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Mar 11, 2009 08:42 AM

Basic and healthy / organic dinner recommendations

I'm looking for a restaurant that satisfies any (and hopefully all) of the following criteria:

- Basic food (traditional, comfort, etc)
- Healthy (low carb options, etc)
- Organic
- Local sustainable food
- Farmer / greenmarket focus

for dinner for 2 people. Some options I've been thinking about include:

- Blue Hill
- Josie's
- Five points / cookshop / hundred acres
- Savoy

Would appreciate any comments on any of these places as well as suggestions for other ones.

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  1. I'll add two to the list:

    1. Green Table (tiny, cute, in Chelsea Market). The ingredients are high quality, preps are very simple, prices are relatively inexpensive. Some creative, well made cocktails on the menu and wonderful service.

    2. Market Table (on Carmine St. in the W. VIllage). More of an upmarket (hoho) experience. Excellent ingredients, more elaborate preps for many dishes, but there are some very pared down options, too.

    Josie's isn't in the same caliber as Blue Hill or the others at all IMO. The ingredients are really not all that high quality, the preparations are bland, service at the UWS location is often inattentive. (However, drinks are good.)

    It's been too long since I've eaten at Five Points to really comment. I don't remember it having the as explicit a commitment to serving local grown, seasonal food as, say, Blue HIll or Green Table or Market Table. Five Points includes some local / seasonal ingredients. It's low-key white tablecloth, probably too well lit to be romantic, a popular place for parent dinners.

    I've never been to Savoy. Of the ones I've tried, I think Blue Hill is the best overall experience (food, atm, service).

    1 Reply
    1. re: cimui

      Awesome, thanks! I'll look into Green Table and Market Table. Agreed about Josie's - it's the only one I've been to (for brunch) and it's not quite what I'm looking for. I'm also considering some vegetarian / vegan places (Pure Food and Wine or Blossom), so thoughts on those would also be appreciated!

    2. I will also add Rouge Tomate to your list.

      I think most of the restaurants you listed do have strong focus of seasonal, local and sustainable food as well as sourcing from greenmarkets. But they are not necessary healthy (except for Josie's) because they do use a lot of bacon, fat, etc. Rouge Tomate claims that their food is healthy, and regardless of this aspect, I found their food to be quite good.

      1. have you considered the Natural Gourmet? Granted the atmosphere is not fancy, but it is quite charming...the ingredients are top quality and since it is the student's final project, they put a great effort into the meal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: choclitarian

          We recently had "Friday Night Dinner" at the Natural Gourmet. The food was excellent. They post the menus online a week or two in advance. That said, both DH and I agreed that because it is communal seating, it would have been much more fun to go with a group and take over a whole table. (Oh, and for the OP, it's BYO.)

        2. I have a very similar outlook now-a-days when dining out: healthy, little fuss, organic, etc.

          Spring Street Natural on Spring and Lafayette in SoHo I'd recommend. It's really tasty, though a little more expensive than the other choices below.

          Westville East for solid Veggies and tasty marinated grilled chicken.

          The Pump is a great chain for healthy-minded people, mostly have shops in midtown.

          The Organic Grill on 1st ave btw saint mark's and 7th is solid I hear.

          If you like excellent, affordable japanese cuisine I highly recommend Natori on Saint Marks btw 3rd and 2nd. They have fantastic healthy protein + veggies dishes.

          My raw food friends love Quintessence, which I've eaten once before and also enjoyed. It's small and can get a little busy. located I -think- on 10th st btw 1st and Ave. A

          Souen is an excellent macrobiotic restaurant on 13th btw University and 5th Ave. They have great lunch specials.

          Hmmm, that's plenty to start with. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

          PS While I -love- Blue Hill, I wouldn't say it falls in your definition of basic food. They do have healthy choices however, and their produce is almost entirely from their own farm.

          1 Reply
          1. re: silencespeak

            Second Spring Street it!

          2. Pure Food & Wine. Pricey but good. And healthy/organic/seasonal