Every month, New York's Rosemary's restaurant hosts an exclusive "Farm Dinner" at their community table. Increasingly rare these days, the farm-to-table experience is one that includes the freshest ingredients on the market. With their farm located in the Hudson Valley, just outside New York City, their ingredients are not even a day old. The expert sommeliers pair each course with an Italian wine that enhances the flavors of the food. Starting off with white wines and making their way to richer reds, my personal favorites was Chianti Classico Toscana. The four course meal plus snack was nothing short of a delight, one that I would recommend a delightful mid-week activity with a group of your friends.
Spuntini Translated from Italian meaning snack, I wish I had snacks like all the time. The farm-to-table is most noticeable when biting into the goat cheese wrapped in radicchio. Goat cheese can be very temperamental, however this was fresh, tangy, and rich with flavor. To round out the snack was a shooter of fresh mushroom broth with a home-made cracker. I could have had an entire bowl of the broth, it was light with a hint of cocoa in it, simply divine.
Antipasti Fried Artichoke Hearts with smoked potato puree and a butter poached oyster. The best technique for cooking oysters is poaching them and with oysters being an aphrodisiac, I certainly agree to that. The star of the dish, I can still taste how smooth and silky the oyster was with the artichoke hearts and kale.
Primi Fettuccine with Shaved Roasted Spring Onions. Nothing in life is better- to me anyways- then homemade pasta so they already had me there. Giving us a little of the unexpected, the chef had Uni (which we learned at the table was a sea urchin) into the pasta. The creamy texture with the ocean-but-not-fishy taste of the Uni elevated the dish where it could have been a one-note otherwise. Prepared in a lemon-butter sauce, it was a dish that had the table saying "I love this dish because I ate pasta but I don't feel like I ate pasta".
Secondi Duo of Parsnips. Braised Pork Cheek, apple horseradish, parsnip sauerkraut. When tasting the first bite, I remarked to one of the patrons that the horseradish reminded me of being back in my mom's home, for a Passover dinner. Food that has a distinctiveness that can remind you of a memory, elicit an emotional response is nothing short of amazing. The braised pork cheek- an underused meat which is both lean and tender- melted in my mouth. The horseradish paired great with the pork, giving the palette a nice kick.
Dolce Panettone French Toast. Italian French Toast, generally served during Christmas time but you can serve this to me anytime. Fluffy, citrus notes, and whipped maple, this was the perfect ending to a great meal.
In addition to their farm-to-table restaurant, you can sign up for their Community Supported Agriculture program which delivers weekly boxes of fresh, seasonal produce straight from the farm.
Visit Rosemary in the West Village at 18 Greenwich Avenue, right off the West 4th street subway.
Article by Nisim Frank