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The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC

The rooftop garden at Rosemary's
The rooftop garden at Rosemary's
Brian Park

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.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
Union Square Cafe via Facebook

10. Union Square Café, 21 East 16th Street 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.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
Sietsema

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.

The rooftop garden at Rosemary's
The rooftop garden at Rosemary's
Brian Park

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.  

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
Roberta's

7. Roberta's, 261 Moore Street, Brooklyn Although we don't exactly think it's cool that Roberta's seeks unpaid interns to do their farm work for them, no one can deny the power of fresh, ripe tomatoes and spicy backyard basil to make a killer pizza or fresh peas or--you name it, whatever's in season. Salads are not too shabby, either, whether they be of crisp garden cucumbers or market broccoli. Roberta's scores extra points for personality: Located in a nondescript former industrial space near the Morgan L, this pizza joint has been known to employ naked waitresses and other questionable, if hilarious, stunts. Diners looking for a decidedly more highbrow experience can attempt to score seats at Blanca for the $195 tasting menu, available Thursday through Sunday by reservation only.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
The Farm on Adderley

6. The Farm on Adderley, 1108 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn Ditmas Park may well be the Brooklyn's most underrated culinary nabe: It doesn't get much press, but it sparkles with gems if you look closely. The Farm on Adderley--opened in 2006 by Gary Jonas, Allison McDowell, and chef Tom Kearney--is not an actual farm, but it sources produce, meat, dairy, and other ingredients almost exclusively from area growers. With a wide variety of produce-centric summer dishes featuring locally grown heirloom cucumbers, zucchini flowers, shelling beans, celery root, and more, the Farm on Adderley is a perfect place to enjoy the summer bounty. Bonus, they carry local sodas: GUS Sodas (Grown-Up Sodas) is based on 57th Street.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
Prospect

5. Prospect, 773 Fulton Street, Brooklyn The constantly changing menu at this spot offers fresh takes on classics like dry-aged sirloin, seared scallops, and rack of lamb. The daily market vegetable gives produce a chance to shine while gooseberries add intrigue to an heirloom tomato salad. Sit at the chef's table overlooking the kitchen or grab a table in the Prospect's intimate dining room.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
Northeast Kingdom

4. Northeast Kingdom, 18 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn Aside from the fact that the owners are native Vermonters, freshness is perhaps the strongest thread that connects this restaurant to its namesake county in northern Vermont, where many residents grow kitchen vegetable gardens, eggs come from a farm stand down the road, and meat is procured from a pig-raising neighbor or beef farmer. Owners Paris Smeraldo and Meg Lipke have imported this ethic to Brooklyn, sourcing produce from Brooklyn Grange (which I wrote about last week) and farm-raised meats from upstate while adding foraged ingredients whenever possible. Seasonal menus shine a spotlight on what's fresh right now. This summer, try the roasted tomato gazpacho and Brooklyn Grange greens.  

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
ABC Kitchen

3. ABC Kitchen, 35 East 18th Street At this airy, open-format, celebrity-studded Flatiron restaurant, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Greenmarket-obsessed Dan Kluger have created a space that celebrates locally produced organic ingredients with an ever-changing seasonal menu. Current offerings include sweet pea soup with carrots and mint, sautéed morels and fava beans, roasted asparagus and spring onions, and a variety of fish, meats, pastas, and pizzas. Bonus points for keeping a rooftop garden where they grow herbs and micro-greens.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
The Fat Radish

2. The Fat Radish, 17 Orchard Street Since it first opened a few years back, the Fat Radish has been both a neighborhood restaurant and a dining destination. Chef Ben Towill sources produce, meat, honey, and dairy almost exclusively from tri-state area farms for a menu that's both comforting and challenging. There is a kale caesar to convert the skeptics, heirloom carrots and tomatoes in various preparations, spring pea pot pie, and a host of inspired specials that rotate with the seasons. On Wednesday, August 7, sit down for a farmer's dinner from 8 p.m. to midnight and enjoy a five-course whole-pig menu.

The 10 Best (Real) Farm-to-Table Restaurants in NYC
Blue Hill

1. Blue Hill, 75 Washington Place Dan Barber's West Village outpost serves up classic New American cuisine in a formal setting. Meat and produce come from Barber's Westchester culinary wonderland Stone Barns. Expect creative presentations: Vegetables on a Fence is simply baby farm vegetables presented on a board atop metal spike, prime for the plucking. For the full farm-to-table experience, head to Westchester for a meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and see for yourself exactly where the food comes from.


Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Union Square Cafe

21 E. 16th St.
New York, NY 10003

212-243-4020

www.unionsquarecafe.com

miles
Roman's

243 Dekalb Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11205

718-622-5300

www.romansnyc.com

miles
Rosemary's

18 Greenwich Ave.
New York, NY 10011

212-647-1818

www.rosemarysnyc.com

miles
Roberta's Pizza

261 Moore St.
Brooklyn, NY 11206

718-417-1118

www.robertaspizza.com

miles
The Farm on Adderley

1108 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218

718-287-3101

www.thefarmonadderley.com

miles
Prospect

773 Fulton St.
New York, NY 11217

718-596-6826

miles
Northeast Kingdom

18 Wyckoff Ave.
New York, NY 11237

718-386-3864

www.north-eastkingdom.com

miles
ABC Kitchen

35 E. 18th St.
New York, NY 10003

212-475-5829

www.abckitchennyc.com

miles
Blue Hill

75 Washington Place
New York, NY 10011

212-539-1776

www.bluehillfarm.com


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