The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
At this point, the farm-to-table-buzzword craze has largely subsided, and restaurateurs and chefs finding ways to thoroughly integrate the locavore ethic into their kitchens is not so much an exception as it is a rule. Still, there's a difference between adding a few token Greenmarket ingredients to the menu and pushing the envelop when it comes to local sourcing, and some restaurants are working faster and going further to get produce from area farmers and give diners the freshest possible experience. Here are the 10 best real farm-to-table restaurants in NYC.
Brian Park The rooftop garden at Rosemary's
10. Union Square Café, 21 East 16th Street
Union Square Cafe via Facebook
While most restaurants send a cook to the closest grocery store, bodega, or produce stand when they run out of an ingredient mid-service, Union Square Café benefits from being spitting distance from Union Square Greenmarket. The vegetable sides alone are enough to justify a visit: potato-gruyere gratin, roasted carrots, and broccoli rabe. Fresh produce takes an active role in pasta dishes, too, where executive chef Carmen Quagliata incorporates mustard greens, pea shoots, chanterelles, and more, layering locally produced flavor into every bite. As a bonus, Gramercy Tavern and eateries at MoMA and the Whitney operate under a similar ethic: Danny Meyer's is another empire doing its part to keep family farms alive while selling some of the finest, freshest produce around.
9. Roman's, 243 Dekalb Avenue
Andrew Tarlow's Italian outpost in Fort Greene keeps a strict no-reservations policy, but since opening in 2009, eager diners have been more than happy to wait for a table any night of the week. Chef Dave Gould's menu changes nightly so there's endless variety, but expect crisp, fresh vegetables in summer and winter-cellar produce in cooler months: in short, food perfectly suited to the seasonal palate. Sister eateries Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and most recently opened Achilles Heel are good bets as well.
8. Rosemary's, 18 Greenwich Avenue
After leaving Eataly, chef Wade Moises teamed up with Carlos Suarez and opened this West Village hangout last May. Beyond the super-mod outdoor façade, an airy rustic space awaits; exposed brick, wood floors, and wicker chairs create country charm in the heart of the West Village. And while there's no way a 1,000-square-foot rooftop farm can viably feed more than 200 people every night, you can bet you'll receive something from the garden on your plate, whether it's fresh basil, shaved fennel, tomatoes, carrots, snap peas, or something else pulled from the dirt that day.