Urban pioneers in the true sense of the word, wife and husband team and native Vermonters Meg Lipke and Paris Smeraldo hedged their bets on the industrial New York neighborhood of Bushwick, where not quite a decade ago they opened Northeast Kingdom, a fairy tale of a farm-to-table eatery.
When the couple opened their rural Vermont cabin-inspired restaurant, there was literally no cultural zest in Bushwick whatsoever—nothing more than autobody shops, commercial-kitchen bakeries, wholesale storage centers and marble factories. Fast-forward a few years and the neighborhood is abuzz with small shops and cafes, and Meg and Paris bestride this creative and family-friendly hub as the forebearers of its very existence.
Northeast Kingdom’s framework is straightforward—they offer their guests American-style cuisine prepared exclusively from regional, seasonal agriculture and artisanal purveyors. Taking this concept further, the two actually forage wild edibles themselves—harvesting and bringing back to the restaurant wild greens, stinging nettles and other splendid, growing things from the Hudson Valley. The highest, purest quality produce and the simple, scrumptious approach to dining is coupled with a woodsy atmosphere that bespeaks both elegance and rustic charm. Even their mixological-variety cocktails are prepared at the next level, with seasonal tonics handcrafted from forged plants, such as dandelion, crab apple and black birch.