Polpo, Poulpe, χταπόδι.
Now you know how to say Octopus in Italian, French and Greek.
I don't know if you've noticed but octopus seems to have cropped up on almost every menu around Manhattan these days (along with kale) and I for one have not failed to order it. Calliope, Boukie's (shown in the photo), Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, Ni Delicatessen and Gotham Bar and Grill are just a few of the recent restaurants I've ordered it at. My favorites were from Il Buco, Ni Delicatessen and Gotham. At Il Buco, the meat was incredibly tender and creamy and the items alongside it, chickpeas, onions and olives, gave it a wonderful variety; spicy little bits that I could add to each bite. At Ni Delicatessen it was cold and marinated in miso. The taste was tangy and fermented with little pieces of pickled green onions which added a nice bite. It was tasty but the serving was too small and it was gone too quick. Calliope's version, mixed with white anchovies, potatoes and celery was quite good but felt a like an alternate version of potato salad. The dish had several different textures but it was so blended together you couldn't pull out any individual tastes.
My least favorite was at Boukie's, the new Greek restaurant on Second Avenue. Actually each dish we had at Boukie's was flawed. The bread was dry, the shrimp appetizer was hard to eat and bland and the roasted beet salad lacked completely in flavor, just a big plate of cool earthy beets. However I do want to mention that the decor was pretty gorgeous, very un-New York. It had an upscale, open air beach feel. One could easily forget they were in the heart of the noisy East Village. Perhaps I'm telling you to go for a drink–but not much more.
So, why do I keep ordering octopus? I had been assuming that it was low in fat and high in protein but I hadn't actually looked. Once I counted up how many dishes I had eaten in the last few weeks I decided it was time to investigate.
Each 100g serving of Octopus (which is about 4 ounces), has roughly 164 calories. It contains 15 grams of protein*, 1 gram of fat and 2.2 grams of carbohydrates. Octopus is high in the good fats like Omega-3s, as well as iron, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, niacin, vitamin C and calcium. The combination of low fat, low carb and high protein make it a perfect meal for someone like me: a Type I Diabetic. As long as its on the menu I'll keep ordering it: the other, other white meat.
*On the Livestrong site it says a 100g serving has 30g of protein.