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Purdys Reeling In 'Farmer And The Fish'

PURDYS, N.Y. – If you have been wondering what would become of the forlorn looking Purdys Homestead, wonder no more. It is about to be turned into a freshly renovated family restaurant, specializing in moderately priced fish dishes and home-grown vegetables. It will be known as “Purdys Farmer & The Fish” and will open in the spring.

The new restaurateur, Edward Taylor, is a 10-year resident of North Salem, founder of Down East Seafood , supplier of fresh seafood to major restaurants and caterers in the tri-state area, and owner of a fish market/restaurant on New York’s Bleeker Street, known appropriately as “Fish.”

“I’ve been fishing all my life,” Taylor said. “I’ve worked on fishing boats. I’ve been in the fish business for 22 years.”

Taylor wants his new restaurant to be fun. “I don’t expect to make a lot of money but I want people to enjoy it,” he said.

The hill behind the building will be turned into a small farm to supply the restaurant’s produce. The executive chef, Michael Kaphan, trained under Jean-Georges Vongerichten and ran the kitchen at Soho’s Zoe. Right now he is boning up on agriculture to make the most of the homegrown produce.

The menu will be planned according to the season. Both Kaphan and Taylor said they especially want to support the American fishermen of the northeast and eastern seaboard.

There will be a raw bar, where you might get half dozen oysters and a pint of beer for $8. When the warmer weather rolls around, there will be a soft ice cream counter outdoors. Any kid who hits a homerun at the baseball field across the road will get a free ice cream, Taylor plans.

Taylor signed a lease with the North Salem Land Trust, custodians of the property, just last week. Katonah architects, VKS , are finalizing the design and specs for renovations and restoration work. Part of the plan is to open up the space, modernize the kitchen and spruce up the floors.

As for decor, Taylor wants to line the walls with photos of local residents, caught by the camera while fishing or farming. He will copy the photos and return the originals. If you would like to submit a photo, contact Ed Taylor at Taylor402@hotmail.com .

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