In a time where people seem more interested than ever in where their food is coming from and how it is prepared, it’s likely that the “farm-to-table movement” isn’t going anywhere. In fact, what seemed like a food fad 15 years ago is now becoming relatively commonplace as more and more restaurants are making an effort to source ingredients from local farmers and producers. Eating at these restaurants means you’re supporting local agriculture, but it also means you’re eating the freshest food possible since the ingredients don’t need to be transported as far. In addition to tasting better, the ingredients are better for you since they don’t need to be treated with chemicals to protect them during transport. As an added bonus, there’s almost always something new on the menu since chefs are forced to change the selection based on the ingredients available during that season. CBS Philly previously brought you a list of farm-to-table restaurants in 2013, but here’s the updated lineup with even more place to try for the freshest restaurants in the area.
The Farm And Fisherman
1120 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
This cozy BYOB is owned by Chefs Josh and Colleen Lawler. With just 30 seats, the intimate atmosphere allows the husband-and-wife team to be very involved in every step of the dining experience. Using root-to-leaf and nose-to-tail cooking techniques, Josh Lawler cooks with only the freshest meat, poultry and fish. In fact, the restaurant doesn’t even have a walk-in-refrigerator. The bloody beet steak and grass-fed beef are the most well-known dishes offered, with praise high enough that The Farm and Fisherman is a repeat winner of ‘Philadelphia’ magazine’s “Best Farm-To-Table” category.
Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar
200 S. 40th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar was created by Dave Magrogan, who saw the need to provide health-conscious restaurant-goers with menus using only the highest quality, farm-fresh, organic ingredients. The menu changes every three months to reflect the change in available produce, and just about every dish falls under 500 calories. There are also over 50 wines served by the glass as well as local beers and seasonal cocktails on the menu. Going beyond healthy food, the eco-friendly restaurant uses organic cleaning supplies, menus made from recycled paper products and bar tops made from recycled glass.
231 S. 8th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
M Restaurant is located at The Morris House Hotel, a historical boutique hotel in Washington Square. The beautiful gardens make dining outside a real treat during nice weather. In addition to providing a lovely atmosphere, these gardens are also used to grow many of the peppers and herbs used in the restaurant’s kitchen. Much of the produce that isn’t grown right at the restaurant is produced at the owners’ Frenchtown farm. Squash, herbs, tomatoes, zucchini and more are picked weekly at the farm to be brought over to the restaurant.
1521 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Russett is located between Rittenhouse Square and the Kimmel Center, making it convenient to the Avenue of the Arts, the Philadelphia Convention Center and many of Center City’s hotels. The 50-seat BYOB is on the first floor of a brick townhouse, giving it a cozy, casual feel that’s accentuated by the warm red walls and handmade wood tables. In fact, the tables themselves were made at Green Meadows Farms, the farm that supplies owners Andrew and Kristin Wood with many of their fresh ingredients. The husband-and-wife team is dedicated to sourcing local ingredients, keeping them within 100 miles whenever possible. Working closely with growers and farmers, many of whom they know personally, Andrew and Kristin design their ever-changing menus around the selection of produce and proteins available. Green Meadows Farm duck with kale, polenta and rosemary and russet potato gnocchi with pancetta and fiddlehead carbonara are just two of the recent dishes.
926 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Supper serves seasonal American cuisine, focusing on serving traditional favorites prepared with a slight twist. You’ll find dishes such as pastrami fried chicken, braised short rib and shrimp n’ grits. Supper uses fresh produce grown at Newtown Square’s Blue Elephant Farm. The 75-acre, privately-own organic farm has a unique partnership with area restaurants where chefs help the farm decide what will be grown. Chef Mitch Prensky visits the farm five days a week to handpick the produce that he will cook with later that day.
208 W.Washington St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Starr Restaurants’ market and cafe, Talula’s Daily, opened in 2013 as a sister to the popular Talula’s Garden (located just steps away) and Talula’s Table in Kennet Square. Offering a casual alternative to Talula’s Garden, Talula’s Daily provides grab-and-go prepared meals, a cheese case, coffee and drink bar with wine and beer, and two counters where you can order from the chalkboard menu of monthly specials planned around seasonal produce. There are many vegan, pescatarian, vegetarian, low-calorie and gluten-free options. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner at the cafe to eat in or take home. In addition, Talula’s Daily offers “supper club” Tuesday through Sunday, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This intimate experience (there are just 30 seats) feels like you’re sitting in a cottage kitchen. The five-course meal costs $55 per person with optional beverage pairing available for $35. The pre-set menu changes each month to reflect the peak farm ingredients at that time.
Related: Top Farm Shares In Philadelphia
Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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