Remember when Joy Bauer invited me to try some of her delicious, tasty food at her cookbook launch?
Well, her PR company reached out to me again (via Sarah M. Shaker)…I guess they see the name of my blog and just think that I need a health intervention.
They aren’t totally off base, there.
Bauer has teamed with Siro’s in midtown east to offer a low calorie, high nutrient menu alongside the restaurant’s traditional menu. I figured that I would give it a try.
Siro’s is a very standard corporate looking sort of place – classy and quiet; the kind of place that you come to on a business lunch or if you are in that part of town. Not a destination restaurant, but it certainly fits the need for an upscale, work oriented meal.
Totally different from the squash toast at ABC Kitchen, but also delicious and crave-worthy. The roasted squash is served warm and tossed with diced red onion to give it a spicy edge. The sage brings out the deep, meatier notes of the squash while the whipped ricotta is a light, creamy counterpart. Served on toasted wheat crostini, this is not only a low calorie appetizer, it is also a delicious one. I would absolutely order this again.
These were slightly less successful. The tiny burgers come with grilled mushrooms and some sweet squash, but the burger itself is dry and dense. It could use a zip of sriracha or some lemon aioli. The bun isn’t anything to write home about, so why not take it out of the equation completely and give the calories to a condiment? This burger has potential, and turkey burgers can be juicy and satisfying. It just needs a bit of retooling, adding moisture and making the patty looser, and I really think this dish can be a winner.
Now, THIS is how you do a low calorie dish. You take a traditional favorite and change the cooking methods while still retaining some of the fat and all of the flavor. The chicken paillard is pounded thin,then quickly grilled so it is still juicy. It is blanketed in fresh tomato sauce, which tastes impossibly bright and summery. The final addition is skim milk mozzarella cheese, which melts as beautifully as the full fat stuff and has the same stretchy quality that I crave. The broccoli is also a winner. It is roasted with enough olive oil to make it soft but not so much that it saturates the vegetable. Served with enough garlic to ward off all of the vampires in Transylvania, it is so addictive that I began popping the florets into my mouth like French fries. I couldn’t stop eating this dish and highly recommend it.
This menu isn’t cheap, but it is an excellent addition to Siro’s. Why, you ask? Because making healthy eating choices in a restaurant atmosphere is difficult. No one wants to call attention to desires to eat healthy or curb the choices of others by demanding to eat at a special health restaurant. Siro’s now offers a menu where people can feel free to order several dishes without fearing the caloric impact or stigma of just eating a plain green salad. Joy Bauer really does know how to make healthy food tasty, and most of this menu is a total hit. I wouldn’t come here as a destination, but if I were dining here by chance, I would absolutely eat off of this menu.
Sometimes, it’s important to take a break from all the Fritos and foie.
*Disclaimer: I dined here as part of a PR meal and did not pay for it. I was not required to write about my experiences and all of my opinions are my own and unbiased.*