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Parents visiting - both on ATKINS (arghhh) HELP!

Parents coming Memorial Day weekend... Alas, there will be no Babbo, Degustation and the like for me that weekend b/c I need to pay special attention to the Atkins thing. Any suggestions ASIDE from the obvious steak house choices? We are doing a steak house on Sat. night in Atlantic City so I need 3 dinner recs for the Thurs., Friday and Sunday.

I was thinking Sushi Seki, b/c Sekisan does a sashimi only omakase? My parents both love Sushi of Gari and we went to Yasuda the last time they were here.

What do you think of Aquagrill? Or Maybe Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar? Or Pearl?

What about Greek - my dad suggested Milos, but I thought it was overrated. Does it deserve another go?

Any ATKINS friendly ideas welcome!!

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  1. Lure Fishbar has great options for fish and carb free sides. I personally love Pylos for Greek but Periyali is also very good. It's not mentioned on the boards (not that I've seen) but we love going to this Turkish restaurant A La Turka on the UES. Lots of protein options. I'm sure there are sushi places that will substitute cucumber instead of rice to roll sushi. (Haru on Park does this.)

    1. Hill Country always seems to be a place I have trouble indulging my carblust...

      Hill Country
      30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

      1. For Greek, I highly recommend our current favorite, Kellari's Parea, on 20th St., b/t Park Av. S. & B'way. Wide variety of expertly grilled whole fish. Delicious mezzes and one of the best moussakas I've had anywhere.


        How about Hill Country for Texas-style bbq?


        Even though you are doing a steakhouse in A.C., I would suggest you still consider going to Keens, where instead of having steak, your parents can order an item not served at any other steakhouse. I'm referring, of course, to Keens' signature mutton chop. They also serve fist-rate lamb chops. Plus, you can't beat the unmatchable Old New York ambiance.


        ETA: I see dan and I cross-posted and had the same idea about Hill Country.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          I would not bother with Hill Country. They have the worst beef ribs ever at Hill Country. They charge by the pound and we spent a fortune on a bunch of charred bones, with (I am not exaggerating) two burnt strips of "meat" on the sides of each bone, which went down maybe only one fourth of the size of the bone. the "meat" tasted like charcoal. One of the sides I got tasted sour. The other barbecue we got was not memorable either.
          I would not recommend this place to anyone. Worst bbq in NYC by far. Might as well just get some charcoal delivered from the supermarket. It might taste better than Hill Country.

          I suggest Korean as it is very atkins- especially if you get the Korean bbq. There are many places on 32nd west of 6th ave. Just make sure they have bbq, when you enter. If you have never had it , ask them to help you. It is alot of fun and different.

        2. it might be a little close to steakhouse, but what about churrascaria plataforma? fun atmosphere and there's little doubt that protein is the thing.

          1. I'll go the other direction and say the dinner we had a Babbo was low carb! We had grilled octopus with a little frisee salad and sweetbreads. The carb dish was the beef cheek ravioli but there are any number of low or no carb options there or it equivalent. I think accommodating a low-carb diet is almost the easiest thing to do. Hav e a great time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              But if we went to Babbo, I know my parents wouldn't go low carb. :) Hence why they are on the diets in the first place!! So if we went to Babbo, it would be beef cheek ravioli or goose liver ravioli, etc. And I am trying to help them avoid temptation. (hence why my dad said Italian was out - he'd want all the pasta dishes!)

              1. re: rosiemac75

                Ah, I see. Re temptation, get thee behind me Satan, huh?

            2. Sushi isn't the best idea b/c of the rice....but because it's Japanese the other choices on the menu are great for that kind of diet/lifestyle. Very healthy choices and a variety that they should like. They might get in trouble though b/c doesn't want saki when they go out for sushi...(and on vacation), but alcohol would be another no no.Seafood restaurants in general are perfect though!
              Not sure about Milos in particular, but Greek is perfect.......just about each menu item is meat and veggies! Good choice

              2 Replies
              1. re: Stardom

                Stardom - if you do sashimi and not sushi, you are fine since sashimi is without rice. I know Sushi Seki does omakase with sashimi only and so does Yasuda. Was looking for other sashimi only options.

                1. re: rosiemac75

                  Can confirm Sushi Seki does a sashimi omakase and it was good.

              2. You could do babbo on atkins
                They can get veal chop, pork chop, lambs tongue vinagrette

                You can eat the pastas. I see nothing wrong here...

                Oops. Never mind someone already bought up the same point.

                The atkins diet is silly btw. Its all about calories.

