As I dive back into the swing of things, it’s nice to look back on my holiday time and appreciate how restorative it was. Restoration came in the form of quality time with dear friends, lots of wandering around random NYC neighborhoods, and nourishing food.
One particular evening combined all three of these things. It involved a trip to Eat restaurant in Greenpoint with my friend Rose, a writer and photographer whom I first met when we were editorial assistants together in what seems like another lifetime. My friendship with Rose is very dear to me; we’ve always admired and taken care of each other, applauding each other’s endeavors and encouraging each other to be our best selves. I always look forward to seeing her when I go home, and I can always count on her to suggest cool places to meet.
On this particular evening, she suggested Eat, a restaurant that features local, organic fare and unique serving pieces.
The food at Eat is sourced exclusively from small, local producers. Unlike some local and organic eateries, however, Eat prices its food reasonably; a filling vegetarian entrée is $14, and a cup of organic soup, served with bread, is $4. In addition to serving healthy, organic food, Eat’s mission is to promote and preserve what the restaurant calls “a handmade life.” All of its furniture, metal work and ceramics are made by the restaurant’s seemingly tireless owner, Jordan Colón, and other regional artisans.
On the evening Rose and I visited, Eat was hosting a communal, donation based supper and also putting up some of its beautiful ceramic items for sale. I was really touched to see locals flocking in, enjoying the good food, and examining some of Jordan’s craftwork. A plethora of freshly cooked dishes were perched on the counter, and patrons could help themselves:
Meanwhile, Eat’s chefs were busy prepping more as the dishes ran low:
Highlights of the evenings offerings included roasted rutabaga and greens, which were so good my mouth is watering just recalling them:
A farro salad with (I think) fennel and leeks:
And sauteed kale with pumpkin seeds:
There was also house made kimchi with polenta (an odd combination, but really good), fresh bread, eggnog made with coconut milk (the restaurant is not vegan, but it was mighty vegan friendly) and my personal favorite, a farro dish with beets and carrots. I had multiple servings of all of the above, and savored every bite.
I also decided, a few days later, to imitate the beet, carrot, and farro dish. What resulted was really great, and I’m pleased to say it’s one of the vegan dishes that my mom has raved about most. It’s not hard to make, and it is absolutely beautiful to look at.
medium beets, stemmed and cut into quarters
large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
small yellow or white onion, diced
clove garlic, minced
This dish is satisfying and soulful. The electric pink color makes it feel celebratory, too! I would serve it with a large salad and/or a hot cup of soup for a perfect winter meal.
Big thanks to Eat restaurant for bringing community together, for offering people food with so much generosity, for the cool art and the groovy music, and for inspiring this new, much beloved recipe.
Update: EAT is no longer open, but I remain grateful for the memory of this shared meal!