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Local, organic, seasonal, compostable, sustainable — sometimes it’s hard to keep up with what of-the-minute food trend reigns supreme. But no matter if you’re going gluten-free or gorging only on green foods, one thing is for sure — everything tastes better when it’s picked fresh from the garden. And while plenty of restaurants are up to speed on the farm-to-table trend, we think these innovators, who have gone roof-to-table, have proven that even if you don’t have sprawling acres in your restaurant’s backyard, it’s possible to serve quality ingredients ripe for the picking.
Atop Bell Book & Candle in New York, chef John Mooney and his partner, Mick O’Sullivan, are growing over 70 different varieties of herbs, vegetables, and fruits on their aeroponic rooftop tower garden. Downtown Los Angeles’ Blue Ribbon Garden is poetic in more ways than one — it sits above the Walt Disney Concert Hall, providing herbs and ingredients for Patina below.
Catch a glimpse of trucks hoisting dirt up to the rooftop of the Ledge Kitchen and Drinks in Dorchester, Mass., and chow down on grilled wild salmon with summer succotash fresh from above. And in Rome, where food is always of the utmost importance, La Pergola (the city’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant) serves sustainable, seasonal dishes like duck foie gras, Guinea fowl with carrot sauce and mushrooms, and John Dory with garlic purée and a white asparagus vinaigrette, all made with ingredients from their garden above guests’ heads.
Who knows? After a taste of deliciousness from these grand gardens on high, you might be inspired to start an elevated greenery of your own. Just double check with your landlord before you hit up Home Depot.
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