Picked for Your Plate: Top Farm to Table Restaurants for Earth Day + Every Day

Farm to table may be an overly used phrase at this point, but the underlying philosophy will always make sense. What could be better for chefs than access to hyper fresh produce and proteins raised by farmers with whom they have a personal connection? Rather than simply take what’s being offered, chefs are now making special requests for items they wouldn’t otherwise be able to find. We present three top farm to table restaurants for Earth Day that have cultivated special partnerships with farmers so they can serve their guests unparalleled – and oftentimes otherwise unavailable – vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Travis Swikard, Culinary Director, Boulud Sud, New York, New York
“It all started three years ago, because Stokes Farm from Old Tappan, New Jersey, set up a farm stand next to the restaurant. I began talking to the farmers and ultimately started using his tomatoes. After I went on a farm tour, he offered us half his greenhouse to grow whatever we wanted. Now he grows us a ton of stuff: mustard greens, bronze fennel, pea shoots and pea flowers, pepper cress, and lemon verbena. In the fall, we use 600 pounds of his pumpkins a week — mostly Fairytales to make ravioli and Moroccan-spiced pumpkin soup. We’re also starting to develop a relationship with StarDust Farm in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, which we found on Instagram. We’ve been using his eggs for a year; they have bright, plump, firm yolks. They’re super-flavorful and very creamy – the way eggs are supposed to be. We put a slow poached one on top of our spring garlic aïgo boulido (pictured), which is essentially a garlic and potato velouté. This spring, they’re growing garlic for that soup, as well as peas and purple asparagus. In the summer, we’ll be getting baby spicy greens, field lettuce, chilies, piquillo peppers, five kinds tomatillos, and a bunch of different tomatoes. I have a strong drive to find the best ingredients and then make the best food with it. We want our diners to know the stories behind what they’re eating, so I like to provide the servers with some ammunition about these products so they can go to the table to let people know why it’s special.” Make a reservation at Boulud Sud.

Farm to Table Restaurants for Earth Day

Dane Sewlall, Executive Chef, Black’s Bar & Kitchen, Bethesda, Maryland
“Brett Grohsgal from Even’ Star Farm in Lexington Park, Maryland, came by the restaurant randomly one day, we got to talking, and we found out we have the same outlook on food. Everything at his farm is organic and he uses heirloom seeds. Prior to a season beginning, he’ll ask what I’m looking for. In the past, I’ve asked for green strawberries and purple and yellow cauliflower. If it’s in the realm of possibility, he’ll do it. He does a couple things for us that I haven’t seen anywhere else, including napini, which are the flowering tops of mustard greens and have a bitter, biting mustard flavor. He also grows us two edible flowers: red buds, which are pink and taste like snap peas, and little yellow arugula flowers, which have an intense arugula flavor. His pea greens are so much more flavorful and bolder than those grown hydroponically or in a hothouse. I use them to garnish our garam masala-crusted salmon (pictured), which is drizzled with a spicy tamarind sauce and is accompanied by samosas filled with potatoes, onions, and peas. As a chef, I don’t want to work with vegetables that have been on a plane or a boat for weeks on end. The longer it is out of the ground before you eat it, the more flavor it loses. So to serve stuff that’s so fresh and so local is going to give me the best possible flavors to work with.” Make a reservation at Black’s Bar & Kitchen.

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Dishes Worthy of a Game of Thrones: Feasts Fit for the Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms

In between the murder and mayhem, betrayals and backstabbing, trysts and torrid affairs, the characters on Game of Thrones love to indulge with a good meal. The kitchens at King’s Landing, Winterfell, and the Inn at the Crossroads are renowned throughout the Seven Kingdoms for turning out memorable feasts of epic proportions. So as the hit HBO show returns for its sixth season, we wondered what the Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens would eat if they stepped out of our televisions and into our dining scene (we’ll take a pass on dining with Ramsay Bolton). Here are seven Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun-sized Game of Thrones dishes worthy of the successor to the Iron Throne. Because #winteriscoming.

Seaspice & Modern Garden, Miami, Florida
When Tyrion returned to Winterfell after his time on the Wall, the cooks whipped up a stunning supper starring roasted suckling pig. The Imp would surely approve of this rendition, which is served tableside with yucca gratin, green plantain fries, and pickled beets. Given the size and preparation time of this not-so-little piggy, the restaurant requires a two-day notice before the reservation and a four-diner minimum. We suggest fasting for those 48-hours, so you can truly do it justice. Make a reservation at Seaspice & Modern Garden.

