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
(page 9 of 11)
Simon Pearce on the Brandywine
1333 Lenape Road, West Chester, Pa.
(610) 793-0949, simonpearce.com
Forgetting for a moment that Simon Pearce sources all of its glassware locally (as in downstairs, in its own workshop), chef Karen Nicolas gathers the best in local ingredients from Beechwood Orchards, Tom Culton Organics, Shellbark Hollow Farms, Amazing Acres, Jamison Farm and more. “Our chickens are only two days old. Our fish are only 18 hours old,” Nicolas says. “You can taste the difference when the flavor is fresh.” Weekly give and take with farmers allows Nicolas to change menus often, but if you get the chance, try Lancaster pork belly with Savoy cabbage, parsnips and chanterelle mushrooms.
Soffritto Italian Grill
1130 Kirkwood Hwy., Newark
That wonderfully creamy sun-dried tomato blush sauce coating the rigatoni at Soffritto is made from Hy-Point Dairy Farms cream. Soffritto buys milk and butter from Hy-Point, too. The cheese comes from M. Fierro & Sons in Wilmington, and the seafood—a huge chunk of Soffritto’s menu—comes from Sansone’s Seafood Market in Wilmington. The sautéed wild mushrooms that top decadent 8-ounce filetto al vino rosso—are foraged in Avondale, Pennsylvania.
696 Unionville Road, Kennett Square, Pa.
(610) 444-5600, sovanabistro.com
Fourteen years ago Nick Farrell opened Sovana Bistro with the ambition of it becoming a modest little Italian restaurant. Today Farrell is recognized as one of the forebears in the region of farm-to-table cuisine. “As I became familiar with the area, I realized there’s all this amazing product out here,” he says. “It was a slower evolution as, one by one, I started making relationships with farmers out here. I really think that seasonal eating makes the most sense. It’s just practical.” Swallow Hill Farm in Finleyville, Pennsylvania, is Sovana’s main source for fresh produce, including asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, beets, pumpkins, squash and more. The Amish and Mennonite-driven Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op and Pete’s Produce Farm in Westtown, Pennsylvania, are two other major contributors. For the best example of Farrell’s nature-boy aptitude, order the simple, yet harmonious Taste of Local Vegetables from Sovana’s 100-Mile Menu.
Page 10: Restaurant Guide: Localvores Unite, continues...