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Holiday Catering Guide: 14 Restaurants & Traditional Caterers who do it all!

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Entries in Farm to Table (83)


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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Bailey's Backyard in Ridgefield: 2 CTbites Writers Explore Their New Summer Menu

When Sal and Forrest invite you to a summer tasting menu, you say yes first and ask questions later. That would be Sal Bagliavio, owner of Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield, and Forrest Pasternack, the restaurant’s executive chef. The two have been the creative force behind the restaurant’s New American menu since its reinvention just two years ago.

The story of Bailey’s actually goes back to 1999 when Sal, a chef himself, renovated the then coffee shop into a beloved Ridgefield restaurant that he ran for over a decade. Eager for a new chapter but happy to remain in Ridgefield, he reimagined it as a New American restaurant driven by seasonal ingredients and local purveyors in 2013. Over the past two years, Bailey’s has solidified its place in the Fairfield County dining scene thanks to the adventurous culinary spirit of Chef Pasternack and the dedication of Bagliavio.

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Back 40 Kitchen: Modern Farmhouse with Organic Mission to Open in Greenwich this July

The Back 40 Farm Group will open Back 40 Kitchen this July on Greenwich Avenue, a modern take on organic farmhouse cuisine. Back 40 Kitchen will be a haven for those seeking healthy, organic food without sacrificing sophistication. The restaurant will source the majority of its produce from Back 40 Farm, an 85-acre family-owned organically managed farm in Washington, CT, as well as other regional organic and sustainable farms and purveyors.

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Marcell Davidsen Succeeds Joel Viehland as Executive Chef of Community Table in Washington, CT

Photo c/o Community Table

Marcell Davidsen will succeed Joel Viehland as Executive Chef of Community Table in Washington, CT beginning May 15. The restaurant shared the news of Davidsen's appointment in an announcement released this evening. A native of Denmark whose style is infused with Nordic infuences and exquisite plating, Davidsen was the restaurant's fomer sous chef under Viehland. Community Table's mission – celebrating modern cuisine informed by local farms and purveyors – will remain the overarching framework under Chef's Davidsen's leadership:

From Community Table:

Marcell Davidsen succeeds Joel Viehland as Executive Chef of Community Table After five remarkable years, and much national recognition including a nomination for best new restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation and best chef nominations by Food and Wine Magazine and James Beard, Joel Viehland passes the reins to his former Sous Chef Marcell Davidsen.

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Baldanza in New Canaan: Organic and Flavorful

Tucked in the rear of a charming passageway on Elm Street in New Canaan is Baldanza Natural Market Cafe. With a large and diverse organic menu, and a blackboard filled with the names of local purveyors, this small restaurant is fast becoming a local favorite. Owners Sandy and Angela Baldanza opened the café last year serving lunches and an occasional ‘pop up dinner’. Baldanza recently expanded the hours to include regular dinner service and partnered with Chef Kender Urena, who many will remember as the Chef /Owner of Bistro Bonne Nuit. Urena was awarded a Grand Diploma in Culinary Art with outstanding honors from the French Culinary Institute in NYC and was one of Bon Appétit Magazine Top 100 Chefs in America in 2007.

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Outstanding In The Field Tickets Go On Sale Friday March 20th

Mark your calendars. On Wednesday, March 20th, the first day of spring, tickets will go on sale for the 2015 season of Outstanding In The Field. Buy tickets here and do it fast! These go quickly. 

CT will host 3 events this year. The Hickories will host Chef Jennifer Balin of Sugar & Olives on Sept. 8th as well as Chefs Holly Michaud & Scott Ostrander of Mama’s Boy on Sept. 9th. Day 3 will be at Waldingfield Farm with Jason Sobocinski of Casseus Fromagerie & Bistro. 

"Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls." Their mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it. The other meaning of Outstanding in the Field is outstanding as in the best. 

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Restaurant Re-Boot: Bistro 7 In Wilton CT 

Seven is Breno Donatti’s lucky number.    His restaurant, “ Bistro 7”  is located on Highway 7 in Wilton.  “Seven is God's favorite number,” he told us, “And I also got the inspiration for Bistro 7 in the 7th district of Paris in a place called ‘Cafe Central.’”

Well, hopefully we won’t jinx anything by dubbing his re-programed farm–to-fork café in Wilton as  “Bistro 7.1.”   

With a new chef, sous chef, general manager, and a reimagined food and beverage menu,  Donatti has updated his operating system, and from what we tasted at a recent Grand Reopening,  the app is not just new, but vastly improved: less complicated and well-priced.

We began with a Roasted Root Veggie Bisque, blended with slow cooked carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potato, root spices, and garnished with a bacon chip.   Breno claims it’s even better than his award winning Butternut Squash Bisque and we don’t disagree.

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Dan Barber Talks on How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement

Photo: Food 52

In a recent interview with Yale's Environment 360, Dan Barber dsicussed the failure of the farm-to-table movement to support sustainable agriculture on a large scale. He tasked "the table that must support the farm, not the other way around."  For the full interview and to listen to the podcast, visit Environment 360.

But I went to Klaas’s farm [in upstate New York] to learn this recipe of wheat and I was standing in the middle of a field and all of a sudden discovered that he was growing very little wheat, and that instead he was growing a whole suite of lowly grains like millet and buckwheat and barley, and leguminous crops like Austrian winter peas and kidney beans. He was growing a lot of cover crops like vetch and clover.

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