Social Eatery & Bar's Fresh Philosophy is Cooking Up a Sustainable Culinary Future
Go and taste it. Taste the future. Delicious, conscious, sustainable future.
Sarasota is moving up as a city. The sweet breath of change is on the blowing wind. Coming over the Ringling Bridge from St. Armands are the in-construction shells of boutique hotels and high rise condos overlooking the bay. Sarasota is on the precipice of becoming a unique destination that no longer includes the caveat of “if you can stand all the old people.” It’s a powerful position for our community to be in. But as Teddy Roosevelt (or maybe Spiderman’s Uncle, I don’t remember) famously said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Because with this physical growth, the demands for cultural and social growth will continue. We have the art and theatre and opera. And we’re right on the precipice of a legitimate National restaurant scene. Sustainable menus are the future of cuisine and there are some great ones in our area, but one restaurant in particular has recently gone all in on those changes.
Social Eatery & Bar decided to move over to an almost entirely Farm-To-Table menu after owners Jason and Allina LeFrock spent some considerable time traveling the country this past year. “We were in Asheville and literally everywhere we went was farm-to-table. It was crazy,” Allina remembers. “We thought it was something we could definitely do and started working with some new purveyors when we got back.”
The whole philosophy behind the Farm-To-Table movement is using locally or responsibly grown ingredients to supply a restaurant. So the first step is identifying where those ingredients come from. Social Eatery and Bar teamed up with a purveyor that works entirely with Florida or sustainabe farms to provide those types of responsibly raised meats and produce. They quality control everything coming through the restaurant’s doors to ensure all ingredients are up to their standards. Their seafood, when possible, comes from vendors harvesting sustainably from their sources. Even the charcuterie and cheeses are coming from local sources.
Were you already a huge fan of Social Eatery & Bar’s menu? Good. Because they’re still using all the same recipes that’s made them a go to source for fresh, high quality Italian food. “Anybody looking at our menu wouldn’t see anything different,” Allina explains. “It’s still our pizza. It’s still our meatballs. We’re not changing our whole branding, it’s just the quality of what you’re getting is so much more.”
They also made a point to train the staff so they had an understanding of what the changes were and why they were being made. General Manager Nicole Rivera, who was instrumental in working with the new vendors during the transition, partnered up with their point of contact to the farms to provide full training to the wait staff. A large part of the Farm-To-Table philosophy is being able to provide an education into the importance of the fresh ingredients and Social is eager to take on that responsibility.
And don’t fret Sarasota, Social Eatery & Bar’s soon to be World Famous Saturday Brunch is starting back up with the same Farm Fresh attitude. If you haven’t already come to this conclusion on your own, this is crazy exciting for our city. We’re talking about the future of food here. Go and taste it. Taste the future. Delicious, conscious, sustainable future.