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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514 Montchanin Road, Wilmington
Local produce gets the Krazy Kat’s treatment from chef Donny Merrill. Local oysters get paired with blood orange “caviar” and pomegranate mignonette, while locally caught rockfish is teamed with smoked tomatoes and Meyer lemon gelée. Locally grown veggies harvested by H.G. Haskell’s in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, fill the gaps between saffron pasta and smoked mozzarella in a vegetable lasagna. Foraged local mushrooms are used in an au gratin of braised Kobe beef cheek, Halloumi cheese and crispy shallots.
19730 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach
If it wasn’t clear from the front-porch dinners held at Fifer Orchards in Wyoming, Nage has serious love for its local growers. Executive chef Hari Cameron, as well as Nage bartenders, uses fruits and veggies from Fifer Orchard regularly. Free-range hogs from Swallow Acres Farm in Georgetown make for great pancetta-wrapped pork loin. Green Branch Farm in Salisbury, Maryland, Hattie’s Garden in Lewes, Reid’s Family Farm, Bob Russell Farms, Community Organics and Freeman Farm all sell fresh produce to Nage.
Off The Hook
769 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach
“If it doesn’t swim here, then we don’t use it,” says Steve Hagan, chef-owner of Off the Hook. His restaurant has signs that preach “Fresh, Honest, Local” and a mission statement that’s dedicated to local fishermen. That’s bad news for the fishies of the Atlantic seaboard, good news for you. Try the broiled bluefish with fennel mayo, or fluke stuffed with crab meat and sided with roasted asparagus. Hagan takes advantage of produce from Johnson’s Country Market in Roxana and East View Farm in Frankford. Visit this season, when he tops applewood bacon-infused collard greens with pan-roasted, skin-on striped bass.
121 Campbell Place, Bethany Beach
Local berries that stuff Patsy’s famous homemade cobbler come from Blueberry Lane Berry Farm, and Bennett Orchards in Frankford provides peaches for chefs-owners Patsy and Robin Rankin. The mother-daughter team also maintains a seasonal garden for fresh herbs and veggies. The area’s rich selection of roadside stands provides plenty more, as does Good Earth Market in Clarksville and Greenbranch Farm in Salisbury.
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