Oh, August. It's kind of the no-man's-land of the summer months, isn't it? It doesn't quite have the sparkly new glow of July heat and holidays, and it's not quite the home stretch of the season like September. But it is the perfect time to enjoy (and wholly appreciate) the long list of fantastic NYC eateries that pride themselves on sourcing their goods from the bounty of local farms.
In short, it's still the best time to revel in fresh ingredients such as basil, fennel, tomatoes, carrots, corn, snap peas and anything else area farmers feel like bringing into the city. Not ones to turn these raw ingredients into culinary masterpieces ourselves, we leave our summer meals safely in the hands of the chefs at some of our all-time favorite restaurants to ensure we get the most out of our summer dining list. Before time runs out.
Helmed by Eataly alum chef Wade Moises and partner Carlos Suarez, the super-mod outdoor façade of this West Village spot begets an airy rustic space inside; exposed brick, wood floors and wicker chairs create country charm befitting a quaint village up the Hudson. Plus, not only are the chefs pulling ingredients from local purveyors, they are the local purveyors, highlighting many of their summer dishes with ingredients culled from their 1,000-square-foot rooftop garden. The Garganeli Primavera, with fresh summer vegetables, spring garlic and parmigiano is a pretty good way to enjoy things just pulled from the ground.
Union Square Cafe
If Union Square Cafe plated up anything but fresh, seasonal veggies, produce and other goods riots might ensue (started by us), since they are literally throwing distance from one of the best farmers markets in the city, the Union Square Greenmarket. Luckily executive chef Carmen Quagliata knows the way around the market, and the fresh dishes here are prolific. The vegetable sides alone are enough to justify a visit: potato-gruyere gratin, roasted carrots, and broccoli rabe.
While Paris Smeraldo and Meg Lipke, owners of this uber-hip eatery in Bushwick, are technically New Englanders (they hail from Vermont), we're glad they've brought some of that state's down-home DIY attitude to our boroughs, sourcing produce from Brooklyn Grange and farm-raised meats from upstate while adding foraged ingredients whenever possible. This summer, the roasted tomato gazpacho and Brooklyn Grange greens are especially flavorful and quintessentially summer.
The Farm on Adderlay
While not a farm itself, this place is probably the most legit when it comes to sourcing a big chunk of its menu from local growers, including everything from produce, meat, dairy and even its sodas. While Ditmas Park doesn't always get the buzz it deserves, Gary Jonas, Allison McDowell and chef Tom Kearney have been holding it down here since 2006. Their portobello sandwich with mozzarella, portobello mushroom, sundried tomato pesto, arugula and red onion paired with a side of mixed market greens is a spot-on way to enjoy summer's bounty..