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Going Local Florida

Frodnesor Feb 5, 2008 05:36 AM

Several posts here and there lately have made mention of restaurants that focus on using local ingredients. While I don't think anywhere comes close to the goal of "locavores" to only use products grown or harvested w/i a 100 mile radius - check out www.locavores.com - I think any restaurant that's making an effort to use local product and support local farms, fishermen, etc. deserves notice.

Here's some I can think of that I've noticed recently in Miami ->

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink - lots of local fish - black grouper, pumpkin swordfish, pompano, snapper. Pretty sure the tomatoes for the panzanella salad and other items are usually local (and ripening on the kitchen counter). Would be willing to bet the frog legs for the "buffalo" frog legs are local as well. As MD has recently detailed, has also recently been using burrata and farm fresh eggs procured from the UES Greenmarket.

Michy's - a "fish of the day" when I was just there recently was a local pumpkin swordfish, another nice dish not currently on the menu was an orrechiette with "loxahatchee greens."

Table 8 - local tangerines in a green bean and prosciutto salad, local oak-leaf lettuce, Florida clams, grouper, snapper.

Talula - usually use Key West pink shrimp for the shrimp tamale appetizer and other dishes.

Yakko San - on my last visit they had a local octopus ceviche, also a local shrimp kara age (lightly coated in corn starch and fried whole - shell-on, head-on - eat the whole crunchy thing).

What else?

  1. lax2mia Feb 5, 2008 06:02 AM

    There's absolutely no reason restaurants shouldn't be using local ingredients. Heck, if it's getting easier for individuals to purchase local produce and seafood, there's no reason it shouldn't be even easier for restaurants to source it. Heck, I'm even able to procure restaurant quality stuff at our local markets (http://spangdish.blogspot.com/2008/02...).

    As for restaurants, I know River Oyster Bar usually has a whole grilled or fried yellowtail snapper from the Keys on their menu. There's also the occassional special like pompano. There's gotta be more than the places we've listed.

    1. Frodnesor Feb 7, 2008 07:14 PM

      Local blue crab crabcakes and local grouper sandwich on the lunch menu at Pascal's on Ponce.

      I'm curious why none of the local chefs that have shown a bent toward locally produced and sustainable food products are using Florida-raised grass-fed beef. (Unless of course I'm just unaware). When I was in SF this past summer lots of restaurants made a point of indicating that they were using locally raised grass-fed beef (usually from Prather Ranch or Marin Sun Farm).

      I know there's at least one Florida producer of organic, grass-fed beef but I don't know of any restaurants that are using it ->
      http://www.alrosas.com/
      Has anyone tried it?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor
        lax2mia Feb 8, 2008 09:48 AM

        Great find. Maybe when we're out and about ordering beef at one of our local restaurants we should ask where it's from? I'd say 9 out of 10 waiters would have no idea.

        1. re: lax2mia
          Miami Danny Feb 8, 2008 10:35 AM

          But other than the one Frod mentions, are there any others in the state? Might be a problem.

          1. re: Miami Danny
            l
            LargeLife Feb 10, 2008 06:31 AM

            Interesting thread...Lax, you're probably right...most waiters wouldn't know where the beef is from...but Florida produces so much beef that at least it's possible it's from Florida!....Ride across HWY 58 (I think) which goes from east to west on the northern side of Lake Okeechobee and you'll see so many grazing steers on that prairie you'll think you're in TX, OK, KS or NE!!....Highlands County also has huge grazing areas and monster herds....very impressive.....Good discussion.....

            1. re: LargeLife
              Frodnesor Feb 10, 2008 06:57 AM

              FL does indeed produce a lot of beef (12th among states for beef production) ->
              http://www.florida-agriculture.com/ag...

              Actually a good bit of other interesting information at that site on FL agricultural products.

              1. re: LargeLife
                c
                cheshirecat Feb 15, 2008 04:51 PM

                I agree that interior Fl is loaded with beef production. I think the route you meant is 70 not 58 and they have their fair share of orange groves too.

              2. re: Miami Danny
                Frodnesor Feb 10, 2008 06:42 AM

                Here's a link listing several ->

                http://www.eatwild.com/products/flori...

                Mind you, none of these are South Florida, but it's still closer to home than "who knows where?"

            2. re: Frodnesor
              j
              joan Feb 11, 2008 04:19 AM

              You might try Marchand's at the Vinoy Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg. They recently hosted the Cordon D'Or Culinary Awards, and the Rosa's received an award. Their beef was served at the banquet, and the Vinoy has two upscale restaurants which may be serving it still. I would call before you make the trek tho!

            3. m
              mialebven Feb 15, 2008 10:14 AM

              I thought Escopazzo uses local ingredients

              1 Reply
              1. re: mialebven
                Frodnesor Feb 15, 2008 11:11 AM

                My understanding is that Escopazzo is all organic but that doesn't necessarily mean local. There's nothing on the online menu (other than a Florida snapper) indicating that any ingredients are locally sourced.

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