“We call it ‘food for thriving.’ But thriving means the entire experience counts – so we are equally passionate about our farms and sourcing of ingredients, our environmental impact, and the energy and design of our spaces. I live on the farm that grows a lot of our produce so I am always thinking of ways we can be a more efficient, self-sustaining loop.”
La Pepita salad with kale, avocado, spicy roasted pepitas, cotija, pulled herb-roasted chicken, and lemon-cumin citronette; Vinny Paillard salad with arugula, chopped avocado, tomatoes, pecorino, grilled lemon-herb chicken, and a hot vinaigrette made with piñons, jalapeños, and lemon; kale stem fritters with sriracha aÏoli.
Hundreds of pounds a week, from April to November. That’s how much arugula Vinaigrette’s farm in Nambe, New Mexico grows to supply the restaurant’s in-season salad needs. Why salads? “Our menu flips traditional meat-veg ratios on their head, moving salads and greens to the center of the plate and meats to the side“, says chef/owner Erin Wade. “This represents a profound but achievable shift“. In addition to growing most of their own vegetables, Vinaigrette runs a compost program, uses eco-friendly cleaners and regionally raised proteins, and raises money for local charitable nonprofits. They also happen to make a pretty mean salad, and have expanded to locations in Albuquerque and Austin.