Artisanal products are sold not only directly through growers and food producers. They’re increasingly found on the menus of area restaurants.
Josiah’s Coffeehouse Cafe uses artisanal producers for its bread, pasta, coffee and tea.
The coffee is from a Seattle micro-roaster called Caffe Vita.
“They are an incredible company working to roast beans to perfection,” owner Steve Hildebrand said. “Their coffee beans produce coffee that is rich, full-bodied but never bitter – a unique attribute in the coffee business.”
The teas are from Maryland-based Paromi Teas, which Hilldebrand said “steep to perfection.”
He also carries pastas from Artisan Italian from Alcester, Iowa, poblano peppers from Nikki’s Mexican Grocery on East Eighth Street and bread from new-to-the-neighborhood Breadico, which Hildebrand calls “the best breads I have ever had.”
Providing fresh, locally grown ingredients also continues to gain importance to restaurants.
Carnaval Brazilian Grill has taken the concept to whole new level. When the restaurant added a four-season room recently, a 16-foot wall of herbs was part of the design. Fifteen herb varieties including fresh basil, mint and pineapple sage, and strawberries are just some of the 400 plants.
General manager Todd Burns said he is proud of the vertical garden. Not only does it utilize a big wall, but it adds a unique fragrance.
He got the idea after attending food shows where hydroponic systems were displayed.
“The garden is a learning process,” Burns said. “But it has been a unique way to have fresh, sustainable herbs and produce at our fingertips for drinks and food. What is better than fresh-picked mint for mojitos?”