Make a reservation to get a
taste of dishes made from
the ultimate in organic, local
One Logan Square
Ledge Kitchen & Drinks
2261 Dorchester Ave.
Chef Weland and his homegrown haul.
Poste Modern Brasserie
555 Eighth St. NW
110 S. Pitt St.
Poste was to experiment with new dishes
based on what was growing outside the
restaurant’s back door. He’s gotten creative with herbs and vegetables, including escarole, milk thistle and several new
varieties of garlic, testing recipes to see
how different tastes and exotic offerings
change the flavor of a dish.
“The garden inspires me,” Weland
explains. “I focus on the plants first, look at
what’s growing, and then create recipes.”
Like most chefs with on-site gardens,
Weland has tailored his menu to show-
case his produce. A bumper crop of heir-
loom tomatoes led him to introduce 20
Bites, a collection of 20 small plates fea-
turing just-picked tomatoes. He served
tomato-and-basil tartan, mini BLTs,
tomato-and-watermelon salad, and
cheesecake with a sweet tomato topping.
“ 20 Bites helps give each [fruit or
vegetable] its own dish to highlight its
unique flavor,” Weland says. “It’s helped
us showcase a lot of the foods we grow in
a single meal.”
The comfort foods on the menu at
Ledge Kitchen & Drinks in Dorchester,
Mass., have gotten a makeover since the
restaurant planted an on-site garden
in 2010. Executive Chef Carlos Gomez
wanders through the 2,000-square-foot
rooftop garden looking at the crops of
tomatoes, Chinese eggplant, squash,
kale and chives, basing his menu on
which vegetables are at their peak. One
evening, he’ll create meatloaf with sau-
téed spinach, garlic mashed potatoes
with bacon, and mushroom gravy, and
another he’ll pick a cornucopia of fresh
produce to create a vegetable lasagna.
“Now that I have a garden on the
roof, I’m making recipes that I would
have never tried before,” he muses.
“I’m much more creative, and it shows
on the menu.”
Gardens Keep Growing
When it comes to growing a restaurant
garden, chefs often start small, monitoring a few crops to assess which ones
perform the best. In most cases, it doesn’t
take more than a season for garden fever
to take hold.
Just a few weeks after gardens were
planted at Fountain Restaurant
in Philadelphia, Executive Chef Ralph
Costobile was already planning to ex-
pand the garden the following season.
His excitement stemmed from picking
the first herbs and then using them as
garnishes for his signature dishes.
From Chef to Farmer
A successful restaurant garden takes
work. Chefs have to put down their
knives and pick up trowels, and although
members of the kitchen staff might
help, it’s the chefs who are ultimately
The 2,000-square-foot garden
located in the lot adjacent to Restaurant
Eve in Alexandria, Va., required so much
maintenance that chef/owner Cathal
Armstrong hired help.