Healthy Dine Finds
With those New Year’s resolutions now well in the rear-view mirror, most of us, myself included, have returned to our old dining habits. And, that’s not always a good thing. But, it doesn’t have to be bad either. Again, for this issue, I’ve hit the rich and diverse Kansas City dining scene for some healthy dining finds – choices you can make that provide healthier options without sacrificing taste, flavor, or a visit to your favorite restaurant.
First, I went to what I consider one of the most underrated restaurants in the metro – The Reserve at The Ambassador Hotel. Under the direction of Executive Chef Ethan Jaax who took over the reins from Shaun Brady last summer, The Reserve has trimmed the fat off its menu and some of the fat off its dishes as well.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RESERVE AT THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL
“I would first start with our entrée section. A lot of our entrees are served with fresh vegetables, which are obviously healthy,” Jaax shared. “As a hotel restaurant, we have an intense demand for healthy options. Regular restaurants just deal with regular customers, but we deal with people who are traveling all of the time, trying to make healthier choices, trying to stay fit and trim.”
As a result, Jaax says he gets a lot of special requests when it comes to his menu options. He says he’s okay with that. In fact, within reason, requests are something he and The Reserve are happy to oblige.
“I don’t know how other restaurants do it, but whatever you want we go with the flow and try and give it to you,” Jaax said.
Jaax points to his chicken breast entrée, which he says a lot of diners request with just vegetables. And, he says, to avoid the butter used to flavor those veggies, you can ask that they be steamed.
On the lunch menu, Jaax singled out the newly added rice and vegetable bowl – something you could request at dinner as well.
Jaax also says The Reserve is happy to accommodate vegetarian or gluten-free requests, pretty much guaranteeing healthy, tasty choices for all.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JACOBSON
Next, I headed over to the Jacobson where Executive Chef Bryan Sparks has been hired to inspire and create. Sparks says healthy, fresh, and local will play a big role in his crafting of the new Jacobson menu.
“When I’m creating an entire menu concept, I will slot dishes out for vegan and even gluten-free dishes,” Sparks told me. “Moving forward, we’re testing out a section called “Light Affare,” which will house all of our salads as we move into the summer. Plus, our bowls will be there too.”
Seafood is always a great choice at any restaurant when making a healthier choice. In our case, my wife chose the sea bass, which was served with fresh vegetables, while I opted for the octopus and scallops served with confetti peppers. Both dishes were light, bright, and delicious. And, while they’ll almost surely be gone by the time you visit the Jacobson, Sparks assures me that they’ll be replaced with even fresher, healthier options.
Till next time. Bon Appetit!