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Fresh and Healthy Summer Dishes

July 28, 2014

The culinary concept of seasonal dishes is truly embraced by local restaurants during the hot days of summer.

Chefs have added lighter and healthier fare to their menus, and are using ingredients that reflect the summer growing season.

FIG & OLIVE

Fig & Olive Executive Chef Pascal Lorange has added an abundance of summer dishes that highlight the restaurant’s coastal setting yet incorporate the restaurant’s French Riviera-inspired techniques.

We love the Melone and Burrata appetizer—burrata, cantaloupe, kumato tomatoe, radicchio, micro-arugula, and a basil olive oil emulsion. The flavors blend beautifully, and the dish is a work of art on the plate.

And then there’s the Sea Scallops dish: Seared scallops seasoned with orange spice, carrot olive oil tapenade, orange segment, and citrus dressing with Picual olive oil. Another perfect balance of flavors and textures.

So is the Salmon Tartar: marinated hand cut salmon, kumato tomato, dill, avocado, chive, served with toasted crostone bread, a side of arugula salad, and topped with Arbosana olive oil.

The Red Quinoa Salad is another light and healthy dish: Red quinoa, farro, cucumber, heirloom cherry tomato, marinated carrot, red bell pepper, zucchini spaghetti, apple, mint, and olive tapenade, all topped with Picholine olive oil.

Our favorite presentation is the White Sea Bass Papillote, which is white sea bass wrapped in parchment paper and steamed to perfection, with zucchini, eggplant, fennel, tomato, thyme, scallion, and saffron.

Visit FigAndOlive.com

TRUE FOOD

True Food is renowned for healthy food that tastes good, and the same goes for their beverages. Yes, they have a plethora of vegan and gluten-free options. Yes, they have a kale salad that’s so good you’ll try to find an excuse to have one every day. But often overlooked are the “Natural Refreshments” that are perfect for summer sipping.

Our go-to drink is the Kale-Aid: kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger. It’s healthy, and refreshing. So is the aptly named Cucumber Refresher, the Pomegranate Limeade with evaporated cane and chia seed, and the Watermelon Lemonade, which is as light and delicious as it sounds.

Visit TrueFoodKitchen.com

EAT CHOW

Have you been ‘Chowified?” We have, and we love it.

We’re talking about Eat Chow, which is located just off Coast Highway on 62nd Street. “Chowified is a term we use when we’re developing a dish,” said Eat Chow COO and Partner Amy Curran. “We start off with a basic concept and then chowify it by adding more depth, more layers of flavor, and turn it into something unexpected.”

That’s exactly what she and Executive Chef and Partner Brian McReynolds have done with their new summer menu. Our faves: the new Berry Brie Salad with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and triple cream brie practically screams summer, while the barbequed duck enchiladas are surprisingly light yet packed with flavor, and the sauce will make your palate smile.

Visit EatChowNow.com

OAK GRILL

The Island Hotel recently opened Oak Grill restaurant and Aqua Lounge, and both venues have proven to be popular with locals and visitors.

We sampled some of the summer menu items at Oak Grill, and came away impressed with the creativity and range of the dishes.

Two of our favorites were the Seared Maine Diver Scallops with heirloom beans, capers, and stewed baby tomatoes, and the Chilean Sea Bass with cranberry quinoa, peas and carrot puree. The presentation on both dishes is artistic and the flavor sensations blend perfectly. They’re healthy, light and perfect for summer.

Visit OakGrillNB.com

Photo: Melone and Burrata appetizer at Fig & Olive

 

Written by Christopher Trela

For more articles on dining out in Newport Beach, see the Off the Menu column in the Newport Beach Independent at NewportBeachIndy.com

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