cover story: bite by bite

Fresh, Local and on Your PLATE

Some of the best restaurants in town are cooking with goodies from your friendly local farmers, butchers and artisans

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If you’re a foodie as many claim to be, then you might have heard of the farm-to-table movement. In case you’ve just arisen from a long coma, farm-to-table is a movement among restaurants to buy ingredients and produce from local businesses and farms. Using local sources is a win for everyone: Restaurants support their community farmers and artisans, and patrons get to eat the freshest, most flavorful dishes.

Embracing farm-to-table requires restaurants to be flexible with their menus, as produce availability varies depending on the season. While you might not be able to order that curried summer squash soup in December, you’ll totally dig on the candied beets of winter.

Here are some of Northeast Florida’s most popular and committed farm-to-table restaurants, along with some dishes from their menu. Bon appétit!
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BLACK SHEEP (5 Points)

  • Red Miso-Glazed Eggplant: purple rice congee, grilled cabbage, grilled scallions, benne
  • Fried Green Tomato BLT: smoked bacon, lettuce, black pepper aioli, green tomato and apple jam
  • Arugula & Crispy Pig Ear Salad: arugula, bread & butter jalapenos, boiled peanut puree, radish, fresh herbs

RESTAURANT ORSAY (Avondale)

  • Seared Sea Scallops: celery root puree, pickled Brussels sprouts-poppy & sunflower seed salad, Georgia Farms extra virgin olive oil
  • Orsay Meatloaf: grass-fed beef, duck gizzards & livers, tomato-bacon glaze, green bean and mushroom casserole
  • Lyonnaise Salad: house-smoked Maple Leaf Farm’s duck bacon, red wine poached egg, red onion, French breakfast radish, grilled baguette, warm bacon-champagne vinaigrette

KITCHEN ON SAN MARCO (San Marco)

  • Braised Short Rib: spring peas, onions, freshly dug potatoes, watercress
  • Fried Chicken Confit: creamed peas & onions, freshly dug potatoes (lunch); pickled peppers, cucumbers and honey butter (dinner).
  • San Marco Shrimp & Grits: Anson Mill grits, Benton’s country ham, roasted tomatoes

NOLA MOCA (Downtown)

  • Market Quiche: fresh, seasonally inspired daily quiche, house salad
  • Vegan Paella: asparagus, yellow and red bell peppers, baby rainbow carrots, Portobello mushrooms, Arborio rice, saffron-tomato sauce, smoked almond aioli
  • Hot Chicken: pan-fried garlic and cheddar bread pudding, creamy kale slaw, buttermilk fried chicken breast, pepper paste, honey pearls, pickled spicy giardiniera

UPTOWN KITCHEN & BAR (Downtown)

  • Uptown Kitchen Cuban: house-smoked pork shoulder, ham, homemade pickles, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard on Cuban bread
  • Smoked Beef “Shorty” with Intuition King Street Stout: beef short ribs, smoked and slow-braised, served with roasted vegetables
  • SteakHouse Mushroom Salad: roasted mushrooms, marinated in herbs and olive oil, served with spinach, tomatoes, onions, pinenuts, and Old School French dressing

29 SOUTH (Fernandina)

  • Springer Mountain Fried Chicken: fried chicken drizzled with Naked Bee honey and cracked pepper on smashed potatoes
  • Fish Tacos: grilled catch in crispy flour tortilla, Salsa Fresca, chimichurri, avocado and Napa slaw
  • Lumpy Blue Crab Cake: on Old Bay butter with pickled watermelon rind

MOXIE KITCHEN + COCKTAILS (Southside)

  • Arugula Salad: local farm arugula, cherry tomatoes, yuzu aioli, grated manchego, pork rind croutons, citrus vinaigrette
  • Kale Salad + Salmon: sustainable salmon, local fam kale, candied pecans, roasted beets, stone fruit, aged goat cheese, pomegranate vinaigrette
  • Hanger Steak: Seminole Pride beef, lemon-herb french fries, shallot butter

THE SAVORY MARKET (Fernandina Beach)

  • Roasted Salmon Salad: salmon, pears, goat cheese, walnuts on mixed greens, honey dill vinaigrette
  • Savory Reuben: pastrami or honey roasted turkey breast, garlic sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, garlic aioli on toasted rye
  • Salmon BLTA: wild Alaskan salmon, Wainright bacon, mixed greens, vine-ripe tomato, avocado, lemon dill aioli on toasted rye bread

TIMOTI'S SEAFOOD SHAK (Fernandina Beach)

  • Baja Box: choice of shrimp, fish, chicken or tofu over coconut rice with avocado, greens, black bean salsa & tomatoes, tangy cilantro ranch
  • Lobster Rolls: T’s lobster salad served in two New England-style rolls, or as a wrap
  • T’s Wrap: choice of protein with black bean mango salsa, pepper jack, greens, tomato, cilantro, jalapeño aioli

BREWZ N DAWGS (St. Augustine)

  • Breakfast Dawg: pork brat & bacon on garlic butter toasted organic bun, topped with organic hash fries, fried egg
  • Mac Daddy Dawg: 100 percent beef dog topped with organic mac & cheese, bacon bits, organic chives on garlic butter toasted organic bun
  • Taco Dawg: 100 percent beef dog on steamed organic bun with grass-fed ground beef mix, avocado, organic sour cream, organic corn chips, salsa

THE FLORIDIAN (St. Augustine)

  • Shrimp & Sausage Maque Choux: house-creamed corn, peppers, poblanos, cherry tomatoes, Lil Moo cheese, cooked down with aromatic rice into a Summertime risotto. Served with sautéed shrimp, local sausage, topped with Heirloom tomato salsa, parsley gremolata.
  • Spicy Melt: choice of blackened fresh catch or blackened tofu with datil-chipotle mayo, roasted bell peppers, tomato, fresh spinach on multigrain hoagie with Wainwright Dairy’s cheeses
  • Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf Sandwich: CartWheel Ranch all-natural beef baked with sweet onions, bell peppers, herbs, topped with spicy datil-ketchup, served on ciabatta with basil mayo, spinach, tomatoes

THE ICE PLANT (St. Augustine)

  • Open Face Avocado Sandwich: grilled sourdough, barrel-aged feta, Beli Farm heirloom tomatoes, radishes, spring greens, lemon vinaigrette
  • Pan Seared Local Fish: potato-fennel puree, zucchini, tomatoes provencal, pistachios, lemon-brown butter
  • Slow-Cooked Duroc Pork Belly: baked yams, medjool dates, umami salad, roasted peanuts, black garlic jus

TOWN HALL (San Marco)

  • Seared Local Fish: okra, red potatoes, creamy yuzu, yellow pepper vinaigrette
  • Cauliflower Steak: salsa verde, marcona almonds, mole, upland cress
  • Housemade Fettuccini: summer squash, corn, grape tomatoes, housemade ricotta
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