There are very few restaurants where it is not possible to have a healthy meal if you pick and choose very carefully from the menu. Some restaurant chains are making an effort to introduce more salads and vegetables, and to post nutritional information, including the fat and sodium content of each dish, the calories and fiber content, as well as gluten-free options.This information does not include undesirable ingredients like pesticide residues on produce or antibiotics in chicken.
There is such ignorance about what is healthy eating, that only the most dedicated healthy eaters are likely to choose well, the rest of us opting for old favorites even though those may be laden with calories, bad fats, salt, and sugar.
One of the first seriously healthy restaurants is Moosewood in Ithaca, New York, which opened in 1973 and has since generated a dozen best-selling books of vegetarian recipes, all of which are guaranteed to please the palate and nourish the body. Many restaurants are growing their own ingredients in so-called Chef’s Gardens. Leading the trend are places like the Blue Water Grill in Grand Rapids, Michigan, whose 3000 square foot garden includes a dozen fruit trees.Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washington D.C. also has fruit trees in its garden planted in an outside courtyard. The Bell Book & Candle in New York City, grows 60 percent of its produce – more than 70 herbs, vegetables and fruits – on the roof!
Canyon Ranch Grill in Las Vegas serves healthy, imaginative dishes based on grass-fed beef and organically raised chickens, plus fresh fruit smoothies. The cornucopia of fresh, vegetable-centric fare at Claire’s Corner Copiain New Haven, CT, is better than the corny name might suggest.
Chicago’s Green Zebra is a chef-owned (mostly) vegetarian restaurantfrequented by foodies for its healthy, yet decadent menu – almond carrot-top pesto anyone? Another mostly vegetarian (tuna burgers excepted)haven is M Cafein West Hollywood, CA, where the macrobiotic-rich appeal to the whole family.
To find a healthy-food restaurant near you, look for one serving locally sourced, seasonal food from farmers and vendors who share the vision that good food is grown, not manufactured, and that chemicals belong in a laboratory not a kitchen.