I’ve said this before: we rarely venture above 14th street, except for work, but when the Trumpeting Media ladies invited me to test out the new Eat Local menu at The Garden Restaurant in The Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, I could not say no. And it was such a civilized way to end the crazy BlogHer 2012 weekend (I know, so long ago!), and to start the week off right with amazing food made of fresh, local ingredients.
Executive Chef John Johnson came out to talk to our exclusive group of bloggers about where he sources his ingredients – with over 50% of his menu being local: strawberries from Connecticut; watermelon from New Jersey; baby greens from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was great to know that a large company like The Four Seasons supports local farms and farmers as well as produce that don’t have pesticides, are natural and organic.
I don’t drink (no, I’m not pregnant!) so the bar made me non-alcoholic versions of their Farm to Glass cocktail flight – which was fantastic. A brunch with three tomato-based drinks is heaven! My first course was the heirloom tomato and watermelon gazpacho with a surprise of a mustard gelato. The gazpacho was refreshing and cool and you can literally taste the tomato and watermelon. The mustard gelato gave it a cool zest to the dish.
Next up was the Pizzette of Catskill Smoked Salmon with wasabi caviar and fresh herbs. A very grown-up and fancy version of your bagel with lox – this was light and fresh. The wasabi caviar and the mini green apple balls gave a bit of acidity to the dish.
Although we didn’t have our kids with us, we didn’t forget them. The Four Seasons partners with Dylan Candy Bar and has a candy cart for their guests, so I was able to bring some sweets and treats to the girls when I got home (helped with the guilt a little).
You’d think I’d be full with two courses already down, but with three more courses to go, we were just getting started! When we returned to the bar, Organic French Toast stuffed with Hammonton Blueberries served with Nutella Butter (yes, I said “Nutella” and “Butter” in the same sentence!!) and warm organic maple syrup. Heaven, absolutely heaven. I thought of my girls when I was eating this because this was something that they would gobble down in a heart beat.
Executive Chef Johnson saved the best truly for last (besides dessert). His Local Lobster Hash with a Poached Farm Egg and Choron Sauce was the best dish of the bunch. There were good chunks of lobster with crispy potatoes and a beautifully cooked poached egg. I’ve never had Choron sauce before about to me it was just delicious and pulled all the textures together.
Summer Trifle of Local Peaches and Pell Farm Strawberries ended our Eat Local menu. The trifle was light and airy and the peaches and strawberries were super-fresh.
Michael and I are always looking for a fabulous place with fabulous food for a date night, so The Garden Restaurant is definitely on the “Date Night List” — especially if uptown is our destination!
The Garden Restaurant at The Four Seasons is now open – so give them a call, grab a reservation and Eat Local!