Around Town: Where to Dine While Keeping Those New Year’s Resolutions

January is historically one of the restaurant industry’s slowest months of the year. It makes sense, right? It’s the month when potential guests are resolving to eat healthy while embarking on new dieting habits. Many individuals see dining out or ordering takeout as an unhealthy option that’s hard to track on the calorie counter. Well, we have some great news! It’s easy to stay on track with resolutions while continuing to support restaurants.

For the calorie counter

The trick to counting calories is knowing exactly what’s on your plate. Restaurants like Acova and The Hornet make it especially easy to estimate a calorie count by including detailed lists of ingredients in their menu descriptions. The co-owner of Acova, a Celiac herself, goes to great lengths to ensure her guests are aware of every ingredient that goes into a dish. She even keeps a three-ringed binder in the kitchen that lists each and every ingredient in each appetizer, handheld and entrée. She provides it to guests who have questions about the ingredients. Acova’s menu is packed with low-calorie specialties like Blackened Salmon with Brussels Sprout Corn Hash and Quinoa and Arugula Salad.

A Denver staple, 25-year-old The Hornet, has always had a phenomenal reputation for its food. While The Hornet shines with its calorie-laden fare like the Gigunda Breakfast Burrito and the Chophouse Melt, it’s the lighter items that really show the dexterity of this establishment. The Yucatan Pork Tacos are a fresh take on everyone’s favorite Tuesday meal. They’re made with achiote braised pork, griddled cotija cheese, pineapple red pepper pico and tomatillo crema; and The Hornet’s Harvest Greens Salad with red onions, berries, hazelnuts, cucumbers and cotija tossed with a lemon vinaigrette will give any salad joint a run for the money.

For the vegetarian

Going from meaty mains to veggie-forward entrées can be a tough transition. Thankfully, eateries like Restaurant Olivia and Urban Village excel at creating vegetable centric dishes that the whole family (or carnivore roommate) will enjoy. Chef Ty Leon’s pomodoro sauce is prepared with toasted garlic, San Marzano tomatoes and a touch of chile flakes. Mixed with the house-made spaghetti, it creates an al dente masterpiece of flavor and texture in the Spaghetti Pomodoro.

Chef Charles Mani of Urban Village prides himself on creating a menu that is predominantly vegetarian. The Kale Moong Dal Chaat appetizer is made with crispy kale topped with sprouted lentils, tamarind-mint-cilantro puree and roasted cumin yogurt. This Prim favorite is a must-try and has been known to turn vegetable cynics into kale enthusiasts. 

For the low-carber

Low carb diets have been around since the 80s. Why? We imagine it’s because the diet allows its partakers to eat lots of meat and cheese. It’s no surprise that a variety of our clients fit the bill for this one. 

One of our stand-out favorites is the Snack Board at Citizen Rail. Low-carb fans can graze on a selection of almonds, cucumbers, grapes, gooseberries, domestic cheese, dry-cured sausage and prosciutto without an inkling of guilt. If a dairy-free route is preferred, the Garlic Shrimp Paleo Bowl at Great Divide Brewery and Roadhouse is packed with low-carb vegetables like zucchini linguini, roasted bell peppers and water chestnuts in a sweet chili coconut citrus broth.

One might not think a pizza place would be g great spot for a low carb meal, but in this case, one would be wrong. Denver Pizza Company’s Italian Salad is prepared with organic spring mix, pepperoni, tomatoes, black olives and provolone cheese. Top with a nice vinaigrette and you have a tasty low-carb (and filling!) meal.

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