It sure makes a difference when one can stumble off the dreaded red eye to a tea spot serving herbal organic teas with fresh, locally grown mint. Or sit down to a meal of local produce. Were I in LA, I wouldn’t think twice about such abundance (we are so lucky to be that jaded), but arriving in the “concrete jungle” I felt particularly fortunate to find such wonderfully fresh, local options.
On my trip, I found local, organic and extremely fresh on a grand scale – whole foods – on a smaller scale, Le Pain Quotidien (an AKA favorite) – on a smaller scale, the amazingly divine Blue Hill (see below) restaurant – and even on an individual level, in talking to chef Allison Weiner about her selections for her personalized food service whose creations are influenced from her work on a Vermont farm.
I wanted to take a moment to highlight my dinner at Blue Hill – aka “mecca” for a dietitian-foodie– as it proves that nothing is lost and sheer indulgence is gained when farmer meets chef and heads directly from farm to table …no shortcuts here. Elegant and delicious – our amuse bouche amused more than the mouth and was oh so simple – different colored seasonal veggies served atop posts they looked like colorful lollipops. With every appetizer, side, and main dish sounding delicious, it was hard to pick — but the waiter piqued my curiosity when describing the cauliflower steak…there’s nothing like this! – that is truly just cauliflower (but nothing “just” about it). What topped off the dining experience was the wait staff – so knowledgeable about everything – the wine choice, the way they cook the vegetables, the type of oils and how they are stored, as well as the wine selection. Wow! I wanted to eat here everyday and night and from the welcomes exuberantly offered for patrons at the bar I realized that this was exactly what locals do…lucky to eat from the farm in NYC.