Friday, June 28, 2013
Do you know about Greensquare Tavern?
Words like “organic” are thrown around too loosely these days. So-called “organic” and “free-range” chickens, for instance, are not raised outside on pasture, and they don’t have a natural diet. I buy pastured-raised meat and eggs myself, so when I find a restaurant that carries pasture-raised food, I know that’s a place that I can really trust. Greensquare Tavern is one such place.
At Greensquare, the quality of the ingredients is among the best in New York, and the prices are quite reasonable in light of this extraordinary quality. Chef Proprietor John Marsh doesn’t toot his own horn nearly enough. The menu tells us that the eggs come from Clearview Farm, in Lancaster County. What it doesn’t say is that these are superlative eggs provided by Abner Lapp, an Amish Farmer who raises his chickens the traditional way, which means they move around outdoors and peck in the ground. These chickens produce nutrient-dense eggs with deep orange yolks. These eggs taste delicious. I know Abner, and he’s one of the true independents.
The other ingredients are just as high-quality. In fact, John sources everything from local farms. The beef is from Creekstone Ranch; the Turkey is from Plainville Farms; and all the vegetables are from the local farms as well. He even fries his French fries in tallow, a traditional, healthy oil, which is remarkable for a restaurant. Don’t be fooled about the much-hyped move away from hydrogenated oils. Most venues today, even the most high-end restaurants, use the junkiest fry oil (in New York it’s called “interestified” oil), which is arguably one of the worst culprits when it comes to health concerns.
The folks at Greensquare also make sure that there are good vegetarian and vegan choices. These include a good house-made vege burger and a delicious chipotle- marinated tofu with spiced portobello mushrooms and crispy kale.
I want to see good neighborhood restaurants thrive, so please spread the word about this gem; and if you get a chance, stop by, and help it prosper.
My Favorite Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Lower Manhattan
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
First two are for a quick lunch:
City Bakery, on 18th St. between 5th and 6th. They have a beautiful fresh pay-by-the-pound “salad” bar with green market choices, as well as soups, hot foods, and lots of baked goods. I stick to the savory food and avoid most of the baked with one exception. I relish the pretzel croissants, which are strikingly fresh and buttery and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Hu Kitchen, a new addition to Union Square (they are on 5th Avenue ½ block below 14th street), has pasture-raised rotisserie chicken, cauliflower-coconut milk mash, chia seed puddings, and lots of fresh pressed juices.
Greensquare Tavern on 21st between 5th and 6th, right off of 5th Avenue. All of their animal food is pasture-raised, they use good-quality fats (French fries cooked in tallow, kale in coconut oil), and they have substantial down-to-earth food. It gets a little loud at night, so I tend to go on the early side.
For upscale meals, I favor Veritas, located is on 43 E. 20th street. It has an especially relaxing ambiance and it is a bit of a sleeper still, so I’m usually able to get in without reservations. I go there when I want a lovely meal out of the New York city fray.
A wonderful place for brunch is Locanda Verde, located on 337 Greenwich St on the corner of N. Moore and Greenwich, in Tribeca, in the Greenwich hotel. It has beautiful ambience. Eggs are from an upstate farm. They have breakfast every day 8 to 11 and Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 3 p.m.
Northern Spy Food Company on 511 E. 12th St. is a hole-in-the-wall farm-to-table with really delicious food, good for lunch and dinner.
Il Buco Alimetari on 53 Great Jones St. is a rustic Italian with gorgeous bread made on the premises. One of my favorite dishes is a harissa-roasted pastured chicken, and they have a scrumptious short rib sandwich as well. This is one of my favorite brunch spots in the city.
One lucky Duck (all food is raw) is a great place to get dessert (2 locations, one at 125 E. 17th St. and one in Chelsea market at 425 W. 15th St.) or a juice, smoothie, or even a big salad. The best dessert is the malamar.
For two more upscale restaurants there’s also Blue Hill, 75 Washington Place. They grow a lot of their own food on their farm up at Stone Barns and ABC Kitchen, on 35 East 18th street, is in the beautiful ABC building.
If you visit Chelsea Market, The Green Table on 75 ninth avenue (between 15th and 16th) has local market comfort food.