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Eating great in the neighborhood!

NOTE: I didn’t want to use the colloquialism, eatin’ good, because I didn’t want to confuse anyone with another, very different, establishment that has this as their tag line!

There are some nights that you just don’t want to cook, or that you want to celebrate a moment, rather than an event, and you still want to have a Tabletop experience. Well, celebrating its second anniversary in MY neighborhood is St. Francis restaurant, run by chef Aaron Chamberlin, and it is the perfect spot for any reason or type of event.

Chef Chamberlin’s credo is “farm to fork”, and he prides himself on sourcing out the best of the local, seasonal fare (yes, he even picks wild raspberries himself for his deconstructed “cheese cake in a jar”). But it’s not a trendy thing for the chef- it’s just how good chefs should cook! The vibe is like entering his kitchen- his collection of cookbooks act like a crown molding in the entrance to the restaurant- and you do feel a warmth like you’ve just entered a home (a very cool, hip home!), rather than a business.

The whole notion of “farm to fork” is relayed by the chalkboard announcements of what’s being served from appetizers to wines. In the back of the restaurant is a hand written chalkboard divided into seasons and what fruits, vegetables, and proteins are at their peak at different times of the year. Love the sweet corn soup (yes, I do!)? Don’t expect to find it on the menu much past the beginning of September, as the corn by that time has past its prime for the chef. You’ll have to wait till next summer, and I like that!

This whole notion of “year-round” availability of foods has really had an effect on me. I still remember the calendar harkening the first strawberries of early summer, the young corn, and tomatoes- not to mention the cherries, peaches and grapes! Now that you can get these at virtually any time of the year, they just don’t quite taste the same… So, chef Chamberlin is trying to change that as he changes his menu by the season, and I appreciate that! Thanks for adding to the culinary landscape, chef! By the way, you have about another week or so for that sweet corn soup. And yes, it’s worth the trip!

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