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The locavore food movement is sweeping the nation, piling locally sourced meats, seafood and produce onto diners’ plates. A nexus for healthy living and trendy eateries, California is home to a plethora of restaurants and food shops that make the most of what’s grown in their backyard. Here are some of the latest and greatest.
500 Hartnell Street
Monterey, Calif. 93940
Origins: Originally built in 1833, the building was used as a newspaper press, pharmacy and governor’s mansion before housing the restaurant that opened in June.
The chef: Levi Mezick honed his skills at Daniel, Café Boulud, Oceana and Thomas Keller’s Per Se before opening Restaurant 1833 with the founders of the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival.
Signature dishes: Suckling pig served four ways and sous-vide hen egg that is wrapped in prosciutto, slightly breaded and deep fried.
Loco for locavore: Dave Bernahl, the restaurant’s co-founder, said the location in California’s Central Coast opens doors to the best ingredients. Mushrooms are foraged in Big Sur and the cooks harvest their own salt on the beach. “We have first pick of the best things that come out of the country in our backyard,” he said.
Fun fact: Often featured on ghost tours, the building is said to be haunted. Bernahl said the rep doesn’t hurt. “Everybody digs it,” he said. As do the ghosts. “They’re calm and cool because we remodeled the spot,” he said.