Our 4th CTbites lunch event at The Dressing Room was a huge success. CTbites readers filled the elegantly rustic dining room of this classic Westport eatery. With this beautiful backdrop, people met up for a quiet lunch or connected with large groups of girlfriends (those parties were considerably more boisterous). The CTbites masthead was well represented with almost everyone in attendance, and there was a nice steady buzz as people settled down to the business of eating.
The lunch began on a festive note with specially selected organic wines and a sweet, but not cloying, signature Proseco cocktail. This "Sweetheart" drink featuring Wild Alpine strawberries is the brain child of John Cronin whom you will often see behind the bar, and it has achieved beverage fame.
Jon Vaast, the new Executive Chef at DR, created a Spring menu with great local ingredients and refined flavors. "Act One," included a soup not actually featured on the regular menu, Celeriac Soup, a light creamy puree of celery (which sounded dubious at first) with shaved celery garnish and a EVOO. Also served was the "Millstone Mix" salad with local lettuce, candied pecans, artisan cheese from Beaver Brook Farms and a blood orange vinaigrette. Both were enjoyed as evident by the clean plates all around.
"Act Two" brought a wonderful Chicken Chopped Salad, or rather a perfectly cooked chicken breast with wonderfully crispy skin atop a bed of chopped pears, veggies, almonds and goat cheese. If you preferred a meal without an animal involved, the Mixed Heirloom Grains with beautiful hedgehog mushrooms, walnuts, peas of several varieties and a sweet pea sauce was served "Risotto Style," and was fabulous.
When the "Encore," or cookie platter arrived with three warm baked cookies we assumed we would be sharing with platters the table. In fact every guest received a selection of chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry, and molasses cookies which of course we felt compelled to eat. How could we not?
With the change in season we will see some exciting new dishes on The Dressing Room's menu, as well as some new approaches to old favorites.
Chef Vaast promised to share a few of his recipes with the CTbites readers, so keep an eye out for him in our Chef Talk column.