Filling up on fattening cocktails instead of filet mignon seems like a good way to waste a meal at Morton’s the Steakhouse. So the chain with six area locations has just introduced a collection of Spa-Tinis ($14 each) to the menu. The selling point: They’re all 200 calories or less.
That number doesn’t make them health food — although they’re virtuous compared to the double porterhouse — but it’s a concession to the fact that even when splurging on a meal out, diners don’t want to totally blow their calorie budget.
“This is the perfect time to roll them out. In the summertime, more men and women are prone to watching their weight,” says Danny Festa, general manager of the downtown location (1050 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-955-5997).
Still, Festa suspects guys will stick with scotch or bourbon rather than branch out. These options are designed more for the ladies who lunch, since dudes may have difficulty asking for a “Skinny Blood Orange Cosmo.” That’s despite the fact that the blend of blood orange vodka, sugar-free triple sec, lime and cranberry juice delivers smooth sipping (with no icky aftertaste).
But anyone who’s man enough to order the “Red Velvet” will be rewarded with a souped-up version of a Kir Royale (with Lindemans framboise lambic). Festa’s fave is the “Skinny Rita,” a stripped-down margarita without the simple syrup (just tequila, agave nectar and lime). He’ll be serving that one at his Fourth of July bash.
The “Antioxidant Me” is the most blatant attempt to pander to body-conscious customers, with a recipe that calls for acai vodka, super-fruit puree, pomegranate juice and lime. Unfortunately, it tastes a bit like cough medicine.
The cure you’ll really crave is the “Lean & Green,” a minty mix of soju, agave nectar and lime, garnished with a slice of cucumber. It’s a side of spa with your steak — and that has to be better for you than the onion rings.
Recipe File: Lean & Green
Ty Ku Soju 1 1/2 oz
Monin Agave Nectar 1/2 oz
Fresh lime juice 1 1/2 oz
Mint leaves 10
Directions: Squeeze lime into shaker. Pour all into shaker. Add ice. Shake 25 times and double strain. Garnish with cucumber slice.
Image courtesy Morton’s