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Entries in Farm to Table (90)


Veg-Centric Dinner Series at ROÌA in New Haven: Heirloom Tomatoes

Up the steps off the city streets of New Haven, you may feel transported to another time and place. A space that somehow manages to feel elegant, yet contemporary and welcoming at the same time. This could only be ROÌA, where its elaborate high ceilings and attention to a bygone era’s architectural detail make a striking first impression. But they only set the stage for you to be further impressed with the sights and flavors about to arrive at the table.

CTbites first visited ROÌA for its grand opening back in 2013—grand being a most fitting descriptor. We were thrilled to return and experience a dinner featuring summer’s bounty of the local heirloom tomato, in one interesting configuration after another. And just one in the “veg-centric dinner series” Chef Avi Szapiro has offered since last year, when they first showcased asparagus, followed by summer squash, then tomato.

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Double L Market: Westport's First Farm Stand Turns 30

Lloyd Allen’s Double L Market in Westport is celebrating its 20th year. The market, now in its third location near Hillspoint Road, is the “original” farmstand. Described as “eclectic” it has weathered every storm and outlasted the competition thanks to a very dedicated group of followers. “When you’ve done this for as long as I have you get to know a lot of people and what they want. We want to be able to offer the best!” Allen told me.

“We were a farmstand and farmers market long before anyone else - before it became a thing. We were wild, and on the side of the road, in the open air and having lots of fun doing it.” Although Allen and his staff are no longer on the side of the road, and are now in an enclosed air-conditioned corner store, a little bit of that wildness still remains. “We are still having a great time,” he added. “You meet people who are passionate on both sides of the market - the growers are passionate about producing the best and our consumers are passionate to find and eat the best.”

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INDIA, Farm-to-Table Indian Cuisine, Opens in New Canaan: A First Look

Bold…intense…complex…flavors, these are the words that best describe the menu that Master Chef Prasad Chirnomula is serving at his latest restaurant, INDIA, in New Canaan. Chef Prasad is no stranger to New Canaan, or Connecticut. As the owner/chef of the highly successfully Thali restaurants, he announced several months ago that he was closing his flagship restaurant in New Canaan, desirous of opening a smaller, more intimate, restaurant in town. The interior of INDIA does just that, with a relaxed, sensual feel accentuated with flowing silk curtains engulfing many of the tables.

Chef Prasad invited CTbites to enjoy traditional cuisine from various regions of India, as well as sample many of his creative and inventive renditions from across southeast Asia and Africa. During the visit, this gregarious Master Chef joined us to explain the history, the composition, his vision for the dish as well as the numerous ingredients that were required to meet his high standards. His exuberance was evident in every description, and it translated into each of his creations. After close to twenty different dishes, my appreciation for his talent and the Indian heritage was significantly elevated, this was a culinary adventure. I was also pleasantly surprised when he told us that most are gluten-free, Indian recipes do not thicken sauces with gluten.

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Dinner & Craft Cocktails At Sugar & Olives in Norwalk: New Spring Menu

Recently some members of The CTBites team and I had the opportunity to revisit and sit together at Sugar and Olives in Norwalk to try out the new springtime menu. For those of you who have not yet visited (what are you waiting for?!) Sugar and Olives was established by Westport resident, Jennifer Balin, in 2008. Her goal was, and remains, to educate diners and cultivate the relationship between farms and families. She is committed to serving local food, and nearly all the items on the generous menu come from within the state, including milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry and fish, as well as wine, beer and spirits.  This three star Certified Green Restaurant serves brunch five days a week and dinner three nights a week. 

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Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant Opens in Westport

When one restaurant door closes a new one opens. The institution that was Mario's closed last year, but this week I had the privilege of attending an intimate event celebrating the opening of Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant, at their newest location on Railroad Avenue in Westport. This farm to fork eatery joins the popular Greenwich and New Haven locations as well as Cava, Scena and 55, and is the result of the collaborative endeavor of the Kluber, Nube and Vincente Siguenza sibling team, who have over the past 10 years combined their passion for wine, food and customer service to create some of the area’s finest dining establishments.

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Dinners at the Farm Announces 2016 Season Tickets On Sale

Tickets have gone on sale for the Dinners At The Farm 2016 season!

