Truer Food: You Are What You Eat

If you’re searching for a dining experience with a menu packed full of healthy choices, look no further than one of the newer venues, True Food Kitchen, located at the west side entrance of Roosevelt Field Mall. This healthy, but casual dining experience opened a year ago under pandemic conditions, in the space that used to be occupied by Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace.

This seasonal Dr. Andrew Weil-inspired menu, filled with anti-inflammatory ingredients, is sure to reset your palate. The ingredients are ultra fresh and nearly unadorned, allowing you to experience food closest to its true essence and flavor.

On my visit to True Food Kitchen, I found the staff to be friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the menu and its ingredients. Local Executive Chef Seth Barton holds daily menu briefings with the staff to review popular items and ingredients for making the best suggestions to dining guests. The open-air kitchen is a great feature of this restaurant. I love the honesty of an open kitchen and that it is clean and organized and the movement within is well-controlled and flows gently.

The menu at True Food Kitchen fully evolves twice a year inspired by the season’s freshest ingredients, with supplemental items added in the winter and summer months. The flavors are explosive on every food item, but with a health factor behind it. The menu is based on anti-inflammatory concepts and most dietary needs and restrictions are easily accommodated. All of the menu items are labeled with dietary features (gluten-free,organic, etc.). Calories are listed. All dishes are customizable to any dietary need (diabetic, allergy, etc.).

Here are my suggestions:

Try Andy’s Elixir. It’s a sparkling water refresher made with sea buckthorn and honey. The coloring is easily mistaken for turmeric. The sea buckthorn, with a unique taste, is a Himalayan berry, packed with antioxidants. The taste of honey is prominent in this beverage.

Juniper Rose (front), Andy’s Elixer (back), Common Bond (right)

For a cocktail, try either the Juniper Rose or Common Bond. The Juniper Rose is lighter and refreshing made with rose-infused gin, lime, grapefruit and thyme. Gin, although it is a love-it or leave-it spirit with its medicinal hints, does clear the palate nicely. The great fall flavors of Common Bond with its bourbon, pressed apple, chai spice and lemon combination reminds me of my Aunt Nancy’s homemade wassail. Cocktails are $13. Refreshers and teas are $5. There is also an organic wine menu and several beer choices. I secretly love that they do not serve soda here at True Food Kitchen; it would negate the health benefits of your epicurean experience.

Brussel sprouts

For an appetizer, try the not-so-typically plain Brussels sprouts, roasted in a mushroom and miso sesame vinaigrette, then topped with chili threads, giving it a little zing of spice. Or, go for the edamame dumplings, with pureed filling, steamed in dashi white truffle oil and Asian herbs. Appetizers are $8 to $12.

Ancient Grains bowl with shrimp added

The Ancient Grains Bowl, with shrimp (or other protein choices) added is dynamic and filling. There is so much happening in this one dish, the miso sesame glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onions, snap peas, grilled portobello mushroom, avocado and hemp seed with cilantro and pumpkin seed pesto. Salads and bowls range from $11 to $16.

Chicken sausage pizza

Still thinking lighter fare, try a personal-sized pizza like the chicken sausage pie with crushed organic tomatoes, roasted fennel and smoked gouda. This portion is about two slices of traditional pizza and is deliciously filling. Pizzas range from $13.50 to $17.

Grass fed burger

The grass-fed burger topped with umami mushrooms, caramelized onions, organic arugula, parmesan and mayonnaise on a flax seed bun with a side of kale salad is sure to hit the spot. The bun is fun, full of texture and holds together exceptionally well. We haven’t seen kale on menus more than we have in the past five years or so. People have a love/hate relationship with kale, but this side salad is delightful, tossed with lemon, garlic, parmesan and breadcrumbs. Sandwiches and burgers range in price from $14 to $17.

Sea bass

The sea bass entree is a very popular choice at True Food Kitchen, served with roasted Brussels sprouts, fennel, golden beets, butternut squash, farro risotto, lemon, herbs and cashews. It’s a great portion. The full-grained risotto has an explosive flavor, nice pairing with the pan seared fish. Entrees range in price from $14.50 to $30.50.

Squash pie

For dessert, do have the seasonally appropriate, airy squash (almost like pumpkin and pumpkin is squash) pie on a thin crust with a dollop of coconut whipped cream and a cup of coffee to cap off the meal.

You don’t have to wait until January for new year’s resolutions to make better food choices when dining out. Make True Food Kitchen a must-try before the holiday season shopping bustle begins.

True Food Kitchen has more than 30 locations nationwide. The Garden City kitchen is located at 630 Old Country Rd. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating in addition to curbside pickup. A children’s menu is available (pizza, bowl, burger, etc.).

Visit www.truefoodkitchen.com to view the full menu, find additional locations and see partner brands.

Christy Hinko
Christy Hinko is a managing editor at Anton Media Group. She is a New York Press Association (NYPA) and Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) award-winning writer and photographer.

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