When Local Harvest Grocery (see Best Grocery Store) announced it would open a separate café across the street from its location in Tower Grove South, no one could have imagined that St. Louis would gain not only an excellent spot for a nosh, but also an example of how even a casual eatery could operate in a culture increasingly concerned with foods grown locally and sustainably. But maybe we shouldn't be surprised: Co-owners Patrick Horine and Maddie Earnest also run the wildly popular Tower Grove Farmers' Market, after all. At Local Harvest Café they bring together fresh produce from area farmers and artisan goods from such local companies as Volpi, Black Bear Bakery and the (relatively) new Ah!Zeefa in a menu that offers something for everybody, from simple — and simply delicious — egg sandwiches to one of the best vegetarian dishes in town, the "Morganford Mediterranean" sandwich. The dinner menu changes often. On Saturdays, however, you can reserve a special tasting menu from chef Clara Moore, who will scour farmers' markets that morning for the ripest goods and fashion your meal accordingly. It's not fancy. It's not pretentious. In truth, it follows a basic recipe: Great ingredients, minimally fussed with, will produce great food. And in the end, all of us — farmer, chef, restaurateur and customer — reap the reward.
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