By Samantha Taylor
This is the fanciest restaurant I have reviewed so far, so you are in for a treat.
The owner and head chef, Chef Ben Pumo, enlightened me on just how custom his restaurant is. First I have to say, “What a nice guy.”
He has created a really awesome atmosphere – cozy, classy and romantic. I love how the lights are dim, with candles on the table and a pianist from 6-9 p.m.
Be aware: Italian restaurants tend to offer calorie-laden meals, so order smart. Each night, the chef offers a low-calorie option. After talking with Ben, we picked the healthiest options for you.
First is shrimp primavera pasta with vegetables. You can substitute chicken if you don’t prefer shrimp; I selected crab. To eat this, or any meal, for health and weight loss, portion control must be practiced. Order the dish with the whole wheat penne pasta. I don’t prefer “al dente” pasta, which is firm; so if you also like your pasta softer, tell them you don’t want it “al dente.”
Ask them to replace the clam sauce with a little olive oil and garlic. Once you see the size of this dish and their delicious salad, you will realize that you can take two-thirds of this pasta home and still be full. Their house dressing is one of the best dressings I have ever eaten, with about 10 grams of fat in a serving — and if you dip your fork in the dressing then put the fork into your salad, you will only use half of it.
I got croutons on the side, but used only the brown ones – whole grain bread.
Since bread with butter is too many calories to eat with the meal, tell your server you don’t prefer to have it.
The other meal you can order is spaghetti and meatballs using whole-wheat penne pasta. Yum! The trick is to eat only one meatball and save the rest for another day. This is how you can have this meal and still reduce fat consumption.
The same idea applies here: eat the salad, one-third of the pasta dish with one meatball and observe how satisfied you will be. Another way they customize meals is if you are gluten intolerant and have special pasta, you can bring that in and they will cook it for you. Enjoy a pasta dish or lean filet steak at this fancy, elegant restaurant that embraces you with the warmth of a family place. I love it!
For more information on healthy ordering at Benedetto’s and other area restaurants, visit Samantha’s blog at www.thisisfit.com.