Rick's Reviews: A Mediterranean Diet

Via, Olive Pit

If you’ve made a resolution to lose weight this year, as I have, you need to set long-term goals. If you’ve got 5-10 pounds of weight you gained over the holidays you can get away with following a “diet” and in a few weeks, you’ll be back in those skinny jeans. 

 Oliv Pit 

6006 SW 18th St., Boca Raton

561-409-2049

OlivPit.com

 

Bitch! 

For those of us with significantly more to lose, we need to think of changes in the way we eat. I’ve gained and lost the same 40 pounds so often my fat cells have déjà vu. 

Weight Watchers? Killed it! Jenny Craig? Yeah, I ate the easy-bake oven meals and lost 50 pounds – and put it on again within two years. Atkins? Sure, I can maintain it for a while and then I go into a carb frenzy.

 What scientists are now saying is that the Mediterranean style of cooking is one of the healthiest and that it’s a well-rounded approach to eating that isn’t restrictive. Two of the areas where people live longer and have lower rates of disease — are located in Mediterranean cities (Ikaria, Greece and Sardinia, Italy). 

These places are known for having some of the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer worldwide. A Mediterranean diet decreases the risk of heart disease by, in part, lowering levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and reducing cardiovascular conditions. It’s also been credited with a lower likelihood of certain cancers as well as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. 

A Mediterranean diet emphasizes a higher intake of fruits and vegetables and “healthy” fats, such as olive oil. Grilled red meats and dairy should be limited, and grilled fish should be the main source of protein.

I was already considering focusing on Mediterranean fare when I got a press release about Oliv Pit. The casual modern restaurant focuses on simply grilled meats, seafood and vegetables, but the food is grilled on briquettes made from olive pits, removing the possible carcinogens that come from traditional charcoal. 

The Boca Raton-based eatery reinterprets old time classic recipes with a modern twist for a fusion of time and taste. Dishes are designed for sharing, making every meal a celebration.

On a recent visit we began our meal with some mezze (shared plate appetizers). The 

trio spreads, a reasonable $15, allowed us to choose four from a list of three. We opted for tzatziki, tahini and paprika. Fava bean puree was the fourth choice. All were delicious and well prepared and were served with fresh veggies for dipping. While delicious, I wouldn’t order this dish again as most of the dips are served as accompaniment to main dishes. All menu selections are labeled to indicate which are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.

The Mediterranean olive medley provided a nice selection of the salty, briny treat, but the star of the appetizers has got to be the crispy fried feta. It may throw all those resolutions out the window, but I defy anyone to resist the crispy, battered cheese coasted in sesame seeds and drizzled with local honey.

Four of us split the Greek village salad, a wonderfully fresh mélange of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, mint, barrel aged feta and green peppers, dressed with just a hint of oregano and kalamata olive oil. It’s a filling dinner for one and even more so if you top it with a grilled protein offered in the pita wrap section for just an extra five bucks.

 

You can order almost anything on the menu a la carte, but for your protein, I’d suggest one of the mixed grills. The $39 meat grill (lamb meatballs, gyros, New York strip, chicken breast and chicken thigh skewers) is supposedly for two but could easily serve four (or more). 

For larger parties a $79 version is available, listed for four, but offers enough for a party of six to eight. The seafood mixed grill platter, priced at $59, is equally large and offers up perfectly grilled jumbo prawns, octopus and salmon, as well as a generous portion of fried calamari. Each platter comes with a choice of two sides from a list that includes; fries, steamed string beans, jasmine rice, lemon potatoes or a side salad.

If you prefer something a little less daunting, check out the pita wraps. Priced at $9, with a choice of New York strip, beef and lamb gyros, beef, lamb meatballs, chicken breast or thigh and salmon. Vegetarian options include grilled mushrooms, vegetables or the trendy new meat substitute, Impossible. 

 If you must end your meal on a sweet note, there are some tasty options available; Greek yogurt with honey and berries, baklava, a rich chocolate cake and, my favorite,

orange cake.

 Some other places to get your Mediterranean diet off on the right foot include these places closer to home;

 

 

Greek Spice 

2103 E Commercial, Fort Lauderdale

954-900-4773

GeekSpiceGrill.com

 

Ferdos Grill 

4300 N Federal, Fort Lauderdale

954-492-5552

FerdosGrill.us

 

Caspian Persian Grill 

7821 W Sunrise, Plantation

954-236-9955

CaspianPersianGrill.com

 

 


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