The Freshest Food is from Above: New York’s Rooftop Gardens

Kara Schlotthauer

Agriculture reaches further than just in the acres of open farmland in the Midwest; it’s also suspended above pedestrians’ heads in the middle of NYC. Gardens are taking over the roofs of New York’s buildings, silencing the excuse that wide open spaces are necessary to produce quality, fresh vegetables and herbs. These rooftop gardens find their places atop apartment buildings and restaurants, while New Yorkers also use plots of ground-level land where possible to establish urban farms. Urbanites have taken their nutrition into their own hands to get only the best ingredients to support a healthy lifestyle, ranging from a few contained plants to bulging green expanses.

Even city lawmakers are on board with more green spaces. A bill is currently in the works that would promote the importance of urban farming and community gardens, protecting them and adding bright spots of growth to vacant lots around the area.

Many small community gardens and farms are spread throughout the city’s neighborhoods, located largely on publicly-owned land or operated by nonprofit organizations to make the food accessible to community members.

A few of the largest gardens crowning New York’s rooftops, though, are listed below.

Riverpark Farm at Alexandria Center

Instagram: @riverparknyc

Instagram: @riverparknyc

A year-long paused construction site caught the attention of Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Gramercy Tavern alum Sisha Ortuzar as the perfect site to grow the freshest ingredients for their restaurant. Planted in milk crates, the portable garden relocated to the plaza’s north side when construction restarted, not giving up on the quality of the dishes served with the 100 types of fresh vegetables.

Bell Book & Candle

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Using a vertical garden system, Bell Book & Candle is a host for a lush rooftop garden, placing the highest value on locally and organically grown produce. The menu selections heavily rely on the available ingredients acquired from the garden and cycles through the year’s seasons, bringing guaranteed savory flavors to every dish prepared.

Brooklyn Grange

Instagram: @brooklyngrange

Instagram: @brooklyngrange

Despite the location its name suggests, this rooftop garden is based out of Long Island City. Claiming five and a half acres of rooftop space across Brooklyn and Queens, Brooklyn Grange operates the largest rooftop soil farms in the world. Since 2010, it’s passion is to grow and source food to local communities in the eco-friendliest way. Modern urban agriculture takes its cues from Brooklyn Grange, and the 80,000 lbs. of produce isn’t all that it offers. The rooftop gardens double as event venues for yoga classes, weddings and dinner parties.

 If you don’t want to walk down the street for a ripe tomato or a sprig of parsley, you could create your own garden with a bit of a green thumb. While personal rooftop gardens require a considerable amount of care, time and money, many New Yorkers are accepting the challenge to get the best ingredients for their meals.

 The reward of a self-grown garden is worth the effort anywhere you go, from the tallest building to just around the block.

 For tips to start your own rooftop garden, check out these websites:

Have a listing you think should be featured contact us or email at Jeremy@offthemrkt.com to tell us more! Follow Off The MRKT on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Our Favorite Summer Spots For Seafood

New Yorkers can experience the flavors of the ocean throughout Manhattan without having to go as far as New England or even the Hamptons. From Mediterranean-inspired dishes to the Lobster Dumplings and classic Shrimp Cocktail here are some of our favorite seafood restaurants.

Tavern62 by David Burke, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is an American tavern serving up an array of dishes from the mind of culinary titan Chef David Burke. Some of the seafood highlights include the Lobster Dumplings, spicy tomato, lemon confit, basil; Pretzel Crusted Crab Cakeold bay tomato jam, chipotle tartar sauce; and Ginger & Pepper-Crusted Salmon, chickpea puree, beet tartare and Fresno chili. 

Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake

Pretzel Crusted Crab Cake

Marea, set in a chic Central Park South setting, offers a variety of high end seafood and home made pastas from Chef Michael White. Boasting an array of crudos, oysters and caviar, Marea also offers an extensive selection of seafood inspired pasta dishes, seasonal fish and meat dishes, and whole fish dishes. With two Michelin stars, one of the must have menu items is the fusili with braised octopus and bone marrow.

Catch NYC A globally influenced seafood-restaurant, set in a landmark building at the heart of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, CATCH New York features contemporary renditions of classic seafood preparations, successfully fusing great food, service and an exceptional scene as it appeals to the tastes of today’s modern diner.  Serving up dishes that are both sophisticated and approachable, CATCH’s streaming, sharable style of dining continues to achieve success as it resonates with the owners’ original vision of marrying deliciously simple yet elegant seafood with excellent service and a superior, interactive atmosphere. This combination, coupled with the extension of CATCH Roof and its al fresco dining.

Cantonses Lobster

Cantonses Lobster

The Regency Bar & Grill, Loews Regency New York Hotel’s signature restaurantin the Upper East SIde offers approachable and ingredient-forward dishes. Under the direction of new Executive Chef Catherine Medrano, the restaurant is working with regional, organic farms and supporting ecological fishing practices. With perennial and recognizable ingredients, guests who are looking for sustainable culinary options can enjoy quality food time and time again.

