Eating Healthy — Navigating the Menu at Local

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After my first workout session with a personal trainer, I looked at him with desperation in my eyes. I knew I was going to be so sore I could barely function.

His reply to my silent plea for help was, “Go home, take a cold bath, stretch, and eat lots of protein.” What a great excuse to visit Jackson’s new steakhouse, Local, and load up on protein!

I’m prone to liking Local, since I’m an employee of Trio, the sister restaurant. Working for them in a small restaurant, I know the owners/chefs, Paul Wireman and Will Bradof, well. I see all the time that they are extremely passionate about delivering a high-quality, delicious and inventive food and want every customer to leave satisfied.

Local is a contemporary take on a steakhouse, which is lucky for the healthy-minded locals and visitors of Jackson Hole.

Steakhouses can be a disaster waiting to happen for your health. Often, all starters are fried, like the classic Bloomin’ Onion, and fatty red meats are the only focus. Local, as a modern steakhouse, has the health advantages of a raw bar with oysters and tuna, lots of fresh, light appetizers and a variety of leaner steak cuts and wild game. Yes, there are 12 beers on tap, a darn good burger, trout entirely wrapped in bacon, and chicken masala served with truffle mash potatoes.

I’ve been hearing raves about these dishes all over town, but I came to eat light and load up on protein. Here’s a guide to doing the same (but if you skied all day and deserve a splurge, please, get either the pork chop with spinach, Gruyere and leek bread pudding with the sour cherry gastrique, or the ribeye for two, and write to me about it so that I can experience them vicariously.)

For Starters:

Oyster shooters: Stop what you’re doing and go to Local right now and get their latest preparation of oyster shooters featuring pomegranate sorbet, carrot puree and Champagne. This light, yet lush, combo is not to be missed.

Shrimp cocktail: The tomato- and horseradish-infused shrimp is sous-vied, a cooking method of placing food in airtight bags and slow cooking them in water. This leads to juicy and flavorful shrimp, low in calories and big in flavor. The creative spin on a classic dish makes it a new favorite. Served with house-made smoked tomato and horseradish sauce, this shrimp cocktail has grown-up appeal.

Oysters on the half shell: Low in calories and fat, oysters are a great start to a meal. The salty taste of the sea and the fun of eating right out of a shell make it like an adventure vacation in an appetizer.

Prosecco: A crisp and bubbly glass of prosecco is a great pairing with many of Local’s appetizers, especially the seafood. At 80 calories a glass, it’s the perfect addition to your starter.

The Main Course:

Red wine: Local’s menu is the perfect opportunity for a nice bottle of red wine. It’s good for your heart in moderation, and good for your soul when perfectly paired with these steakhouse options. The knowledgeable staff can help you find the right bottle. I choose an Italian sangiovese and was very happy.

Seared elk medallions: One of the benefits of Jackson is access to yummy game. Elk has a fraction of the fat and calories of beef but still fulfills a red meat craving. Local’s current preparation, including a slightly crunchy coffee sear, with sweet potato puree and a huckleberry sauce is amazing. The crisp sear, with the creamy mash and bright berry flavor, is an expert combination that makes eating out worth the cost. Plus, with the sweet potatoes, you will be loading up on vitamin C and D, helping to keep you healthy and happy during these winter months.

Filet mignon: This steak delivers tenderness and flavor, skipping on fat. It does come topped with compound butter, which can easily be on the side. You have the choice of sauces, and your best choice for health is the chimichurri. This Argentinian sauce is basically parsley, garlic, olive oil, and anchovies. That’s two heart healthy sources of fat, olive oil and anchovies. The sharp flavor of the chimichurri is the perfect complement to the dense red meat.

New York strip: With slightly more fat than a filet, the strip is still an extra-lean cut of meat, but has more flavor. It delivers in decadence, but is less marbled than a cut such as the rib eye, which is a splurge.

Sides:

Sautéed spinach: Bypass the creamed option, and stick with this sauté. Ask for light oil if you really want to be good.

Vegetable hash:  A mix of butternut squash, rutabagas, cauliflower, onions and garlic, this is a great addition to any of the steaks. Seasoned with herbs de Provence, and cooked with lemon, oil and butter, this winter mix barely seems like vegetables. I didn’t even miss potatoes.


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About Author

Jessica Zelenko writes the blog Becoming a Badass. When she’s not waiting tables she hunts down adventure and good eats.

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