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Yes, salad. Light, waist-friendly, and cold, a crisp salad might be just the thing to kick start a summer diet plan. At Chop’t, they certainly put a new spin on it: after you pick out your toppings and mix-ins, they take the time to chop the salad up into smaller, bite-sized pieces to make it easier to eat. How often have you eaten a salad, forking a slightly larger leaf, only to have it suddenly flip and fling an oily dollop of dressing right onto your shirt before a big meeting? Not an issue here. The ingredients are fresh, the dressings are light, and it won’t splatter all over your shirt. Bonus: tasty enough that you might even forget why you’re eating it. Win all around.
Bryant Park Hotel
40 W 40th St
New York, NY 10018
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Boasting a view of Bryant Park while you dine, Koi caters to an incredibly varied crowd each day for lunch. Guests of the hotel may be dining there, while another table may be suits having a business lunch, and still another table may be ‘ladies who lunch’, enjoying the new Skinny Menu. What’s that? The Skinny Menu boasts all dishes that weigh in under 300 calories, including the steamed Chilean sea bass with fresh ginger, Shiitake mushrooms and grape tomatoes (pictured), a luscious dish that only has 245 calories. You’ll have enough calories to also have a cocktail – which they’ve also pared down to have slightly more than a soda. Why not?
229 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10003
Want a healthy lunch that will leave you satisfied? Soba – Japanese noodles made of buckwheat – boasts a lot of nutrients and in its undoctored form is a fat free, low calorie food. Sobaya offers house-made noodles, and also has a fantastic lunch menu that will stuff you silly without leaving your wallet empty. Try the grilled eel over rice, or the unagi don, which also comes with soba on the side. Or try the special lunch box which, for $17, comes with soba (hot or cold), green salad, cooked vegetables and chicken, broiled fish, tempura, fried bean curd stuffed with sushi rice, and dessert. Completely filling, and not bad for you either!
152 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036
While it’s true Virgil’s is known more for big, heavy meals, lighten up the meal a little bit and try Virgil’s barbecue salad (pictured), which is barbecue brisket, pork & chicken, hard-boiled egg, cheddar cheese, tomato, green onion, olives, all on top of salad greens. Lighter than the Pig Out (ribs, chicken, brisket, pork, & Texas link, and choice of two sides), certainly, though one might be hard pressed to actually call it light. No matter; you’re here to indulge a little after a week of dieting!