When it comes to a workday lunch, what does “eating local” mean to you? Is it dining “al desko?” Or, does it mean grabbing from the immediate vicinity of your office? Perhaps it’s the shameful “liberation” of a co-worker’s leftovers from the office fridge when nobody is looking.
The truth is that the first two circumstances do not really constitute eating local, and the third - stealing from the office fridge - might get you hog-tied with network cable if you’re caught in the act. Chances are, you can do better than risking the ultimate in office vigilante justice for lunch. How so? By heading to the newly opened Local Harvest Café for a midday meal made from local ingredients that not only taste good but also make you feel good about what you're eating.
As we reach the peak of the summer harvest in St. Louis, I’m smitten with Local Harvest chef Clara Moore’s take on the classic French niçoise salad. The dish is a beautiful example of contrast: addictive plays between the acid in vinaigrette and pickled green beans, salt in olives and caper berries, the textures of delicate greens, tender trout, hearty hard-boiled egg and sections of red potato. Moore’s preparation of smoked Missouri trout is a particularly nice twist on the dish, offered in place of the traditional tuna or anchovy and a reminder that this underused fish is an-honest-to-goodness treasure found in our own backyard. I wish it showed up more often on our plates.
Thanks to Local Harvest, lunch really can taste like the best that Missouri has to offer.
Local Harvest Café & Catering, 815 Olive, Downtown, and 3137 Morgan Ford Road, 314.772.8815; Local Harvest Grocery Store, 3108 Morgan Ford Road, 314.865.5260, localharvestgrocery.com
Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.