Flatbush Farm: a Little Minnesota in the Heart of Brooklyn

flatbush-farm-1Two and half years ago, in the fall/winter of 2006, a new eating and drinking establishment opened on the border between Park Slope and Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Called the Flatbush Farm, it won over locals almost immediately with its friendly bartenders, inventive drinks, hearty daily specials, rustic interiors, and enormous candle-lit backyard.

But what not everyone realized then (or perhaps even realizes now) about the Farm is that, in addition to being an atmospheric place to eat a great meal, it's also a restaurant that serves a menu consisting primarily of sustainable, locally grown food. The majority of their produce is from Long Island and the Hudson Valley. Their eggs are from Red Hook. And all of their meat is from upstate New York and Vermont. flatbush-farm-2

Damon Groton, the Minneapolis native (and former Anthony Jr. High student) who founded the Flatbush Farm says that, from the get-go, there was no question about the food he wanted the restaurant to serve, and it has nothing to do with being a food activist. "It's just what I like to eat," he says. Elaborating a bit, he explains that fresh, local food "makes cooking more enjoyable for the chef" and provides for a better-tasting meal. "We use great product and hopefully that translates to your plate."

Indeed it does. Whether it's grass-fed beef, native oysters, or that Minnesota favorite, spatzle (served with wild mushroom ragout and parmesan), the Farm's food always tastes like it was harvested that same day, from somewhere just outside the kitchen window. Add to that a selection of locally brewed beers and biodynamic and organic wines – including Neuvo Mundo's organic cabernet-malbec (Chile) and Fleury Pere & Fils biodynamic champagne (France) – and you have the sort of establishment that's as great to drink at as it is to eat at. It's enough to make any sustainable food loving Minnesota expat (and even those with no Minnesota in them at all) feel good about venturing outside the perfectly sensible confines of our own kitchens, consuming a giant plate of meat and potatoes, and raising a glass of good cheer (though not too many…some of us are still Minnesotan after all) to Damon Groton, and flatbush-farm-3his desire to share what he likes to eat with the rest of us.

Flatbush Farm is located at:

76 Saint Marks Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 718.622.3276 Written by Kristen Meinzer