Dear Food Diary:
The concept of farm to table is not just a trend, but a way of life. Knowing where my food comes from and supporting these passionate folks is satisfying in itself. And though I can’t do it all the time, I try. It is specially hard in the city which is why Foragers City Table fills that need. Farmer’s markets are great, but they don’t have all the products one might need. This is that chic cross between farmer’s market and grocery store. It’s a one stop shop for produce, meat and everything else in between, plus a nice spot for a meal of local ingredient.
Raw day boat scallops yuzu koshu, crushed lemon oil
I love the sweetness of raw scallops. The tender texture and the brightness of yuzu and lemon are always a favorite of mine. I’m not sure the avant-garde presentation was necessary and it looked a bit random to me. But flavor wise, it was a sunny summer day.
Fermented tea leaf salad little gems, dried shrimp, sesame, peanuts, crispy garlic, split peas
This is one of their specialty dishes. I was intrigued by the fermented tea leaf, which is very common in Burmese cuisine. This was an Americanized version for sure, mainly lettuce and very little fermented tea leaf (center left, above peanuts). Therefore, I couldn’t really taste the tea leafs. Maybe a bit of tartness, fish sauce and hints of that earthiness, I wished there were more.
That being said, the salad had fantastic textures and familiar asian flavors. The crunch from the different nuts and the oils from sesame. And who doesn’t love garlic chips!? it’s my vegetarian bacon – makes everything better. Surely. this is unlike any salad I’ve had, but this should be renamed lettuce salad with fermented tea leaf. But then again, they used leaf and not plural, so maybe it was my mistake. But from what I read, the traditional version is all tea leaf and zero lettuce.
Lettuce herb noodles local oysters & coconut sauce, crispy shallots, fresh herbs, sprouts
The herb noodles had a satisfying texture, a good pull, bouncy and toothsome . The mix of briny and aromatic coconut was interesting. With the rest of the components, it tasted familiar, but not really. It was interesting.
Housemade sir william farm pork crepinettes lettuce leaves, meyer lemon nuoc cham
Our friendly waiter highly recommended these. Essentially pork meatballs. With good flavor and perfect chard. It was good, but seemed more like an overpriced copy of any Vietnamese restaurant. I think around the table we felt it didn’t excite us enough.
Wok tossed berkshire port short ribs fresh basil, black pepper
These were soooo amazing. Crispy and finger lick’n sticky coating. Savory and not too sweet. Juicy and tender in the center, but not overly fall of the bone, there was still a bit of bite to it which I enjoy. Fresh basil aroma and generous amounts of black pepper. I would take a whole rack of this for game day please!
Ginger Panna Cotta honey roasted peanuts, candied ginger, lime
I love the texture of smooth and creamy panna cotta, one of my favorite desserts for sure. Their version with that heat and kick from ginger (in a sweet way) tasted a bit like the Chinese double boiled ginger/milk custard, only this is chilled as suppose to having it warm. I like roasted nuts, so the peanuts were a great texture distraction. A little shaved lime goes a long way, this was just the right amount of wake my palate up sort of brightness.
Overall, the food was good, thought I think the word “foragers” might be a loose interpretation of what it represents. When I think of foragers, I think of Atera, here, farm to table seems to be a more appropriate description. Regardless, this a nice spot to bring a date or chill with friends. And pick up a thing or two for your own kitchen.
300 West 22nd St