On Thursday, the Foodstand team headed to North End Grill in Lower Manhattan to meet Chef Eric Korsh and his restaurant’s fabled rooftop garden. We arrived on a sleepy Friday afternoon, just before the post-work hustle and bustle. Chef Korsh greeted us warmly, and took us through his busy restaurant full of sous chefs, pastry makers, kitchen hands, and other staff members, up a freight elevator, up three flights of stairs, and finally: the top of his building, set to the background of the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
What we saw blew us away. On the roof, North End Grill had laying in full view of the Manhattan sun massive beds of dozens of different crops – from strawberries to spicy herbs to the notoriously difficult to find Aji dulce pepper. Using these homegrown fruits and veggies, Chef Korsh is able to serve hundreds of customers a day, and he never has a surplus.
When asked what the one food-related change he could make in the world would be, Chef Korsh immediately responded saying how wonderful it would be for more restaurants to keep urban rooftop gardens, and to use these gardens to grow fresh ingredients, keep prices down, and strengthen local ties between restauranteurs. Chef Korsh is big on local, and proudly stands by partners such as Pino’s Prime Meat Market, with whom he had a relationship for several years. Many of other suppliers can be found here in the city, and elsewhere in the tristate area.
Some of Chef Korsh’s local NYC food picks:
Favorite Cheese: East Village Cheese
Favorite Meats: Pino’s
We had a blast at North End Grill, and hope to be back very, very soon.