Long ago, in the days before summer vacations were invented, August was the time of year Valley residents made certain they were home. Now was the time they looked forward to the most. After months of toil and watching the crops grow, with the hottest days of summer behind them, the harvest could begin. Eating was good and the living was easy.
These days, though, between fitting in one last weekend at the beach and being bombarded with back-to-school sales, it's easy to get distracted and forget about the bounty that's there for the picking.
Longtime local farming advocates CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) have worked for nearly 20 years to reconnect Valley eaters with the joys of local produce. Their initiatives include a "Local Hero" campaign to encourage residents to buy directly from farms, but the organization also works with Valley institutions and restaurants to make certain local produce is on their menus.
On Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 24, CISA will be hosting Local Hero Restaurant Days, a celebration of this year's harvest in which 46 participating chefs across the Valley will feature meals made from fresh, local ingredients. Below is a list of the restaurants with a some of the delicacies that will be offered. Please visit www.buylocalfood.org for more menu details and to learn more.
3hree Cafe, Springfield, (413) 733-3332.
Bistro Les Gras, Northampton, (413) 320-4666.
Black Sheep Deli, Amherst, (413) 253-3442
Blue Heron Restaurant, Sunderland, (413) 665-2102
Chef's salad of Atlas Farm organic Boston lettuce and baby greens, Kitchen Garden heirloom and cherry tomatoes and Warner Farm cucumbers with fresh mozzarella, pickled onions and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Bottega Cucina, West Springfield, (413) 732-2500
Brick Wall Burger, Greenfield, (413) 475-388
Bridgeside Grille, Sunderland, (413) 397-8101
Bub's BBQ, Sunderland, (413) 548-9630
Grilled corn on the cob from Warner farm, cucumber and tomato salad, hickory smoked potatoes and coleslaw, all with veggies from Smiarowski Farm.
Cafe Martin, Shelburne Falls, (413) 625-2795
Wheelview beef burrito and a Wheelview sirloin steak with a garlic and roasted red pepper goat cheese topping.
Carmelina's at the Commons, Hadley, (413) 584-8000
Chandler's Restaurant, Deerfield, (413) 655-1277
Cup and Top Cafe, Florence, (413) 585-0445
Champney's Restaurant at the Deerfield Inn, Deerfield, (413) 774-5587
Eastside Grill, Northampton, (413) 586-3347
Eighty Jarvis Restaurant and Bar, Holyoke, (413) 534-4000
Mockingbird Farm roast pork and Pepin Farm corn quesadilla.
El Jardin Bakery, South Deerfield, (413) 665-2809
Roasted chicken breast sandwich served on bread made using flour and grains from Four Star Farm. House-made garlic aioli using local eggs from Nora's Eggs, roasted tomatoes from Kitchen Garden, goat cheese from Hillman Farm and mixed greens from Old Friends Farms.
Esselon Cafe, Hadley, (413) 585-1515
Summer vegetable ricotta with Maple Valley ricotta, Esselon espresso-rubbed Batchelder Hill Farm sirloin steak with a Lefty's Chocolate Oatmeal Stout reduction, and Bashista Orchard's pears poached in local mead.
Fitzwilly's, Northampton, (413) 584-8666
Roasted beet salad made with local golden beets, arugula, goat cheese, fennel and orange segments. Topped with crunchy fried beet sticks and citrus vinaigrette.
Gill Tavern, Gill, (413) 863-9006
Local tomato and basil bruschetta with olives and balsamic drizzle, papardelle pasta. Wells Tavern Farm veal and Vermont Family Farms pork ragu sauce, and local peach and blueberry crisp a la mode with Snow's Ice cream.
GoBerry, Northampton, (413) 586-9290
Great Wall Restaurant, Florence, (413) 582-0399
Corn cake stuffed with pork and shrimp with corn from Hatfield, lamb special with spring onions from Chung Farm, and fried rice with local lettuce and spring onions from Chung Farm.
Hillside Pizza, Deerfield, (413) 665-5533
Hope and Olive, Greenfield, (413) 774-3150
Hotel Northampton, Northampton, (413) 584-3100
Karma, Northampton, (413) 727-8143
Brushetta using Red Fire Farm tomatoes, basil, garlic over toasted foccacia bread.
Local, Northampton, (413) 586-5857
Lone Wolf, Amherst, (413) 256-4643
Monarchs Restaurant, Deerfield, (413) 665-2805
Montenia's, Springfield, (413) 739-9656
Northampton Brewery, Northampton, (413) 586-1850
Magpie squash, eggplant, rainbow heirloom tomatoes, beans, multi-color bell peppers, jalapenos, basil, dill, cilantro, and various cooking greens. Meat for the day will come from Austin Brothers and Chicoine Farms.
Paul & Elizabeth's, Northampton, (413) 584-4832
Ristorante DiPaolo, Turners Falls, (413) 863-4441
Greek salad with Kitchen Garden tomatoes, grilled Clarkdale Fruit Farm peach and mozzarella salad, or creamy corn polenta with pan-seared calamari.
Roadhouse Cafe, Belchertown, (413) 323-6175
Roberto's, Northampton, (413) 584-0204
Sam's Pizzeria and Cafe, Northampton, (413) 587-2677
Side Street Cafe, Florence, (413) 587-8900
Soup, Greenfield, (413) 512-0631
Gazpacho with vegetables from Rainbow Harvest Farms.
Spoleto, Northampton, (413) 586-6313
Sylvester's Restaurant, Northampton, (413) 586-1418
Tabella Restaurant, Amherst, (413) 253-0220
Taylor's Tavern and Restaurant, Greenfield, (413) 773-8313
Caprise Black Angus burger with beef from Foxbard Farm and topped with mozzarella, basil, and tomato. Pesto pasta with homemade pesto made with basil from Rock Ridge Farm, tomatoes from The Bars Farm.
The Night Kitchen, Montague, (413) 367-9580
Locally raised braised rabbit with pancetta and pearl onions over parmesan polenta. A selection of local cheeses with candied walnuts and seeded lavash crackers.
The People's Pint, Greenfield, (413) 773-0333
Salsa triumverate: tomatillo salsa, peach salsa, and tomato-corn salsa, all made with fresh local ingredients.
The Whately Inn, Whately, (413) 665-3044
Roasted corn chowder with fresh Maine lobster, and a native relish tray featuring greek tomatoes from Golonka Farm.
Wagon Wheel Restaurant, Gill, (413) 863-8210
Bacon, egg, and cheeseburger with beef from Wheelview farm, Outlook Farm bacon, and a fried egg from Diemand Farm, served with fingerling potatoes from The Kitchen Garden. Housemade ice cream with peaches from Clarkdale Fruit Farms or Shelburne honey vanilla, and blueberry frozen yogurt pops.
West End Pub, Shelburne Falls, (413) 625-6216
Meatloaf made with Foxbard Farm beef, and onions and peppers from Paddy Flat farm. Topped with a homemade tomato sauce, and served with salad from Leaping Frog Farm. Local zucchini saute and mashed local potatoes.