Josephine D’Ippolito here, guest blogging for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. As a resident of Northern Westchester, I’ve heard perpetual praise for Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish since its opening a couple of years ago. I’m not sure what took me so long to frequent it. After all, at the very core of this establishment are a farmer and a fisherman, and I could not think of a better restaurant union. Promising both the most local produce and the freshest seafood, I was excited to give Farmer and the Fish a try.
The restaurant is housed in a charming 18th century colonial in North Salem. The exterior, adorned with a pretty iron fence and twin piles of cut wood on either side of the front door, is inviting. Inside, the space is unapologetically old. With wide uneven plank flooring and a massive two-sided fireplace (hence the need for all the wood out front), the ambiance is warm, cozy and unpretentious. My party visited for a weekday lunch (note: the restaurant is participating in HVRW for lunch only) and the dining room was full and lively throughout our meal.
During restaurant week, Farmer and a Fish is offering a simple prixe fix lunch menu, which includes some favorites from its regular menu. One such option, Purdy’s Clam Chowder, made for a nice first course. A cream-based soup, it was smooth and satisfying, with the clams, so fresh, tender and sweet, the stars of this dish. Another appetizer, the Farmer’s Salad, done with fennel, radish, local feta and pine nuts was inventive, tangy and delicious.
The entrées all highlighted what the restaurant is known to do so well: fish. The Florida Spring Po’ Boy with napa slaw, house-pickled kirbys and red onions was very good. The shrimp, lightly battered in a seasoned flour and fried, was positively scrumptious. The slaw was crisp and flavorful, and the accompanying fries were thin and deliciously salty. Another entrée, the only one to fall short of expectations, was the indulgent Lobster Mac n’ Cheese. Prepared with house-smoked bacon and local cheeses, the lobster was overpowered. The Big Eye Tuna, prepared rare, was outstanding and my favorite entrée offered. The vegetable fried rice complemented it nicely. This is a staple on the restaurant’s regular menu and a dish I will be returning for.
For dessert, Farmer and the Fish gives the all-too-common Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake a bit of a makeover with the addition of cayenne pepper. This was not mentioned on the menu, so the heat came as a surprise, but a fun one at that. Also offered, the trio of sorbets was pretty and refreshing. And finally, our favorite dessert was one that none of us would have picked had I not been writing this review: the Frozen Clementine Mousse. It was very cold, creamy and just the right amount of sweet. A great way to end a meal.
Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish was built on a great concept and it doesn’t disappoint. It will undoubtedly have a following for years to come. Visit it at 100 Titicus Rd in North Salem, NY.