New York is known for many things — the views, the taxis, the lights… and sustainability? Surprisingly, yes! Though the overflowing trash bins of New York may clue you into a different reality, the city is embracing its status as one of the most environmentally friendly metropolia. In fact, in 2016, the Big Apple was named America’s most sustainable city, though it only ranked 26 on a global list. While there’s work to be done, the restaurants of New York are stepping it up — from sustainable growing practices and vegetable-centric menus to food rescue plans and waste-not-want-not mentalities. Want to direct your business to some tasty joints promoting eco-friendly food practices? We’ve got your back!
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns is perhaps NYC’s most beloved and celebrated sustainable joint. Helmed by world-renowned chef Dan Barber, the restaurant sources 70% of their produce straight from their partner farm, Stone Barns, which is located in Tarrytown, New York. Barber, alongside his team, promotes vegetable-centric dishes, a return to heritage seeds and traditional growing practices, utilizing the heat generated from farm compost, a public education program and a sensible, waste-not mentality in the kitchen. A trip to Blue Hill is punctuated by a host of magical dishes done beautifully that will make you appreciate vegetables — and sustainable kitchen practices — in a whole new light.
Jean-Georges can do it all. There, we said it. abcV is just another example of his culinary prowess, and it’s a skill that’s meeting a current sensibility of sustainability. In their words, abcV is here to “serve, inform and inspire a cultural shift towards plant-based intelligence through creativity and deliciousness.” And serve they do. Consider the ever-changing menu, a melange of offerings that range from Microgreens with Mustard Dressing to Coconut Sticky Rice. Taking it further, Jean-Georges Restaurants adhere to a strict standard of ingredients (which are non-GMO whenever possible), vendors (which are continuously evaluated), standards (eschewing pesticides and herbicides and environmentally degrading growing practices) and overall impact (with an overall goal of erasing the carbon footprint).
Head off the main island and set your sights on Brooklyn! Lighthouse is the perfect joint for omnivores with an interest in sustainability and the ultra-trendy Williamsburg neighborhood. Outfitted with an entirely seasonal menu, Lighthouse is driven by food and ingredients that are “clean, fresh and delicious.” All produce from Lighthouse is locally sourced from farmers and growers that the restaurant loves, and they also provide a dizzying selection of biodynamic, natural and organic wines. The restaurant is committed to recycling, composting and collaborating with other green initiatives to further educate staff and diners. Their fall dinner menu includes starters like Grilled Escarole with Tahini and Spicy Grilled Shrimp, and their larger plates include pasta favorites like Tagliatelle and Market Fish Plates. Although the restaurant does serve poultry and meat, it does so from “local, socially responsible and mostly organic farms and purveyors.”
The Fat Radish
The Fat Radish, which has outposts in both Savannah, Georgia and New York’s Lower East Side, suits both vegetarians and carnivores. East Coast Oysters, Sweet Potato Turshi, a Scotch Egg and Shaved Root Vegetables round out starters, while Clams, Creamy Polenta, Crispy Trout and a Kale Caesar Salad round out entrees. Yes, The Fat Radish serves up meat, but selectively so, with an increased emphasis on sustainable, farm-fresh products and food and a special focus on mindful meat selections.
If you’ve ever wanted to dine in an outdoor garden in Brooklyn, inspired by and named for famed architectural genius, Frederick Law Olmsted, your time is now. Prospect Heights-based Olmstead is a facet of the neighborhood, where chef and owner Greg Baxtrom has situated 50 seats against what he has dubbed a “living wall.” The seasonal menus and vegetable-forward dishes are sourced directly from the bounty of the restaurant’s backyard, lending to the venture’s sustainability as a whole. Consider plates like the Kale Crab Rangoon or the Carrot Crepe — or perhaps the Dry Rubbed Scallops or Heritage Pork is more to your liking. Whatever you choose, know that the dishes are fresh, carefully sourced and prepared with love.
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