Secret Gardens

Gatsby garden party redux at Mount Vernon’s Feast @ 4 East, tucked inside an 1845 mansion that once hosted Katharine Hepburn and Joe DiMaggio. Feast @ 4 East is now a B&B, and guests linger in an elegant parlor or dine on a garden terrace. French-Mediterranean dishes include onion-gruyere tarts, vegan mushroom risotto and wild rockfish. Sprouting next to the pond? Proprietor (and former vegan) Sandy Lawler’s tomatoes, basil and lavender.

At Federal Hill’s
Bluegrass Tavern, nouveau American cuisine means Shenandoah Valley lamb, porter-braised short rib and crawfish hushpuppies. The brick facade holds window boxes for growing herbs, and, on the front sidewalk, owner Jorbie Clark hosts an occasional market for produce, cheese, meat and wine.

Regi’s American Bistro takes a passion for “fresh food” to the next level. Literally. Planted on the roof of the Federal Hill row house: heirloom tomatoes, mint, rosemary and purple basil. Produce factors in gazpacho, fried green tomatoes and BLTs. (Also on the menu: grass-fed Black Angus burgers, brie-and-bacon-doused tater tots.) Owner Alan Morstein boasts, “People who don’t like vegetables eat vegetables here.”

Qayum Karzai is a busy guy. The brother of Afghanistan’s president, he owns three popular restaurants
and nearby Fig Leaf Farm—source of eggs and produce that complement house-made pasta and charcuterie at b–A Bolton Hill Bistro, fine Afghan fare at The Helmand in Mount Vernon and paella and sangria at Tapas Teatro next to the Charles Theater.