Market 17 is one of three restaurants in the running for the Nature Conservancy's People's Choice 2012 Nature's Plate Award for Miami's best green restaurant. The other two contestants -- the Dome
and Ortanique on the Mile
-- are located in Coral Gables. Finalists were chosen from among names submitted online through May via the Nature Conservancy's website.
Market 17 managing partner Aaron Grauberger said the restaurant's team -- which includes executive chef Lauren DeShields -- is "excited" to be included in the contest, which evaluated nominees based on their commitment to things like sustainable seafood, free-range and grass-fed meat, the use of organic ingredients and local and seasonal goods, and the use of tap water instead of bottled water.
Grauberger said that the restaurant did well in all of the areas evaluated -- particularly when it comes to the use of sustainable seafood -- but that the local produce consideration was a challenge. The contest qualifications called for regionally sourced produce from within 300 miles or locally grown from within 100 miles.
"That's a challenge being in the heart of Fort Lauderdale," Grauberger said, citing a lack of proximity to a multitude of farms, in addition to South Florida's abysmal growing conditions during the summer. "Most produce burns."
To vote for your favorite Miami-area green restaurant, click here
. The poll remains open until midnight Thursday, June 21, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 26. Other regions with people's choice contests include Seattle, New Jersey, San Francisco, and New York. If you're interested in voting for restaurants in other parts of the country, click here
. It's important to note that winning this honor doesn't qualify as a certification that a restaurant is "green."
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