Restaurant Week offers healthy dishes
Famed Shrimp 'n Grits from Chef Jason McConnell, owner of Red Pony and 55 South restaurants in downtown Franklin.
More than 40 locally owned fixtures of the Middle Tennessee dining scene are offering special menus and price points as part of the Nashville Originals’ semi-annual Nashville Restaurant Week from Jan. 20 to 26.
Remembering that many guests will have made fresh New Year resolutions to maintain a more healthy diet, several of the participating restaurants providing two and three-course prix fixe menus have crafted lighters options for the week.
Nearly all provide a starting salad—take Valentino’s organic lettuces with toasted pistachios and kalamata olives, or Red Pony’s roasted beets with ruby red grapefruit and orange segments, ricotta cheese and hazelnut aioli—while eateries like Table 3 and Cabana are offering low carb, high-protein options such as steamed mussels and deviled eggs with house-cured duck prosciutto, respectively.
“We all love a treat, but there’s no question that a great meal can be healthy,” said Chef Jason McConnell of Red Pony and 55 South restaurants in downtown Franklin. “It’s a focus of ours, because our customers demand it. We want there to be something on the menu for every guest to enjoy, even if they’re on a special diet.”
Many Restaurant Week participants are creating nutrient-dense fish dishes: Watermark is offering coriander-crusted Carolina trout with rattlesnake beans, pickled fennel, carrots and red pepper relish; Holland House is providing a pan-seared swordfish with quinoa, spinach, sundried tomato, lemon cream, asparagus and watercress oil; Jimmy Kelly’s has grilled wild-caught Atlantic salmon with seasonal butter; and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum has devised a Teriyaki-glazed poached salmon with snow peas, spinach, bamboo shoots, shallots and scallions.
Low-fat chicken entrees include Sunset Grill’s chicken breast with portabella mushrooms, pearl onions and Brussels sprouts, and Alegria’s roasted Guatemalan chicken with anato marinade, green beans, roasted red potatoes, red peppers and scallions.
Some restaurants are even taking those with celiac disease into consideration—Puckett’s Boat House in downtown Franklin has prepared a mahi mahi dish steamed with white wine and fresh-cut veggies.
55 South in downtown Franklin offers a shrimp and grits dish with apple bacon and mushrooms in white wine butter; and Holland House in east Nashville has created a flourless chocolate cake with white chocolate ganache, vanilla bean cream, and candied walnuts.
All of the week’s participants are part of the Nashville Originals organization, the city’s not-for-profit independent restaurant association, ranging from casual eateries to acclaimed fine dining establishments.
Established in 2006, the Nashville Originals are local restaurateurs dedicated to sustaining the independent restaurant as a fixture of Nashville's culture and community. Together, the Originals support local initiatives and charities, as well as the growing culinary community that continues to enjoy national acclaim.
Participating restaurants’ prix-fixe menus are typically set at $20.14, $30.14 and $2.14, respectively. Many Originals members are offering three-course lunches or dinners featuring an appetizer or salad, entrée and dessert for $20.14. At other locations, three-course dinners are $30.14, where still others offer a menu for two at the established prices. Provence Breads & Café, for instance, is offering a cup of soup and a slice of bread for just $2.14.
Posted on: 1/17/2014