In the cultural melting pot of New York dining, obscure and sought-after epicurean delights are packaged, shipped or flown in from every corner of the world by chefs eager to impress the palettes of sophisticated foodies and distinguished restaurant critics.
Yet, as the Big Apple grows increasingly green, many connoisseurs don’t see a need in expending extra energy and carbon emissions for imported delicacies anymore. Instead, they’re now buying organic, gourmet goodness which hails from gardens, farms, vineyards and breweries within a few hundred miles of the metropolis and closer. Here’s a list of our top NYC restaurants that are enthusiastic for local ingredients.
At Mas, an Old French word for small stone farming estate, chef Galen Zamarra brilliantly combines a Modern French cooking style with ingredients from small organic farms in the countryside surrounding New York City. Zamarra, who won the James Beard award in 2001, changes the menu at this West Village restaurant each day, making great efforts to incorporate the freshest seasonal ingredients while supporting local farmers and minimizing environmental impact. Locavores will love roasted duck or wild striped sea bass – both from Long Island. From the artisanal cheese selection, pair different varieties of gourmet sheep’s milk cheese from nearby farms in New York and New Jersey.
39 Downing St.
New York, NY 10014
Bell Book & Candle
With 60 percent of the produce on BB&C’s menu grown in its very own rooftop aeroponic garden, this ultra-green West Village eatery is a locavore’s haven. Fresh, homegrown vegetables like basil, tomato, parsley, chive, sage, eggplant, spearmint, romaine, Bibb lettuce and several varieties of tomato compliment savory proteins like Amish roasted half chicken, Gin & Tonic Wild Salmon and Grilled Hangar Steak. If growing vegetables on site isn’t enough to impress a local food enthusiast, sparkling and still water is filtered and bottled on premises as well.
141 W. 10th St.
New York, NY 10014
Mr. and Mrs. Obama caused quite a stir at this cozy Greenwich Village eatery when they came here for a date night back in 2009. In the kitchen, proprietors Dan David and Laureen Barber serve up farm-fresh American Nouveau from nearby farms, including Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (forty-five minutes away from New York City) and Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Mass. With an emphasis on pure, organic ingredients and impeccably prepared vegetables, the bounty of the Hudson Valley manifests itself in dishes like Stone Barns Berkshire Pig with broccoli rabe, artichokes, lima and cranberry beans, and poached Hudson Valley Duck with peaches, sweet corn and tomato. Choose from the regular menu or opt for the “Farmer’s Feast,” a five-course sampling of the week’s harvest. Menu changes daily.
75 Washington Place
New York, NY 10011
Souring much of it’s food from the Hudson Valley and other parts of upstate New York, ABC Kitchen has become a juggernaut of a restaurant in NYC, with clientele that range from celebs to hipsters to bankers. Here, Vongerichten explores the possibilities of local and sustainable cuisine: whole wheat pizzas are topped with Jersey tomatoes, the potatoes served with his classic blackened sea bass come from upstate.
While admittedly not the first of their kind, Vongerichten and his executive chef, Dan Kluger, have brought their own particular take on both the locavore and sustainable dining craze. The free-range fried chicken arrives light as tempura, in a beer batter crust, and while I’m not sure what is local or sustainable about the caramel sundae, it would get my nod for dessert of the year. Other authorities were similarly impressed: The New York Times awarded ABC Kitchen two (of three) stars and the eatery also won the James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant” of the year. Vongerichten’s rebirth as a locavore is, we hope, not a sign that a chameleon chef has found the latest gimmick to attract diners, and instead that when it comes to what and how we eat, ABC Kitchen is a sign that conscious and not conspicuous consumption is here to stay.
35 East 18th St.
New York, NY 10003
Rosemary’s, New York, NY
Rosemary’s is an Italian restaurant with a rooftop farm situated in the heart of Greenwich Village. Created by Carlos Suarez, the owner of Bobo and Claudette, Rosemary’s is named after Suarez’s mother and is inspired by both her home in Lucca (Tuscany) and the rich heritage of the restaurant’s Greenwich Village corner.
Executive Chef Wade Moises serves seasonal Italian dishes that highlight the herbs and produce from the rooftop farm, as well as housemade pastas and a selection of focacce, as an homage to the location’s predeccessor, Sutter’s Bakery.
18 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011