Locavore’s NYC: Favorite Farm to Table Restaurants

Summer is officially over. Lush green foliage, weekend trips to greener pastures, and nautical stripes will be replaced by colder temps, tighter deadlines, and, in some cases, wider waistlines. But, like our inevitable Indian Summer, some things needn’t be phased out so quickly. Running along the river will still be nice until they begin to turn off the water fountains in November, and you can still enjoy fresh farm-to-table eating, as green markets are open year round. However, robust organic shoppers aside, most of us will prefer to get our fall gourmet fixes at cozy, heated restaurants—and as luck (or living in New York) would have it, you can continue your summery locavore habits at a multitude of restaurants around the city. Even better, you can enjoy fall’s ever-changing harvests with their daily seasonal offerings. These are some of my favorite restaurants that support healthy and sustainable eating—good for you and for the environment.

ABC Kitchen Locavoricious spread drops organic, pesticide-free versions of homemade ravioli, whole wheat pizza, roast pork with apple and Meyer lemon. Herbs and micro-greens imported from the rooftop garden. Green buzzwords also apply to chic rustic décor: reclaimed wood tables, handmade porcelain tableware, bread baskets by the Mapuche people of Patagonia. Makes living the zeitgeist as easy as A, B, C.

We’re only a few blocks from the Greenmarket and will create dishes based on whatever we find. Everything—vegetables, fruit, cheeses, meats, flowers—is sourced as locally as possible.” — Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Anella Seasonal American trattoria—so seasonal they source from Greenpoint’s Rooftop Farms and their own backyard. The green theme carries over to the petite bar, which is made of workbenches recycled from the Steinway factory. Menu boasts brick-oven pizza, bread baked in flower pots, Chatham cod with wine-braised fennel and olives.

Cookshop Comfort food for the organic set from the pros behind NoHo power luncher Five Points. Open kitchen, modern, subtle farmhouse vibe—though the dinner check would run an actual farm for a week. Extend your life with sustainable poultry, local fish, and grass-fed meat. Grilled Montauk squid and Catskill duck breast keep it close to home. Happy food makes for happy arteries. Cancer is for losers.

Mas Farmhouse The chef from Bouley employs classic French technique, but with local and seasonal American foods. Farm-raised pork belly and guinea hen, domestic cheeses, house-made sorbet. Honors seasonal vegetables as much as guests; both are beautifully attended and respectfully served. Perk: Chef Galen Zamarra changes his menu daily.

The Green Table Table heavy in local ingredients and country charm serves all-organic sustainable food and wine. Tender Manx Station grass-fed beef, slow-roasted Satur Farms baby heirloom beet salad, ever-changing vegan “farm plate” showcasing the best in seasonal fixings. Quaint kitchen surroundings and never-ending wine list enhance the feel-good experience.

Savoy Mediterranean-tinged traditional American like salt-crusted baked duck, which is just as decadent as it sounds, and a plumnose snapper as fun to eat as it is to say. Fresh green stuff straight from the farmer and homemade desserts. Manicured globe-trotting wine list touches down everywhere from Chile to Basque country.

Blue Hill BH is a staple in the locavore’s list of restaurants. Seasonal produce from the Hudson Valley, which we’ve heard is somewhere nearby. Foie gras with rhubarb and black pepper, poached duck and roast pork, among many spectacular achievements. Unparalleled commitment to freshness and ingenuity. Spare, elegant, unpretentious ex-speakeasy space. Seasonal tasting menus may result in embarrassing foodgasm a la Meg Ryan, but try to keep it down, as this is a classy place.

Main Photo Via Brooklyn Paper

Where Celebs Go Out: Hugh Jackman, Parker Posey, Reshma Shetty

At the premiere of City Island:

