The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC

Locally sourced, fresh, seasonal ingredients are the base of New York’s new farm-to-table restaurant scene, which promotes small production and a sustainable approach

  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC
  • The Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants in NYC

“Farm to table” or “farm to fork” refers to part of a growing global movement promoting local food that is particularly popular in New York City. It means that restaurants buy their ingredients directly from the producer, typically somewhere local so that the ingredients are truly fresh. The term doesn’t refer strictly to a farm, it could be about wine from a local vineyard or a jam that has been bought at a farmer’s market. Eating local is all about knowing where your food comes from and whose hands it has been in.
Why does the physical proximity of your food matter? Food that has to be shipped from far away not only has significantly diminished nutritional value, but more often than not it is lacking in flavor as well, since produce needs to be picked well before it is ripe so that it doesn’t rot during the transportation process.
Furthermore, people are growing more and more concerned about the disappearance of small, family owned operations. With big business getting bigger and bigger, people increasingly want to support small businesses like “mom and pop” stores when they can as our country was built upon entrepreneurial spirit. Finally, locally sourced food also has a lower carbon footprint, because the CO2 emissions deriving from transport are significantly reduced.
In addition to the social movement aspect of farm to fork dining, since many raw ingredients are seasonal, menus are constantly evolving. And this is kind of exciting, because it sparks culinary creativity and you can go to the same restaurant multiple times and never expect to experience the same exact flavors.
Following is a brief list of places to start your journey of locally procured flavor combinations concocted by chefs who inherently understand that a dish is only as good as its ingredients.
Blenheim, West Village
Blenheim is a Michelin starred restaurant whose owners own and operate their own farm in the Catskills. The land dates back to the 1700s, and had been used as a farm in the past, although it had been inoperative in recent years until owners Morten (who previously worked in design) and Min renovated it. They raise rare heritage breed pigs, Icelandic lamb, and even the restaurants furniture is handcrafted. The menu is heavy on different kinds greens that they’ve grown at their farm so don’t be disappointed if it looks like your waiter just gave you a plate of garden trimmings - the innovative combinations, hand raised meats and bottomless brunch will do the trick to satisfy you. This small restaurant with a modern feel and barn motifs is a youthful gem!
Blue Hill, Greenwich Village
Executive chef Dan Barber is a Michelin-starred multiple James Beard Award winner, was appointed by Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and that’s not all - he was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2009. Blue Hill owns a farm in the Berkshires which was in operation from the 1860s to the1960s prior to recent refurbishment, and two restaurants. The main one, off of Washington Square Park, offers a more-than-tasting menu called the “farmer’s feast” showcasing that week’s harvest. But if you prefer a little mystery you can head 30 miles out of the city to Blue Hill at Stone Barns where there is no menu. You simply must trust the chef. As enthralling as this all sounds, be prepared to wait: you can only book a month in advance at the Washington Square Park location and 60 days in advance at Stone Barns. Alternatively, you can get on the waiting list, or stop by their cafe and grain bar at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture next time you happen to be in Pocantico Hills (which also requires a reservation, by the way).
ABC Kitchen
ABC Kitchen is one of the three Jean-Georges restaurants curated by ABC Carpet & Home. For those of you don’t know who Jean-Georges is, he is one of the most famous chefs in the world and probably the most famous and influential one in New York. Needless to say, he’s a culinary visionary, an expert at creating restaurants which combine the architecture, design, and ambience to perfectly compliment his extraordinary creations. The focus of ABC Kitchen is to be sustainable all around. Not only do they not use produce that has been treated with pesticides and other chemicals, but even the wine, spices, and other pantry items are fair trade and organic. Jean-Georges’ ethos is about moving towards sustainability, and not just in terms of food apparently, he is very involved with every aspect of a restaurant he works with, even the interior of the restaurant features reclaimed, found, and recycled materials. The menu features classics like line caught tuna and pork confit, however, the use of micro greens from the rooftop garden (obviously), spice, and citrus, adds a bright and modern twist from the renowned French chef.
Gentleman Farmer, Lower East Side
While this restaurant looks like a hole in the wall (it is), don’t be put off: the food is absolutely fantastic. This cozy restaurant is run by a husband and wife duo who are passionate about the food and wine that they serve. Karim trained in Northern France and his wife Beverly is an enthusiastic sommelier, this is truly a family restaurant. The style is definitely French with a twist- the curried snails being a good example of the twist. The menu features a lot of game: ostrich steak, boar chop, braised rabbit. However, the bison tartare is probably the dish they are best known for. You already know that all of the establishments on this list procure their ingredients locally, but the game served at Gentleman Farmer is “beyond organic”, as the couple calls it. The meat is carefully curated from small farms that they have sought out, and cooked to perfection. If trying new meat (or game in general) is your thing, this restaurant is a must, and considering the size (it’s basically a hallway) - so aren't reservations. If you go early you have a good chance of being able to get a table, and failing that, there is also a location in Brooklyn. 

PRINT, Hell’s Kitchen
It’s easy to see why this restaurant is so popular with locals and filled with return customers - the menu is updated daily and they even have an in-house forager. Their motto is “if its grown in the region, we eat it in season”. Purely from a sustainability perspective, they are particularly good at substantiating how much the farm-to-table concept is flourishing. In certain parts of the year, PRINT procures 90% of ingredients from traceable, local sources. They even have protocol agreements with each individual farm or purveyor that they work with to assure the quality; and the ingredients that need to be sourced from further away are prioritized by traceability. Even though the menu is constantly being updated, you can almost always expect warm bread with ricotta upon being seated. The goat cheese gnocchi and short ribs are popular dinner choices, and the brunch menu has a wide variety outside of what you’d already expect for breakfast food. You can expect recycled and repurposed materials in the modern yet elegant dining room, and The Press Lounge on the rooftop is not to be missed- fortunately you can take your drink with you! 

Author : V.T.


New York City  | restaurants  | farm to table  | farms  |

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