Game of Thrones dishes

Makoto, Bal Harbour, Florida
Reminiscent of the fare served at Ned Stark’s first dinner in King’s Landing, the Kurosawa bone-in ribeye clocks in at a beyond-impressive 26 ounces. Marble-rich and imported from the Land Down Under (Australia, not Sothoryos), the beef is grilled on the robata, sliced up, and served on the grill in a stunning presentation that may have even given the King’s Hand pause to admire it. Make a reservation at Makoto.

Game of Thrones dishes

The Guild, West Hollywood, California
On Oath Day, the newly minted brothers of the Nights Watch dine on food normally reserved for the Master Commander and his high-ranking crew. Jon Snow and company enjoyed rack of lamb, which reminded us of chef Cho’s rack of New Zealand lamb chops. Pierced with a knife to create an Instagram-worthy presentation (#jonsnowisforever), it arrives with brown butter pommes puree, pomegranate demi, and a variety of veggies. Make a reservation at the Guild.

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Smoked, Baked + Fried: Stoner Munchies in Pot-Friendly DC, Denver + Seattle for #420Day

April 20th is practically a national holiday for herb enthusiasts. The date – 4/20 – is a reference to 4:20 in the afternoon, the time of day when smokers traditionally spark up. As several states and the District of Columbia move to legalize marijuana, stoners can now puff-puff-pass to their heart’s desire. As anyone who has ever indulged before knows, the practice often awakens the appetite, leading to blissful binges of epic proportions. To give tokers better options than Cheetos, Ho Hos, and DiGiorno, we’ve rounded up the best smoked, baked, and fried stoner munchies in the pot-friendly cities of Washington, D.C., Denver, and Colorado. [Ed. note: One need not partake to appreciate the deliciousness of these dishes.]

Denver

Smoked

Stoner Munchies

Ribs at Russell’s Smokehouse
Funnily enough, the Smokehouse was the nickname for our off-campus duplex during college. But we digress. These generously portioned dry rubbed ribs – your choice of beef, pork, baby back, or a combo – come with three sauces on the side, including a spicy varietal that’s a longtime customer favorite. Don’t forget to ask for plenty of napkins. Make a reservation at Russell’s Smokehouse.

Baked

Stoner Munchies

The Georgio at Pizza Republica
Honestly, if we were only allowed to eat pizza for every meal of the day, we wouldn’t complain. We love ‘za that much. The Georgia is a god amongst men, decked out with rounds of fennel sausage, char-kissed pearl onions, fried garlic, and fresh mozzarella. Just what we crave after a long night of partying – or the morning after. Make a reservation at Pizza Republica.

Fried

Stoner Munchies

Doughnut Sundae at Sugar Mill
Could there be anything greater than a doughnut sundae? Possibly, but who cares? When you’re in the zone digging into a doughnut sundae, nothing else matters. A sweet circle of glazed brioche comes with ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and candied nuts. Not included? A gym membership, which you’ll desperately need after you devour this dainty. Make a reservation at Sugar Mill.

Washington, D.C.

Smoked

Stoner Munchies

S’mores at Bourbon Steak
This haute s’more arrives hidden under a smoke-filled cloche, which the server pulls away to release a hazy cloud. You’re welcome to inhale, but, unfortunately, it has no mind-altering properties. Once the smoke clears, you’ll find marshmallow, toasted marshmallow ice cream, hazelnut graham streusel, and caramel and milk chocolate shards. Make a reservation at Bourbon Steak.

 

Baked

Stoner Munchies

Sticky Toffee Pudding at Convivial
Pastry chef Eva Kronenburg soaks dates in dark rum for a week for the base of this gloriously gluttonous sticky toffee pudding. The molasses sweetened mound is enhanced further with dark raisins and prunes. Served warm, the pudding sits in a pool of rum rich toffee sauce, while a scoop of maple ice cream on top slowly melts down the sides. A perfect meal ender for the stoner with a sweet tooth. Make a reservation at Convivial.

