Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining at Mister Collins

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Since this is my first entry for this blog, I thought I might share with everyone a few guidelines for “Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining”.

I have had many clients and friends over the years ask me what they should order when they go out to eat. I’m fairly confident that everyone pretty much knows what’s healthy and what’s not healthy. In most cases though, unless someone is advised what the better choice is, they are going to order what they want—which usually isn’t that healthy.  Therefore I have decided to take it upon myself to take on the arduous, burdensome task of dining at Miami’s finest restaurants to provide you with the healthier selections on their respective menus. This is the sacrifice I am making so that you don’t have to be left with daunting decision of having to make a healthier decision on your own.

“Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining” is for the hardcore foodies and seasoned dining veterans. This is not for the serious health fanatics who prefer their food steamed, and bereft of fat or flavor. I am not one of them—otherwise I would not be writing this blog (please note that I say healthier throughout the blogs not healthy). Although I eat healthy on a daily basis and working out twice a day is the core of my healthy lifestyle, I do believe that life—and food—should be enjoyed.

Here are a few guidelines to my blog to take into consideration:

–          Making healthier selections will not necessarily make you lose weight so if you weight goes up after choosing my recommendations that’s your own damn fault!

–          Dining out in Miami is very much a social affair and an experience that’s generally shared with others. Unless you name is Boo Radley, staying in every night so you can eat healthy is not a realistic option for most of us. My goal with this blog is to show you how you can still enjoy going to your favorite restaurants and have a great doing so while still staying health conscious.

–          This is nothing like Jared’s Subway diet or similar to Applebees’ “under 550 calories” menu. This is more along the lines of keeping your calories closer to 1000 then being over 2000—which is not hard to do at many high-end restaurants. Making smarter, healthier selections can easily cut out over 1000 calories a meal.

–          One pound of body fat is approximately 3500 calories. In other words, if you consume 3500 calories more than you burn you will gain one pound of fat. If you dine out 3 times a week, choosing healthier appetizers, entrees and even deserts can prevent you from gaining as much as 1 pound of fat per week if not more. Combine that with regular exercise and healthier eating throughout the day and guess what you have? A healthy lifestyle! Or at least the foundation of one…

Now please allow me to introduce you to Señor Collins:

Mister Collins is located within the ONE Bal Harbour Resort and Spa.  The menu is broken down to five main sections: “IN THE BEGINNING”, “FROM THE GARDEN”, “BETWEEN THE BREAD”, “OCEAN & FARM and “SIDES & SNACKS”.

From the “IN THE BEGINNING” section, I ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and the Ahi Tuna Tartare.  I grew up in Maryland so I was intrigued by the Old Bay seasoning on the shrimp cocktail—us Maryland folk use Old Bay on just about everything. I never order Maryland crab cakes outside of Maryland and I am always skeptical of anything that claims to have some origin from Maryland. Mister Collins was the exception as the shrimp was fresh and admirably seasoned with our beloved Old Bay.

Mr. Collins jumbo shrimp cocktail

The tartare was equally as enjoyable. The combination of tiny pink lady apples cubes, ginger and puffed rice gave it a sweet crunchy taste that more than made up for not having the yucca chips (which I recommend asking the server to leave off the  plate).

I did not order from the “BETWEEN THE BREAD” section but if a “burger” is what your craving then I recommend the One Shroom Burger and the #1 Ahi Burger.  Although they not burgers per se, they are between the bread like a burger and in the interest of eating healthier, that’s close enough. They come with basil mayo and Nori mayo, respectively, which I recommend leaving out. Each item from this section is served with a side of potato chips, coleslaw or French fries. Instead of those options I would suggest the Farro Salad or Ginger Glazed Carrots from the “SIDES & SNACKS” section.  I highly endorse the carrots which are pan seared with a ginger glaze and diced jalapenos. It’s a flavorful, sweet enhancement to any entrée you order.

The entrée that called my name from the “OCEAN & FARM” section was the Sea Diver Scallops. The problem was that it also called the name of my dining companion.  Fortunately for me, I’m the one writing this blog so despite her reluctance to share, it was obligatory that I sample them. Now scallops are hard to do wrong but when they are done right…how do they say it down here in Miami? Oh yeah, “ay Dios mio!” The scallops are served over Zellwood creamed corn.  This is not your standard southern cookin’ creamed corn so it’s less creamy and more…corn-y? Anyways, it’s safe enough to have if you are trying to eat healthier but the roasted asparagus and heirloom cherry tomatoes that accompany the scallops are an excellent, healthy addition to the dish.

Mr. Collins seared diver scallops

I got “stuck” having to order the Western Ross Pan Roasted Salmon. I’ve been stuck with many bad second choices in my life (I am reminded of the grilled cheese from elementary school lunch…yuck!) but this definitely was not one of them.  The salmon was perfectly cooked—light, flaky and absolutely delicious. The grilled asparagus and herbed farro and tomato salad made this entrée the quintessential healthier selection at a restaurant of this quality. I suppose it was meant to be that I got “stuck” with the salmon. No complaints from me though, just my hat off to Mister Collins.

Thank you Mister Collins. See you again soon!

For more information on Mister Collins or to make a reservation to www.mistercollins.com or call (305) 455-5460.

Please visit www.shuichitakefitness.com for more information on health and fitness.

Shuichi Take, one of Miami’s most sought-after personal trainers, has worked with clients from all walks of life with a diverse range of goals throughout his 15+ years in the fitness industry. He has trained many of Miami’s celebrities, professional athletes and other elite clientele including Haute Living Publishers Kamal Hotchandani and Seth Semilof. Shuichi has combined all of his experience, knowledge and expertise to create a finely tuned approach and philosophy to fitness by shaping a healthy body and mind that builds sustainable, healthy lifestyles. Although eating healthy throughout the day and regular exercise is the foundation of  his healthy lifestyle, Shuichi firmly believes that life, and everything it has to offer, is meant to be enjoyed—including food! Taking care of your health and body should be an essential component of one’s day that fits into your current lifestyle and daily schedule.

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