Wednesday, June 15, 2011

'wichcraft - Multiple Locations

Among the current crop of high-powered celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio, producer and head judge of Bravo's Top Chef franchise, stands as one of the largest figures in the industry. He's well acquainted with several of the best chefs in the world, Top Chef has put him in touch with several of the best up-and-coming chefs for almost ten years and his restaurants span two coasts. Chefs of his caliber tend to source from the finest purveyors because, as most top chefs will admit, real food just tastes better than engineered food. Colicchio goes a step further, however, ensuring that his sources are as sustainable as possible, and as he said to Elia Aboumrad during the reunion episode of Top Chef All-Stars, "I've bought more from small farmers than you will in your lifetime." When he decided to extend his Craft brand and open a series of casual sandwich restaurants, 'wichcraft, he also brought this ethos of responsible sourcing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Roberta's Pizza - Bushwick

Since my previous attempt to visit Roberta's Pizza was diverted due to dinner-rush-wait-times this second try was aimed at the normally empty time when brunch turns over into dinner. Of course, this being Roberta's, the place was still mostly full but there were a couple of free seats to be had, and my sister and I made sure to have them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Roebling Tea Room - Williamsburg

Robert Burns once wrote that, "The best laid plans of mice and men go often askew and leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy." Such was almost the case when my planned birthday dinner with my sister at Roberta's Pizza ran into a roadblock the size of their Saturday night dinner rush. The evening's bar plans would not allow for the 45 minute wait and I was left racking my brain for a nearby replacement. Thankfully, I remembered the Roebling Tea Room a short trip away on the L train.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Diner - Williamsburg

Since its opening Diner has been at the forefront of the Brooklyn foodie scene. Its commitment to local, sustainable agriculture and fresh, top quality ingredients (including meat cut at its own butcher shop across the street) made it one of the growing number of destination restaurants in South Williamsburg and an appearance on the “Outer Burroughs” episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations - former Times “Under $25” critic Peter Meehan proclaiming it the best burger in New York - made this a must-visit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Flatbush Farm - Park Slope

Featuring a long list of local purveyors displayed prominently on its Web site and a seasonal menu, Flatbush Farm wears its ties to sustainable agriculture proudly on its sleeve. Meat and produce are sourced from New York state up through Vermont from farms that specialize in antibiotic- and hormone-free product. Even its list of tap beers (the bar's motto "Nunc est bibendum" is Latin for "Now is the time to drink") pull from nearby breweries. The bottled/canned list and the considerable wine list feature a more far-flung cast of characters, from the American West Coast through Europe all the way to Japan.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Brgr - Chelsea

The narrative of sustainable eating tends to revolve around granola politics, long cook times and casually paced meals. The phrases "hormone-free", "free range", and "grass-fed" are not part of the vocabulary of fast food outside of a Chipotle burrito. The Brgr string of restaurants seeks to change the dialog of quick eats to include food that is responsibly sourced, sustainably farmed and tastily flavored, without requiring an intense commitment of time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back Forty - East Village

For years at his flagship restaurant Savoy in SoHo Chef Peter Hoffman has been cooking up critically acclaimed dishes of high end American cuisine with fresh, local, sustainably raised ingredients. He could frequently be seen perusing farmers markets around the city buying the ingredients that would later grace his tables. Hoffman's Back Forty brings this same fervor for local ingredients but combines it with a less high-impact, more low key atmosphere. The produce and proteins that he shapes into refined dishes at Savoy appear in more informal settings at his pub, and while his Alphabet City dining room may not match its older sibling for sheen and polish it sacrifices nothing in terms of flavor.