Think eating healthy means leaving hungry? The recently opened D’Novo Lean Gourmet features healthy, quick meals that are filling and flavorful.
If you were to first enter D’Novo through the dining room, you might think you were lost, perhaps in a swanky Parisian restaurant. White leather booths, a smattering of expensive artworks and high ceilings draped with crystal chandeliers do not usually spell “fast casual.” Luckily, upon entering, you are guided first to the order area, decked out with flat-screen TVs that display the menu, along with gorgeous photographs to help tantalize you.
The concept is not new. Walk in and order from the counter, get a number, get your drink and find your table. However, the scenery and the menu are completely unexpected. While health-food meal plan delivery services are extremely popular on the West Coast, they have not yet taken off in the middle of the country. Things are about to change. D’Novo Lean Gourmet’s meal delivery service, also the brainchild of the restaurant’s owner, Anna Hollinger, is already popular among Tulsans who are trying to eat healthier but don’t want a frozen microwave dinner from the supermarket. Giving “lean cuisine” a whole new outlook, the recently opened D’Novo restaurant’s menu items are all less than 500 calories.
My husband and I, both eager to see what the hubbub was all about, snuck in on a recent weekday evening to check out the dinner menu. Immediately, we were faced with a dilemma: what to order. The entire menu sounded delicious, and is broken out into four main categories — appetizers, entrée salads, flatbreads and pastas, and entrées. We decided to start with the pan-seared chicken potstickers with orange ponzu sauce ($6.95). The dumplings were flavorful, especially when dipped into the super-tangy sauce. My only disappointment — there were only three. While we were hoping to snack on dumplings while waiting for the next few dishes to arrive, our entire order came to the table at once, a bit disappointing.
We also shared the grilled pineapple flatbread ($8.95), an ultra-thin crust topped with grilled pineapple, bacon, mandarin orange wedges and fontina cheese. Another delicious starter, although we couldn’t figure out whether the crust was a type of tortilla, some sort of thin pita or actual pizza dough.
For those of you who think the “healthy” menu means only getting a bite or two, you will be happily mistaken. The coconut-marinated chicken salad, an entrée salad, was big enough for two to share. Tender and flavorful chicken breast is mixed with fresh greens, macadamia nuts, mango and red peppers and tossed with a slightly sweet orange-basil vinaigrette ($10.95).
We also tried the turkey meatloaf quesadilla. (I am still trying to figure out how it is less than 500 calories.) Hearty sliced meatloaf is layered between ultra-thin flatbread with cheddar cheese, caramelized red onions and cumin sour cream ($8.95). Other entrées include seared salmon with pecan wild rice ($14.95), grilled London broil over mashed sweet potatoes ($13.95) and an open-faced grilled bison burger with caramelized red onion and mushrooms ($10.95).
A quad of desserts is offered, including a red wine poached pear with gingered labne (thick Greek-style yogurt); lemon pound cake with macerated berries; and a warm seasonal fruit cobbler (apple and cranberry on the night we visited) served with vanilla ice cream. The ice cream was the only disappointment, for it had the taste of artificial sweetener. All desserts are $4.95.
D’Novo is not the only of Hollinger’s ventures taking over the 22,000 square feet vacated by The Market several years ago. LXI, a clever spin on 61 referring to KingsPointe’s location on East 61st Street, will offer small plates, wine and cocktails. On the north side of D’Novo will be a small specialty market offering delicious D’Novo items for takeout, fresh produce and aged beef.
And if you can’t make it into the restaurant, D’Novo Lean Gourmet also still offers all types of catering and its flagship home meal delivery, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. A sample menu: scrambled eggs with mushrooms and goat cheese; lemongrass-marinated grilled chicken salad with asparagus, oranges, sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette for lunch; poached Red Bliss potato stuffed with turkey salad as an afternoon snack; and veal scaloppini with Meyer lemon piccata and organic whole wheat spaghetti for dinner. Delivery prices start at $41.50 per day. For more information on the restaurant or the delivery service, visit www.dnovoleangourmet.com.