, 219 calorie, 41 gram protein, 4 gram fat sea bass, 208 calorie, 43 gram protein 2 gram fat grouper, or half chicken.  Of course those figures are based on the fish alone & do not include the sauces, sides & preparation which add additional calories & fat.  The executive chef assured me that entrees & sides can be custom made to fit your dietary needs including, low fat, low sodium & allergy free.  The manager agreed & pointed out that patrons can call in advance to give a heads up about allergies or extensive diet requests, but says it’s unnecessary since the restaurant is accustomed to catering to diet savvy diners.

The best part of the meal was the nutritional bargain in every salad & side dish. With crisp fresh greens, broccoli, beets, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, & more, there’s no shortage of vitamins, minerals & fiber to balance the higher calorie delicacies in the main course, soups or desserts. & if you’re  in need of additional calories, a especially fit way to end the meal is with the assortment of fresh sorbets—lemon & berry on this night, a great way to cleanse the palate & let your taste buds say thank you to a restaurant who delivers delicious & nutritious foods to the Miami’s Healthiest clientele.

Address & Phone:

112 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33119

(305) 532-8112

More at : http://www.mylesrestaurantgroup.com/

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Seasons 52
"Knowledge is Power"

Seasons 52 promises nutritious calorie controlled food for health conscious consumers who want upscale, reasonably priced meals without sacrificing their fabulous figures.

 

Creatively inspired, low calorie dishes are served at 30 locations, 9 Florida sites from Tampa to Orlando, Naples to Miami; Seasons 52 pledges to a butter free, healthier carb & fat menu, loaded with whole grains, locally grown vegetables, & lean meats.  The chain consistently offers their signature flatbreads, lean beef, fresh catch & shot size desserts although specials may vary between locations.

This award winning restaurant chain offers a seasonally inspired menu analyzed by a registered dietitian (RD) ensuring all dishes meet the 475 calorie criteria. Despite their healthy commitment, understanding the dietary information on the menu is key to selecting your personal best choices.

Although each dish is measured & weighed to meet the 475 calorie criteria, calories eventually add up if you’re ordering multiple courses. For example, Season’s signature flatbread, a thin whole wheat lavash, about a foot long & 4 inches wide, topped with 1/10 choices is thin, but not low in calories or fat. The 297 calories to 463 calorie flats would send most everyday diets over the top, unless you’re either trying to gain weight or are using the flat as your main course. Even as an endurance athlete, I would opt to share the tomato garlic flatbread to leave room for a complete, balanced meal.

For appetizers, the edamame is an ideal choice as it’s a natural, low fat, whole food, and 170 calorie high protein food, rich in vitamins, minerals & omega 3s. Gulf Shrimp Cocktail with 280 calories & 6 grams fat , vegetable loaded soup made with clear broth—with  147 calories & 2 grams of fat, or any of the other 11 soup choices with less than 216 calories & 7 grams of fat per cup are also great ways to get the meal started. The slice of homemade whole grain bread which accompanies the soup probably adds another 150 calories, so for those watching calories, it counts too if you’re intending to order additional menu items.

Season’s salads, a selection of mixed greens, tabbouleh, and spinach with raspberries or Greek are a safe, calorie saving strategy.  The tabbouleh, a cupful of cous cous, with dried cranberries, greens, parsley, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, & a few slivered nuts is dietary bargain at 198 calories & 12 grams fat when compared with the spinach salad at 331 calories & 26 grams fat & Greek Salad with 252 calories & 20 grams of fat.

For vegetarians, vegans, & those adhering to lactose, gluten, garlic free; & low sodium diets they can feast in peace with abundance of choices available. I opted for the grilled vegetable plate which I asked for & received steamed, oil free, with a wide variety of vegetables including artichoke, guacamole, tabouli, broccoli, salsa & grilled tofu is delicious & a great compliment for any main meat course at 230 calories & 9 grams fat.

While the entire Seasons 52 menu items are weighed & measured, calorie & fat controlled, being knowledgeable & keeping track is a must. By the time I completed my vegetarian dinner, I personally ate over 1000 calories, 32 grams fat, & 2900 mg sodium so it’s not hard to overeat despite the healthy emphasis and calorie counts.

If you want to get a head start before making reservations, you can visit their website for a complete menu analysis at:  http://www.seasons52.com/pdf/Menus/Nutrition_Summer2012.pdf  & sign up for their free Fresh Intelligence e-newsletter featuring recipes, live cooking demos, wine pairing & spicing information.

 

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