“It’s been in the works for a long time,” says Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht, who owns the farm with her husband, Chris. The on-site café will be in the barn with seating inside and out on the patio in nicer weather. Prepared foods will be available as well as some made-to-order meals featuring the farm’s eggs and vegetables. With the focus, of course, on being fresh and in season.
Noting the “simply made, fresh-from-the-farm food” that the couple throws together for their own family nightly—when field work is done for the day—Eve said that the cafe’s inspiration was to bring this homemade cuisine “to all the hungry people who visit us every day.” The couple has hired Jordan Colón of EAT restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to put together the menu, and one of his kitchen’s graduates, Susan Hilvert, will man the stove full-time. Colón’s place is known for all-organic, all-local, all-vegetarian food, and he has been buying Garden of Eve produce from the Williamsburg farmers market for at least five years. The chef and farmers are looking forward to making particularly efficient—and delicious—use of bumper crops, unexpected or otherwise. Like the 500 feet of cilantro the farm just planted. “We are doing more pestos than ever, cilantro pesto, chive pesto, mint pesto, and using them on sandwiches we sell at the café.”
“This is literal farm to table,” Colón says, while calling nature the “other chef,” because what will be on the menu will be dictated by what’s coming in off the fields. “If it’s not a good tomato year, we won’t have them,” he says. “If it is, we’ll be making a lot of tomato sauce,” which the farm stand will then sell. Currently, many of these blemished or overripe tomatoes, which would make great sauce, instead go to the chickens. “You always regret that in the wintertime!” says Eve.
Beyond the farm’s already popular jams and pickles, the café will offer fermented items like sauerkraut and kimchi. The café will be open the same hours as the farm stand, seven days from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.