By Christalyn Warner

Summer’s here! That means bikini season and fun in the sun. This is the time of year we exercise more, eat healthier and maintain our Florida tans. Our beaches and the summer heat are great motivators and dictators of our food choices. Its rare that in 90 degree weather you will want hot soup and a lamb shank in a rich red wine reduction. The summer months lead to eating lighter fresh foods with bright flavors. Downtown dining during the summer makes one want to eat delicious vibrant food. Not to mention maintaining that beach body, which becomes a huge priority around June. Going out to eat can often create a problem when your goal is to look healthier and downtown has some decadent restaurants, which could wind up keeping you in the gym 30 minutes longer than usual the next day. Feeling guilty after a decadent meal isn’t really necessary because most restaurants have healthy options that make dining out a more pleasurable experience. Instead of ordering steamed vegetables and grilled chicken, you have many more options than you may think. Having found some great summertime light fare in downtown, you will be surprised that light, vibrant food can be so delicious. Let’s begin with Boheme Bistro, where you can start with a simple hummus appetizer $12.00, and a Fattoush Salad $13.00, consisting of romaine, cucumber, tomato, onion and parsley in a lemon sumac dressing. Follow up with Snapper $32.00, with spinach, garlic, tomatoes and jasmine rice. Or stop by Dada for their Kale Ceaser Appetizer Salad $8.00, and their Vegetable Quiche $15.00, entrée with a sweet ending of a Bowl Full of Berries. $6.00.

Brule is another great spot. Start with their Citrus Ceviche Martini $12.00, or the Arugula Salad $6/$10, with pecan, green apple and bleu cheese. Then onto an entrée of either Pan Seared Diver Scallops & Wild Ramps $27.00, or Grilled Spear Caught Swordfish $27.00. These are all great options to enjoy multi- course meals and feel good at the end of it. Max’s Harvest has a great Palm Beach Harvest Salad $13.00, with Swank Farms lettuces, baby heirloom tomatoes, avocado, apples, almonds, raisins, corn, goat cheese, and champagne chive vinaigrette. And for a hearty entrée, though still healthy, try the Brick Chicken served with warm farro salad, pearl onions, cauliflower, mustard greens, delicata squash and natural jus. Tryst has this delicious Jumbo Asparagus $12.00, with roasted garlic, olives and parmesan small plate. Pan Seared Local Snapper $27.00, and all natural Chicken Schnitzel $21.00, with swank farms lettuces, french feta and heirloom tomatoes are delicious healthy options as well. City Oyster’s Butter Lettuce Salad $7.50, with creamy herb vinagrette, fennel, apple, radish and pine nuts is a delicious light appetizer salad. Their Blackened Grouper $29.00, with mango pineapple salsa, and black beans and rice and Grilled Chicken Breast $21.00, with an herb garlic lemon marinade, served with a bermuda onion, tomato and cucumber salad will surprise your tastebuds. Caffe Luna Rosa has a Vegetable Plate that is out of this world ranging from $15- $21 depending on your choices. The Seven Vegetable Burger $12.75, is another winner, wrapped in either a cucumber tortilla wrap or leaf lettuce wrap. The Salmon ai Ferri $25.00, is so delicious you’re going to want to have it at least once a week. Luna Rosa uses only fresh seafood and natural raised protein, which is something that has become so important in our present fast food over- processed culture.

Prime has a delicious Pan Roasted Chicken Breast $22.00, with grilled asparagus, exotic mushrooms and sweet potato mash. Atlantic Grille’s Pan-Seared Tuna $29.00, with faro, sun dried tomatoes, arugula and fava beans in a lemon vinagrette. The Crispy Chicken Breast with fingerling potato and edamame succotash, roasted cioppini onions and tomato are also great summer entrées. Also check into Jimmy’s Bistro and 32 East as they change their menu daily and always have something healthy and delicious on their fantastic menus. Lemongrass’ menu is full of healthy options, like the Tuna Lovers Salad $13.00, sliced seared tuna steak over mixed greens with massago, sesame seeds and wasabi aoili and their cucumber wrapped rolls like the KC Rainbow $10.00, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, kani, asparagus and masago. Off Atlantic Avenue check out Yama for great sushi like the Bahama Roll $9.95, with spicy conch and Yama Roll $11.95, toro or hamachi with avocado and scallions. Ziree also has great sushi and Thai food. The most notable healthy options are the Sumo Roll $12.95, with tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, along with avocado, asparagus and cucumber. The B&B Roll $11.95, asparagus and avocado, topped with tuna and eel. Japanese is a great go to when you’re looking for light, fresh summertime fare. Enjoy Summer with these lighter entrée options featured around town and you’re sure to stay healthy and happy throughout the season. Christalyn Warner writes a local food blog. Find it at