Swordfish with vegetables, tomatoes and herbs

Going to a fish restaurant is often a good bet for a dieter.

Goin’ Coastal, a new restaurant in Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood, is an even better bet. Restaurants that set out to accommodate dieters have the opportunity to exceed expectations. This unpretentious little “sustainable seafood joint” (as it calls itself) did exactly that.

Eating fish at this restaurant need not be penance for your non-dieting friends. They can order the fish-and-chips with hush puppies, coleslaw and buttered corn on the cob. But for you, there are abundant choices.

From the fresh catch board, one of the choices is an excellent baked preparation with vegetables, a lot of fresh basil and a lightly oiled marinara sauce. On the meaty swordfish, it was flavorful and healthy. It came with a choice of sides, which on that day included steamed broccoli.

But the kitchen really outdid itself when The Restaurant Dieter ordered poorly. As a starter, the half-pound of peel-and-eat shrimp seemed perfect: cold, meaty with a horseradish-infused cocktail sauce. ┬áBut what arrived were shrimp doused in a oil-based marinade before being grilled. It was a high-fat dish, and I’d neglected to ask how it was prepared.

When the server realized this was not what I expected, she snapped it up. “Let me see if the kitchen will do this another way.”

Ten minutes later, the shrimp arrived, boiled and sitting atop a bed of ice. That’s the kind of service that keeps dieters coming back.

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