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Farmer & The Fish Opens This Weekend in Purdys

The new restaurant will be family-friendly affordable entreés and homegrown produce.

Fans of dining in the 18th century building formerly known as John Michael's and before that, Purdy's Homestead, will be happy to know that a new restaurant is opening there Saturday night.

But if they're expecting the quiet, fine-dining experience restaurant-goers had under previous ownership, they'll be mistaken.

"Throw out the idea of fancy," said Edward Taylor, owner of the new restaurant, called Purdy's Farmer & The Fish, located in North Salem at the intersection of Routes 22 and 116. "We want to be a casual place, where people can see their neighbors and bring their kids."

It's the third incarnation in recent years at the old homestead of Joseph Purdy, built in 1775, designated as a local landmark and entered on the register of National Historic Places.

This one will succeed because it will be casual and won't be expensive, said Taylor, who owns Down East Seafood, a fish wholesale business in the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx, and Fish, a restaurant that serves up fish in a casual atmosphere in Greenwich Village in Manhattan.

The menu will feature local fish—think Rhode Island and Long Island—like black sea bass and wild striped bass, lobster rolls, tuna burgers, a raw bar and soft shell crabs when they're in season. Diners can expect Chef Michael Kaphan to feature simple preparation from the grill and non-seafood options like grassfed beef from upstate New York.

Taylor also plans to restore a former purpose to the land he's leasing from the North Salem Land Trust—farming. He'll grow vegetables on four of the 22 acres and use them to both supply the restaurant and a market that will eventually be added to the property.

"I hope we'll become a food destination for locals," said Taylor, describing his vision of a seasonal farm stand, with ice cream in the summer and pumpkins every fall.

As for the restaurant's decor, Taylor said the building needed a "major overhaul,"which he accomplished by working with local architects from VKS and representatives from the North Salem Historical Society, who identified Civil War-era buttons found under the porch during the renovations.

The quick turnaround was a "real community effort," which resulted in a space that "opened up the bones" of the original building, he said. 

The restaurant had a soft opening last weekend for a fundraiser for the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library in North Salem, and will open Friday night for friends and family. On Saturday, the doors open to the general public.

Hours for Purdy's Farmer & The Fish will be 6:30 p.m. - 10:30/11 p.m. seven nights a week, eventuall expanding to include coffee and bakery morning hours and weekend brunch. Reservations are not accepted.

