Storming Palace

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Chefs want to work with the

freshest and best ingredients...

Adopting a very European

approach, some may

even start their own gardens,

like Debbie Lepri shown

in her garden behind

Trattoria da Lepri in Ellington

and with the resulting salad.

(photo: Ellis Parker)

(photo: Ellis Parker)

Jonathan Rapp,

owner of River Tavern in Chester,

started a trend in 2007 when he bought an old, fire engine-red truck and

turned it into a mobile kitchen where he prepared dinners served in the

fields of local farms.

More and more chefs are buying into the farm-to-table movement

and featuring locally-grown foods on their daily menus. The bounty

doesn’t end with fruits and vegetables, however. Meat and poultry, fish

and seafood, dairy products and artisan cheeses, and specialty ingredients

such as dried beans, cornmeal, flours and prepared foods are available

from local farms and food producers.

The following is a list of some restaurants that incorporate local

ingredients into their menus and promote the use of local foods. Some

of these restaurants also sponsor harvest dinners at the farms they

support with their business. For more information about the Farm-to-

Chef Program and the CT Farm-to-Chef Week when restaurants and

food service operations offer special menus of locally-sourced foods,

visit www.ctfarmtochef.com or the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/

CTFarmtoChef/.

Dinners at the Farm are hosted by River Tavern of Chester.

An orchard fruit cocktail and hors d’oeuvre plus a tour precede a

multi-course dinner served al fresco. White Gate Farm in East Lyme

and Barberry Hill Farm in Madison, which supply ingredients to the

restaurant for its regular menu, provide the setting. Information:

www.dinnersatthefarm.com.

www.hoffmanauto.com

Fall Harvest Farm Dinner, hosted by Vito’s Restaurant Group, South

Windsor. Rob Maffucci, owner of Vito’s by the Park in Hartford, Vito’s

by the Water in Windsor and Vito’s Pizzeria in Wethersfield, prepares a

five-course meal on his family’s farm. Information: vitosct.com.

Max Restaurant Group chef Scott Miller oversees a series of farm

dinners from spring to fall at local farms. The evening begins with a

wine or beer tasting, depending on the menu and theme, and a farm

tour followed by a meal inspired by the day’s harvest. Information: www.

maxcheftofarm.com.

Firebox Restaurant, Hartford. The farm-to-table philosophy

is “at the core of who we are,” says this city restaurant’s website. The

kitchen incorporates local produce, meat, honey, cheese and seafood

into its menu and daily specials. Firebox’s kitchen staff buy ingredients

from multiple farms in Connecticut, including the inner-city garden at

Billings Forge, just steps away from the restaurant. Information: www.

fireboxrestaurant.com.

Zinc, New Haven. Chef and co-owner Denise Appel buys from

local farmers and scouts the CitySeed Farmers’ Market to create menus,

including the multi-course Market Menu offered June through October.

Information: www.zincfood.com.

Millwrights Restaurant, Simsbury. Chef-owner Tyler Anderson

uses locally or regionally grown ingredients whenever possible to

create his “inspired New England cuisine.” Information: www.

millwrightsrestaurant.com.

Metro Bis, Simsbury. Depending on the season, up to 90 percent

of the produce delivered to the bistro’s kitchen is raised and harvested

on local farms. Chef-owner Christopher Prosperi’s menus, including the

monthly cookbook author/wine dinner series, reflect his collaboration

with local farmers. Information: www.metrobis.com.

Hoffman Decades ///19

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