If you were fortunate enough to try Geoff Lazlo’s food at Mill Street Bar & Table—or at The Whelk and LeFarm prior to that—you know to expect fresh, seasonal food from the restaurant chef turned private chef and caterer. With his latest endeavor, Geoff Lazlo Food, he’s popping up at venues all over Fairfield County and beyond. These days you’ll catch Lazlo flashing his skills at places that practice and preach sustainability like Mike’s Organic Delivery, The Hickories, Millstone Farm, and he even returned to cook at one of Gramercy Tavern’s 25th anniversary alumni nights where he was a sous chef for four years.
We caught up with Lazlo at a September dinner held at the 61-year-old Greenwich Botanical Center, a non-profit that promotes horticulture and sustainable practices via educational programs and special events, where he prepared a meal using locally grown ingredients, some of which were harvested at the GBC.
The evening at the GBC kicked off with a Gin & Juice welcome cocktail made from pulpy redheart plums, Bombay Sapphire, mint, lime, agave, and club soda. The social hour on the lawn paired with small bites of baby zucchini wrapped in prosciutto, grilled lamb merguez sausage and Dijon sauce, and cherry tomato and mozzarella skewers. The bites and booze were followed by a brief greenhouse tour to educate attendees about what is grown on the property and crash course in the GBC’s rich history.
From there, we were whisked away to a patio area with tables accented by hydrangeas and a vibrant first course with a late summer vegetable salad consisting of cherry tomatoes, grilled gold bar squash, nectarines, tomato vinaigrette, and a lusciously smooth zucchini purée.
The main course that followed was served “dig in” style. A tray of roasted eggplant with figs and tahini yogurt dressing came out along with an addicting bowl of grilled corn salad with blistered tomatoes, romano beans, and shiso that made for a minty pop. As guests shoveled veggies on their plates, out came multiple dishes of slow smoked and shredded pork shoulder, a perfectly fatty compliment to all the fresh vegetables, but balanced by a bright, acidic salsa verde.
We (sort of) wrapped up with a light brown butter lemon cake with grilled nectarines, dollops of whipped cream, and a contrasting basil-honey glaze.
The “sort of” part? We all stayed way after our meal ended, not only to enjoy the bring your own booze perk, but to chat with other dinner guests and make new connections over shared bottles.