● ANDY GARCIA – “In New York there are so many great restaurants. There’s an old one I’ve gone here for many years that I like to visit, just out of nostalgia. It’s a very good restaurant. It’s called Il Vagabondo. It has a bocce court in it. It’s just a very picturesque place; very, good food. Cipriani’s. There’s a new one called Nino’s. Scalinatella — a lot of Italian restaurants, you can tell. I always pop my head into Victor’s Cafe. And then, I’ve got to have a Gray’s Papaya hot dog here.” Any plans to visit Cuba? “Oh, I dream about visiting Cuba every day. But some people have to leave there first.” ● HUGH JACKMAN – “I’m a real junkie for Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I love his cooking. I just went to his place up in The Mark, and I was lucky enough to go to his new restaurant down at ABC Carpet and Home — all organic, every ingredient’s within an 100-mile radius. The food is just unbelievable there, so … Any special dish? Chicken. He told me his secret: brine. You got to brine your chicken.” ● VERA WANG –“I like Morimoto, and I like Bar Masa, and I love the new Mark Hotel, and Sant Ambroeus, uptown and downtown, Mr. Chow’s. I go out to eat a lot — you can tell.”

● SANDRA BERNHARD – “I love Cookshop, which is downtown. I love BLT Fish, one of my favorite restaurants. Babbo. Of course, I love 2nd Avenue Deli. I’m very into trying to eat locally, sustainably grown food. I’m doing more and more cooking at home because of my daughter. And I’ve always eaten very balanced and healthy, but, to me, it’s about really preserving the environment, as well.” ● ZOE KRAVITZ –Five Leaves in Brooklyn, in Greenpoint. Delicious.” ● PARKER POSEY – “I’m trying to give a good recommendation for something. Mary’s Fish Camp.” ● DOMINIK GARCIA-LORIDO – “Oh, wow! I’m, like, so not a club person anymore. I’m pretty much a homebody. I live in L.A., so … I like more dive bars and chill spots where you can hear good music. I don’t like really sceney places. I don’t like where you have to dress up. I’m more, have a beer and chill; watch a game. I have to give a shout-out to the guy I work for, as a waitress. I still work there. It’s a lounge in Studio City, California, called Next Door Tapas. It’s attached to an Italian restaurant, La Loggia. It’s a really chill, tapas bar in the Valley. It’s got good drinks and good food.” ● STEVEN STRAIT –The Smile on Bond Street — really, really cool place; a little coffee shop that’s got great food, great coffee; really relaxed, cool place. I grew up here, but I don’t live here anymore. I love staying at the Chelsea Hotel. It’s got so much character; really, amazing history; inspiring place. It’s really kept to its roots. The city’s expanded around it. It’s really held firm. I appreciate that.” ● RESHMA SHETTY – “My favorite restaurant, at the moment, is Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar. I love that place. Bar-wise, the Russian Vodka Room does a mean apple martini. And they have a fabulous happy hour: $5, 4-6.” ● GRAHAM PHILLIPS – “One thing that’s been fun is that I’ve noticed is that all the best pizzerias are in Brooklyn, and I used to never really go to Brooklyn, but now that the show [The Good Wife] films in Brooklyn, I’ve been going to all these pizzerias. I have a list on my phone. Someone sent it to me. I’ve just been trying to check ’em all off my list. Joe’s Pizza, Bleecker and Carmine, unbelievable! Di Fara, Brooklyn, Avenue J — I tried that. That was unbelievable! I also tried Grimaldi’s. And they were all unbelievable. They’re all in the same genre of this authentic New York pizza, but they all have their little twist to it.”

Industry Insiders: Erin Fetherston, Dreamy Designer

Ever since bidding bon voyage to the Parsons School of Design in Paris, Fetherston has been making a splash among the New York fashion set. Her Autumn/Winter ’09 show took place at the Fashion Week tents on February 15 and wowed spectators with super-feminine mini frocks, amazing gravity-defying teacup skirts, two-toned tights, lace gloves, flowing dress layers, rhinestone bows and accents, floral capes, and glittery mouse masks. The new collection is every girly girl’s über fantasy.

What was your inspiration for Autumn/Winter ’09? I wanted to do something that felt very polished for the season, and I wanted to have more structure. With the economic climate and what’s going on in the world, it felt right to do a collection that really fit together. It’s more respectful and buttoned up. I looked at different things for inspiration, in particular, I looked at large images from Ballet Rouge. I’m very involved with images of the ballet and dancers.One of the other things that I really was in love with in the inspiration stage is an old black-and-white German film by a filmmaker called [Ernst] Lubitsch, named The Doll. The story is that there is this man who needs to get married in order to inherit his family fortune. He doesn’t want to get married, so the toymaker in town tells him, “I’m going to make you a life-sized doll, and you can make it your wife.” But really the toymaker makes up his daughter as the doll. So, she marries him and plays a doll playing a girl. I’ve always thought about living dolls in working on my collection.

