CITYWIDE — One down, 51 to go.
If your New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier, then Santa Monica’s Eat Well Week will help you cross a couple more days off the calendar.
Fourteen restaurants will participate in the second annual Eat Well Week — hosted by the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau — offering special menus that highlight their healthiest meals, add new healthy dishes, and modify some less healthy ones.
Of the 16 restaurants that participated last year, five are returning this year along with a slew of new eateries.
Al Mare, on the Santa Monica Pier, is not only new to Eat Well Week, but also new to Santa Monica.
Manager Tara John is predicting that the ravioli, which is stripped of its cheese filling in favor of a vegetable puree, could be their hot Eat Well Week item.
“We want to reach out to the people who live in the area of the pier and let them know we’re here and that Italian food can be healthy,” she said.
Five restaurants responded to a survey from last year’s Eat Well Week and they reported 450 Eat Well prix fixe menus and Eat Well dishes were ordered. That’s an average of almost 13 items a day per restaurant.
“In general the respon[ders] had great things to say about the program,” said CVB spokesperson Kelly Nagle.
There was a slight decrease in restaurant participation this year, she said, but the returning locations are excited to be back.
The Lobster is one of them, said Lynne Thomas, director of sales and marketing.
“It was great last year because we had a lot of people coming in with the misconception that The Lobster does not offer healthy food,” she said. “We really got to show off some of our healthiest dishes last year.”
Only the healthy desserts, which include Greek yogurt panna cotta, are different from The Lobster’s regular menu, Thomas said.
A $54 prix fixe menu allows The Lobster’s diners to choose one of the healthy desserts along with an appetizer, like Tamai farm beet salad and an entree like pan-roasted Loch Etive steelhead.
The CVB is also pointing out a number of fitness programs in the city available to diners looking to add a workout to their meals.
Aerial Physique, a circus-like workout on a silk apparatus, is offered at M7 Fitness on Montana Avenue, for example.
Lorna Jane, which sells workout clothing at the Santa Monica Place mall, is giving 20 percent off purchases with proof of receipt from an Eat Well Week restaurant.
The main focus, however, is the food.
“Santa Monica chefs take great pride in creating fresh farm-to-table dishes for an audience that has come to expect nothing but California cuisine at its finest,” said CVB CEO/President, Misti Kerns, in a release.
Eat Well Week starts on Sunday and runs through the following Sunday. For more information visit www.santamonica.com/where-to-eat/eat-well-week/