Tovita Tastes

Is Italian Food Synonymous with Food Coma? Tovita Tastes: NYC's Bar Pitti

How often do we prepare ourselves for a post-Italian-dinner food coma? We've all worn baggy clothes to our favorite Italian restaurants with the intention of eating 'till our pants don't fit. The truth is that going out for Italian doesn't mean you have to succumb to personal orders of creamy pasta and burrata. There are always healthy salad, chicken, and fish options on the menu to enjoy, guilt-free. However, we are the first to understand that sometimes there is a pasta dish that you simply can't turn your back on - and that's okay! When this is the case, we recommend ordering a pasta dish for the table to share. Enjoying a few bites of delicious pasta is what life's all about, right? Taking down a whole plate of spaghetti carbonara on the other hand never turns out so well. (Have you tried our vegan spaghetti squash carbonara recipe yet??)

bar pitti

Though they're known for their pasta, Bar Pitti actually does a great job of looking out for those of us watching our waistlines. Many of our favorite dishes are listed as specials on their famous chalkboard menu. If by chance one of our Tovita approved dishes isn't listed, just ask. They are always happy to accommodate!

Here are our picks for Bar Pitti done right:

Antipasti:

 Pollo organico con endivia

Pollo organico con endivia

  • Insalata Di Fagioli Tonno E Cipolla (italian beans with tuna & onions)
  • Carpaccio with rucola & parmigiano
  • Tuna tartar
  • Mixed green salad
  • Mussels 

Entrees:

  • Veal meatballs
  • Pollo organico con endivia (grilled chicken on endive salad with sun dried tomatoes)
  • Salmon arrosto (roasted salmon, we ask for it to be on a bed of arugula salad)
  • Branzino

Now that you know Italian cuisine can be 100% Tovita approved, there is no excuse to roll out of the restaurant with your pants unbuttoned! We dare you to try it our way.

Tovita Tastes: Mamoya

One of the most common questions clients ask is how to eat healthy at Japanese restaurants, especially when it comes to sushi. Sushi can go one of two ways - super clean and lean, or total calorie bomb. Unfortunately, Americans have (surprise, surprise) botched the simple sushi concept, and most restaurants offer a long list of options described as "crunchy", "flaky", and "spicy", or in other words, fried, loaded with mayo, and highly caloric. Let's be honest, the white sticky rice used to make sushi rolls is no healthier than white Wonder Bread, and it's probably atypical that Wonder Bread would ever debut on your dinner plate, right? 

Before you vow to never eat sushi again, take a deep breath! There are ways to avoid this diet disaster. Here are our Tovita tips for doing sushi right. 

  1. Start with a green or seaweed salad, edamame, or soup. These are all light appetizers that will start to fill you up. Many people worry they might leave a sushi dinner still hungry and over-order. Eating a light appetizer will help the "eyes are bigger than your stomach" issue.
  2. If you are ordering a roll, look for the simple options - just fish, cucumber, and avocado. Avoid anything with tempura or spicy mayo. Sashimi is a great way to go to keep it clean and avoid all of the unnecessary additions.  
  3. We're all about the ginger and wasabi, but go easy on the soy sauce. Most places will have a low-sodium soy sauce to help your cause but still keep it light rather than drowning your roll in it. Overdoing the salt will cause dehydration and puffiness.
  4. Ask for brown rice to up the fiber content. Stick to one rice roll and ask for the other as a "naruto" roll, meaning it's wrapped in cucumber rather than rice. You are also always safe with a sashimi salad. Other friendly words to look out for on any menu: crudo, tartar, and tataki. AKA simple fish dishes sans the rice.  

Now to share our Tovita picks from a favorite NYC sushi spot, Mamoya!

Appetizers:

  • Edamame to share
  • Miso soup or seaweed salad
  • Tuna avocado appetizer to share

Entrees:

  • Salmon avocado roll with brown rice
  • Ask for 1 naruto style roll with fish of choice
  • Still hungry? Go for 2-3 pieces of sashimi, fish of choice
  • Not a sushi fan and dragged to sushi with your friends? The broiled Chilean sea bass is a great option!

Tovita Tastes: Meme Mediterranean

We are constantly going out for dinner and trying new restaurants so while we're at it, we will be sharing the "Tovita Approved" options at some of our favorite spots. A healthy diet does not have to mean staying home and cooking every night. We love to show people how to navigate almost any menu to find healthy and satisfying options. Have a favorite restaurant and want to know which dishes are nutritionist-approved? Send it in and we will review the menu! 

What we love about Mediterranean restaurants is that there is always a simple grilled fish, filling hummus, and an abundance of vegetable options. One of our favorite mediterranean restaurants in NYC is Meme Mediterranean. If you haven't tried it, you have your next destination!

meme mediterranean

Lunch/Brunch Options:

 Chopped salad, keep it to one pita

Chopped salad, keep it to one pita

  • Egg white frittata
  • Shakshuka moroccan breakfast
  • Mediterranean brunch, we ask for a 1 egg, 2 egg white scramble
  • Grilled shrimp or chopped salad
  • Seared tuna salad, no potatoes 
  • Chicken or salmon kebabs, skip the fries (sorry!)

Dinner Options: Meme's is all about sharing, so we like to load up on shared appetizers and small plates and if we have room, share an entree 

 Almond crusted scallops

Almond crusted scallops

  • To start, we love the combination platter of all of our favorite mediterranean spreads. Ask for cut up vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, or carrots to dip rather than pita
  • The small plates are where it's at. We love the almond crusted scallops, grilled octopus, yellow fin tuna ceviche and the chicken kebobs. Hard to pick!
  • You can't go wrong with any of the salads. This time we went for the chopped salad. All of the salads are cheese heavy so you can always ask for no cheese or share with someone else to avoid going overboard
  • Out of the entree options, the organic roasted salmon is a favorite. Beware of the risotto, take a few bites and focus on the delicious vegetables and salmon on the plate!
  • The 7 roasted carrots or roasted cauliflower are our favorite side options

If you make it over to Meme's, let us know what you think! Share your meal with us on Instagram using #TovitaTastes