Posted by Teresa Egan Philipp / Friday, January 4th, 2013
The holidays are over, and perhaps you indulged in the deliciousness of the season.
Did you feast on decorated cookies delivered by your neighbors? Did you eat cinnamon bread, pumpkin bread, or some other “bread” that would be better described as cake? Did you, like me, enjoy a frosted buche de Noel like the one served during the holiday season at L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls?
If you answered yes to any of the above, perhaps you decided to be healthier in the new year.
My advice, as a BODYFLOW™ (a combination of yoga, tai chi and Pilates) instructor who assumes my classes will upend capacity in January, is to be easy on yourself. And start small by sharing meals. (Easier than amassing the willpower to take half home … when all that food is staring back at you.)
Be aware that some restaurants charge a split fee. But others are perfectly willing to serve the item on two separate plates or let you swap plates for no additional charge.
To start your adventure in restaurant meal-splitting, one person should scan salads options by focusing on greens without protein add-ons. The other person scans meat/fish/tofu entrees, ensuring a balanced meal.
Where to Share in NoVA Restaurants
1. Sweetwater Tavern
When my husband and I dine at Sweetwater Tavern in Falls Church, I generally pick the mixed greens salad with tomato, sun dried cranberries, dates, pine nuts and champagne vinaigrette. If I’m feeling decadent, I add goat cheese. For our entree, we might share the grilled fish of the day or roasted half young chicken rubbed with spices, smoked and slow roasted with basil redskin mashed potatoes and brown butter sauce. It’s a perfect balance of vegetables, protein and carbs.
2. Plaka Grill
At Plaka Grill in Vienna, we also use the same technique. One of us orders the Plaka salad starring olives, pepperoncini and feta. For our entree, we split a Chicago gyro. The gryo is consistently overstuffed with meat, so there is plenty to add to the salad. This has the added benefit of permitting you to get your mouth around the gyro without dropping half of it out!
3. Chef Geoff’s Tysons
Chef Geoff’s in Tysons Corner is another one of our favorite restaurants where we employ the same splitting technique. For our salad, we often split a beet salad adorned with pistachios and goat cheese croutons. An entree of swordfish with saffron risotto fills the rest of our table.
Chef Geoff’s is quite friendly to meal-splitters. If your server knows that you plan to split a meal, the kitchen will do the split on two separate plates with no split fee. But if the presentation of your dish would be compromised (think pizza or a beautiful cut of steak), the restaurant will opt to leave the dish intact for your viewing pleasure, and accompany it with empty dishes for sharing. As a manager at Chef Geoff’s says, “If our guests want to [share] and we can do it, then we will.”
Tags: Chef Geoff's Tysons, Falls Chruch, Falls Church, great falls, Gut Check, L'Auberge Chez Francois, meal sharing, Northern Virginia, Northern Virginia Magazine, NoVA, Plaka Grill, restaurants, Sweetwater Tavern, Teresa Egan Philipp, Tysons Corner, Vienna