By Micaela Myers | April 11, 2012 8:38 AM
Based around Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet and offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu options, True Food Kitchen may sound like a health food joint to those who haven’t dined there, but the concept is actually to use the best ingredients possible to create truly delicious cuisine for brunch, lunch and dinner. The restaurant sources high-quality grains, vegetables, wild caught fish, certified Angus natural beef and free-range chicken. The menu changes seasonally and features locally or regionally sourced products.
The restaurant’s ambiance is as light and fresh as the fare, with a clean, open layout, bamboo accents and an outdoor patio and lounge surrounded by foliage.
On my recent visit, the caramelized onion tart topped my list of starters. Featuring smoked garlic, black fig and gorgonzola, it was a flavorful beginning to our meal. While kale is not usually found on salad menus, True Food’s shredded Tuscan kale salad with lemon, Parmesan and breadcrumbs is tangy and tasty. A newer item on the menu, the gluten-free cheese ravioli features roasted squash, Brussels sprouts and Parmesan mushroom broth, but my real entrée favorite was the panang curry. Made with brown rice, potato, broccoli, ginger, carrot, mushroom and coconut shellfish broth, and a choice of tofu, chicken or shrimp, the curry has the perfect kick to it.
Just in time for spring, True Food has also revamped its weekend brunch menu, adding a host of items, such as a gluten-free spice carrot muffin; Goji berry granola with Greek yogurt, banana, dried blueberries, walnuts and puff brown rice; whole grain hot cereal; gluten-free quinoa johnny cakes and more.
True Food mixes up freshly squeezed cocktails, such as the signature Spontaneous Happiness with ginger and vanilla infused sochu, St. Germain Elderflower and fresh lime. I preferred the refreshing Flower Child, made with juniper green organic gin, St. Germain Elderflower, pineapple juice, honey lemonade, fennel and mint. The menu also features non-alcoholic refreshments, such as the green Kale Aid with kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger juice.
The dessert menu is no exception to the entrée menu, offering gluten- and dairy-free delicacies. The flourless chocolate cake is not-to-be-missed: With 72 percent cocoa, plus vanilla ice cream and caramel, the cake itself is the perfect combination of taste and texture—crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.
Warmer weather means True Food’s large outdoor seating area will be back in full swing, complete with a living herb garden wall—the perfect spot to enjoy the new brunch menu, lunch or an early dinner.
True Food Kitchen, 451 Newport Center Dr.; 949-644-2400; truefoodkitchen.com