I’ve spent the summer trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle before heading back to the University of Florida, which has limited my local dining options. If it wasn’t for my dad grilling mass amounts of chicken, I’d either be really hungry—or really bloated after exploring too many high-calorie restaurant favorites. 

 

Every once in awhile, I come across a restaurant that allows me to stray from my dad’s chicken without feeling guilty. Like Madisons New York Grill & Bar (2006 N.W. Executive Center Circle, 561/994-0808), just off of Glades Road in Boca near the Interstate 95 exit. Though it doesn’t specialize in low-cal cuisine, the menu offers an array of items that meet my health-conscious standards.

My mom and I split two salads: quinoa Caprese (with fresh mozzarella and Campari tomato) and kale (tossed in peanut dressing). For her main course, Mom had the grilled salmon; sticking with the salad theme, I ordered the NYC salad with mixed greens, arugula, baby spinach, walnuts, fresh raspberries, strawberries and green apple. Tossed with grilled chicken and dressed with raspberry vinaigrette, it was the perfect summertime lunch. 

Madisons is elegant yet comfortable, with friendly servers and a hearty lunch menu beyond the options on my radar (think burgers, sandwiches, steak, lamb chops, ribs, chicken and more). The ’70s music that resonates throughout the restaurant had us feeling giddy and upbeat after our appetizers and entrées, so we splurged for dessert.

We guiltlessly drove our spoons into a warm, gooey walnut brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with caramel and chocolate syrup—plus, we sampled Madisons’ signature Key lime pie. I have to admit, I’m not usually a Key lime fan, but the tangy tartness of the filling and the crispy, crunchy pecan crust won me over.

Granted, I won’t be up for that sweet tooth splurge every time I visit Madisons, but the appetizers and entrées are enough to keep me coming back.

Taryn Tacher is a senior at the University of Florida studying Journalism and Business Administration, who is interning at Boca Magazine this summer. Though she is less than five feet tall, what she lacks in height she makes up for with her passion for writing. She loves yoga, puppies and all things tiny. You can reach Taryn at taryn@bocamag.com.