Courtesy the Mainland Inn
Craig LaBan finds a much needed wake up to the farm-to-table trope at chef Ezra Duker’s Mainland Inn in Harleysville. La Ban finds lots to praise in Duker’s use of Quarry Hill Farm, the farm two miles away that is owned by Sloane Six, who also owns Mainland.
The extraordinary lamb dish, meanwhile, was a snapshot of two farmyard generations on one plate. A roulade made from a yearling, its braised neck meat shaped into a disk glazed coal-black with olive puree, anchored one end, while the long bones of two amazingly tender chops from a milk-fed baby arced over a spring montage of new onions, favas, and a salsa verde piquant with sorrel and boquerones.
Three Bells – Excellent
Mainland Inn: Direct from the farm, with flair and flavor [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Mainland Inn [Foobooz]
The long delayed reopening of the Mainland Inn in Harleysville is set for this evening. The restaurant will source much of its bounty from the neighboring Quarry Hill Farm and other local farms. Chef Ezra Duker is in the kitchen. The Philadelphia native has worked at Morimoto Napa, The French Laundry and the Orrery, in London.
The menu is broken down into a section of “Relishes,” small dishes with an emphasis on fermentation and pickling, soup, hot and cold appetizers and entrees that include an interpretation of cottage pie with grilled ribeye, monkfish cassoulet with a shellfish boudin, heirloom beans and tarragon. Large-format, whole-animal preparation are featured in the “Roast” section of the menu.
The beverage program will include biodynamic wines, organic beers and artisan spirits.
Full menu and more on the Mainland Inn »
As the final foot on Le Bec Fin dropped yesterday there was news that current chef Steven Eckerd would be landing at the old Mainland Inn in Harleysville, Montgomery County. The Mainland Inn, constructed in 1760, has been closed for almost three years and was purchased by Sloane Six and Scott Clemons, who also run the nearby Quarry Hill Farm, where Eckerd has served as agricultural architect.
Eckerd will bring an honest farm-to-table-concept to the inn, all you need to know to understand Eckerd’s connection with local farmers is to follow his Twitter feed, which is predominantly him talking to local farmers. The menu will feature the freshest, ripest and most flavorful organic produce Eckerd can get his hands on. Eckerd aims to “bring health-conscious, approachable organic meals to the Philadelphia region.” Eckerd says it Mainland Inn will be fine dining, “but it’ll be in a setting that will have a little more of a purpose than just the fine dining experience itself.”
Eckerd, who served as sous chef at Le Bec Fin since it reopened in June, 2012, was promoted to chef de cuisine in February. Eckerd will work with chef Justin Bogle over the summer as Bogle takes the iconic Walnut Street restaurant in a new direction.
Eckerd who studied at the Culinary Institute of America, trained under Francois Bruel and Eddy Leroux at Daniel. In Philadelphia he worked under Marc Vetri at Osteria and Vetri.
New owner: Mainland Inn set to reopen in September [Souderton Independent]
Photo via Souderton Independent