Friday, January 4, 2008

Local Restaurants Serving Local Food

I spent 2007 focused on getting a better handle on my garden and incorporating more seasonal-based recipes in the kitchen. I officially designate 2008 to be the year of exploration. I've couped myself up the past few months searching for resources and thinking about my garden, but I would like to get to know area farms and restaurants that have a similar focus. I did visit several restaurants and became acquanted with several farms in the area this past year:

Poste has an organic garden on the back patio of the restaurant. Looking at their menu, it also seems as though they have relationships with some area farmers as well. I have been here several times for dinner in the past few months. I've read it's a mad house for happy hour in the summers, which is a deterrent for me. I enjoyed my meals there though and the service was great. I can't say enough about ambiance at this place either. It's in the old post office building and it's gorgeous.

Agraria Restaurant
When Agraria opened I was ecstatic about the idea that family-farmers were opening a restaurant in the city. I went during Restaurant Week about a year ago. I thought the food was pretty good and they had some great organic beers on tap. The drawback for me was that is was in Georgetown on the waterfront. I typically feel like that is for tourists and I usually hesitate before going there. Another drawback was that I couldn't feel the small family farmer there when I ate. It was such a huge selling point for me that I'd like it if they incorporated the concept into more than their marketing materials.

Karl's Farm
I joined the Karl's Farm CSA this summer. This was my first experience with CSAs and I was excited about getting a bucket of vegetables each week, including some I had never heard about before. If I didn't have my own garden, I would highly suggest becoming part of a CSA. I know there are a lot in the area. Karl's Farm had a difficult year with the drought, but they were great about keeping everyone updated and were always on time with the delivery.

South Mountain Creamery
Wow, my mom wasn't kidding when she said milk from a glass bottle is so much better. I usually opt for rice or soy milk, but when this came, it was reason enough to enjoy a cold glass of real cow milk. Their yogurt is great as well. It takes a little getting used to as it's not as custardy as the grocery store kind. I tried some of their artisan cheeses, and wasn't a fan, but I must admit, I am a huge cheese snob. The milk, butter, cream and yogurt is definitely worth a try.