I did restaurant marketing for 20+ years, on both sides of the border, for very large (500-1,200 unit) chains. And while I loved alot about those assignments, one frustrating aspect was our inability to source food locally. Too expensive, complicated, unreliable and inconsistent. Consumers need to be willing to recognize that local food is higher quality, seasonal, and eratic. One just can't get a good quality strawberry in January.
All of the above is a long-winded way of introducing today's post: local tomatoes. We've enjoyed many outstanding meals at Mercer Hall, especially on their "Nosh Night Mondays." Basic idea: $35 per person for all-you-can-eat tapas. They keep bringing outstanding food (starting with savoury, and switching to sweets when you are ready) until you say "stop." A great deal, and a wonderful establishment. They also ascribe to the "eat local" idea.
We were there a month or so ago, and they served a brilliant tomato salad. Heirloom tomatoes, fresh sourdough, balsamic, a little cheese. I loved the tomatoes, and the owner was kind enough to share the source. Just up the road in Shakespeare.
We've been getting 10-20 pounds of tomatoes a week since then. I serve them every other day or so, usually with whipped ricotta, basil oil, balsamic drizzle, and a little fleur de sel salt. Or, with some fresh mozzarella and a light white balsamic vinegar dressing, for a riff on a Caprese salad. Local and delicious - couldn't pull this off at a restaurant chain with more than one unit!
Filed under breakfast, Aug 27, 2013