This week's edition of Market Mondays was cancelled for 2 reasons: (1) On Monday, I was about 400 miles from the Union Square Greenmarket, and (2) the Farmers' Market at the Williamsville Mill, my only nearby option, doesn't begin its 2011 season until next week. Thankfully, as I was searching for the Farmers' Market (apparently I'm the only one who didn't know about next week's grand opening) I discovered a delicious farm-friendly alternative- Farmers & Artisans. Located in the Village of Williamsville, Farmers & Artisans is a 1 1/2 yr. old artisan bakery and local foods market run by Julie Blackman, of Blackman Homestead Farm (her family's Cherry Almond Butter, available in neatly packaged 12 ounce jars, is incredible), and David Setzer, an avid locavore and bread baker.
Utilizing products sold in store, including pastured meats, farmers' eggs, dairy items, farmstead cheeses, seasonal produce and locally sourced grocery goods, Farmers & Artisans began preparing take-away lunches just last week (the chef's cooking style is influenced from time spent in parts of Vermont and Portland, Oregon). There are a few wrought iron two-seater tables outside, and a picnic at Glen Falls is always an option, but there is no available seating inside. The menu is inspired by the season (the current menu is "Early Spring"), and includes standard lunchtime fare, in addition to breads and baked goods like muffins, cookies and bite sized brownies.
The rain-soaked day made it impossible to eat outside, so armed with bags of soups, salads, sandwiches, oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, and a pint of Lake Effect's Frozen Hot Chocolate ice cream, I returned to my parent's home to unveil my latest finds. My father, someone who is resistant to any food-related change (Panera Bread is a staple stop on every trip home- not that I'm complaining), was not particularly pleased with my purchases, but the rest of my family was eager to taste something new. We agreed that while the chef may have been a little heavy handed when it came to salting the salads (I didn't find it too offensive as I add salt to anything and everything), the soups were well balanced and the sandwiches were packed with fresh flavor. At least three of us will be returning to Farmers & Artisans...possibly with a reluctant patriarch in tow.
78 East Spring Street, Williamsville, NY
In the 1800s, the building housed the Williamsville Fire Department's horses
The shop will have a booth at the weekly farmers' market with seasonal produce and baked goods
A variety of noodles from Flour City Pasta are sold in store and used in the lunch menu
1/2 pint of chicken florentine soup- $2.99
1/2 pint tomato basil soup- $2.99
Spinach salad- early spinach with seasonal fruit or berries (on Monday it was dried cranberries and currants), quenelles of New York chevre, toasted almonds and red wine vinaigrette- $7
Classis caesar salad- Finger Lakes hydroponic romaine lettuce with caesar dressing, house made croutons, Hawthorne Valley Farms aged alpine cheese and grilled pastured chicken breast- $11 ($7 sans chicken)
Asian noodles- Flower City Pasta's lemon ginger noodles, seasonal vegetables with a soy ginger vinaigrette- $6 (you've got to be a ginger lover for this one)
Apple and camembert panino- empire apples and Old Chatham Hudson Valley camembert on pain de campagne with Blackman Homestead Farm's cherry almond butter (outstanding)- $8. Each sandwich is priced to include a Martin's sweet dill pickle (also outstanding- my father said it was the best part of the meal) and small salad
Chicken club panino- grilled Murray's pastured chicken breast on an artisan ciabatta roll with applewood smoked bacon, greens, tomato and garlic aioli- $9
Oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, my 2 yr. old niece's favorite- 6 for $3.50
Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream's Frozen Hot Chocolate flavor- the creaminess is unparalleled- $4.50