1) Mussels at Orzo. On a very short list of dishes we would consider for our last meal on Earth is moules frites – the brilliant Belgian invention of mussels, broth, and french fries. Orzo’s Greek-influenced riff on the dish reminds us how partial we are to bold flavors. While our palates are gradually coming to appreciate the pleasures of subtlety and delicacy, at heart we remain suckers for big flavors. (Give us an Epoisses, not a fresh chevre.) Orzo’s mussels are studded with assertive ingredients like tangy feta cheese, ouzo, and crumbled house-made sausage redolent of fennel. Once you finish the healthy portion of mussels, the crispy fries are the perfect sponge to soak up the heady broth.
2) Wow Cow at Arch’s. If you are like us, you are chemically destined to overindulge every holiday season. No matter how much we try to avoid it, there is something about November and December that causes us to eat like bears preparing to hibernate. Thus, we begin each year feeling as though we are overstuffed geese waiting for their livers to be seared and served with a Sauternes. Consequently, low-cal January has become an annual tradition, where we reintroduce ourselves to ways to reduce calories without too much pain. While this generally means eliminating sweets altogether, if we do get a craving, a nearly guilt-free fix is a frozen dessert known as Wow Cow, available at Arch’s. Made from extra grade A whey, and sweetened with fructose from fruit, Wow Cow weighs in at just 12 calories per ounce, which means a 4 oz serving is less than fifty calories. Although not technically frozen yogurt or ice cream, Wow Cow is way to get that fix when counting calories.