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Issue Date: May 2011

Best Restaurants 2011: Know the Grow

Fis for Firefly Farms: Certified organic greens grown by Steve Jones just outside of New London Use: The greens are "sweet, tender, just a beautiful example of what a green might be," says Flying Fig chef and owner Karen Small. She loves that, because of the quality, she can keep it simple.

Kis for Killbuck Valley Mushrooms: Farm-grown and wild fungi varieties by Tom Wiandt in Wayne County Use: "Tom's mushrooms are some of the best I've ever worked with," says Lolita executive chef Andy Strizak. "We use less, because they hold their shape a little more."

Lis for Lake Erie Creamery: Made by hand in small batches at an urban Cleveland creamery using milk from local goats Use: Where other goat cheeses can be gritty, Lake Erie's is "way more smooth," says Melange co-executive chef Matt Creighton.

Mis for Miller Livestock: Grass-fed, humanely raised beef, pork, lamb and chicken from a Kinsman-based farm Use: "We want to buy something someone has taken care of and treated humanely, and had respect to the environment," says chef Jonathan Bennett of Moxie, who purchases whole grass-fed pigs from the Kinsman farm.

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