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.
Entries in Farm to Table (86)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.