It’s Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week
Washington, D.C., is a foodie’s town and Washingtonian diners are savvy about where their food comes from. Thousands of residents visit one or more of the many farmers markets each week from Dupont Circle to Columbia Heights, and from Penn Quarter to Mount Pleasant. There’s also Eastern Market and Union Market where vendor’s sell their local wares daily.
Farm-to-Table Week, now in its third year, continues to grow. Now through July 28, you’ll have the opportunity to dine at participating Farm-to-Table Week restaurants, tour local edible gardens, celebrate (and taste) D.C.’s booming beer culture and learn the ins and outs of making more local food and drink a reality throughout D.C. A 125-vendors Farm-to-Street block party at Union Market closes out the week.
According to Eat Local First D.C., a non-profit organization that promotes local businesses, food grown within a 50-mile radius of D.C. was probably picked within the last day or two and is crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink and produce loses its vitality. Buying local ensures that you buy food that is at the peak of flavor and nutritive value.
Eat Local also says that on average, for each dollar spent on products made by large corporations, only 15 cents remain in local communities. But when you spend a dollar at a local business or farm, 45 cents are reinvested locally. Sustainable farming keeps pesticides and other chemicals out of runoff water. Local, small farmers have the flexibility to maintain crop diversification and implement sustainable harvesting methods that impact the quality of our water source. Buying local has a smaller carbon footprint, and it is estimated that farmers who practice conservation tillage can sequester 12-14 percent of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industrial farms.
Farm-to-Table Week specials
Here’s some local restaurant specials awaiting diners:
Azur, 405 8th St. NW, is featuring BBQ cobia with poached oysters from Rappahanock Oyster Farm in Topping, Va., summer squash from Shalom Fields Farm in Goochland, Va., and Garners Produce in Warsaw, Va., house-pickled garlic varietals from Mountain View Farms in Purcellville, Va., and red ribbon sorrel from Endless Summer Harvest in Purcellville.
The Coupe, 3415 11th St. NW, is offering a locally-sourced country ham bagel sandwich with country ham from Edwards Hams in Virginia, bacon from Stoney Brook Farm in Maryland, avocado, arugula from Lakeville Produce in Pennsylvania, heirloom tomato from Humming Bird Farms in Maryland, breakfast radish, a hard-boiled egg, saffron aioli ad an everything bagel.
Farmers Fishers Bakers, 3000 K St. NW at the Washington Harbour’s menu always features local farm-to-table items, but they’ve added a special locally-sourced cocktail: the Underdog Shandy with UnderDog Atlantic Lager from Frederick, Md.’s, Flying Dog Brewery, fresh ginger and lime juice.
Founding Farmers, 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, always features locally sourced menu items but has added a special cocktail for the week: the Ward Eight with Founding Farmers Rye from Sperryville, Va., lemon and orange juices, and housemade grenadine.
Graffiato, 707 6th Street NW, is offering a locally-sourced featured dish of heirloom tomato salad from Path Valley Farms in Pennsylvania, basis from Endless Summer Harvest in Virginia, olive oil gelato from D.C.’s Dolcezza Gelato, pine nuts and saba for $12.
Lavagna at 539 8th St. SE, is offering a special $35.13 Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week Menu. The first course is a choice of porchetta or bruschetta, followed by a choice of house-made pasta flight/sampler, fettuccine bolognese, rigatoni, risotto or chicken and waffles. Dessert includes creme brulee or tiramisu. Plus, anyone ordering the special menu receives 25 percent off a glass of wine.
Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St. NW, has six days of events planned, all of which feature $5 beers and special food parings. Monday is Maryland Beer Night, with 24 different Free State beers on tap. Tuesday is Celebrate the Commonwealth, with 24 Virginia beers, which you can also choose to pair with Chincoteague oysters or Virginia cheeses. Wednesday is the District’s turn, with 22 beers and ;ocal sausages will be grilled on the patio. Thursday features 24 different beers from eight DMV breweries on tap and eight casks prepared with ingredients that could be foraged locally. On Friday, six regional brewpubs, including the Brewer’s Art, Devils Backbone and Mad Fox, will take over the 24 taps.
Pizzeria Paradiso‘s three locations are offering a special “Locavore” pizza made with heirloom tomato sauce, cubanelle peppers, buffalo mozzarella and other locally sourced ingredients. As a bonus, every pizza purchased allows you to order two local draft beers for half price.
Here’s some events planned this week (for details visit http://www.eatlocalfirstdc.com/):
- July 22-28- Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week (w/FRESHFARM Markets and Washington Area Restaurant Association)
- July 22- “How Local Food Grows a City” Flash Talks and Kick-Off Party- Woolly Mammoth
- July 24- Femivore Talks and Awards Happy Hour- Heurich House Museum
- July 25- Urban Foraging and Forage Cask Event- Meridian Pint
- July 26- Edible Garden Tour and Party- Bloomingdale and Big Bear Cafe
- July 27- Farm-to-Street Party- Union Market
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.