The Feed: Farm To Fork

Rosemary, tomato, baguette close up.

The Feed: Farm To Fork

Every Tuesday, Kevin and Jenna talk about all things food in Connecticut with Alex from CT Food Girly. With spring in full swing and all the gardens getting started it seemed like the perfect week to talk about some of the best farm to table places in the state. Alex has some yummy farm to fork style restaurants and a few that will bring the farm to you!

Farm to Fork: Restaurants

The Spread – located in the heart of historic South Norwalk, just steps away from The Maritime Aquarium. Great restaurant with farm-to-table menu, seasonal outdoor patio and rooftop dining. They have dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Everything on their dinner menu looks fresh, colorful and flavorful. I personally would go for their Massaged Kale Salad with sunflower seeds, avocado, goat cheese and house dressing or their Kobe burger with aged cheddar cheese and spicy mayo. Every Tuesday they have buck-a-shuck, where oysters are $1.00 all night long and they use local Copps Island oysters from CT.

Also in Norwalk is Sugar and Olives. They’re home to the badass bagel, which are 100% sourdough bagels, compared to the standard yeast bagel we have. You can find these bagels at many farmers markets, but you can also pre order them on their app. They’re made with their own sourdough starter, organic and non-organic bread flour and rye flour, (all non-gmo and regionally sourced or locally sourced, water, and sea salt. All their bagels are dairy free and vegan.

Another great town for farm to table is New Haven. We have Zinc, a restaurant with modern american cuisine, that really focuses on sustainable food and local market inspired meals. On their menu, one of their small plates is Liuzzi’s Ricotta Chur-Bur Cilbir (which is inspired by the Turkish dish). So they’re using locally sourced Liuzzi’s cheese, poached farm egg, drawn butter and herbs, it sounds perfect. They also have a Five Cheese platter, accompanied by seasonal fruits, local CT honey and raisin-nut bread. This is a spot I need to go check off my list.

Also in New Haven, we have Heirloom at the Study, which is located inside The Study at Yale. They offer farm and coastal cuisine, with an urban dining experience. Some of their local CT vendors are Four Mile River Farm, Sepe Farms Lamb, Calabro Cheese, Jones Apiaries, Sugar Maple Farms, and Starlight Gardens Farms. They offer a really great lunch with fresh ingredients, warm local ricotta, heirloom fries with sea salt and malt vinegar aioli, spring onion fritters, salmon tartare, lobster toast and CT oysters as well.

The last one on my list is a bit far, but well worth the drive, it’s Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam. Now this restaurant is absolutely incredible, from start to finish. We made our reservation months in advance to get a chance to dine here. Arethusa Dairy Farm is home to approximately 350 dairy cows. The milk, cream, yogurt, ice cream, butter and cheese from these cows is on showcase at the restaurant. They pride themselves on exclusively using the farm’s dairy products and for procuring only the finest products for their daily menu. Now, if you don’t want to take the drive to Bantam for the restaurant experience, you can still enjoy the products from the dairy farm, like the ice cream, which is served in New Haven at the Arethusa Farm Dairy.

Farm to Fork: Catering and Events

The Farm Belly: They used to have a food truck, which you may have seen in New Haven and surrounding towns, now they have a mobile kitchen and are able to cook onsite for many events that need catering. Everything The Farm Belly serves starts with dairy, meat and produce from a huge list of local connections all around CT.  They have established relationships with over 50 farms and consistently work with about 25 of them. This is true local, farm fresh ingredients, without the expensive food trend that many of us think comes with farm to table.

Now if you don’t want to bring the farm to your party, you can bring your party to the farm. CT offers a lot of dining on the farm experiences.

Several restaurants, such as River Tavern and Millwright’s offer special dining events that take place at local farms. Feast in the Fields is serving up six evenings of magical dinners this summer, each night with a five course menu showcasing the talents of cooks and farmers we have here in CT. They all now take place at Hunts Brook Farm in Quaker Hill, CT. There is room for 100 people per dinner and each dinner is cooked from scratch and showcases the day’s best produce. The ingredients are sourced from the farm, so each menu is different every night.

This is the perfect New England, date night, special occasion – I may have to get a ticket.

The last farm to table I have for us is hosted by the Max Restaurant group, Max Chef to Farm Events offer ever changing locations throughout the state and extraordinary menus. Coming up in June, they’re having a local sustainable seafood dinner in Simsbury at Rosedale Farms and Vineyards. They speak with the farmers, see what is at peak that day and build their menu around that day’s harvest. With these events, you get to tour the farm to see the fields, learn about the history, operations and products, and then dinner is served, which was cooked that day from scratch. The ingredients are sourced from local CT farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

Image credit: Getty Images