The first installment of Flavorful Excursions is fittingly about gardens at restaurants. As a lover of local, healthy foods, I commend the many restaurants that are growing their own veggies, fruits and herbs. A third of chefs recently interviewed by the National Restaurant Association http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130317720 said that gardens are the hottest restaurant trend this year. However, it is not only gardens that are feeding us tasty, healthy foods when we go out to eat. A number of the nation’s restaurants and hotels are using hydroponic tower gardens http://www.mytowergarden.com to supply their delicious tasty herbs and produce. The J.W. Marriott in Orlando, Fla., and the new Bell, Book & Candle restaurant (pictured above) in Greenwich Village, N.Y., are two notable restaurants using this eco-friendly growing method.