Who is the Erin Fetherston girl? The Erin girl is really her own person, and she’s got her own style. What she wears is a reflection of her personality, her interests, her taste. She has a sense of originality. My clothes are definitely fun and playful, and the girls who gravitate to that, want those clothes, because the clothes help them tap into ideas of themselves.

Which celebrity are you dying to dress? Drew Barrymore. I feel like her whole personality is really right on with my collection. She is a free-spirited girl, and I like that she’s always smiling and always happy. There is a poppy and upbeat point of view in my collection, and I really respond to someone who is on the red carpet smiling and laughing instead of always giving that catty stare-down. I also like that Drew is really animated and adorable. So I would love to dress her. I think she would look great in my clothes.

Who are inspirational figures in your life? I take inspiration from people who are close to me. There are a handful of girls who are meaningful to me in that way. It’s always good to have real people in mind when you’re designing clothes. One example is my good friend Sophie Flicker. I really think she’s a brilliant muse, in a way. She has so much charm and vibrancy from what she’s wearing to what she’s doing to how she’s living. I love Christian Lacroix. I think he’s amazing. I think in terms of career, obviously, what Marc Jacobs has accomplished — in a relatively short period of time — is really phenomenal.

Your Target collection was a huge hit. What was different about designing for that project? I love that collection, and I loved working on it. I really just wanted it to be me, and it wasn’t very hard to be me and make it democratic. I wanted it to remain a quality fashion product. I didn’t want it to be too watered down, because then I feel like, well then, what’s the point? I think it’s exciting to offer a quality product at that price point as well. I tried to focus on signature elements for my collection in general to work those into the clothes. If you look at the Target collection, it is still going to be relevant to the feeling of my collection then, now and moving forward. I just wanted it to all be very signature.

What are some of your favorite places in New York? I really like Broadway East, Cookshop, Balthazar, Pastis, Rose Bar. I like the Greenwich Grill — they have a great sushi bar downstairs. I like the East Village as a neighborhood. There are great vintage shops there. I also like Bouley Market. I do like Giorgione.

What are some positive trends you’ve seen in the fashion industry? The level of consciousness of being green is being championed by the fashion industry. I think that’s incredibly positive.

How did you come to collaborate with Ellen von Unwerth? I met Ellen in Paris during the five years that I lived there. I met her at a party, and we kept bumping into each other socially around Paris. We just naturally became friends. Very shortly after we met, we decided to do this short film together called “Wendybird.” Doing that partnership together was a bonding experience, and I would say that project really brought us together. She has become a very strong person in my life, a really good friend, and she’s a big influence.

What do you miss most about Paris? Everything. In terms of lifestyle, we have really good friends there, and I miss them. I miss taking your dog for walk and having your dog come in with you for lunch. It’s so quiet there. Everything in Paris has a sense of design. From the food to the pastries you eat, design is very integrated into everything. Obviously, I am a design-oriented person, so that makes me feel good. Even frozen vegetables are packaged in a really chic way.

Where are your favorite places in Paris? My favorite restaurant is in the 1st arrondissement, very close to rue de Rivoli. It’s called Toraya. I wish there was a Toraya in New York. I smuggle their green tea back through customs whenever we visit. It’s really quiet and charming. Anahi is great, it’s an Argentinean restaurant. Le Martel is a French brasserie we love. It’s really like a hole in the wall, because it’s in a very random neighborhood. There is this amazing taxidermy place called Deyrolle. All of the museums are so amazing in Paris. I love the Musée des Arts Décoratifs — they have the best bookstore there.

Finally, what are some things on your radar right now? I like the film that came out a few years ago called, The Squid and the Whale. I’m also really excited that MTV is re-launching House of Style.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Favorite NYC Spots, Done Right

As if winning an Oscar and having an Apple wasn’t enough, Gwyneth Paltrow is trying to steal our thunder by listing her favorite New York restaurants in her latest GOOP newsletter. That’s what we do, Gwyneth! How would you like it if we started doing yoga? When she did it for L.A., we let it slide as a mid-life crisis/nervous breakdown, but now she strikes again. Problem is, she’s not very good at it. After the jump, a list of Gwyneth’s favorite NYC restaurants, followed by her vague reasons why. Luckily, you can click on each restaurant to find out what it’s really about.

