Today and Sunday on NY1, Edible Manhattan talks to chef Patrick Connolly of Bobo in the West Village about the restaurant’s second annual series of farm dinners called Plate to Gate (recently featured in the Eat Drink Local issue of this magazine). “Gate to Plate” is what the Brits call farm-to-table, Connolly told us, and at Bobo they switched the order because in this case they’re taking the plates to the farm gate, and literally.
Nine times over the summer, Connolly and his crew will load those up along with wine glasses, silverware, pots and pans and chefs’ knives into a van and hit the road for the Hamptons, or Upstate New York, or Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City. (The Grange, one of Connolly’s top purveyors, will host three dinners, says the chef, one to mark each of the major points of their season.)
The first is a brunch tomorrow at Neversink Farm in the Catskills — there are still tickets left! — and Bobo will set up shop on the banks of the Neversink River–“which is just kind of this constantly flowing river with lots of beautiful stones,” says Connolly–using a converted dairy trough as a stove. They’ll cook up eggs from the farms famously tasty hens (the farm keeps five kinds of birds, and thus has five kinds of eggs) and make Bloody Marys with Neversink’s herbs and chiles and hoophouse tomatoes and cook of some the trout that’ll be caught on site the night before.
Later this summer they’ll cook dinner in the barn, too, grill French style for Bastille Day at Brooklyn Grange (Connolly promises rooftop petanque) and will also head out to tip of Long Island to cook oysters and fish on the open flames near the Widow’s Hole oyster company, another of their suppliers. (Read more about their plans in Edible Manhattan right here.)
Cooking out near the ocean was actually one of Connolly’s favorite experiences from the previous year’s events: “We use this hillside on [the] property where we dug a pit that was 3-feet-by-8 feet,” he recalls, “and put up all these grates and it was essentially this 8-foot long grill that was lined with fish and corn on the cob.”
This year, however, he and his crew will spend the night at the ocean instead of driving home. “A big van of us with a bunch of dirty dishes rolled back into to Bobo about 4 a.m., sleepy, some intoxicated, generally sunburned and smelling like smoke… Like kielbasa, a van of human kielbasa.” So if you have a place for the crew to crash out in your Hamptons vacation home (or suncreen?) perhaps they’ll trade you a few ears of corn on the cob. Meanwhile, for dates and to RSVP for the dinners over the next few months, check out Bobo’s Plate to Gate Tumblr site, and be sure to watch the segment on NY1 today or online right here.