Photography by Stuart Mullenberg
Chef Aaron Adams’s self-assured Buckman dining room boasts whimsical modernist vegan tasting menus and grand, self-imposed sourcing limits. (Nearly everything on the menu comes from less than 100 miles away.) Sit at his long chef’s counter, and his pure devotion to local fruits and vegetables shines. Carrots cook sous vide in their own sweet juices before getting seared black in cast iron, like steaks. Skinned, dehydrated tomatoes masquerade as strawberries, each a one-bite burst of late-summer salty sweetness. Plates arrive dressed with weird, wonderful cultured seed sauces and an herbalist’s almanac of flowers and leaves. One dish holds the lilting sense memory of sitting in a grassy field as a kid; another tastes like clarified pond scum, little rounds of Swiss chard standing in for lily pads. All from a man as likely to recount his intense “love at first sight” for chives at the farmers market as to high-five your fellow diners or sing, loudly. Farm Spirit isn’t just “great for a vegan restaurant.” It’s great. Period.