Fried

Stoner Munchies

French Fries at Blue Duck Tavern
It takes a full day to make these substantial sticks, which are definitely not your average French fries. Chef de cuisine Brad Deboy begins by steaming gold potatoes until tender and then mixing them until velveteen. The smooth spuds are set in a pan, cut into logs, dried overnight, and fried until golden brown for service. The Jenga tower of outsized frites comes with a spicy smoked pepper aioli. They sure beat the fries at the McDonald’s drive-through you normally scarf down after a smoke session. Make a reservation at Blue Duck Tavern.

Seattle

Smoked

Stoner Munchies

Catfish Deviled Eggs at Sazerac
There are deviled eggs and then there are smoked catfish deviled eggs. The fish is balanced on a peak of whipped yolks, garnished with pickled mustard seeds, and dusted with Spanish smoked paprika. Yes, it’s okay to eat these outrageous oeufs in a single bite. We won’t judge, dude. Make a reservation at Sazerac.

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This Is Not Your Bubbe’s Seder: Delicious Passover Dining in New York City

Passover Dining in New York City

Every major holiday comes with its own menu. The main ingredient for Passover is matzoh, an unleavened bread that symbolizes the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt — one so rushed that there was no time left to wait for dough to rise. Today, Jews around the world commemorate their liberation from slavery with a Seder, a ceremonial dinner for the first two nights of Passover. It is “one of the most popular Jewish events of the year,” says award-winning journalist and Jewish Channel news anchor Steven I. Weiss. “The Seder has a participation rate approaching 90% in New York.” With that figure in mind, it’s no wonder the city’s restaurants have turned to providing traditional, innovative, and eclectic Seder offerings, from elegant multi-course meals to bento-box-style Seder essentials to go. Check out these events and celebrations for Passover dining in New York City. L’chaim!

Rôtisserie Georgette
What makes these nights different from all other nights at Georgette Farkas’s fashionable French-infused rotisserie? An à la carte Seder menu, available April 22 and 23, that goes beyond the brisket and includes such signature whole roasts as Faroe Island Salmon and Jamison Farm Leg of Lamb. Loyal patrons of this Upper East Side favorite will find much to adore this Passover. Of the Crispy Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon at Rôtisserie Georgette, owner Farkas says, “This dish is inspired by my mother. Like her potato pancakes, ours are thin, crisp, light, and lacy. We top them with a bit of a super smooth and silky smoked salmon and serve them with herbed crème fraîche on the side.‎” Make a Passover reservation at Rotisserie Georgette.

Passover Dining in New York City

Balaboosta
The name of this gem of a restaurant in Nolita is the Yiddish term for “the perfect housewife, homemaker, and hostess.” But, as any Jewish mother worth her (kosher) salt knows, preparing the perfect Passover meal is anything but easy. For those who want to skip the tsuris but still enjoy a home-style Seder, look no further than Balaboosta’s 5th Annual Passover event on Sunday, April 24 at 6:30PM, hosted by Einat Admony (also of Taïm—and Taïm truck!—fame) and Ilan Hall (Top Chef winner and host of Esquire Network’s Knife Fight). Live music is also on the menu and guests will receive a mini jar of chef Admony’s homemade harissa.Email info@balaboostanyc.com for information on kids’ tickets. Make a Passover reservation at Balaboosta.

Passover Dining in New York City

Telepan
For more than a decade and counting, chef Bill Telepan’s eponymous Upper West Side eatery — a pioneer in Greenmarket cuisine —offers a four-course menu (for kids, too) that features creative twists on traditional Seder fare (a dried-fruit chutney-apple salad for the haroset is just one example). On April 22 and 23, diners can expect a spirited atmosphere, a helpful wait staff, and Telepan himself (a true mensch if there ever was one) when Seders are in session. “Extra seating for Elijah is available upon request,” Telepan says. Make a Passover reservation at Telepan.

Passover Dining in New York City

Mile End Delicatessen 
Their use of the Unorthodox Hagaddah says it all: Expect an evening of delicious secular delights — including live music and comedy—at this year’s Seder, hosted by one of the city’s best-loved delis on Saturday, April 23. NOTE: The meal is not kosher — which, for many of the event’s participants (Jewish and non- alike), only adds to the irreverent fun. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative, which is a mitzvah in and of itself. Make a Passover reservation at Mile End Delicatessen.

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