The Big Apple is Fresh
January 11, 2010
This weekend my boyfriend and I headed into the big city for the 2010 NYC winter jazz fest. With the two of us there is almost nothing better than going on a trip to hear music. Being a great player himself and the founder of Nice Bass Productions which released the acclaimed Lowell and Behold compliations, music is his passion. Beyond that he mostly likes to eat. Luckily for me, food is my passion and luckily for him I am very down with jazz. So off we went to check out greats like Ben Allison and Rudder with an Edible Brooklyn in my bag and a recorder in his.
We were walking near Union Square when GustOrganics caught my eye across the street. Its big dark windows draped with white Christmas lights were inviting, and it was cold. We soon discovered that the restaurant is USDA organic and equipped with the first certified organic bar in the world. One beet, carrot and orange juice and one Pura Vida daiquiri. Alright, I’ll admit I got it because I’m reminicent about Costa Rica, but it also sounded great: Papagayo white rum, strawberries, bananas, lime juice, orange juice, agave, ice. It was delicious and after reading the front page of their menu, I felt pretty good about being there. Everything they serve is organic and they are one of the greenest restaurants on the planet. “Together we can change the world one meal at a time!”
The next day we headed to Bushwick. Really, the reason why we went to Roberta’s was because of the great cover story about the place in the Fall 2009 Edible Brooklyn. (The Edible Communities publications are basically the best things ever. Find one near you.) We started the night off with spicy olives, the spice undeniably cinnamon. Next, the mushroom plate. Perfectly salty, with a robust thyme flavor, these hen of the woods mushrooms were so delicious we had two on our bill at the end of the night. We chose the Artex pizza with purreed butternut squash, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and thyme. We added some jalapenos for good measure (we were sick, we needed to clear our sinuses…or something). Out of this world, really, some of the best pizza I’ve ever had.
When you walk into Roberta’s you kind of feel a little like you are walking into a garage. But I knew it was the right place as we walked by a health food store, turned the corner and spotted the small red sign, a motorcycle next to the ATM just like in the photo in Edible Brooklyn. The inside is homey and more than a little hipster. It is a small place with the wood fired oven in front of ten or so tables, most of them big and communal. Next time I know I’ll try a salad with greens from their garden and leave with a growler: “Take Home, Re-use, Less Waste!” Let me tell you, there will be nothing wasted if you eat at Roberta’s.