When we arrived at Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish restaurant in North Salem, I was immediately excited by the outdoor seating on the porch. The hostess sat us at a picnic table surrounded by their garden brimming with colorful flowers. I even saw my first hummingbird. It’s the ideal summer restaurant.
The Farmer & the Fish opened four months ago in a house built in 1775. You can’t get more charming than the restored interiors. There are old, wood beams spanning the ceiling, an antique fireplace and chalkboard menus on the walls. But the Farmer & the Fish is also serious about seafood: The raw bar is impressive with lobster and crab claws, oysters, jumbo shrimp and little neck clams.
On one of the chalkboard menus was the list of vegetables from the garden; behind the house is the restaurant’s 5 acre vegetable farm. My dad saw “purslane” on the list and asked our waiter about it. A few minutes later a man arrived with a piece of purslane picked from the farm for him to taste. It’s a very tasty leafy green. (I got the feeling they would have fetched us anything from the garden for a taste!)
I ordered the lobster roll and substituted fresh squash for french fries ($19). Then, I ate most of my dad’s fries because they were just the way I like them – very crispy without being greasy and just the right amount of salt. The lobster was generous, and it was mixed with cucumber and fresh herbs. It was the best lobster roll I’ve ever had, very light and refreshing. My dad had the fish and chips ($16), and they were lightly fried and satisfying. The homemade fries were a big hit with my three-year-old who also snacked on my dad’s fish. There is a kid’s sized fish and chips on the kid’s menu ($10), too.
On my next visit to Farmer & the Fish, I will try the Seared Scallop Salad served with a sunnyside egg cracked on top and bacon and fingerling potatoes. I saw someone eating it and it looked incredible. ($12/$18) The polenta fries ($6) also looked mighty good and I definitely need to try some goodies from the raw bar. They bake their desserts in-house, so I was dying to order the berry crumble or chocolate and vanilla bread pudding, but we had to scoot back home to pick up my daughter from camp. As a parting gift, you’re encouraged to pick a squash out of a basket on your way out. These are the touches that make a restaurant like Farmer and the Fish so unique and memorable.
Farmer and the Fish is a great spot to take kids for lunch, especially if you get a seat outside. You can even let them run around in the yard if your wee ones get impatient. We brought a coloring book for my three-year-old and she was very happy. Farmer & the Fish is the ideal summer restaurant with it’s vibrant garden, but when the weather turns cold, I bet it’s cozy by their fireplace.
Farmer & the Fish, 100 Titicus Road, North Salem; 914-617-8380