                3 Replies
                1. re: tpigeon

                  Actually, I believe the veal chop, pork chop, and lambs tongue vinaigrette's got sugar in it in some form or another -- balsamic vinegar in the lamb's tongue, the sugar that's used in brining the pork chop, etc. So while something may look Atkins-friendly at Babbo, it's probably not if the OP's parents are very strict.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Ok strategy 2 is to tell the parents to can the diet while they are on vacation. Afterall, if you can't enjoy yourself on vacation, when can you?

                    1. re: tpigeon

                      Atkins doesn't work like that. Any cheating at all above your carb allowance forces you to literally start at the beginning (called "induction") to put your body back in ketosis, which means two straight weeks of 20 grams of carbs or less per day. I have extreme willpower, and it was difficult for me (it comes down to basically being able to use condiments and a few veggies with your bacon and butter)--I can imagine it would be very tough for these two. Also, although one meal off and then straight back to induction won't kill your weight loss, even a couple of days' vacation (and it's oh so easy, once you've taken a one meal vacation to tell yourself that a day or two wouldn't be so bad, fruit is coming into season and I haven't had a croissant in ages...) can result in surprisingly rapid weight gain. It's not something I'd recommend for anyone really committed to Atkins who has a hard time saying no to carbs even after weeks or months into the diet (carb-lover that I am, I luckily stopped craving them after a a month or so, unless I took a "vacation").

                      I'm not defending the diet (or attacking it), just pointing out that it's a bit different from your average low-cal/low-fat diet in that you're literally putting your body into an altered state for it to work, that state is easy to mess up and then hard to get back into.

                      Luckily, as many have pointed out, there are many restaurants where the temptations won't be so bad; if they like sashimi, they're definitely in luck.

                2. With the exception of dimsum brunches and ramen joints and pizza parlors, you can really do Atkins at most restaurants in NYC...

                  yakitori is particularly good, as are izakaya-oriented places...have you been to Aburiya Kinnosuke?...you can get all sorts of sashimi, veggies, and grilled meats there...

                  Aquagrill is fine idea...

                  Korean bbq is good (though if they are very strict about Atkins, they'll not want some of the sugar that's in the marinades)...

                  If they summon the willpower to avoid the pastas, Italian food can be great on Atkins...Scarpetta is my fav for upscale...Cacio e Vino for casual...

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Simon

                    Thanks Simon. I didn't think of Aburiya Kinnosuke...

                    And no, no willpower. I don't want to even put them in the position of sitting down at a Babbo or Scarpetta. They will order everything that they can't have.

                    1. re: rosiemac75

                      Ahhh...Atkins and willpower... I served two years in Atkins and even managed to figure out pizza and dimsum (insides of dumplings and meat skewers, and eating just the toppings off the crust). Good times.

                      ETA: Good catch on the marinades for the Korean bbq, Simon--those on their own could blow her parents right back into induction unless they have a relatively high carb allowance. For that matter--I don't think the rubs at Hill Country are particularly sweet, and I thought that was a great suggestion above, but it would be worth a quick check with them re: what goes into their rubs (and on what) to make sure they're not sneaking in a lot of brown sugar.

                      1. re: planetjess

                        Exactly. My dad already mentioned the sugars in certain sauces (like potentially Indian given he loves Indian).
                        So that's why I mentioned sashimi or grilled fish (greek) or shellfish. And was looking for other ideas - Shabu Shabu might not be a bad idea???

                        1. re: rosiemac75

                          If you go to Madangsui in Koreatown, they have a BBQ rib dish called saeng kalbi which is plain short ribs that your parents can grill on the table. I actually prefer it to the marinated one because you can taste the beef more. There's a dipping sauce of toasted sesame oil and salt. Some of the banchan in Korean food SHOULD be sugar-free (though some restaurants may have their own special recipes, who knows?). Namul like soybean sprouts, mungbean sprouts, fern bracket, spinach, bellflower roots should be sugar-free, being seasoned with salt or soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and scallions. Your parents need to stay away from kimchi, fried fish cakes, black bean banchan, potato salad (sugar probably in mayo), stewed potatoes, etc. as they will have sugar in it.

                          You should also check out the Yakitori Torys, Yakitori Totto in addition to Aburiya Kinnosuke. You can ask for many of their grilled items to be grilled plainly with salt.

                      2. re: rosiemac75

                        i had a very Atkins/Zone-friendly lunch today at Balthazar: a shrimp cocktail and the Balthazar salad and a glass of red wine...

                    2. You should just go brazilian bbq where they bring out skewers of meat and slice it onto your plate until you are full. Go Churrascaria Plataforma...

                      1. I do low-no carb meals a lot. For me there is a direct connection to carbs and my weight.

                        I often enjoy the mixed grill entrees at
                        Industria Argentina
                        Café Noir
                        several Indian restaurants