NYC's Left Bank's Must-Try Summertime Dishes

The sweltering New York City heat this summer has been a major factor in what I cook at home and where I choose to dine out. I can't even fathom having the oven working at all hours, or eating heavy, rich foods during our multiple heat waves.

Chef and owner Laurence Edelman of the West Village's Left Bank understands my plight and has created dishes that will cool hot New Yorkers down—without ever sacrificing flavor. His summer menu is crafted with local, seasonal ingredients in mind, many of which he gets from the Union Square Green Market.

This New York heavyweight who has cooked at famed restaurants such as Felidia, Mermaid Inn and Barbuto, among others, puts local, fresh ingredients at the core of his cooking ethos, which lends itself to some of the brightest summer dishes in the city.

While many restaurants will have simple watermelon salads "with a twist" on their menus, Edelman makes his dish truly shine. With the salmon belly tartare with watermelon, lime, jalapeno, capers, sea salt and olive oil, he uses not only the main part of the watermelon, but the pickled watermelon rind, putting it front and center of the dish.

Next up, is the celebration of summer with a classic heirloom tomato salad topped with a flavorful basil pesto, along with a corn and zucchini salad made with corn, squash, zucchini, small breed heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs. "What ties that dish altogether is the trevisano, a Northern Italian chicory that cuts through the dish with a bitter crunch," said Edelman. "The salad is simply dressed in olive oil and lemon."

Edelman's summer inspiration begins the moment he enters the Union Square Green Market. "I wanted to make a raw corn salad, so I went to the market and ended up buying a variety of other produce, what looked great from several different farmers, brought it back and distributed the quality ingredients here and there throughout the menu," he explained.

One of their signature dishes, the iron roast split chicken, is even given a lighter twist in the warmer months, pairing the dished with pinto beans and a fresh onion jus. Another not to miss item is the pan roasted Atlantic salmon with farro, legumes, radishes and sauce vert. These all can be accompanied with a variety of pairings, depending upon your specific tastes, that will foster, an evening of city summer living, undoubtedly of the highest caliber.