Restaurant Guide: Localvores Unite
The farm-to-table movement is sweeping the state. Why? Supporting local farms builds communities—and fresh food just plain tastes better. Here are some restaurants at the fore of the movement.
Research assistance by Rebecca Kasman
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549 Wilmington Pike, Glen Mills, Pa.
(610) 358-1005, harvestseasonalgrill.com
Harvest’s entire existence is based on the notion of healthy, local and sustainable food. Corporate chef Brian Duffy plumbs Pennsylvania cultivators exclusively, gathering butternut squash and apples from Oyler’s Organic Farms near Gettysburg, farm-fresh milk from Lancaster, and cheeses from Birchrun Hills Farm in Chester Springs, all in Pennsylvania. There are many more. Harvest buys from 75 different farms, sometimes as much as $40,000 during a month. “It’s mostly about flavor and quality,” Duffy says. “On a responsibility level, we tap into local resources reducing our carbon footprint and supporting the community around us. This great stuff is out there, so we just have to find it.”
Harry’s Savoy Grill
2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington
The difficulty of sourcing locally is not lost on Harry’s, which requires a high volume of ingredients. “There is a lot of hustle involved, driving around here and rendezvousing there,” says chef David Leo Banks. “It’s sort of a logistical nightmare. But it keeps us excited.” Nonetheless, Harry’s prime rib is always well complemented by New Jersey potatoes, wild foraged mushrooms, local squashes, pumpkins, and wild game. S.I.W. Vegetables (known by many as Haskell’s) provides Harry’s with heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and Dr. Martin’s heirloom lima beans. Fellow North Wilmingtonians Ruth and Larry Linton of Highland Orchards cultivate hard-to-find and off-season produce in their greenhouse, and SunnyGirl Farm of Unionville, Pennsylvania, supplies veggies like baby fennel, okra, organic lettuces and eggplant.
Harry’s Seafood Grill
101 S. Market St., Wilmington
Even when Harry’s ingredients are far-reaching, they’re always sourced through sustainable boutique producers. Lobsters come from the Greenhead Point Lobster Co-op in Stonington, Maine. “Those Maine boys share the passion that we have locally,” says chef David Leo Banks. “We’ve walked the farms, we visited the lobster pounds. And I will go salmon fishing in Alaska one of these days.” Harry’s also sources Delaware Bay oysters, New Jersey sole, and seasonal rockfish, flounder and more. The names of boats and their captains are listed on Harry’s menu. “It just makes sense,” Banks says.
Henlopen City Oyster House
50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach
Co-owner Joe Baker credits Henlopen chef Bill Clifton—the son of a Milford farmer—for driving the Oyster House’s local leanings. In the summertime, Clifton spends every Saturday morning at the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and every Tuesday at the Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market, searching for the latest and greatest produce from Community Organics in Greenwood and Calliope Farm and Greenbranch Farms in Salisbury, Maryland. Many of Henlopen’s famed oysters are local, too, hailing from Maryland and Virginia waterways such as Tangier Sound.
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