Skinny Review: Eating Healthy at Red Red Wine Bar, an Annapolis Restaurant

Red Red Wine Bar, a locally owned Annapolis Maryland Restaurant:

Skinny Pick:
Mediterranean Personal Pizza on Wheat Flatbread

A stone ground wheat flatbread crust that was crisp and airy, topped with roasted garlic, baby spinach, mushroom, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and housemade marinara sauce.

Skinny pizza?  You betcha!  It’s possible when ordering it on the stone ground whole-grain flatbread crust at Annapolis restaurant scene’s new Red Red Wine Bar.  Owned by Washington DC newscaster Brian Bolter and his talented wife Lisa Bolter, this eclectic, Bohemian place is a combination of my two favorite dining out ingredients:  Cheap red wine and nutritious food options.  Top it off with an unpretentious server and crowd, and it’s the perfect ambiance for this Annapolis restaurant non-snobby wine bar.

The Mediterranean Personal Pizza on Wheat Flatbread is an all in one package for me with goat cheese for protein, five vegetables for nutritious fiber, and my one main carb from the wheat flatbread.  The helpful owners even showed this Skinny skeptic the flatbread package.  It is indeed a whole-grain with about 170 calories and 4 grams of fiber for 1/2 pizza crust.  Sodium is at a reasonable 400 mg for 1/2 pizza crust, provided it is your lone salt of the meal.  In other words, watch the cheese and other toppings that will add to it, and don’t you dare touch the salt shaker.  (Note:  This pizza is reasonable enough in calories from the crust, goat cheese and vegetables to eat the entire thing with little remorse.  For purists, know that an entire flatbread ups the sodium and serves as a double portion of carbs at 60 grams.  Just sayin’…).

For added protein, either shrimp, chicken or steak can be topped on the pizza, but I found the chunks of goat cheese to be very substantial, even for this protein addict.  While some restaurant vegetable pizzas can taste a little flat or boring, this Mediterranean pizza was excellent and fresh with pops of bold flavor.

Skinny Pick Runner Up:  Baja Chicken, an entrée salad with grilled chicken breast, roasted corn, tomato, avocado and roasted red peppers on Romaine lettuce.  I appreciate that it doesn’t come with dried sugary fruit or added cheese.  The avocado provides some great healthy fat and nutritional calories.  Just remember that it only qualifies as a Skinny Pick Runner Up if you ditch the Chipotle Ranch Dressing and substitute it with the Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing on the side, with only 15 calories plus 3 grams of sugar per serving.  Or for crazed purists like me, ask for lemon and olive oil to drizzle yourself to eliminate the sugar altogether.

Other Skinny Pick Runner Ups:  I couldn’t resist tasting the local favorite City Dock Personal Pizza on Wheat Flatbread, which is a white pizza with shrimp, crab, garlic, olive oil, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  If you order it, also order a side Garden Salad with the Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing on the side.  Eat HALF of the City Dock Pizza on Wheat, plus the entire side Garden Salad for a complete Skinny meal with vegetables.  It was extremely good, but I’d still rate the Mediterranean Pizza with its surprise bursts of flavors as the top taste test winner, too.

Red Red Wine Bar also serves several main dinner entrees, but most come with various sauces.  I’m a purist at restaurants.  Stick to the two pizza options or the chicken and avocado salad for your first visit.  Besides, how many times will you hear this Skinny woman tell you to order pizza?!  Take that ball and run with it.

Vegetarians, this review was an easy one for all of you, too.  My top Skinny Pick, Mediterranean Personal Pizza on Wheat Flatbread, is your best option.

Another option for vegetarians and carnivores alike is to order one of the many Cheese Plates.  I scoped out several from neighboring tables, and it looked perfect.  Order one if you are with a group, and then add a Garden Salad for vegetable servings.  If it’s just you and a date, be forewarned that it’s hard to maintain a reasonable portion size between two people unless you are disciplined.  Remember that a little cheese goes a long way in protein, calcium and calories.  Give yourself a generous portion, and then cut yourself off.  Sip your wine and munch on a crunchy side salad while taking in the cool vibe of this great new place.

Red Red Wine Bar opened on Main Street in downtown historic Annapolis, Maryland.  It’s grand opening kicks off on July 29, 2011.

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