Earlier this week, I published a story on why the comeback of indulgent classics like buttermilk fried chicken and truffle-y mac and cheese was a necessary reminder of enjoying food without apology.
Well, because balance is the beauty of every legitimate opinion, and because my dear friend who is a practicing nutritionist would kill me if I didn't, I'll concede and play my own devil's advocate.
There are a bevy of notable, healthy restaurants around Manhattan, both new and old, that do candlelight, wine and deliciousness just as well, if completely differently, as their decadent counterparts (it's apples and oranges, folks, and I'll be the first to say that I'm not trying to compare the two).
Siggy's Good Food, which just opened its Manhattan outpost after a successful Brooklyn run, serves dishes like the pasta-free eggplant, veggie and tofu lasagna (ahem, low-carb-ophiles) alongside organic wine and beer to keep the conversation flowing; similarly, beloved West Village neighborhood gem Ellary's Greens offers its wine in adorably casual table glasses, and features a rotating list of delightful and health-conscious desserts that taste anything but.
A host of veggie-centric spots like Peacefood Cafe, the ever-sleek Pure Food & Wine and light and bright The Butcher's Daughter are gaining rampant popularity, and, in an even more surprisingly successful venture, the vegetarian Kaiseki menu at Japanese eatery Kajitsu has earned wildly impressive acclaim. (Seriously, if you haven't had their pumpkin cream croquette with house-made Worcester sauce, get on it, ASAP.)
So what's the moral of the story? I'll admit, just as the reinvention of classic favorites is a necessary part of Manhattan's culinary landscape - or at least the landscape for those of us who enjoy a good grease-induced food-coma moment - so is its progression forward into the much-discussed land of health, wellness and, thankfully, flavorful meals. It is all about balance, right?