Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining At Quattro

When I first moved to Miami I was invited to the grand opening of Quattro in 2006 yet for some reason I did not go. To this day I still have no idea why. I have heard many great things about the place so when I found out that Quattro was next on my list for “Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining” I made sure to make my RSVP ASAP!
Quattro’s “secret weapon” is their twin Executive Chefs, Nicola and Fabrizio Carro. Now I don’t have a twin but my brother is only 11 months younger than me and my parents used to dress us up the same so we were kind of like twins.  My brother and me would often fight over food but I know for certain that we never fought over who was going to cook the food. With twin chefs, fighting over who got to cook was probably a daily occurrence in the Carro household. I’m sure my Mother would have welcomed that problem versus all the other ones we gave her. Shoulda been a better cook Mom, maybe then you would have inspired us to be chefs when we grew up.
dressed like twins

Anyways, on to the good stuff—the food!

As with any authentic Italian restaurant, the antipasti section has 2 selections that are actually healthy—caprese and carpaccio. Both are low in calories and fat, therefore I always recommended either of the two.

The selection from the antipasti that really peaked my interested was the “polipo del Mediterraneo alla griglia con crema di cece E pomodorini pachino”. For those of you that don’t speak Italian that’s grilled Mediterranean octopus served over chick peas and spiced oil. Not only is this a healthy dish but it is also a great tasting dish. Unlike the octopus you get in sushi or calamari, this octopus is soft and slightly charred on the outside which gives it a barbequed texture. The chick peas are puréed into a hummus which is always a popular item in the healthy eating community. This was my favorite dish of the night (other than the dessert which I will get into soon enough!) and I highly recommended it to start off your dining experience.

Since Quattro is an Italian restaurant I felt obligated to find at least one pasta dish that I could put my “healthier” stamp of approval on. Although every pasta dish sounded incredible the healthier choice would be the hand-made strozzapreti with shrimp in marinara sauce with oregano and green castlevetrano olives. It’s a reasonable size portion for one and enough for two to share…especially if you plan on ordering dessert (yes, that is my second reference to the dolci menu).

For the main course or as they say in Italy, secondi, there were several healthier options. I had a tough decision to make between the Mediterranean sea bass and the grilled swordfish. I happen to be partial to both types of fish but could only order one as I wanted to save a little bit of room for later (reference #3). My dining accomplice and I both agreed on the sea bass which is baked in a salt crust—yet not overly salty—and is accompanied with sautéed vegetables.  You can never go wrong with chicken so a safe healthier choice is the halved free-range chicken with asparagus and fingerling potatoes. If you are in the mood for something other than white meat go with the seared pounded beef top round (top round is a leaner cut of beef). It is lightly seasoned with garlic and chili flakes and served with grilled vegetables.

Normally I would not suggest ordering from the dessert menu. In fact, I usually recommend avoiding it all together. In Quatto’s case, however, I felt an exception could be made IF you made healthier selections earlier and IF you did not over eat!

There are several selections that are actually okay to order and are not crazy in the calorie count, IF you made healthier selections earlier and IF you did not over eat! The dessert menu was very well thought out by Executive Pastry Chef Antonio Bachour and Pastry Chef Dominique Pereira de Almeida, in particular the vanilla panna cotta with strawberry soup, berries and lemon sorbet. The lemon sorbet is very tart by itself but combined with the panna cotta it almost pops together! I also would recommend the lemon tart with raspberry sorbet as well as the homemade gelato and sorbet. These three desserts are modest servings…not that I would know about all three. As long as you stick to your game plan and order healthier it’s okay to indulge a little at the end. I’m sure the Carro twins and the pastry chefs hope you do!

Until the next installment of “Take’s Take: Healthier Fine Dining”, ciao a tutti!

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

Shuichi’s Guidelines to Healthier Eating

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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