Meat from animals ethically raised (not crowded in and not wallowing in their own filth), organically fed (no pesticides/hormones in feed) and/or grass-fed, and humanely slaughtered (care is taken not to scare or overcrowd them), and meat that comes from heritage breeds (animals that were raised on small family farms or in specific regions ) is in fashion nowadays. More diners are aware of the reduced carbon footprint and improved health benefits (e.g., higher Omega-3 count) of meat raised and processed this way. The right kind of meat can almost convince a vegetarian to down a burger. The following are some of the restaurants offering this leaner, firmer meat.
Sweet Grass Grill (24 N Main St, Tarrytown 914-631-0000; sweetgrassgrill.com) serves a free-roaming, grass-fed bison burger, topped with Amish cheddar on a brioche ($12) as well as a platter of grass-fed Colorado lamb loin and a lamb meatball ($22). Its regular burger uses Black Angus beef from the respected Creekstone Farm, a small producer in Arkansas City, Kansas
The Flying Pig (251 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco 914-666-7445; flyingpigonlex.com), which has a relationship with Cabbage Hill Farm, also in Mount Kisco, serves all grass-fed, heritage-breed Highland beef, raised at the farm. An herb-crusted rib-eye steak is $29, a juicy burger is $15, and a flavorful meatball dish is $17.
At Comfort (598 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson 914-478-0666; comfortrestaurant.net), John Halko works with grass-fed beef but cautiously, because “one-hundred-percent grass-fed beef can be gamey,” he says. He prefers meat of a free-roaming, Black Angus that was fed organic grain which results in a more familiar flavor and a more marbled texture. His menu includes a burger, along with one of his Southern-style signature sides ($10.50) and a Black Angus steak with two sides ($23.95).
Michael Cutney at Café of Love (38 E Main St, Mount Kisco, 914-242-1002; cafeofloveny.com) is a huge fan of grass-fed beef. “It’s healthier for you and has a great flavor profile.” He offers a combination platter of hormone- and antibiotic-free short ribs and hanger steak ($28) and also grills a grass-fed burger ($14) and a hormone- and antibiotic-free sirloin steak with “frites” ($32).