Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ Category

Too expensive to stay local?

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

local eating on a dime

This Globe and Mail article is an interesting look at how the “economic downturn” is making it harder for chefs to continue to use local ingredients. Based on the article it looks like we need to de-list Il Fornello since they have dropped their local menu.

Personally we’ve found that the cost of local food is not that noticeable an increase in our grocery bill. Certainly the CSA plan makes it less apparent since we’ve prepaid for all our vegetables in installments. Our meat is still purchased on a biweekly basis but Fresh From The Farm‘s prices are quite reasonable. Their meat does not go on sale, but it’s not nearly as pricey as other local butchers we’ve been to.

Probably the most cost effective local eating strategy is to grow it all yourself. Our garden is much bigger this year but it’s certainly not enough to sustain us for the summer, let alone provide for our needs over the winter via canning. Still, it’s a good place to start. We recently saw a story on Global TV that interviewed some chefs who have roof-top gardens to supply herbs, etc to their restaurants. 

Another side-note on the effect of the downturn on the local food movement: do you think the “buy American” push is an ugly sister to buying local food, the same thing, or not at all related?

WinterDelicious at Il Fornello

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Il Fornello’s annual WinterDelicious event is now on. They’re offering a three-course prix fixe menu created from Ontario ingredients. WinterDelicious ends February 13. Please check their website for details.  

If you’ve been to WinterDelicious, write a comment and tell us all about it!

Il Fornello Goes Local

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Ok, so this might not be news to some people, but it’s news to me. Il Fornello has been offering a “Local Food Menu” for over six months now. Since the ingredients are sourced from local farms, the menu must change to reflect the seasonal offerings.

Currently on the menu are:

  • Fresh herb goat cheese crusted roast peach on arugula + grilled red onion salad with mint Riesling vinegar dressing
  • Fresh corn + cream blended with a puree of white wine sauteed cauliflower + onions with a garnish of sweet pea shoots
  • Rigatoni with smoked chicken, sweet peas, caramalized onions, in a rose sauce, with fresh basil
  • Thin crust pizza topped with wild mushroom bechamel, wild mushrooms, vienna style ham, broccoli + Toscana cheese
  • Grilled “on the bone” pork rack served with roasted yukon gold potatoes, seasonal vegetables + a shallot, plum, baco noir compot