When you’re dining out, would you rather eat fruits and vegetables that were grown thousands of miles away—or right in the restaurant’s backyard?
Today’s gourmands are shying away from the exotic offerings that characterized fine dining years ago in favor of locally grown fruits and vegetables, local pasture-raised meat, and sustainably-fished seafood.
While New England may not have the year-round bounty of California, it’s got plenty of restaurants showcasing the best of farm-to-table dining. Here are a few of our top picks in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Since 1996, Fore Street has been showcasing the best food that Maine has to offer, with an open kitchen and wood-fired stove that serve up local rotisserie chickens, pizzas topped with locally foraged mushrooms, fresh roasted vegetables, and other delicacies sourced from around New England.
Visit this seasonal, outdoor eatery, and chances are, you’ll be eating vegetables that were picked just a few feet away. On this picturesque farm in Cape Elizabeth, you can sit at a picnic table or bring your own blanket to enjoy your meal—pets are welcome, too. The menu offers a changing medley of local meats, seasonal veggie dishes, and fresh-picked fruit desserts.
This Portland, Maine restaurant has an ambitious mission: Save for its wine menu, all ingredients used in its dishes are grown in Maine. That means olive oil, lemons, or chocolates, among other verboten ingredients. The restaurant rises to the challenges imposed by its limitations by crafting fresh, innovative meals that include pasture-raised meat, locally foraged mushrooms, farm-fresh vegetables, and seafood caught out of Portland’s harbor.
Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, this restaurant was “certified local” by the state’s Farm to Restaurant connection. The establishment partners with more than 20 local vendors to supply meat, vegetables, seafood, cheese, and other ingredients for its Mediterranean-inspired menus, featuring antipasti, small plates, tagines and other larger dishes, and an extensive wine list.
Located in Massachusetts’ South Shore area, Just Right Farm offers a screened porch for dining on a 300-year-old farmstead. The restaurant serves up seasonal, home-grown dishes, such as beet and apple soup and fingerling potatoes, along with local seafood and meat, such as Maine mussels and pasture-farmed pork.
This restaurant in North Easton, Mass., serves more casual, but still fresh and local, fare for breakfast and lunch. Using ingredients such as farm-fresh eggs, local bacon and sausage, and grass-fed organic beef, the menu offers something for everyone—even a kids’ meal with free-range, organic chicken tenders.
If you know of a great farm to table restaurant, please tell us about it. Perhaps we’ll write about it and more than likely we’ll also be sure to eat there too. To share your ideas, comment here or share with us on our Facebook pages. Thanks!