When you walk into Farmer’s Table on 21 Forest Street in New Canaan, it doesn’t look like much… and I kinda like it that way. An open kitchen, butcher block style tables with flickering candles, and even a refrigerated case makes you wonder: is it a market? A cafe? A fine-dining establishment? Well, the answer is sort of all of the above. And, being a design minimalist, I can appreciate that ambiguity.
Upon arriving we were immediately greeted by co-owner Lucia. And what a gracious host she was. Warm and incredibly friendly, Lucia introduced us to her partner, Robert Ublaldo, former chef at Tequila Mockingbird, and told us all about their restaurant, and more importantly, the story of their ingredients. Man, I love it when food comes with a story, don’t you?
As farm-to-table obviously implies, much of the ingredients are hand-delivered fresh that week, even that day. Most of the vegetables come from Robert’s very own farm in Pound Ridge and many of the meats (notably, the Berkshire pigs) come from his brother, John Ublaldo’s farm, John Boy’s Farm, in Cambridge, NY. And, of course, because they aim to source as many of their ingredients as possible from area farms, their menu has been known to change on a whim. So what you see here today, may not be there tomorrow. Ooo, I love surprises!
The menu is small, with no specific type of food dominating. Despite the limited selection, Danny and I had a very hard time choosing between the pork tacos, chicken quesadillas, angus burger, and duck, which all had a very unique twist or two to them. Ultimately, I landed on the angus burger and Danny, the pork tacos (after a VERY strong recommendation from Amy, our super-friendly waitress).
Before we dove into the main course however, we were given a sample of their “famous” butternut squash soup. We both thoroughly enjoyed the soup’s warm undertones of brown sugar and honey with a punch of spiciness from the nutmeg. Next up was some soft and gooey freshly-baked bread made by Robert himself just minutes before. And lastly, before the feature presentation, a deliciously fresh mixed greens salad topped with beets, tomatoes, walnuts, and my favorite food in the whole world, goat cheese. Not too much of any thing, nor to little, it was the perfect salad. Now, onto the main course. My angus burger was very fresh, perfectly cooked, and topped with incredibly smooth and sharp Vermont Cheddar cheese, between what seemed to be freshly-baked buns. My only disappointment was that I think the burger could have been more seasoned… actually, it didn’t seem seasoned at all which made what could’ve been the perfect burger, quite bland.
But fret not, because any disappointment the burger brought was completely canceled by trying Danny’s pork tacos. The soft tacos featured fantastically seasoned braised Berkshire pork that melted in my mouth, plump and juicy red and yellow tomatoes, perfectly ripened avocados, lettuce, a twist of lime, and a chipotle sauce on the side that delivered the perfect kick of spice. FANTASTIC! To end the meal, we shared a piece of homemade pumpkin pie that could’ve used a few more spices, but was very creamy and smooth, topped with fresh-made whipped cream, served with just ground and brewed coffee.
The combination of almost perfect food, attentive, kind, and welcoming service, much lower than expected prices, and a quaint atmosphere add up to a total score of 3.75 noms. Juuuuust shy of a 4, but with definite potential to be a 4 or higher as they grow and change their menu.
Note: If you’re dining-in, don’t forget to BYOB, there’s a $10 corking fee. We enjoyed a nice bottle of Foxglove 2007 Zinfandel from Paso Robles. The fruitiness from the dark berries, the kick of herbs, and peppery finish made it the perfect complement to our entire meal.
Cost: $$Farmer’s Table Address: 21 Forest Street
New Canaan, CT 06840-4702
Phone: (203) 594-7890