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Mediterranean Mayhem: Trends in Dining

Two new concepts focus on the Mediterranean diet — an increasingly popular, and lighter, way of eating.

Wildwood Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Scott SuchmanLocated in Bethesda just outside Washington, D.C., chef Robert Wiedmaier's sixth concept, Wildwood Kitchen, draws influence from the 23 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Ocean, preparing all of the dishes without the use of butter or cream. Instead, cooks use extra-virgin olive oil and specialty vinegars and ingredients to prepare dishes like grilled octopus pipperade and Portuguese sardines with Sicilian-style caponata.


In New Orleans, the husband-and-wife team of chef Ian Schnoebelen and Laurie Casebonne opened their second restaurant, Mariza, based on the Italian word "marisa," meaning "of the sea." The Bywater neighborhood restaurant features lean, seafood-focused fare prepared simply with olive oil. Mariza's Raw Bar offers heart-healthy, nutritious Mediterranean dishes, including yellowfin tuna carpaccio with arugula, olives and Parmesan and raw vegetables with extra-virgin olive oil, Pecorino Romano and Maldon sea salt.

Mariza Photo courtesy of Eugenia Uhl