Chef/owner John Mooney of the recently opened Bell Book & Candle (www.bbandcnyc.com
), in New York’s West Village, is looking to practice a little horticultural magic. About 60 percent of the produce served in the restaurant comes from a rooftop garden that offers an urban twist on the trend of chefs growing their own veggies.
Although the 94-seat dining room and bar are a few steps below street level, the crops are located six stories above, in energy-efficient aeroponic towers that grow plants vertically (including watermelon!). Harvested food is then lowered to the kitchen by way of a pulley system. A cold-weather greenhouse in Lancaster, Pa., and locally sourced meat, fish and fowl further augment a menu that includes dishes ranging from a salad of rooftop mixed greens to lobster tacos.