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The pan seared salmon at Sorrento is a feast for the senses.

Image: Megha Tejpal

Like many people I'm sure, in an effort to try and be a healthy person, I have taken up ordering fish over red meat when I dine out. When your body talks, you listen, and my body has been saying "You've had fun this summer with the steaks, barbecue and fried whatnot. Time to buckle down." With an influx of new and fabulous seafood restaurants popping up all over the city, from Peska to SaltAir Seafood Kitchen and MF Sushi to Sud Italia, this has been not only a smooth transition but a surprisingly delicious one.

Often times, people have the misconception that because fish is a lighter option it can be a boring, tasteless one. How wrong they are. In fact, Houston restaurants offer such mouthwatering seafood dishes, it is not only a smart choice but a more than satisfying one. This week we're spotlighting salmon as our star ingredient of the season. With its high nutritional value and vibrant pinkish-orange hue, it is a popular choice for the summer season.

Star Ingredient of the Season: Salmon

Commonly found in the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, salmon are anadromous fish, meaning they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water when it is time to reproduce. While the bulk of Atlantic salmon is farmed and the majority of Pacific salmon is wild-caught, both varieties offer excellent nutritional benefits well outweighing any risks associated with obtaining them. The fish is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, making it an obvious healthier option over heavier red meat. With a long list of diverse cooking methods—smoked, grilled, even canned or served raw—salmon is often a star ingredient in breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.

Houston Restaurant Weeks is well underway and many restaurant menus have been offering seafood options in addition to a juicy steak or savory chicken dish. I can plead guilty to going with the steak option more often than not, but a recent visit to one of my favorite Montrose eateries has me rethinking my ink.

In a Starring Role at: Sorrento Ristorante Italiano

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Mushroom ravioli with white truffle oil makes a hearty first course during HRW.

Image: Megha Tejpal

Quietly nestled among its trendier neighbors Uchi and Indika on Lower Westheimer, Sorrento Ristorante Italiano is a charming Italian restaurant unique to Houston with its elegant brunch, lunch and dinner service.

One of the few establishments open on Mondays that also offers diners HRW brunch, lunch and dinner menus, Sorrento stays true to its mission of providing guests a world-class dining experience with top-notch service and exquisite food. A brightly lit space opens up to a quaint veranda, and on the weekends guests are treated to the delightful music of the grand piano which graces the main dining room.

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HRW dessert options at Sorrento include gelato and sorbet with fresh berries.

Image: Megha Tejpal

The menu, consisting of a decadent array of traditional pasta dishes and protein-heavy entrees, includes a pan-seared salmon dish which is not only one of the most visually striking I have seen in Houston but one of the most wildly flavorful as well. Served with a generous portion of scampi risotto topped with pomodoro sauce, the colorful layers leap off the plate. The tender flesh of the salmon flakes right off onto your fork and will have you realizing all of the deliciousness outside of the world of red meat.

Available during HRW on all three menus, you can score the pan-seared salmon along with two other courses for only $20 during lunch—an absolute steal to say the least.

For additional HRW menus or more information on Restaurant Weeks at Sorrento visit houstonrestaurantweeks.com.

Sorrento, 415 Westheimer Rd., Ste. 106, 713-527-0609, sorrentohouston.com

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