As soon as I heard the words farm-to-table, I put it on my list of restaurants to visit.
But I had a hard time checking it off. Every time the question arose of, “Where should we eat dinner?” I would immediately look it up on Open Table (it doesn’t take phone reservations). And it was always booked through 11 pm. Frustration!
Finally, after Mike and I spent a short evening taking in the cool breeze on the new rooftop bar above Hotel Chantelle on the LES (Go! It’s mercifully uncrowded and the drinks are delicious), we said, “F*** it,” and went down to Fat Radish, even though it was again supposedly booked up for the next hour.
We found the unassuming little restaurant, which is in a former Chinese sausage factory, by the crowd of smoking downtowners hanging out outside on an otherwise deserted street. Inside it’s all distressed brick walls, tile, weathered wood, and chalkboards. Farmhouse meets … sausage factory, I guess.
Anyway, we were seated straight away (it must have been my amazing Beacon’s closet/American Apparel outfit). Our blond-with-bangs waitress arrived, found that our table was wobbly, and immediately dropped the floor to troubleshoot, ripping pages out of her notebook to stuff under the gimpy table leg. When she was done, she popped back up, smoothed down her hair, and took our order.
Surrounded by a crowed of 75 percent young professionals and 25 percent artsy types, we ordered cocktails and Massachusetts oysters, both as good as I’ve tasted in New York. For the main dish, I ordered Colorado lamb loin, with hen of the woods mushrooms, market spinach, and red mustard. The presentation wasn’t amazing, (imagine all those ingredients piled on a plate as if from a buffet) but it was absolutely delicious. Mike tucked into his bacon cheeseburger with duck fat chips with similar gusto.
At this point, things got hazy. I was on my fourth cocktail of the night, and only remember the general feeling of satisfaction and happiness surrounding me.
Make your reservation early! As I said before, this place books up fast. No wonder, the food is delicious, the service friendly, and lets face it–it’s the place to be seen.