For 100 Percent Local Eats and Drinks, Hit Up This Week’s Festival

No matter where you go, everyone has local and seasonal food on the brain. Whether that means it’s a crappy sports bar you walk into where they claim they use these ingredients (but really they are trying to capitalize on a trend), or places that are actually committed to the cause. This week, don’t bother trying to weed out the fakers; for a truly local food experience, hit up one of the establishments featured at Edible’s Eat Drink Local festival, which runs until June 30.

Not only can diners try truly local foods, but also beer, wine, and booze, all made in or near New York state. Some restaurants, like Northern Spy Food Co., Good Restaurant, and The Green Table, have always focused on local and seasonal fare and will be dishing out goods not far from their normal menu. The real treat is to try spots that aren’t known for concentrating on local goods and seeing what they are doing. For example, The Bowery Diner has a special dish each night, like tonight’s clams with spinach, Chinese sausage, and corn. You can get Swiss food made with local ingredients at Trestle on Tenth, locally sourced Peking duck at Bobo, and feel-good pizza from Nick and Toni’s Café on the Upper West Side. 

Naturally, Brooklyn is in on the game, too, with restaurants like the Saul Bolton’s popular eatery Saul, fresh Italian food from Osteria il Paiolo in Williamsburg, and both of George Weld’s joints,Egg and Parish Hall.  But wait, what about the drinks I mentioned before? Stop by Jimmy’s No. 43 for regional brews paired local meats and cheese, Almond for a glorious selection of New York craft beers, and for you wine lovers, on Thursday City Grit hosts a dinner that features rose from New York wineries. If that’s not enough, on Wednesday the Fifth Annual Taste of Greenmarket commences in the event space at 82 Mercer and includes chefs and bartenders from all over the city (Dan Barber, Julie Reiner, Michael Anthony, and more!) cooking up bites and making cocktails with food from, obviously, the Greenmarket. Also, as if eating locally didn’t make you feel good enough about yourself, all the proceeds from this tasting event go to support the Greenmarket Youth Education Project. 

Chef’s Night Out: Pregaming for the James Beard Awards

Saturday may have rocked Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day, but for true culinary connoisseurs, Sunday was the night to party. The start of the evening featured a killer set by DJ ?uestlove, who is teaming up with Chicago-based chef Graham Elliot to pair food and music together. The two met at Lollapalooza in 2010 when Elliot acted as the culinary ambassador for the festival and something clicked, creating a match made in pop culture heaven. Last night they showed their partnership under a large yellow moon at the penthouse suite of the Mondrian Hotel in Soho. While ?uestlove served the beats, black-clad waiters passed out delicate truffle deviled eggs, fried mac ‘n’cheese on a stick, and hefty fried “Love’s Drumsticks”—all a sneak peek into what the team plans on doing in the future.

To drink they offered cocktails including the NY State of Mind, a mixture of gin, sparkling wine, and Ty Ku sake, and the Brazilian ‘”Roots,” which had Lebion Cachaca, cane sugar, and lime. Sipping drinks and taking in the killer view were Park and Recreations actor Aziz Ansari, Onion writer Bartunde Thurston, and Top Chef contestant Carla Hall. Like Hall, Elliot was also on Top Chef as well as Iron Chef America, and he has been nominated for three James Beard Awards.

Speaking of the James Beard Awards, last night also kicked off the 2012 JBA with Chef’s Night Out, an annual event celebrating the nominees. Campari helped sponsor the event at the Chelsea Market, and there were top bartenders like Dushan Zaric from Employees Only mixing up the Bouleuardier, a stiff drink akin to a bourbon negroni, and Damon Dyer from Rum House doing a fresh Campari with Fever Tree soda water. Jane Danger who runs the darling Jane’s Sweet Buns created devious shortbread with the sprit, which was also topped with rhubarb bitters cream. In the main hall, revelers indulged in melt-in-your-mouth Iberico ham served by Forever Cheese, whipped lardo from Dickson’s Farmstead Meats, tangy mac ‘n’ cheese by The Green Table, and dense chocolate brownies made by Fat Witch Bakery.

Some of the chefs, restaurateurs, and TV personalities enjoying the night included: Curtis Stone of the new Bravo show Around the World in 80 Plates, Ted Allen from Chopped, world renowned chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller, Tony and Marisa May of SD26, pastry chef Pichet Ong, John Besh, chef Madison Cowan from BBC’s No Kitchen Required, Daniel Holzman from The Meatball Shop, Salumeria Rosi’s Cesare Casella, and southern chef Hugh Acheson—plus a whole lot more. Tonight many of these people will be waiting for hours at the James Beard Awards and this was the calm before the storm of tonight’s parties and prestigious honors.

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