Babbo – “One of the city’s best.” ● Cookshop – “It is abuzz with foodies who come to taste the ever-changing menu.” ● Balthazar – “I love this place.” ● Gramercy Tavern – “One of New York’s most popular restaurants for a reason.” ● HanGawi – “HanGawi is a vegetarian Korean place that I have been going to for years.” ● Kelley and Ping SoHo – “Another SoHo spot that has been there for ages.” ● Lupa – “I love to go for spaghetti aglio e olio.” ● Omen – “Omen has been there since long before SoHo was trendy.” ● Sushi Yasuda – “Best sushi in NYC, hands down.” ● Tartine – “A very quaint, tiny French café on a perfect West Village corner.” ● Market Table – “I just recently discovered Market Table and I adore it.” ● BLT Fish Shack – “This is one of my most frequented spots.” ● 15 East – “One of my faves.” ● Pearl Oyster Bar – “Oh, how I love Pearl Oyster Bar.” ● Angelica Kitchen – “East Village granola heaven.” ● Momofuku Ssam and Noodle Bar – “These places became two of NYC’s hottest spots in a very short time. ” ● Aquagrill – “One of my regular spots.” ● Otto – ” A great place to bring kids.”

New York: Top 10 Thanksgiving-Friendly Restaurants

imageBecause we don’t like cooking, our kitchen is the size of a closet, and the thought of leaving the city and risking missing the early-morning sale at Saks is too scary to bear (as are some of our relatives), here’s a list of our picks for the most Thanksgiving-friendly restaurants in New York City (and the specials they’re running for Turkey Day).

10. Freemans, three courses, $75. Number 10 on our list because only half of us find irony in surrounding yourself with taxidermy on Thanksgiving. 9. Ben & Jack’s, three courses, $65. The main course, traditional roast turkey, comes with turkey stuffing, caramelized mashed sweet potatoes, classic mashed potatoes, sautéed string beans, cranberry sauce, and turkey gravy — enough said. 8. Mesa Grill, three courses, $70. With dishes like fresh sage and orange butter turkey and pumpkin flan made with gingersnap wafers, Bobby Flay’s longstanding Southwestern joint would surely prove to be a Smackdown winner. 7. BLT Market, three courses, $95. Because where else could you get a sage-foie gras crouton?

6. Benjamin Steakhouse, three courses, $65. A sure bet with its ten-foot working fireplace, oak wood paneling, oversized mirrors, leather chairs, and traditional eats courtesy of Peter Luger alum Benjamin Prelvukaj. 5. Kittichai, five courses for $55 or four for $45. Infusing dashes of Asian flare into traditional dishes — turkey osso buco braised in massaman curry with Brussels sprouts, sweet potato and traditional trimmings — makes the sleek eatery an innovative delight. 4. Gilt, four courses, $110. Who knows, you might run into Blair Waldorf. 3. Via Dei Mille, five courses, $59. Like Cipriani only newer, cheaper — better. 2. Alloro, four courses, $40. Excellent value from local Italian dynasty Gina and Salvatore Corea; includes turkey meatballs, pumpkim raviolo, prune-stuffed turkey, and pumpkin tiramisu. 1. Cookshop, two courses, $60. Proudly displaying a chalkboard listing not the daily specials, but rather the joint’s “favorite farmers,” was the touch that made this modern cozy spot, with its food that’s fresh-as-can-be, come-out on top.

New York: Top 5 Spots for Foodies with Farm Fetishes

imageWhere menus are dictated by some guy with dirt under his fingernails way upstate.

1. Park Avenue Summer Menu changes with the seasons, as does name, interior, uniforms, matchboxes, etc. 2. Broadway East Nouveau veggie haven serving LES-savvy fare. 3. Cookshop Bright, shiny, happy, sustainable, local, grass-fed organic grub. Extend your life.

4. Market Table Started off as half marketplace, now full-on stylish eatery with Greenmarket slant. 5. Telepan Bill Telepan’s new baby wins over UWSiders with organic seasonal fare.