Restaurants that serve Local, non-Factory Farmed meats [Boston, Cambridge, Somerville]

I have some visitors arriving soon [yea, doing the AirBNB thing] who only eat “free range meats.” Now, we all know that this isn’t what we call humanely raised meats, but that is neither here nor there. I feel that I have seen menus that name the local farms that have raised the meat, but I can’t seem to find them online.

They are traveling from Scotland and claim to be foodies. I have already warned them that cheap eats will not be “free range” and they will need to go vegetarian for those meals.

Can folks help me out with this?

Mostly higher end places come to mind. Craigie on Main, Table at Seasons to Taste… Even if not on the websites, these places can tell you where every ingredient comes from and their sourcing is legit.

Lots of places have local, blah blah blah in their Marketing and PR buzz but not all of them walk the walk. People who call themselves foodies tend to eat that stuff up though.

Does Bergamot or Kirkland Trotter make this list? how about Loyal Nine?or Alden and Harlow?

The Oleana menu says: We source pasture-raised animals from local farms.

Perfect! Always love to suggest Oleana. Sarma doesn’t have this statement on their menu, so I was going to suggest it for the vegetable preparations, which I think are stellar.

The term “foodie” makes my skin crawl. I did respond by asking what type of “foodie” they are… and it appears that they plan to eat their way across the Boston area during their 10-day visit. I have now warned them that their idea of eating low and high will be somewhat foiled by their meat requirements and that they may choose to eat as vegetarians for all of their low meals. Since I generally only eat at the Cheap Eats places, pulling that list together is easy.

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Cheap eats are tough with that requirement. Tasty Burger claims to use grass fed beef if that counts for anything.

While I would feel completely comfortable with the sourcing at Kirkland, bergamot or loyal nine. I can’t speak to how well the staff will be able to explain the provenance of their meat.

I guess I would just suggest the places you like most and then let them find their own way and if they are not happy with the ingredients. Maybe send them to visit MF Dulock. Though is nothing they can eat there, Mike would probably enjoy talking with them and I’m sure could suggest places they would like in the area. Once he establishes his expertise on the matter, they would probably be happy with his recommendations.

Good idea about MF Dulock, though they might want to use my kitchen after seeing their product.

I will send them a list of places, primarily the ones we have mentioned, and let them choose how many more pricey nights they want to have. Personally, Oleana would be my top recommendation.

I will also suggest that they concentrate on quality seafood, being careful of that tilapia crap.

Thanks for your help, and, of course, if you think of something else, let us keep this list going.

The staff at Loyal Nine love talking about sourcing, if a tad too much. As was even in their globe review, they are our “portlandia” restaurant. last visit, their entire back side of the menu was dedicated to the story of ossabaw hogs from vermont. menu online also states local, organic, sustainable (etc) efforts.

Cheap Eats and clean sourcing do not walk hand in hand all that often, but i’m sure their are a few options…

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I have had very few entrees at Oleana, and I rarely eat meat, but I sure do love the beef Meze Sultan’s delight and have enjoyed every Meze including lamb I’ve tried. And I think Ana Sortun is a genius with shellfish as well as the vegetables.

Sarma does sparkle with vegetables but I wouldn’t be surprised if they also locally source pasture raised meats. If your guests are coming soon, we’ll still be in full swing with the fall harvest.

Grass Fed in JP would work.

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Chef Ana Sortun’s husband runs Siena Farms, and grows the vegetables used in her restaurants.

Yes. Thank you for that information.

Just sitting down here for a pre game dinner. Excellent suggestion for the OP based on the back of the menu.

Oh yea!!! I loved the recent review here of Loyal Nine, and I think this is right down their alley. It is on my “must do” list. Thank you!

Will you let us know how you enjoyed your meal?

It’s a bit farther out of the city than requested, but Wood’s Hill Table in Concord would fit the bill.

Woods Hill Table is a great suggestion if they can get out there. It is a lovely, comfortable place and the food is amazing.

Our meal at Loyal 9 very good, I enjoyed it much more than on my first visit which I will chalk up to an off night (for both me and the restaurant).

I was feeling mentally spent so we opted for the “Shared Supper”, which is just another name for their chef’s tasting menu. At $50/pp, I thought it was an excellent value. I went in hungry and was stuffed by the time dessert came.

The weather and atmosphere were absolutely perfect on the outside patio. The (large) patio flowing into the cinder blocked walled space with garage door opening reminded me of a casual cafe in Spain. I did not realize the patio was dog friendly, but will be bringing some special guests in the future. Service was friendly and helpful in navigating the alcohol and beer menus with some lesser known offerings.

The food overall is a bit more complex than I sometimes prefer but we enjoyed each dish. Favorites included:

  • Bluefish & radishes. Maybe the best bluefish prep I have ever had. I could do without raisins in my brown bread, but that is a minor nit.
  • Tomatoes wiith fried shishito peppers. Heirlooms are still flowing from my garden, so I wasn’t impressed with the tomatoes. However the star of the dish, the house made cheese, almost had me asking for seconds.
  • Hand rolled salad with boston lettuce and kohlrabi was a unique presentation and very nice dish.
  • Crispy Steel Cut Oats, pan fried, tossed with spinach, eggplant, and garlic was an inspired and delicious dish.

From the bar, The Dose (amaras mezcal corpse reviver #2) was a perfectly balanced cocktail served in a beautiful glass. Their whiskey list had many offerings that were new to me. They were reasonably priced and fun to explore. The beer list was a bit esoteric for my tastes, but I don’t drink much beer and the beer geeks will love it. There is clearly as much thought that has gone into the bar offerings as the kitchen. Each offering is there for a reason and serviced by the bar staff just so. Very professional and impressive service.

Overall, an excellent meal. I feel gouged by so many of the new openings that the value of the shared menu was greatly appreciated.

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that bluefish has my name. I love bluefish!


So happy you enjoyed loyal nine! It’s our go-to because, frankly, we trust their sourcing. too many places push clean sourcing but don’t stand the test, or carry one organic/local protein but all their veggies are imported or heavily sprayed…I once ran into one of their owners at the farmers market in copley with a huge load of veggies for the night, then saw him at Boston Public Market a few days later. Oddly, a rarity to see chefs/restaurateurs at the markets these days. I’m not so connected though, not sure if it’s just my perception.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2