Here’s to Good Health & a Good Meal!
True Food Kitchen
5375 Tamiami Trail, Naples
Who puts brussels sprouts on a pizza and pomegranate seeds in a sandwich? The creative culinary minds of True Food Kitchen! Unusual flavor profiles excite the tastebuds at this trendy spot for upscale-casual dining at Waterside Shops. The thoughtful choice of ingredients isn’t just for novelty’s sake. Health benefits accompany these flavor boosters.
The True Food Kitchen concept was developed in partnership with celebrity health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, who has long promoted the merits of an anti-inflammatory, plant-based diet. Don’t let that scare you away. The succulent selections at True Food Kitchen are so flavorful you won’t miss the meat. Staunch carnivores, relax! Many menu items allow the option of adding chicken, shrimp, albacore tuna, salmon or grass-fed steak.
Beverages are just as interesting. Refreshers include fruit juice blends like Pomegranate Chia Limeade and the “Hangover Rx”: a healthy blend of pineapple, orange, honey and coconut water. Our favorite was the Sparkling Antioxidant Tea, a zinger blending iced, organic green tea with pomegranate juice and fresh-squeezed lemon. Additionally, the indoor/outdoor scratch bar offers local beers, wine and fantastic seasonal cocktails made using fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices paired with organic spirits.
The vibe at True Food Kitchen is upbeat and casual. Vivacious conversations fill the air, and everyone seems relaxed. The large, open dining room and open kitchen offer transparency; nothing is hidden. The True Food Kitchen menu is ever evolving as the culinary team innovates and incorporates the ripest produce of the season. It is popular not only with vegans and vegetarians but anyone with special dietary concerns or food allergies.
Even the decor of the restaurant says “natural” with light wood tones and organic greens. Live plants line the windowsills. A covered patio offers open-air and fireside seating.
The Naples location was the first to open in Florida and the 17th nationwide with 15 more scheduled to open in 2018. Naples chef Anthony Esposito has become a believer in Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Since leaving fine dining — with its fatty meats and heavy creams sauces — and coming to True Food Kitchen, he has lost nearly 100 pounds in 12 months.
“I feel great,” says Chef Anthony. “I feel energized after I eat this food. It’s clean eating.”
He challenges skeptics to give True Food Kitchen the opportunity to prove that health food can be delicious. “Let us impress you with the simplicity and freshness of our products,” he says.
The menu is filled with Mediterranean and Asian influences. Although the individual ingredients are simple, the resulting dishes are quite complex in flavor. It’s surprising how good gluten-free, organic — and even vegan — food can taste!
“We want to be the place where everybody comes for lunch or dinner to enjoy a healthy meal,” says the chef. “We focus on the answer ‘yes’ and make sure our guests are happy.”
Wild Caught Albacore Tataki
Taste the freshness of wild caught albacore tuna in this flavorful Asian-inspired appetizer. Tuna is prepared in Japanese tataki style: raw with a slight sear on the edges. Avocado, jalapeño, toasted sesame and yuzu ponzu sauce add dimension to this savory-sweet, citrusy starter.
Seasonal Ingredient Salad
An eclectic mix of peak-season ingredients make this one of the most interesting salads around. The Seasonal Ingredient Salad blends brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, white beans and pomegranate with the sweetness of the squash balanced by a horseradish vinaigrette. Toasted mulberry delivers a delightful crunch. We added shrimp as a protein choice.
Ancient Grains Bowl with Salmon
Talk about a tasty blend of fresh ingredients! Ancient grains including quinoa, brown rice and farro are topped with turmeric, charred onion, snow peas, grilled portobello, hemp seed and avocado and served with miso-glazed sweet potatoes. The combination of fresh and cooked vegetables is simply amazing. Bowls may be augmented with tofu, chicken, shrimp, grass-fed steak or salmon.
Mediterranean Chicken Pita
Sandwiches and pizzas are popular at lunchtime, and most are made with gluten-free ingredients. The Mediterranean Chicken is served in grilled flatbread filled with romaine, arugula, grapes, red onion and feta cheese. There’s also a tangy, house-made pickle and a tasty tahini sauce made from Indian pepper paste. Try the pita with a side of kale salad and cubed sweet potatoes. You’ll never miss the french fries!
Meaty sea bass lends its buttery fish flavor to this healthy entree topped with the freshness of broccolini and snap peas. An Asian style umami sauce enhances flavor, along with the earthiness of Ancient Grains and roasted mushrooms.
Flourless Chocolate Pie & Chia Seed Pudding
The dessert menu at True Food Kitchen is simple: four, flavorful items (three of them gluten free). The Flourless Chocolate Cake is made with almond butter, coconut cream, rice milk, bean paste and caramel sauce. It’s topped with house-made Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream. Our favorite dessert of the night was the Chia Seed Pudding, its creamy goodness enhanced by banana and topped with toasted coconut. Try it with a Cinnamon Vanilla Latte!