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Upping the Farm-to-Table Ante

Montauk’s Ruschmeyers executive chef enlists the help of The Smile team for a summer menu that lets nothing go to waste

Farm-to-table has become a phrase as overused as organic produce, with restaurants constantly popping up boasting “locally sourced” or “farm fresh.” And whether or not you buy into the notion that your meal sprouted up or swam its way to your plate the very same day, it can be tough to distinguish the real distance and time it took for ingredients to make their way to the actual eatery. This season however, Ruschmeyers restaurant in Montauk is aiming to give customers a tried and true version of farm-to-table. In fact, they’re surrounded by the sources, with numerous local farms, stands and fisherman to choose from.

This summer, and continuing for the next two years, Ruschmeyers executive chef Brian Loiacono has brought on the team from The Smile in Mahattan to help craft a menu that not only uses the best of the week’s freshest locally sourced ingredients, but also all of the leftovers. Along with Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte and Melia Marden, Loaicono says that, “it’s important for us to really take advantage of these amazing local ingredients, to be creative with our scraps so that we use every little bit.” “For example, we do a half romaine lobster salad and then we’ll have this pile of romaine scraps that are perfectly good, so we chill them and add them to a romaine soup with salmon and local micro greens.”

Aside from these menu items, The Smile team has put their twist on the now famous Ruschmeyers clam pizza, along with a soft shell crab poboy and minted snap peas. Recently new to the menu is a s’more in a jar, a dessert that keeps with the Rushmeyers adult summer camp vibe. As The Smile’s Melia Marden puts it, “it’s a locally driven menu and there is a real commonality between our food and Brian’s food—simple, clean, fresh.” For a real farm-to-table summertime meal, that’s the only stamp of approval we need.