Arethusa Al Tavolo
Partners in business and life, George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis of Manolo Blahnik shoes fame bought a farm near their home in Litchfield, Conn. Over the course of the next decade, the dairy and vat-pasteurized milk business prospered, in 2012 expanding into a creamery and retail space housed in the Bantam firehouse. Apparently the stylish team likes to keep busy, and a restaurant and wine bar opened the following year, located next to what once was the Village General Store. Chef Dan Magill inventively showcases both produce and protein, and brilliantly utilizes the incredible resource that is Arethusa’s dairy goods. Milk products pop up frequently and in the most delectable of ways, starting with a bite-sized cheese curd arancini as amuse bouche and an appetizer special of thin flatbread with truffled ricotta and farm cheese, foraged mushrooms and caramelized onions, a wonder of flavors. Other “Beginnings” of note are local squash blossoms in a delicate tempura crust and filled with romesco and farmer’s cheese. Served with ratatouille, basil aioli and tomato jam ($16), a salad is something we recommend you do not forego here. For those looking for a bit more heft, a long-running favorite is the quartet of Arethusa Farm deviled eggs incorporating surprising complements such as foie gras, smoked potato-bacon and jumbo lump crab. Mains include dishes such as braised artichoke filled with matignon and foraged mushrooms ($17) and Pekin – no g – duck breast with farro ($32) and the pan-seared diver scallops with broccoli, bacon, almonds, sultanas and verjus nage. Pastry Chef James Arena keeps you in a party mood with decadent treats like peaches ‘n’ cream tres leche and a chocolate tasting of a mocha hazelnut brownie “ice cream bar,” malted milk chocolate Luxardo cherry trifle and a warm chocolate beignet with Valhona chocolate sauce, all priced at $12. Read full review here. 828 Bantam Road, Bantam, CT (860) 567-0043 Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner Wednesday and Thursday 5:30-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday 5-8:30 p.m.
Restaurant URL: http://www.arethusaaltavolo.com/#top
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