EyeSwoon

Fat Radish MainI have had a personal relationship with the owners of The Fat Radish, Ben Towill and Phil Winser, ever since meeting them through dear friends during the first week of their much-celebrated opening. My initial experience was absolutely amazing, everything was perfect – still is. Since then i’ve had a hard crush on the Radish! From the eclectic, cozy and slightly undone décor with rustic wood tables, to the high-ceilings, intimate lighting and exposed brick walls…all located off the beaten path on the southern end of Orchard St. and frequented by the young and beautiful…not to mention the FOOD…these boys are doing everything right!

The philosophy – clear values and a real integrity behind the food – is very specific and very fresh. And very New York. Not an easy combination to pull off. They capture seasonal, local, bright flavors and manage to cook vegetables in the cleverest ways, making them substantial enough to be main dishes, while serving everything in the most carefree, communal setting. The Fat Radish really exhibits the trifecta of must-haves for the downtown cool set – a rustic and relaxed atmosphere, a gorgeous crowd and farm-to-table food that’s perfectly swoon-worthy.

Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to form a closer relationship with the entire Radish team. Recently Ben & Phil decided to close the restaurant and host a special evening for friends and family to celebrate their collaboration with local farms and the long history they’ve forged with Heritage Foods – a slow food purveyor of fine meats that believes the best way to help a family farmer, is to buy from him.

In honor of the evening, Executive Chef Nicholas Wilber created an astounding five-course meal in the spirit of Heritage Food’s ‘No Goat Left Behind’ program, and Ben toasted the evening saying, “We have established a great relationship with many diners and have gained their trust, and to be able to share our values with them in areas that matter, in a form such as this, is a great opportunity.” I couldn’t agree more!

If you haven’t already guessed…the entire five-course meal consisted only of goat, which I will admit was a first for me, but if there’s one thing I stand by in my foodie adventures, it’s diving in with an open mind! And boy am I happy I did, because this meal was absolutely off the charts delicious!

The goal of the ‘No Goat Left Behind’ program is to bring attention to an overlooked food source in America. In this country we consume loads of goat cheese, we love it, but the process of making the cheese is not very well known. The hard truth is: to get more goat milk for goat cheese, farmers need to breed more female goats to have babies. Unfortunately, after they’re born, baby boys or baby bucklings, have no role on a dairy farm. So, most farmers are faced with difficult choices; but it doesn’t have to be that way. Goat meat deserves a lot more attention – and meals like this one at The Fat Radish make it clear why.

Not only were all goat courses delicious, the braised goat over polenta was beyond heavenly (recipe shared ) – the whole evening was truly magical. So to The Fat Radish, thank you for sharing your loyalty to your purveyors and farms, and for a dinner filled with bright laughter, new friendship, swoon-worthy food and more importantly for a night of education, for opening my palette and introducing me to a new, delicious protein.

Photography by Winnie Au – Check out the Fat Radish Blog here! 

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