Eating to Live on the Outside: 18 West

I’ve got to thank Earl, Dr. Fuhrman’s tech-support and resident superman, for suggesting this week’s restaurant. Believe it or not, but it can take me a long time to find a place to review. So, this week Eating to Live on the Outside heads to 18 West. Well, digitally at least.

Alright, between the lunch and dinner menu I see a few appetizers I could run with. The Steamed clams are cool and so are the Mussels Bianco and the Zuppa Di Clams. The Mussels Bianco is made with farm raised mussels a light white wine, oil, and garlic broth. A little iffy, but I can deal with the oil and wine. The Zuppa Di Clams is better; little neck clams simmered in a light plum tomato broth. Now, Oceans Alive considers both mussels and clams safe to eat and according to Dr. Fuhrman mussels and clams are decent food choices. From the Food Scoring Guide:

18 West offers up two good salads too. The Spring Mix Salad is a bit of a mystery. The menu doesn’t say what’s in it, but it’s probably pretty basic. Ask the wait staff to be sure. Oh, and order the dressing on the side or not at all. The Seafood Salad could work too. Although, it doesn’t specify what seafood is in it. Again, ask the wait staff. Aside from the seafood it comes with onions, peppers, celery, and a lemon, oil, and garlic dressing. Provided the seafood checks out, it’s cool with me.

Okay, if you’re feeling bold. Maybe you want to give the pasta a whirl. The best options are the Papardella con Broccoli Rabe and Shrimp and the Cavatelli & Broccoli. Obviously I like the both of these for the broccoli rabe and the broccoli, the light oil and garlic broth is okay, but the parmesean cheese and shrimp have got to go. I don’t like shrimp and I wouldn’t eat cheese if you held a gun to my head. As for the cavatelli, I can handle it in this instance, but believe me. I know pasta isn’t a nutrient-dense food. Just focus on the greens, just focus on the greens!

Onto the entrees, I like the Tilapia Mare Chiaro. It’s prepared with tilapia, plum tomato broth, clams, mussels, linguini, and a side salad. Alright, both Dr. Fuhrman and Oceans Alive approve of tilapia, so that’s cool, but I’m nixing the linguini—I know, an Italian passing on pasta—sorry, not enough nutrients! I also like the Grilled Salmon Natural or Champagne Cream. Clearly, I’m going natural—not interested in the cream sauce. That means it comes with grilled salmon, exotic mushrooms, and NO light champagne cream sauce for me. When I read “cream sauce” I head for the hills.

Now, as is often the case, you could go very simple. Stick with the sides. In a pinch I could certainly be happy with a side of sautéed broccoli rabe, roasted vegetables, and a baked potato. What makes me sad is, as an Italian, I can’t really eat anything at an Italian restaurant. Maybe when I become a millionaire, I’ll open my own vegetable-based nutrient-dense Italian restaurant!

Overall, not 18 West is not the worst restaurant I’ve reviewed. A real bad Italian restaurant was Girasole. I’m pretty confident an Eat to Liver could make 18 West work, but, let’s not kid ourselves. I’m a big dummy. I blog for a living! So, it’s your turn. Check out 18 West’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. As always, make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat well. Peace!
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Sara - June 20, 2008 10:58 PM

I think I pass this place often- it's in Raritan? I only thing I would consider eating is the salad and the sides.

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