At Dinners At The Farm, each evening begins at 6:00pm, dinner served at 7:00pm. Tickets are per person and are $125 (Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays), $150 (Fridays and Saturdays). Upon arrival, guests are greeted with an orchard fruit cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvre and then proceed onto a lively tour of the farm with our warm and engaging farm hosts. Following the tour, guests are seated beneath a tent at long candle-lit tables with white porcelain settings where they will savor course after course of freshly cooked food with ingredients just picked from the fields outside the tent. Guests will break bread and raise a glass with the farmers, fishermen, and others who make up Connecticut’s vibrant agricultural community.

Our 2016 season marks 10 years of hosting our celebrated open-air dinners in the fields of Connecticut farms for delightful and delicious evenings of locally grown food, wine, and conviviality. Dates and additional information here.  

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Brian Lewis' The Cottage Opens in Westport - A First Delicious Look

Chef Brian Lewis, one of Connecticut’s most influential chefs and celebrated for being on the cutting edge of the state’s dining scene, opened his new restaurant, The Cottage, this past weekend. It is Chef Lewis’ second Fairfield County restaurant, redesigning the space that formerly housed Le Farm into a charming 44-seat establishment in the heart of town. Known for his thoughtful and innovative dishes that garnered him accolades from The New York Times, Esquire and Connecticut Magazine, The Cottage features his highly revered seasonal American cuisine in a warm and relaxing environment.

The Cottage reflects Chef Lewis’ vision and represents his desire to produce a premier neighborhood destination serving the finest, locally sourced cuisine. The menu will be updated weekly paying homage to local farmers and artisans in the region that share Lewis’s commitment to exceptionally sourced and quality seasonal ingredients. “My wife, Dana, and I have fallen in love with Westport over the years, spending so much of our free time here with our boys, Jude and Jax. The food scene here, the community of chefs, and farmer’s market have always been a big part of my day to day life.”

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New Chef @ elm Restaurant in New Canaan: Enter Chef Luke Venner

Chef Luke Venner has been at the helm of elm Restaurant for several months and was invited to participate at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival as one of the Innovative Chefs. The two small bites that he prepared at the festival were delicious. In hopes that these were reflective of his newly revised menu, CTbites returned to the restaurant to sample other dishes on his recently introduced Autumn menu. The appetizers and entrées that we enjoyed highlighted the inherent flavors of the ingredients utilizing Chef Luke’s balanced vision and delicate touch.

We shared three dishes from the “smaller” section of the menu. 

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Mill Street Bar & Table Opens in Greenwich: Celebrating The American Bounty

The dream began in a sandbox…..where five year old Geoff Lazlo planted his first garden.

Since then, he has tended, harvested, and cooked with the likes of Alice Waters at Chez Panisse,  Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, Dan Barber at Stone Barns, and Bill Taibe at The Whelk.    

 “What a pedigree!” we said to Lazlo, now the Managing Partner and Executive Chef of the newly opened Mill Street Table and Bar in Greenwich.  “Your takeaway?”  

"That a seasonal cook has to react like a top athlete," he told us.  “Fresh ingredients are in constant motion.  Early asparagus is very different than late asparagus, so you're always adjusting to a fast, ever changing game." 

Geoff's garden isn't Madison Square, but his own herb and vegetable plots at Greenwich Community Gardens, and, of course, Back 40 Farm.  That’s the family acreage in Washington Depot run by his partners at Mill Street, Bill and Leslie King, who head up the organic-centric Back 40 Group.  

What Lazlo doesn't pick from there, he sources locally: whether it be oysters farmed off the Greenwich shore, milk, cream and butter churned at Arethusa Dairy Farm in Litchfield, even Byram River Rum, distilled down the road in Post Chester.  Mill Street represents the fulfilment of Geoff’s dream to establish his own place, an “American Restaurant,” celebrating family, community and local bounty.  

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Harvest Dinner on the Farm at The Hickories w/ Chef Tim LaBant, September 13th

With August in full swing, farmers across Connecticut are preparing for one of the most important times of year; harvest season. On September 13th, 2015 Connecticut Farmland Trust will be celebrating the bounty of the harvest at The Hickories farm in Ridgefield, Connecticut.  

Please join other local food enthusiasts from 3:00 to 7:00 PM for a locally grown dinner prepared by Chef Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale. Chef LaBant will be preparing hors d’oeuvres, a family style dinner, and dessert from farms across the state featuring produce from The Hickories farm and Sport Hill Farm, meat from Stuart Family Farm, ice cream from the Farmer’s Cow, and cheese from Beltane Farm and Cato Corner Farm.  (Ticket info here)

Wine and local beer will also be served at the event, however, attendees are also encouraged to bring their favorite beverages. Bluegrass music will be provided by Dick Neal and Friends. 

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