The farm to table movement is here to stay, and it makes sense. In restaurants, it’s a win-win for everyone. Farm fresh food tastes better, looks better, and it is better for you. Chefs, farmers, and restaurant patrons all get to support each other’s work by using and enjoying what food is available at that moment in their communities. It’s inspiring, enough inspiring that many chefs and restaurant owners are taking to doing their own growing, and the patrons love it.
Sonoma County in Northern California has fully embraced the farm to table concept, and it should – this place is a lush breadbasket where ingredients seem to grow right out of cracks in the sidewalks. The wine makers, wineries, farmers, restaurants, and patrons ooze fresh and local. In many communities there, it’s a given that everything served is from somewhere in the backyard. You eat what’s available, and it’s great. Locally grown veggies, eggs, meats, wild mushrooms, local wine, and local beer is all you’ll find. Here are a few great farm to table concepts we’ve visited in Sonoma where the food is colorful, creative, and fun.
Barndiva, in Healdsburg, CA, offers fine dining using seasonal ingredients from producers in Northern California. The food is fine and fresh, and they rightly sell the story and credit the purveyors they rely on by listing some of them on a sign outside the restaurant. It’s a mutually beneficial cross-promotion for the food purveyors and the dining establishment. Visit them in Healdsburg or at barndiva.com.
Ravenous, also in Healdsburg, changes their menu based on available ingredients almost daily. They update so often, they just hand-write and photocopy their menu – it’s a nice touch. The place feels like a rustic, comfy home. It’s popular with the locals, and crowded; you will usually find local wine makers hanging around there.
Peter Lowell’s, in Sebastopol, CA, features Italian-inspired cuisine based on the seasonally available ingredients from Sonoma County and Northern California. Everything is local, even the coffee, and they make their own ketchup. We were lucky enough to have wild-caught hedgehog mushrooms on our wood fired thin-crust pizza. Visit them on Healdsburg Ave in Sebastopol or at peterlowells.com.
So be inspired – we’ll bring you more great concepts soon.