Antoni from Queer Eye’s New Restaurant Is All About Healthy Comfort Food

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

If anyone could convince me to pay money for a cabbage roll stuffed with cauliflower rice, it’s Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski. Normally I’m a person who will always pay the upcharge for extra bacon, but if he looked at me with those puppy-dog eyes, I would think about ordering the kale.

Antoni is focusing on health food for his new restaurant, Village Den, which is expected to open next month in New York’s West Village. He told The New York Times that Village Den caters to a 30-something “health and fitness crowd” — so, people like him or who want to be like him. Conveniently, the restaurant is located right near an Equinox gym, so he’ll be positioned well for gym-goers looking to get something healthy to eat after a workout.

The new Village Den is probably going to be a hit with the low-carb crowd, because Antoni says he sometimes does the keto diet, and a lot of the dishes at his new restaurant are designed to be keto-friendly.

Overall, he describes the menu as comfort food with a nutritious spin, which means things like cabbage rolls stuffed with cauliflower rice and turkey. It’s an interesting nod to his Polish heritage, and I’m curious enough that I would definitely order it.

His healthy comfort food concept also has TV dinner-inspired trays with healthful takes on things like fish sticks, although Antoni’s are crusted with macadamia nuts and served with maple parsnip mash.

A keto-friendly health-focused comfort food restaurant sounds like it should be completely full of avocados, but Antoni told the Times that he originally intended to leave avocados off the menu entirely. He served them so often on Queer Eye that it became a running internet joke, and Antoni did not love being an avocado meme.

“That scarred me a little,” he said. “The first draft of the menu didn’t have a single avocado anywhere.”

That would have been a disaster, though! A health food restaurant with no avocados? Inconceivable. Fortunately, Antoni recovered and now there will be avocados somewhere on the menu.

What do you think of Antoni’s healthy comfort food?