Chelsea residents usually think of Restaurant Week, which kicks off on Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 6, as a temporary passport into the city’s temples of decadent, expensive cuisine.
But what if patrons can enjoy dining out without the stick of butter and poultry slathered in sauce?
Enter the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation (CWF).
The local nonprofit is teaming up with eight local restaurants to highlight the importance of eating healthy without the added pressure of counting carbs.
"Throughout the week, the participating restaurants will highlight either something new or an existing health menu item for customers ot try," Matt Pegouskie, CWF program and community resource manager said.
Each of the restaurants have agreed to provide a dish that meets four of six criteria: Preparation (grilled, baked, broiled, or raw), low sodium content, two or more servings of fruit or vegetables, one serving of lean protein, small portion size, and whole grain.
Menus for the restaurants have already been posted online and can be viewed on the CWF website.
Back to the Roots co-owner Jason Bendinelli said he is happy to participate in the restaurant week.
"Eating healthy is what we're all about," Bendinelli said. "The mission of the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation is to make this area the healthiest in the Midwest. That's our mission, too."
The restaurant will offer pumpkin soup made with whole pumpkins, garlic, ginger, whole bran muffins, and Phoenix rolls (seaweed salad, red pepper and avocado on a bed of rice).
Pegouskie hopes the restaurants will continue to highlight their healthy options after Restaurant Week is over.
“We believe this event will lay the groundwork for future discussions on the 5 Healthy Towns Project and area restaurants can work together to make our communities the healthiest in the Midwest," he said.
For more information, visit www.5healthytowns.org.