Sea why we are crazy about Navy Soho’s new seafood-focused Navy is more than just a pretty face.

Black Bass Crudo

Soho’s new seafood-focused Navy is more than just a pretty face.

Sure, the restaurant is decked out in a handsome outfit of indigo curtains, antiqued mirrors and a deep-navy paint job (natch), but it is chef Camille Becerra’s inspired ideas about sustainable cooking that root the place. Becerra’s ideas gleaned from time spent studying macrobiotic cuisine and cooking at a Zen monastery weave their way quietly into this supremely stylish spot.

“As chefs, it is our responsibility to not only make great-tasting food, but to nourish people with sustainable food,”she says. With that idea in mind, this former Top Chef contestant opened her playbook of smart cooking ideas for us.

Foods That Grow Together, Go Together
Not only is Becerra inspired by the maxim of “eat what’s around you,” but she also makes an effort to pair local vegetables from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op that grow at the same climate–such as a parsnip and endive salad nestled with pistachios and blue cheese ($14)–on the plate.

Be Gentle with the Superfoods

Becerra is adamant that her food not appear “crunchy-hippy,” but that doesn’t mean she shies away from using superfoods. Right now, she’s loving goji berries pickled in a brine of vinegar, chiles de árbol, juniper berries and bay leaves. Flaxseeds make their way into a whole-grain crisp served with cured cod and crème fraîche ($14), and also into the restaurant’s mixed-grain bowls of quinoa, bulgur and farro that are done up with heaps of scallions, parsley, roasted vegetables, sumac yogurt and a poached egg ($14).

 Local, It’s Not Just for Produce

“To have something that just came out of nearby waters, the freshness is incomparable,” says Becerra. Look for just-caught local fish, such as Long Island Striped Bass with potatoes and Nigella seeds ($24) on the daily-changing, hand-written menus.


Last Call for Thanksgiving Reservations!

Thanksgiving Dinner Out in NYC 2012

Thanksgiving is upon us. For those not braving the kitchen to prepare a feast, don’t despair. Have yet to make a reservation? Fear not. There are elegant Clean Plates-approved restaurants ready to welcome diners with open arms this Thursday. Note: Most require reservations, but still have openings. Don’t delay!

Following are our recommendations for every body. Continue reading

On Our Radar: Aamanns-Copenhagen


Sanne Ytting dreamed of bringing the foods of her native Denmark to New York City, where she’s been working as a teacher and psychotherapist for more than a decade; after translating her desire into action, Aamanns-Copenhagen opened earlier this month, serving up artfully constructed smørrebrød, Denmark’s signature open-faced sandwiches.  Continue reading

City Bakery’s Creative Juices are Flowing

City Bakery juicing

The City Bakery has always led a double life: decadent bakery in the front, health-conscious prepared food bar in the back. Chef-owner Maury Rubin’s newest venture just might bridge the gap between buttery pretzel croissants and kale salads: his new juicing station behind the bakery’s back counter features made-to-order drinks with a focus on flavor. No spirulina or protein powder in these beverages: the unique combinations of ingredients, sourced from the local greenmarket, will change with the seasons, and are treated individually to bring out the best flavor. Sweet potato is cold-pressed to reduce starchiness, then pulverized with orange and cilantro to create a drink as imaginative as the bakery’s infamous hot chocolate blends. Continue reading

Sweet Roots NYC Does the Prep for Home Cooks — and Delivers

Sweet Roots NYC logo

Sometimes it’s hard for New Yorkers to bring the farm all the way to their table. After a long day of work and commuting home, it’s likely many mini refrigerators open to reveal outdated ketchup and a half-tub of yogurt. It’s no wonder so many reach for the take out menu instead of a cutting board. The next logical step is to pick up the phone. Right?

Perhaps not. Sweet Roots NYC, an innovative farm-to-kitchen counter service, offers menu planning, ingredient prep and delivery (which neatly takes the hardest steps out of the process). Continue reading

On Our Radar: Rawlicious

Raw Pad Thai

It’s not often that Manhattan’s food scene takes cues from Canada, but when a vegan father and son visiting from New York fell in love with a Toronto raw food mini-chain, they begged Rawlicious co-owners Chelsea Clark and Angus Crawford to venture stateside.

Chelsea and Angus listened, and New Yorkers can now reap the benefits of raw fine dining. Just opened in July, Rawlicious is Soho’s answer to Union Square’s raw food stalwart (and Clean Plates-approved) Pure Food and Wine. Continue reading

The City’s First Raw, Vegan Food Truck: The Squeeze

The Squeeze Truck, image courtesy of The Squeeze

It just got easier to keep cool on New York City streets this summer, if you can find The Squeeze, a food truck dishing up interesting raw, vegan, organic and gluten-free concoctions and juices.

The reconditioned UPS truck has recently re-emerged and is serving up dishes like Moc n’ Cheese, made with cashew cheese; vegan hot dogs; and other raw, gluten-free and organic soups, salads, desserts and more, served in eco-conscious plastic ware.

To boot, the juice truck is just one arm of the wellness and beauty lifestyle company named the same thing — The Squeeze — which offers detox cleanses and uses super foods and fresh, organic, live produce in its gourmet raw meals. The company also offers catering services, raw food preparation classes and nutritional counseling.

A jill-of-all-trades, Karliin Brooks not only runs the bio-diesel-fueled juice truck, but has also worked for ABC News as a freelance producer, owns a movie location company for Hollywood productions looking to shoot in the city, is a former model, a dedicated lifetime vegan and runs a distressed animal rescue operation. Her education is equally varied, with degrees in broadcast journalism and nutrition from New York University, as well as culinary arts training at The Natural Gourmet Institute.

While there is a Twitter account — @TheSqueezeTruck — it doesn’t look like it’s been updated for a while. We’ve heard the truck has been in Union Square lately; why not track them down and tell them to start tweeting so the rest of the city can find them too!

Image courtesy of The Squeeze.