Lisa Buchman (Editor) April 01, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Went last night. Food was delicious, they are working out the kinks in service. The renovations are nice - it's completely different inside, no more rooms, all opened up. Cozy leather chairs by the fireplace in the bar area. The other two fireplaces are stocked with gorgeous flowers. Anyone else try it?
Beth T. April 01, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Was there on Friday night, it is fabulous! The food scrumptious, the wait staff better then I've ever had in Westchester and the owners, Donna and Eddie Taylor are so warm and welcoming. Knowing them, I can guarantee you that the plans they talk about will come to fruition and this will be a special destination for families, from all over, for years to come. If that was a soft opening, I can't imagine how good it will get! Run, don't walk to Purdy's Farmer & the Fish!
Bill April 03, 2012 at 03:20 AM
No more working fireplace? I used to love sitting next to the fireplace at John-Michaels when it was lit! BTW does anyone know what happened to the previous owners? I was sorry to hear that they were closed. The owners were very nice people.
Bill April 03, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Given that they did not open until Saturday, you were obviously at the "friends & family" soft opening that Lisa mentioned. I don't doubt that it is good, but let's not confuse your write-up with an impartial review.
Edward taylor April 03, 2012 at 03:26 AM
The fireplaces have all been rebuilt and are in perfect working order
Jane Austen April 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
The food was very nice, a bit expensive but less than John Michael's. However, not anywhere as delicious. The service was pretty dreadful and, obviously, will have to be fixed. Will try again.
Donna Taylor April 09, 2012 at 06:20 PM
i apologize for any service issues i thank you for your observations , and will address best regards e taylor
Bill April 14, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Ed are you planning to post a menu on your website? Do you have a Facebook page?
woody kaplan April 20, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Atmosphere was very nice and has a very friendly feel to it. Food was excellent. Wait staff sounds like its getting better then it was - our service was very good - food did take a little long to come out - but very good WK
Gina May 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
This is our second time here. Our first dining experience was opening week, and I figured that the lack of service was due to - well opening week. Our chowder was lukewarm, our bass was kind of bland and there wasn’t any bread on the table to tie you over; waiting an hour for dinner is a bit excessive. The only redemption was the delicious dessert. We had cannoli’s and those French cream filled desserts, which I believe are called Napoleons, they were fresh, light and a perfect after dinner portion. We dined there again this past Monday night, and unfortunately the service has not improved. When I say service, I want to note that the wait staff is exceptional; very friendly and accommodating, but something happens in-between ordering your food and actually receiving it. So, I would have to say that the kitchen falls short here. We will definitely give F&F another try, as we love the ambience and the locality. Hopefully, they will have all the service issues resolved. If not, it’s still a great place to have a drink at bar.
Jane goetz May 21, 2012 at 07:22 PM
My husband and I enjoyed a delicious dinner last night! Everything we ordered was scrumptious w excellent presentation! We arrived at 6 pm and ordered appetizers.....so waiting a bit for dinner was fine! Our waiter was exceptional, very friendly with a smile! Ambience was very cozy and would love to come back again! We will definitely tell friends to dine here!!! :))
christine Capuano May 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Regarding Bill's p ost of April 11th, I did not think the former owners were so "nice" We received a $150.00 gift certificate from our daughter for our Anniversary. Waited a month till Lent was over and when I called, they were out of business. I left several messages asking that these monies be refunded as it was a gift. Never hearf from them again. Shame on them for rippin us off and keeping our Anniversary gift.
Bill May 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Hopefully your daughter paid with her credit card and called to have the charge reversed. She can get her money back that way. And they were nice people. Strange stuff happens when a company goes out of business. If they filed chapter 11, then the gift certificate is dead. You don't even know that they got the messages you left. And if it was this year, then John-Michales was long gone by then.
S Weiss June 05, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Edward, I moved up here fairly recently (over a year ago) from 9th St between 5th and 6th....used to go to Fish a LOT - a REAL lot! Can't wait to try this new place. Question: Is there a bar there to eat at? I sometimes like to eat alone but would feel funny doing so at a table, especially after seeing the pics and reading how close together the tables are. Being such a fan of your food, can you let me know about the bar thing? thanks, you can reach me at sunny.bohemia at yahoo. thanks, syd
Bill July 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Christine was talking about the former owner (John-Michael). Are you claiming that the current owner has ripped people off? I don't think it is fair to put out a claim like that without some details to back it up.
Lisa Buchman (Editor) July 01, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Hi Bill - you're right. We won't allow comments like that without substantiation. Our terms of use are here: http://bedford.patch.com/terms
Steve September 24, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I was so glad to visit this restaurant. I had to make a comment. I really like the place. The food was really good but it is a place you only want to go to once a year or less. The food although is good is very salty and can make you sick. I actually got sick from it so I think the chief needs to take some more cooking classes. Maybe they are using the salt to hide the lower quality of the food. Also, VERY overpriced. I understand such prices in NYC but in Purdys that is way out of line. Also the staff is a bit disorganized but that does not bother me to much since I was there to relax and not rush. So go there but expect to wait for your table and bill. There here is my rating out of 10: Price 7.0 $$$, service 7.5-8.0 (a bit rough to the customer), Overall experience 8.5. Yes I would return but not for a while.
Ashley Tarr (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 03:20 PM
The restaurant made Westchester Mag's Best New Restaurant List: http://patch.com/A-ym2s.
Rob Feiner October 04, 2012 at 06:10 AM
If Bill brings his gift card in to us at Myong Gourmet, and he can somehow show us the Value, We will take the card and give him a very nice time. It won't be a 100% freebee, but we'd be happy to show him a great time. Please ask him to speak with Rob at the Restaurant. I hope he didn't trash the card.
Rob Feiner October 04, 2012 at 06:11 AM
To Bill: If you bring the gift card in to us at Myong Gourmet, and you can somehow show us the Value, We will take the card and give you a very nice time. It won't be a 100% freebee, but we'd be happy to show you a great time. Please ask to speak with Rob at the Restaurant. I hope you didn't trash the card.
Rob Feiner October 04, 2012 at 06:13 AM
BTW- Ed, NICE job on the F&F. Wishing you ALL the very best. Nice Crowd, fresh Clams and more! What else could i ask for! Rob @ Myong Gourmet

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