A new restaurant in Sea Girt is promising home-cooked meals with farm-fresh taste. Farmly Neighborhood Kitchen is a fast-casual restaurant created by Executive Chef and Partner James Avery; the idea came from Avery’s daily need to feed his family of six while fulfilling his obligations as a chef. Now open, the restaurant’s grand opening took place in May.
Avery is a New Jersey native, now living in Wall. He has fond memories of learning about down-home cooking with his family in New Jersey, Georgia and New Orleans. Without realizing it, he was falling in love with food and the memories it has the power to create.
As a teen, he worked at a pizzeria as a bus boy and delivery person. But he was always attracted to the kitchen. He went to college in Florida while working at bars and restaurants. In 2005, he earned a Culinary Arts Degree at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He returned to NJ to start his own catering company. He then worked under David Burke at Formagerie and honed his skills.
The Story Behind Farmly
“The genesis of the [Farmly] concept is that I’m a chef and cooking is the last thing I want to do when I get home,” says Avery. “I have four kids and hobbies. It’s always challenging for my wife and I to get dinner on the table. Our food is the kind that I want to cook when I’m home.”
The restaurant refers to itself as a farm-to-family restaurant with simple, soulful cooking in between. They promise to have something savory for every diet that you can eat in or take home. “Our food is simple and straightforward with thoughtfulness and a purpose,” Avery says.
Farmly serves slow-roasted meats and home-style sides. They make the majority of their dishes from scratch, with savory seasonings. The pick-your-meat, pick-your-vegetable menu offers a number of main dishes; the headliners are organic rotisserie chicken, herb-roasted pulled pork, grass-fed roast beef and a seasonal vegetarian option. Farmly hand-carves sandwiches like roasted pork and roast beef, and serves them on fresh-baked bread. “You can’t come here without trying the roast chicken,” says Avery. “They’re the best chickens you can get.”
Of course, no meal is complete without the choice of hot and cold sides. Farmly has options like rice pilaf, mashed/sweet potatoes, white cheddar macaroni and cheese, roasted cauliflower and more. You’ll also find soup, non-GMO cookies, and baked goods made with cage-free eggs. In addition, the drinks on offer include low-sugar carbonated beverages and juices.
The Farmly Difference
The restaurant aims to appeal to diners who want something quick and easy without settling for unhealthy fare. The menu at Farmly consists of quality, nutrient-dense, sustainable ingredients from farmers and suppliers who share the restaurant’s values; particularly, an appreciation for wholesomeness and authenticity. Chef Avery also adds local seasonal produce to the menu whenever he can. He plans to use Jersey corn in his corn and quinoa side dish. He’s currently using local kale in their kale salad.
Avery and his team want customers to enjoy a warm, easygoing atmosphere. The interior is spacious and welcoming, with clean lines, white tile and wood trim. Custom-made birch communal tables and booths accompanied by modern music playing in the background are what you’ll find. “You’ll see chickens spinning on the rotisseries and veggies being chopped,” says Avery. “It’s real people cooking real food that’s simple, consistent and fresh. We’re working hard to improve the quality of life of the people in the community by serving food that’s delicious and wholesome.”
Looking ahead to the future, Avery’s plan is to open two more restaurants over the next two years. He plans for both of them to be in Monmouth County.
You can find Farmly at Sea Girt Square, 2100 Route 35 North in Sea Girt. They serve lunch as well as dinner seven days a week from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm. For more information, you can call 732-359-6936 or visit http://www.eatfarmly.com/.