Can it be true? Can we eat our pasta and have it too?  Word came this week that Caffe Luna Rosa is adding some menu items even your cardiologist could love—Weight Watchers inspired! Let’s face it, we always talk about dining as “entertainment,” farm to table, blah blah blah—but we never talk about farm to waistline, organic to inner thigh. And no matter how beautiful the food is, it can be tough not to gain weight in this town—especially if you like to patronize all of our great restaurants.

I know I’m not the only person who laughs in the face of portion control, always asks for more bread, and who never met a French fry she didn’t like. Fish? Hah! Bring me a rib eye.  Comes with mac and cheese? Perfect. Small plates? Order six of them and then do not share. But my worst weakness, the one that I will end up going to meetings for, is pasta. Red sauce, meatballs,  putanesca, sausage and rapini, clams with linguini, you name it. 

So when an Italian restaurant offers to shave off a few calories, I am so there.  This is news.  This is BIG.

The restaurant’s principal owner, Fran Marincola, says: “The younger generation is teaching the older how to dine out while maintaining healthy living and the older generation is now eating healthier. Bottom-line we are in the business to feed people so if they want healthier options, I have to provide it.”

The new dishes will be vegan, vegetarian and weight watchers-inspired (calibrated to the points system). Low-calorie cocktails have also been added to the menu. 

“After losing 22 pounds on the weight watcher program, I found it difficult to eat in my own restaurant not knowing what the points were and for my wife who is a vegetarian,” says Marincola. “Losing the weight inspired the idea to add the point options to the menu. After all, Italian food is vegetarian, we just needed to adapt to weight watchers portions and use healthy substitutes for butter and oils. Our new healthier options maintain the quality and freshness Luna Rosa patrons are accustomed to, I guarantee it!”

Examples: whole-wheat linguini Bolognese, soy glazed Salmon, grilled salmon with asparagus chicken salad lettuce wraps. This is not to say you can’t indulge in a, shall we say, more traditional pasta dish, but at least you have the option to behave if you need to.

Hats off to Caffe Luna Rosa for that!  I am already looking for a parking space…