Dining out can be healthy

Does your resolve have to falter when you go out to eat? Of course not. We asked five area restaurant owners or managers to recommend one of the more healthful meal options from their menus.

Ah, spring. A time to shed winter coats and shed winter pounds. A time to resolve to eat more healthfully — perhaps to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure, or maybe just look better once the forgiving winter sweaters are gone.

Does your resolve have to falter when you go out to eat? Of course not. We asked five area restaurant owners or managers to recommend one of the more healthful meal options from their menus.

No cottage cheese plates here — just because it’s a healthier choice doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Our delicious finds include main dishes, salads and sides.

mulligans

CHARBROILED TUNA STEAK WITH A RED WINE AND PORTOBELLO BORDELAISE SAUCE, WITH BAKED POTATO AND STEAMED BROCCOLI

Mulligan’s Restaurant & Pub, 4118 Belden Village St. NW, Jackson Township. 330-493-8239

Owner Ron Briggs eats mostly seafood and vegetarian meals, but missed the texture of steak. His solution was the charbroiled tuna steak sandwich, topped with fresh sautéed mushrooms and served with steak sauce.

“It’s been a huge success, which led to our charbroiled tuna steak dinner,” Briggs said.

The tuna can be ordered charbroiled or blackened with Cajun spices, topped with mushrooms or melted blue cheese.

“My favorite is a la bordelaise — topped with a red wine and portobello mushroom bordelaise — treating it as you would any fine steak.”

irishexchange

VEGETARIAN BURGER WITH ONIONS AND MUSHROOMS WITH SIDE OF VEGETARIAN VEGETABLE SOUP

Irish Exchange, 3824 Tuscarawas St. W, Canton. 330-478-1005

The new menu at Irish Exchange will feature a special section of healthful dishes, says kitchen manager Mary Givens.

“You can take a dish and delete the cheese or butter and it can still taste good,” Givens said. “I know butter is great, but you can make it palate-pleasing without all that extra fat.”

Givens recommends the broiled cod seasoned with lemon for a main dish, or the veggie burger for lunch.

“The veggie burger is just 110 calories. We like to put sautéed onions and mushrooms on it, done with just a little bit of oil,” she said. “And our vegetarian vegetable soup is extremely low-calorie and very healthy. That would be a great side, and it’s delicious.”

palombos

SCROD PRIMAVERA, TOPPED WITH SAUTÉED VEGETABLES, WITH A SIDE OF SPAGHETTI AND MARINARA

Palombo’s Restaurant, 4100 Portage St. NW, Jackson Township. 330-497-1815

Scrod Primavera is so colorful, garlicky and delicious, customers might not realize that it’s a healthier choice.

“It’s broiled scrod topped with zucchini, peas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots sautéed in olive oil and garlic,” explains Mark Palombo, who runs the family restaurant with his brother, Rick. “With a side of hash browns done in olive oil — it’s awesome. Or you could get a side of pasta with marinara.”

Palombo’s offers customers the option of using olive oil in nearly all of their dishes. For a lunch, light dinner, or appetizer, Palombo recommends the Mussels Italiano.

“A dozen mussels, steamed in a red wine sauce to open them up,” he said, “served with sautéed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic and dill in a big bowl with a dusting of Romano cheese.”

lionsden

APPLE-GLAZED SALMON WITH SPINACH AND DANDELION GREENS

The Lion’s Den Restaurant, 111 Cleveland Ave. SW, Canton. 330-454 5466

Owner Frank Demetro says he gets requests daily from customers seeking healthful menu selections. For lunch, he recommends the apple-glazed salmon, cooked on a cedar plank and served on mixed greens.

“Lots of omega oils, and vitamins from the spinach and dandelion greens,” he said. “For dinner, we’re doing a lot of seafood. A popular one is the balsamic glazed scallops. We’re serving that with white imported asparagus. And we’re doing a lot with organic vegetables.”

Demetro also noted that the restaurant also offers live musical entertainment each day. How is that healthful?

“You can dance the pounds off after eating,” he said, laughing. “Live music Wednesday through Saturday, even at lunch.”

lapizzaria

DOVER SOLE IN GARLIC SAUCE WITH ASPARAGUS

La Pizzaria, 3656 Dressler Road NW, Jackson Township. 330-477-4700

Numerous customer requests led owner Terri Valentine to add wheat pasta and gluten-free pasta to her menu. She was happy to accommodate.

“We have many people asking about healthy dishes — vegans, vegetarians,” Valentine said. “We make our own veggie burgers, made in-house. You can have them as a dinner or as a sandwich.”

As for an entree, Valentine recommends the Dover sole in a light butter and garlic sauce.

“It’s served with asparagus and the calories are only 350. It’s the best,” she said proudly.

The marinara sauce also is a healthful choice, as are several of the dinner salads.

“Our new one is the spinach salad with fresh apples and walnuts and raisins and cranberries,” she said. “It comes with White French dressing — excellent.”