Eating to Live on the Outside: Girasole

As a card-carrying member of Italian-American society, I think I’m pretty qualified to examine Girasole for this week’s Eating to Live on the Outside, and, a good friend of mine asked me to do it. So, let’s see if this Italian kitchen passes the test.

Actually, it’s pretty bad. I just scanned through the lunch and dinner menu and both menus don’t offer much for the discerning nutritarian. I kind of expected it. As an Italian guy, I can tell you firsthand, since I started eating a vegetable-based nutrient-dense diet. I’ve cut out A LOT of traditional Italian favorites; things like pizza, chicken parmesan, lasagna, antipasto, and meatballs.

Sure, now I’m the black sheep at family get-togethers, but that doesn’t bother me. I’ve been crazy for years. So eating lots of fruits and vegetables and doing Yoga is pretty tame for me. Okay, enough about me, back to the Girasole’s menu.

Okay, I’ll start with the appetizers. Well, there’s a whole mess of them—mess being the operative word—lots of gooey cheese, sausage, and prosciutto. Yeah, not exactly health-promoting, but, there are two menu items I could roll with.

The first is the Funghi Trifolati. It’s made with Portabello mushrooms, domestic mushrooms, sautéed white wine, herbs, garlic, and bread crumbs. Not perfect, I know. But comparatively speaking, it’s not bad. The sautéing and the bread crumbs are a concession, but mushrooms are great and so is garlic—right?

Next up is the Vongole in Bianco or Rosso. Relax you don’t need to know Italian. It’s prepared with clams, and your choice of white wine and garlic broth, marinara, or far diavolo sauce. This one is certainly iffy. According to Oceans Alive clams have some contamination issues. So, even if I ordered them with the marinara sauce—which I would—I’d still have to deal with the typical seafood concession.

Alright, truth be told. I probably wouldn’t eat either of these appetizers, but in a pinch and if for some reason I HAD to order an appetizer. I’d go with Funghi Trifolati. Hey, let’s just move onto the salads!

Now, the Insalate is not the slam dunk it can sometimes be. For example, consider the Mozzarella Fresca e Pomodoro. It’s hardly a salad—this is actually a pretty common Italian food—its just mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. Not exactly a salad packed with phyonutrients—egad!

As for the real salads, I like the Tre Colori—in fact, I think this is the best option overall—it’s prepared with arugula, radicchio, Belgian endive, and lemon vinaigrette. Nothing too bad here, just order the vinaigrette on the side and you should be all set—agreed?

At first the Capricciosa caught my eye, until I looked closely. The lead ingredient is organic greens—GREAT—right? But it quickly gets a whole lot worse; provolone cheese, olives, and salami. I saw that stuff and all I could say was, “Feets don’t fail me now!” No thanks.

And that’s it folks. I don’t see anything else I’d consider ordering. There are pasta dishes, but I hardly eat pasta anymore and none of Girasole’s are worth taking the refined pasta hit. Like I said, when you’re an Italian nutritarian a lot of your traditional ethnic food goes out the window.

Alright, now it’s your turn. Perhaps I’m in a stupor. Maybe Girasole really is a great place for nutritarians to grab a meal. So do me a favor, check out Girasole’s menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat wisely! Peace.
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