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail

In the heart of Union Square resides the iconic seafood staple, Blue Water Grill. Offering a modern American seafood menu, courtesy of Executive Chef Chris Meenan, Blue Water Grill featured a decadent raw bar and innovative, market fresh dishes. The iconic seafood restaurant boasts delicious dishes, cocktails, an expansive wine list and an outdoor dining area perfect for Summer.

The Best Rooftop Restaurants in NYC This Spring

Spring is here and what better way to celebrate the end of a harsh winter than going to a rooftop and enjoying yourself with spectacular views and amazing food and drinks. Here’s a list of some of the best rooftop restaurants because we know how overwhelming and difficult it can be to choose the perfect one.

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New and Classic Ways To Drink A Mint Julep

Barrow's Intense Mint Julep

Barrow's Intense Mint Julep

For those of you who plan to celebrate at home, we are telling you everything you need to celebrate the Kentuck Derby at home, starting with the infamous mint julep. Mint juleps were originally made with brandy but we're giving you an extensive list of brands and cocktail recipes to freshen up this fan favorite cocktail. Similar to a Horizontal Tasting, you can give life to mint juleps with tequila, ginger, and gin. For those who prefer the classic, we've got you covered.

While those at Churchill Downs will be drinking the refreshing combination of brandy, mint, sugar, and bourbon over crushed ice, will teach you our favorite recipes and brands. And if you're not a cocktail fan, don't worry, shots on us.

Maker’s Mark is Kentucky’s bourbon darling. Made using soft red winter wheat (vs. rye) to create a bourbon with a flavor that finishes on the front of the tongue, it’s a delicious addition to any Julep. The caramel and vanilla play deliciously with mint in the Julep and it doesn’t hurt that Maker’s first ever customer in the 1950s was a horse race course – Keeneland in Lexington Kentucky!

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength goes straight from barrel to bottle at 110 to 114 proof. Cask Strength retains the signature front-of-the-palate flavors of Maker’s Mark, but amps up those flavors to create remarkable new bourbon that really stands up in Juleps, especially those with added ingredients like fruit or other liqueurs. The robust spice and oaky flavors of the bourbon, balance the sweetness and minty essence of a classic Julep or a more inventive version.  

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Decades

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Decades

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades: The second premium expression from Master Distiller Eddie Russell’s Master’s Keep series, uses some of the rarest and precious barrels in Wild Turkey’s heralded stock. Made from a blend of whiskies aged 10 to 20 years, this 104 proof (52% alc. /vol.) whiskey will retail for a limited time, at $150 per bottle. More background in the release below.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed: One of the pioneers of small batch bourbons, Rare Breed is pure barrel proof whiskey, meaning no water is added to reduce the level of alcohol during the bottling process. This year we’re celebrating an even higher proof with a new bottle design.

The Union Horse Distilling Company Reunion Straight Rye — a small batch, 100 percent rye whiskey handcrafted from the finest quality rye and aged in Union Horse’s signature oak barrels. Reunion unites smooth complex notes of butterscotch, caramel, ginger and cinnamon spice. (93 proof). 

How to make a mint julep

The typical directions consist of muddle mint in the bottom of cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into glass with crushed ice. Garnish with sprig of mint

Our Favorite Recipes (Use directions above and check the gallery beow for final results)

Intense Ginger Mint Julep Created by Barrow’s Intense

  • 2 oz bourbon

  • 1 1/2 oz Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

  • 3-4 sprigs of mint

NOLET’S Silver Bulleit

  • 1 oz. NOLET’S Silver Gin

  • 1 oz. Bulleit® Bourbon

  • 1 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

  • 0.75 oz. Simple Syrup

Mexican Mint Julep:

  • 2.5 oz. Avión Reposado

  • 0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

  • Mint

Cynar Julep

  • 2 oz. Cynar

  • 3/4 oz. Lemon

  • 1 oz. Grapefruit

  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

  • Julep cup/Mint/Crushed Ice

 

Food & Wine Pairings To Try This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the time of the year where you surround yourselves with the ones you love. This Thanksgiving, why not surround yourselves with the ones you love and a bottle of these wines to share with the table? Not sure what to drink or how to pair it with? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with a food and wine guide is guaranteed to make your guests think you’re secretly a sommelier.

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For Those Drinking White

Sauvignon Blanc

Enjoy a glass of fruity Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018. Cloudy Bay, produced in the Marlborough region which produces wines with an extra fruity aroma and flavor. If you enjoy the taste of lime, grapefruit, and nectarine, you'll definitely enjoy sharing a glass with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. We suggest pairing this with your sides like scallops and green beans.

