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Manhattan on a diet?! :O

I'm a LA chowhound, turned NYC chow, turned back to LA....for now...

I'm coming to NYC for three weeks and NEED to stick to healthy eating (for the most part) while I'm in town! I'm a roll with my diet lately and I don't want to come back 10 pounds heavier (which could be soooo easy to do!)

Can you please recommend places to eat where I could get good food and not feel guilty about blowing my diet?

My requirements:
I'm open to ANY cuisine.
I would prefer it be on the cheaper side.
I would prefer it to be anywhere except for UWS or anywhere too far uptown for that matter.
I'm not on any fad type diets like Atkins. Just lower fat, lower calorie, fresher foods.

Thanks in advance! :)

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    1. How about:

      * Perfectly fresh, grilled fish at Ethos (Murray Hill / Kip's Bay) or Pylos (LES) -- about $30 for dinner

      * Or try the pho or bun at Nam Son on Grand st. in Chinatown for $10 or less

      1. The salmon teryaki/miso soup/miniature postage stamp piece of strawberry shortcake lunch pre-fixe at Cafe Zest on 47th. (not available every day, I believe). If you want, get it without the shortcake, although it might be good for a tiny indulgence, its very small but nice.

        Frankie's Spuntino--delicious, reasonable portion of sweet potato and sage ravioli. The filling's combination of richness(sweet potato/chestnut) and herbaciousness(sage) is great and really comes through prominently. I wouldn't say the quality of the pasta texture is what you get at other places, but you'll forget all about that from the truly delicious filling.

        The pricepoint at both of these places is unusually low for the quality(I believe $10 at Zest, $13 at Frankie's). Neither of these places will leave you overstuffed/breaking a non-atkins diet, but you'll be eating very well at a nice price.

        1. Also, Jean Georges and Nougatine have plenty of delicious light fare--the tuna ribbons/scallops for example at the former, the slow cooked salmon at the latter(caveat have only had there once and was in the summer/a different preparation). Plenty of great seafood around the city, roast chicken options, etc..

          3 Replies
          1. re: brettnyc

            Another thought--I believe there are a number of (japanese) places in mid-town east that do homemade tofu dishes, been meaning to check more of them out for that.

            1. re: brettnyc

              aburiya kinnosuke has really lovely homemade tofu, also some pretty low-fat robata grill items.

              -----
              Aburiya Kinnosuke
              213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

              1. re: cimui

                Second Aburiya. Just had lunch there and the tofu was great.

                On the other hand, tried going to Cafe Zest beforehand and looks like they've had some kind of management change. Its the second time I've popped in this week with the salmon teryaki/cream stew w chicken/other specials not available, ditto regarding several varieties of their bento boxes, side dishes, and the curry pan. I asked one of the women at the cash register what was up and she said there had been a change in management, and that the previous pre-fixe menu specials wouldn't be returning, unfortunately. They have some udon specials now that I'll try at some point, although if I remember right they had those before as well. Hard to tell if they're downscaling, or just in a chaotic transition, where they've taken away some of the items and just haven't brought out replacements. Hoping for a return of the pre-fixes/wider bento selection/curry pan, or at least some interesting new items...

                In the meantime, plenty of other good spots in the area, though I really like Zest(in full form) and prefer to Zaiya in this particular niche.