Top 10 Farm to Table Restaurants
A tour of 10 venerable American restaurants (and a collection of their incredible recipes) that urge diners to eat responsibly and well.
Though the locavore movement has been gaining new traction in recent years—both as a political statement against processed foods and a bon vivant buzzword—the philosophy that food tastes best when it’s at its seasonal peak and doesn’t have to travel far to get from barnyard to kitchen is a decades-old one. Join us as we celebrate 10 of our all-time favorite farm-to-table restaurants that embrace the old ways. And we hope you’re hungry because some have shared their secret (and swoon worthy) recipes to help you eat responsibly at home.
Miami Beach, Fla.
When it comes to his daily-changing menu, AltaMare chef Simon Stojanovic’s approach is simple: “Foods that are locally sourced are always going to be of better quality.” Considering the restaurant’s location on Miami Beach’s well-traveled Lincoln Road, it’s probably no surprise that the menu here is seafood-focused. But even on this barrier island, where fish joints are aplenty, AltaMare serves up some of South Beach’s freshest, making frequent—and delicious—use of such native sea creatures as Cape Canaveral shrimp.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Diners at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York need look no further than outside the window to see how far their meals have traveled. This fine dining establishment is an outgrowth of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, an educational institution and working four-season farm, which supplies the eatery with the bulk of its offerings. Further setting Blue Hill apart is the fact that there are no menus to be had, just a list of 100-plus ingredients from which to choose and have the chef create a customized farmer’s feast. “Great cooking comes out of great farming,” says executive chef/co-owner Dan Barber. “They are one in the same.”
He has been praised as a cooking innovator by a host of esteemed media outlets—everyone from GQ to The Food Network. But Lee Skawinksi, executive chef/co-owner of Cinque Terre in Portland, Maine, is really just going back to basics. The New England native and longtime farm-to-table advocate believes that “memorable dining is less about the chef in the kitchen and much more about the fresh, seasonal ingredients.” In Skawinski’s case, many of those ingredients come courtesy of the restaurant’s own Grand View Farm, which inspires such seminal dishes as Skawinski’s Berkshire pork and speck, served with sautéed Tuscan cabbage and a homemade salsa verde.
The Barn at Blackberry Farm
Southern hospitality and haute cuisine come together under one roof at The Barn at Blackberry Farm, the fine dining enclave at Walland, Tennessee’s famed luxury resort. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the restaurant employs a brigade of epicures—bakers and butchers, chefs and cheese makers, chocolatiers and even a jam lady—to help craft its forever-changing menus, all of which are based on what looks best on any given day. Unexpected twists on Southern staples are about the only thing diners can expect, from a duck ham and pear salad to a seared mountain trout with celery root, Clementine and black truffle in a ham hock broth.