Everything 21 Greenpoint sources is from local farms, mostly in the Hudson Valley, but also in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maine. "We're getting a lot of amazing produce, a lot of amazing fish, and we wanted to serve that to people," Telo says. "Instead of throwing it away, we wanted to wrap it into something else." Through the night on Sundays, the kitchen will riff on and edit the tasting menu, using whatever ingredients are left over to create a full meal including at least a soup, salad, starch, protein, and dessert. "The goal for us is to walk into our refrigerator Monday and see nothing," Telo says.
Telo says he repurposes "really everything" that he can, from tender fish cheeks (a favorite at many a restaurant family meal) to homemade pasta dough. "It's all really fresh stuff," he assures me of the Sunday night ingredients. For example, the restaurant's ever-popular eggplant fries, served with hot pepper oil and goat yogurt for $12 during regular service, are cut into perfect rectangles, meaning the round top and bottom of an eggplant must be hacked off for the visual aesthetic of the dish. Instead of composting or disposing of the rounds, Telo uses them in a pizza sauce or other Sunday dish.