In the Midwest, summer is a glorious time of harvest and bounty, and what better way to savor the vibrant tastes, colors, and textures of the season than by dining at a farm-to-table restaurant. Whether you live in the Midwest or are planning a summer road trip, these contemporary restaurants are definitely worth a stop—or even a detour.
Clever Rabbit, 2015 West Division, Chicago, IL
Clever Rabbit is a vibrant new veggie-centric restaurant that celebrates a “root-to-leaf” approach to local, seasonal produce. House-made carrot dumplings and a bountiful crudite platter featuring raw and house-pickled vegetables, ramp conserva, and smoked mushroom mousse are some of the delicious veggie offerings served alongside responsibly-sourced meat and seafood dishes and a deliciously inventive cocktail menu—think carrot margaritas.
Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, 15 E. Kirby Street, Detroit, MI
Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails has forged a close working relationship with area farmers and the restaurant’s chefs strive to create dishes that showcase the “craftsmanship that went into cultivating” responsibly-produced vegetables and meats like Lake Erie Walleye with greens and pickled ramps, mushroom confit, and Harissa braised lamb with tomatoes and cucumbers.
Lily’s Bistro, 1147 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY
Lily's Bistro is an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant and a trailblazer in the locavore restaurant scene, using organic produce from a small collective of area farms, free-range Kentucky-raised beef, and locally-produced artisanal cheeses to create a menu that “reflects the flavors of the Bluegrass state.” The seasonal menu changes every two to three weeks to reflect the local harvest.
Grove, 919 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI
Grove prides itself on a seasonal, responsibly sourced menu of upscale cuisine derived from local family-run farms. A continually rotating menu offers modern twists on traditional favorites like a pork belly corn dog and a smoked duck tartine with almond butter and pepper jelly.
Mission Table, 13512 Peninsula Drive, Traverse City, MI
Mission Table takes advantage of northern Michigan’s bountiful farmland and clean water resources for an inspired menu of upscale seasonal cuisine. The current menu includes locally-sourced trout with beets and black morels and smoked duck breast in a Michigan cherry reduction. There’s also an extensive beer and wine menu featuring offerings from local vineyards and Michigan breweries.
Morel, 430 South 2nd Street, Milwaukee, WI
Opened by Chef and Wisconsin native Jonathan Manyo as a way to explore the local flavors and textures of Wisconsin, Morel offers rustic, upscale cuisine in an intimate setting. The menu changes daily and currently features locally-inspired dishes, such as a cheese board starter of Wisconsin cheeses, rainbow trout with ramp bagna cauda and pea tendrils, and smoked lamb ragout with local Woodear mushrooms.
The Farmhouse, 300 Delaware Street, Kansas CIty, MO
The Farmhouse was recently named a 24-Carrot Gold partner in Kansas City’s Carrot Gold Program and embraces both a farm-to-table and a tip-to-tail ideology that reflects a deep respect for the crafts of farming and butchery. A farmer’s salad, local cheese plate, aged hanger steak, and roasted quail are some of the upscale comfort foods on their continually rotating menu.
The Table, 21 E 5th Avenue, Columbus, OH
The Table works closely with local farms and urban gardeners to bring diners a globally-inspired menu using local, seasonal produce and meats. The vegetarian-friendly menu offers creative brunch and dinner options along with a selection of delicious small plates. THe current menu includes Akoori (an Indian spiced scrambled egg dish), smoked lentils, caramel-lacquered pork belly, and carpaccio with fried capers and pickled red onions.
Wickman House, 11976 Mink River Road, Ellison Bay, WI
Located in a historic three-story home situated on a scenic backdrop of prairie land, the renovated Wickman House is an innovative American restaurant focused on local, sustainably produced cuisine of contemporary comfort foods. There’s a modern twist on classic Deviled eggs, beer battered Wisconsin cheese curds with red pepper aioli, and French-cut pork chop with whey risotto, radishes, and pea vines.
HoQ, 303 East 5th Street, Des Moines, IA
HoQ is a stylish American farm-to-table restaurant located in the historic East Village neighborhood of Des Moines. The restaurant derives 90 percent of its ingredients from local farms and utilizes only grass and pasture-raised meats. A daily rotating menu features contemporary comfort food, such as local grass-fed steak with kohlrabi and potato au gratin, bison burger with fried duck egg and caramelized onion, and local free-range chicken with sauteed greens and quinoa.
Garden Table, 908 E Westfield Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN
Garden Table is a hip, casual eatery and juicery that serves up locally-sourced fare and drinks with a focus on clean eating. They also support other local business through partnerships with area farms, bakeries, and artisans. Menu offerings include seasonal salads and sandwiches, creative brunch options, and of course, an extensive menu of cold-pressed juices.
Block16, 1611 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE
Block16 is an award-winning casual contemporary restaurant in downtown Omaha. Owned and operated by husband-wife chef duo (both were named as Best Chefs in America 2013) Paul and Jessica Urban, Block 16 mixes high and low cuisine to create an exciting menu of unique dishes. Current offerings include the pulled pork roll, bacon and brie sandwich, and duck duck goose fries (a mix of duck confit, crispy skin, duck-fat mayo and gooseberry confit over a basket of housemade fries), all created using only locally-sourced ingredients.
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