contributed by Katy Morris
Dedicated to nourishing diners with only locally sourced, organic elements in each and every dish, Organic Planet Restaurant is a true haven for local health conscious foodies, living in CT or passing through Greenwich. Located on the posh strip of Greenwich Avenue, this cozy and welcoming nook boasts farm-to-table inspired décor that matches its natural cuisine: dark wooden floors, tables and chairs; colorful, quaint paintings depicting the countryside; soft, natural sunlight beaming in from the windows; and even seasonally appropriate bright orange, mini pumpkins set on each table, reminding customers of the natural roots of their nutritious, natural food being served.
CIA trained Chef, Gerry Herrfurth, meticulously composes the dishes with well-balanced ratios of organic proteins, lots of local veggies, and whole grain goodness. Most ingredients come directly from The Back Forty Farm, a 65-acre family-owned and run farm in Washington, CT. An accomplished and passionate expert when it comes to organic, sustainable, vegan and vegetarian fare, Chef Herrfurth has over two decades of professional cooking experience and was recently awarded the Snail of Approval from Slow Food Metro North.
When I walked in for lunch recently on a gray, bone-chillingly cold New England day, the waiters greeted me warmly and after hearing my sniffle, insisted I taste their freshly squeezed apple, orange, lemon, ginger juice concoction for a vitamin-C boost. Upon looking at the various menus handed to me as I sat down my eye strayed toward the “Vegan White Russian” cocktail…at Organic Planet, even the “stiff” drinks are as natural as can be. I just went with water, but the waiter provided me a taste of the delicious juice on the house – perfectly refreshing and flavorful.
Deciding what to eat was a challenge, as several options looked appealing to me, with my veggie loving appetite. I particularly liked to see that the menu encompassed a variety of globally-inspired items, from Mediterranean to African and Middle Eastern. It also helped that they clearly mark each menu item as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, raw, etc.
Should I opt for the Vegetarian Pizza with a fig and apple puree, caramelized sweet onions, roasted red pears, crumbled goat cheese and organic arugula? Or perhaps the Scallion Pancakes served with brown rice vinegar dipping sauce? What about the Chopped Salad with chickpeas, roasted red peppers, sunflower seeds and more? No wait, the Indian Spiced Green Lentils with Jasmine brown rile pilaf and organic kale…?
At last, with much help from the knowledgeable staff, I decided on the vegan, gluten-free bean soup and the Middle Eastern Salad. A thick, organic white bean puree mixed with sautéed broccoli rabe, the hearty soup appetizer was seamlessly comforting, smooth, and flavorful.
The Middle Eastern Salad was also a fantastic combination of textures and tastes, comprised of crunchy organic mixed greens that were lightly tossed in house made tahini dressing, quinoa tabouleh with diced tomatoes, baked chickpea ‘fritters’ drizzled with a “spicy” tahini sauce (not too spicy, but gave it a welcome little kick) all complemented with warm whole wheat flatbread.
Organic Planet modifies its menu with the seasons, enabling them to provide the freshest ingredients at all times. Check out their website for specific dining hours and more about the Back Forty Farm.
107 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT
MONDAY- SATURDAY: open for lunch and dinner
SUNDAY AND MONDAY evenings available for private parties and catered events.