LI Mediterranean Restaurants That Make Dining Out Healthy

Shaped from foods consumed in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to numerous health benefits. Staples like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats found in fish, olive oil and nuts, help reduce the risk of heart disease and breast cancer and even have potential memory-related benefits. U.S. News and Reports placed it at the top of its latest best diets report. Get a taste of these dishes at five Long Island Mediterranean restaurants making dining out healthy.

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Ara Greek Kitchen & Bar, Commack

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image: facebook.com/aragreekkitchen

Through a mix of authentic Greek dishes and modern twists, this new kitchen has an eye for presentation. The colorful salads are popular, including the horiatiki, a delicious medley of tomatoes, cucumber, grilled onions, olives, feta, oregano and sundried bread tossed in a red wine vinaigrette. Another highlight is the seafood, especially the octopus, calamari and salmon. Be careful not to make a meal on the fresh breadbasket accompanied by olive oil and olives that immediately arrives on the table—all the dinner portions are generously sized. Phone: 631-360-8336 | Address: 2 Henry St Click to go

Ayhan’s Shish Kebab, Port Washington and Baldwin

Praised for its authentic Mediterranean cuisine, Ayhan’s bases its dishes from Turkey, Greece, Israel and Cyprus. Author of The 28 Day Mediterranean Diet Plan, owner Ayhan Hassan is all about introducing his customers to healthy and delicious food. Customers rave about the hummus made with blended chickpeas, garlic and tahini. Another favorite are the jumbo shrimp and steak kebabs served with soup or salad, rice, vegetables, garlic yogurt sauce and homemade pita bread. Plus, Ayhan’s Mediterranean marketplace and gourmet cafe are on the corner of Main Street and Shore Road in Port Washington for quick and healthy shopping. Click to go

MP Taverna, Roslyn

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image: facebook.com/pg/mptavernaroslyn

Chef Michael Psilakis, author of Live to Eat: 7 Key Recipes, 125 Simple Meals, A Whole New Way to Cook, has made huge strides in putting modern Greek cuisine on New York’s culinary map. (He also owns Kefi and FishTag in NYC!) The sole Long Island location of MP Taverna serves an array of popular Greek dishes. Take the signature MP chopped salad, grilled branzino served with fingerling potato, cherry tomato, garlic and olive or the mouth-watering roasted lemon chicken. Phone: 516-686-6486 | Address: 1363 Old Northern Blvd Click to go

One North Mediterranean Soul, Jericho

Between savory Mediterranean-inspired dishes like fresh whole fish, hand-made pasta, salads and a raw bar, One North makes it easy for diners to feel like they have been transported to the Mediterranean coast. There are imported fish entrees like the dover sole from the Mediterranean Sea, finished with lemon, capers and salt. There’s also grilled zucchini and squash with imported olive oil and a colossal crab cake appetizer (parsley, chive, lemon, olive oil purée and cucumber fennel salad). The ambiance is even more relaxing with natural earthy tones, rich woods, colorful mosaics and rugged stone accents. Phone: 516-605-1400 | Address: 4 Old Jericho Turnpike Click to go

Olive Branch Café, Greenport

Tucked away in a small square on Greenport’s Front Street, this Mediterranean spot (one side of the courtyard is a cafe, the other a full restaurant and kitchen) is known for taking tastebuds on an international excursion. Visitors can find food from Turkey, Greece and France in a warm setting. Highlights include the red lentil soup slow cooked in chicken broth with pepper paste, olive oil and dry mint and the Mediterranean chicken burrito wrap served with tzatziki sauce and a side salad. Phone: 631-333-2444 | Address: 120 Front St Click to go