Eating out usually means consuming a few extra calories—but it doesn't have to. Order these six healthy but indulgent dishes at hot New York restaurants to treat yourself without sacrificing flavor and excitement.
Bar Gonzo’s diverse menu of bar snacks, small plates and skewers is as vibrant as its groovy ‘70s-inspired atmosphere. And while foodies are likely to flock to the Hell’s Kitchen spot’s Latch Key Kid Pizzas served on French bread, the inventive, veggie-centric fare is just as tempting—take the Raindrops on Roses (pictured above), a pile of long-stemmed artichokes topped with preserved lemon, fried Marcona almonds, ricotta salata, and olive oil. 511 Ninth Ave., 212-967-1985
Dinner is served at The Williamsburg Hotel’s Harvey. For the restaurant’s anticipated evening service, Chef Kevin Chun has composed a menu of modernized classics made with local meat, fish, and produce and grains milled on premise. Seafood dishes, such as the steamed salmon with braised mustard greens and aguachile, are undeniably healthy choices, but for those who want a savory treat without all the regret, try the appetizer-sized spaghetti squash cacio e pepe with oreganata bread crumbs and a poached egg—you get all the melty, buttery goodness minus the actual spaghetti. 96 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, 718-362-8100
New year, new brunch spot—if you prefer this mantra over “new year, new you,” but also don’t want to go overboard on French toast and bacon, head to Greenwich Grille. The new West Village restaurant by Chef Harold Moore has a well-rounded menu of greasy hangover cures intermingled with wholesome breakfast eats, like the sweet potato avocado toast with sliced hard boiled eggs—all three ingredients have health benefits that’ll help cancel out the damage done last month. 33 Greenwich Ave., 646-609-3615
Of course eating a balanced meal made with fresh ingredients is good for the body and soul, but at Brigitte, it’s also très chic. The corner eatery in Two Bridges oozes elegance with floor-to-ceiling windows, turquoise accents, and a white marble bar, and it’s seasonal French fare follows suit—it’s sophisticated and indulgent, but on the lighter side. A favorite from Chef Thomas Besnard is the smoked paprika-dusted octopus accompanied by cauliflower purée, but vegetarian selections, like the flourless socca chickpea crepes with eggplant salsa, are hearty hits, too. 37 Canal St., 646-649-3378
It isn’t winter in New York without a night spent at a ramen joint slurping up broth and noodles to stay warm. And after your first mouthful at Tonchin—Midtown’s new modern Japanese haunt that originated in Tokyo and boasts 16 locations throughout Japan, Taiwan and Shanghai—it may very well become your go-to for Tokyo-style ramen. You’ll even voluntarily skip the pork in favor of a bowl of robust vegan ramen with carrot-based broth, homemade noodles, and perfectly roasted seasonal produce. (Pro tip: The Spicy Tan Tan ramen can be made vegan as well.) Add a soft-boiled egg for a dose of protein and Tonchin’s housemade spicy sauce for a kick. 13 W. 36th St., 646-692-9912
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Jojo—his very first solo restaurant venture—is back up and running in the Upper East Side after over a year of renovations, and gourmands would be remiss not to head to the restaurant-in-a-brownstone pronto for a taste of the chef's updated menu in the decidedly brighter and more casual space. Decadent seafood dishes, like the steamed black sea bass with mushrooms and potato purée in a spicy herbal broth, are healthful options among the seasonal, farm-to-table fare. And don't worry: Vongerichten’s classics are still in rotation as weekday specials, like venison poire au lard on Wednesdays and slow-cooked salmon with mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and black truffle vinaigrette on Thursdays. 60 E. 64th St., 212-223-5656
Photography by: Photography courtesy of Bar Gonzo; courtesy Harvey; courtesy Greenwich Grille; courtesy Brigitte; courtesy Asia Coladner (Tonchin); courtesy Alex Staniloff for Jean-Georges