Itinerary for visiting sustainable cuisine chef -- Sun thru Tues in early April
We'll be visiting Boston on April 11-13 with our pal who owns a terrific sustainable cuisine restaurant in Baltimore. He'd love to soak up as much uniquely local food as possible while here. The challenge is we're talking Sunday lunch through Tuesday lunch so I'm guessing many great spots will be closed. Anywhere in the city or close surroundings works (will be staying in Waltham with a car). I'd also appreciate any thoughts about markets or other fun things to do between meals, too. Thanks so much.
T. W. Food and Craigie on Main in Cambridge are two restaurants in Cambridge definitely worth considering. Both very committed to the local food movement and working with local farms (although April is just about the worst time for local food in New England). T. W. Food is open for dinner on Monday (Craigie is not, but is open for brunch or dinner on Sunday). Garden at the Cellar, also in Cambridge, could be a good lunch or dinner option.
Farmer's markets don't gear up until mid-June. Your chef friend might want to contact the folks at the Cape Ann sustainable fisheries organization (http://namanet.org/csf/cape-ann-fresh...) to speak with/visit them regarding their fish version of CSA shares, since that made national news when it started up last year. Baltimore is known for its seafood restaurants so this might be something that spreads to the Chesapeake fisheries.
Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton (http://gibbethillgrill.com/) is in the country, maybe 45 minutes from Waltham. It is on a farm (though the Angus cattle there are not on the menu) which now grows a lot of its own produce and last year featured a special banquet composed entirely of locally-sourced ingredients, down to the wine. There is also Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton (www.nashobawinery.com), which makes both dry and dessert wines out of a variety of fruits but no grapes. There's a tour with tasting, and J's Restaurant on the premises. It's maybe a little closer to Waltham than is Groton, but in a different direction.
Definitely try for Craigie. Henrietta's Table does source a lot locally. It's a hotel resto, but they at least pay attention to sources. What about places like Ten Tables - others may know, do they have a local focus?
For interesting markets, check out New Deal Fish Market, in East Cambridge. Old-school fish store with knowledgeable local staff. Probably Tuesday a.m.
Others can direct you to good spots in the North End, which would be another nice place to visit.
New Deal Fish Market
622 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141
One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA 02138
5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, MA 02138
If you have some time between restaurants.... why not take a road trip to central (well, the west part of central) Mass.? There is quite a bit of agriculture going on there, with much of it aimed at Massachusetts tables. In particular, I am thinking of two places that are close to each other (with some other relevant points of interest also nearby):
- Chestnut Farm in Hardwick. This is a meat CSA that is popular with a good number of Boston Hounds. The farm had been fallow for a good number of years before the current owners cleared it of junk and unwanted brush, etc. They raise beef, pork, lamb, goat, and chickens using sustainable/organic principles. This would not be an eating destination but a touring/learning destination.
- Nearby is the Robinson Farm, which sells wonderful raw milk (drink some on the way back to town, oh my goodness is it good), eggs, humanely raised veal, AND sells maple syrup from a local (also in Hardwick) sugaring operation.
It is a nice day trip (90 minutes or so from Boston) during a very pretty time of year. Enjoy!