It’s not every day you find yourself standing in the middle of Brooklyn amid a jungle of herb and vegetable plants in the pouring rain, feeling as close to being in the Amazon rainforest as you’ll ever get in the big city. But that’s where we were after following Chef Joe Pasqualetto one late-summer morning from his restaurant Rucola in Boerum Hill to pick fresh vegetables for his Northern Italian menu: Feedback Farms, an urban micro-farm around the corner.
Rucola is styled after a country farmhouse and prides itself on local, seasonal selections interpreted through Italian culinary traditions: think duck breast with pickled rhubarb and market greens with wildflower honey vinaigrette. In addition to what Pasqualetto calls “the market circuit,” which he hits two or three times a week to hand-select fresh produce, Feedback has become a regular source of the restaurant’s hyper-local ingredients. We saw first-hand as peppers and tomatoes traveled straight from the farm to the reclaimed-wood table at Rucola.