Bordeaux

Made from the best varieties of white grapes in the Bordeaux region 2016 Mouton Cadet Blanc will fill the room with a wonderfully fruity smell. Meanwhile, it will fill your tastebuds with a delicious blend of grapefruit and lemon flavors. Since white bordeaux is rare, you may not want to miss out on your chance to share a bottle around your Thanksgiving table this year. This too will pair well with scallops with citrus fruit, oysters, seafood linguine.

For Those Drinking Red

Grenache

Bonterra Grenache 2015 will give you the taste of Thanksgiving dinner all on its own. The grapes used in this wine were grown on a previous cherry farm, so keeping with history, this wine features black cherries. You'll also enjoy the taste of sage, rosemary, and cracked black pepper, which is perfect to go along with your turkey this year. They even have a whole list of recipes you can find here.

Bordeaux

The Château Couronneau 2015, Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux ($19) is biodynamic wine from Côtes de Bordeaux’s newest and smallest appellation. This Merlot-forward red has a bouquet of ripe plums, blackberries, dark cherries and violet. This stunning wine enhances any dish with a fruit component such as duck with cherry chutney or a pork roast with winter fruit and Port sauce.

Merlot

The Elysian Merlot, the debut wine in Bonterra Organic Vineyards’ Elysian Collection, plays off the bucolic ideals and pastoral tranquility of northern California’s organic farmland, highlighting the diverse natural elements that create unique environments for grape cultivation, handpicked from plots teeming with life and biodiversity. The Elysian Merlot embodies the essence of a wine vinified from organically grown grapes, with a harmonious chorus of black plum, carob, raspberries and soulful minerality. This will pair perfect with any red meat you may be eating.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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For those who can’t resist dessert this Thanksgiving, Spoken Barrel's Cabernet Sauvignon gives off the aromas of cherry, black currant, dark chocolate, and roasted oak, which are all symbolic scents of fall. This wine also tastes of blackberry, cherry, and vanilla. Whatever dessert you plan on serving this Thanksgiving, consider serving a glass to your guests with their dessert. Will be using the recipe below for the perfect tart,

Spoken Barrel Apple, Shallot and Blue Cheese Tart

 Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1 ½ cups shallots, thinly sliced, (about 3 large shallots)

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight

  • 1 small pink lady apple, thinly sliced and seeds removed

  • 1 ½ tsp thyme leaves, roughly chopped

  • 4 oz mild blue cheese, crumbled

  • 1 Tbsp honey

1.       Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.       Over medium high heat, sauté shallots with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt until soft and starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly

3.       Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry until 12x12”, dusting your work surface with flour as needed.

4.       Assemble the tart by evenly spreading the shallots over the pastry, followed by the apples, thyme and blue cheese allowing a ½“ border.

5.       Bake the tart for 20 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and crisp. Drizzle over the honey and serve warm or at room temperature with Spoken Barrel wine.

Have something you think should be featured contact us or email at Jeremy@offthemrkt.com to tell us more! Follow Off The MRKT on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

 

Our Favorite New York City's Sports Bars

New York has sports bars for everyone, Giants fans to Cowboys fans and everything in between. While finding the right one can be tricky we list our favorites with souther charm, TV's and for those who want an arcade to in between commercials.

Printers Alley, a bit of Southern charm brought to New York City. With 3 projectors, 2 bars, and 20 TV screens, this is the laid-back place to watch the game.. Enjoy the game with Southern classics like pulled pork, collard greens, and fried chicken. Plus, they have 2 kinds of slushies, 12 cocktails, and a selection of beers.

Stout is located in midtown, a central location in the heart of Manhattan right by Madison Square Garden. Hailed as New York’s largest Irish pub at three stories, their menu includes over 150 bottled beers, 25 drafts and more than 65 Irish whiskies. As there are 36 TVs in the pub, there are 36 ways to enjoy the game.

With Billiards, Ping-Pong, Darts, Vintage Arcades, Foosball, and Hoops, Breaks Bar & Billiards is a playground made for adults. But don’t let the games distract you from the 16 TV screens, 2 projectors, and a 55-foot long bar. With over 18 beers on tap and a classic American menu, you’ll almost never want to leave.

A soccer-centric pub, Woodwork constantly has futball on at practically all hours when the pub is open. Their website has all the matches for the day, so no one can second guess who’s playing and when. If there’s a match that someone wants to watch but is not on the pub’s schedule, people can call ahead to request it. Bonus: during happy hour, drafts and wells are $4 from 4-7pm from Monday to Friday.

Last one ‘standing’ is Standings, a favorite Irish Pub by many who claim it to be the classic sports bar. Despite its small size, the 8 TVs could practically be seen from everywhere. They have happy hour 5-7pm Monday - Friday and free pizza on Friday! Granted, you’d probably be bumping elbows with the next two people on either side of you, but you’ll bask in the glory of the comradery that only sports can bring!