We’ve all been there. You’ve been at a restaurant and the menu blasts in big bold letters: Farm to Table. But, you look and look and you don’t see which farms they get their produce from or where their meat is supplied from. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that there aren’t Farm to Table restaurants, but we’re just saying that real, true, honest, down to earth Farm to Table spots are much tougher to come by. Well, that’s changing with the opening of Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich on July 6.
This reimagined restaurant at 107 Greenwich Avenue builds off the success of Organic Planet which occupied that spot and was a hidden gem. But, we have a feeling that Back 40 Kitchen won’t be as hidden as they have lots of great things working for them:
You’re only as good as your ingredients
Back 40 Kitchen will be sourcing a large percentage of their produce from their own private farm: Back 40 Farm in Washington, CT. This will help them to keep the menu fresh, vibrant, and seasonal, but also grounds it locally. In addition, they’ll be sourcing other vegetables, cheeses, and meats from other local purveyors such as Fleisher’s Meats in Westport (they’ll be in Greenwich soon, too), Dancing Dog Farm in Ridgefield, Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grove, Gaia’s Breath Farm in Jordanville, Cato Corner in Colchester, Beltane Farm in Lebanon, and Red Bee Honey in Weston.
. . . and you’re even better with an innovative chef
Now, you can can have the best and freshest ingredients, but it’s kind of a moot point without a chef who can bring out the inherent goodness of those ingredients. That’s where Chef George DeMarsico comes in. In a recent press release he shared, “My approach is to take things that are perfect to begin with and make them shine. Everything I do is very technique-driven, given my fine dining background. Back 40 will be all about simple food, very well executed.” Before this, Chef DeMarsico was Executive Chef at the ever-popular and much-lauded X20/Xavier’s in NY.
In terms of the menu that Chef has prepared, it’s diverse and will hit all the sweet spots for whatever you like or whatever your diet is. As of now, the menu is divided up into Snacks, Toasts, Flatbreads, Soups, Salads, Small Plates, Entrees, Sides, and Dessert. Some of the dishes that we’re ready to dive into is Back 40 Pickle Jar, Green Eggs and Crispy Ham, Lobster/Avocado/Cilantro Toast, Mushroom/Goat Cheese/Garlic Flatbread, a refreshing Cashew/Cucumber Gazpacho, Burnt Ends with Stone Fruit and Piccalilli, the Back 40 Burger on Brioche with Bacon, Cheddar, and Popcorn, and a richly decadent Goat Cheese Stone Ground Polenta. In addition, Back 40 will feature a carefully orchestrated selection of organic and non-GMO wines and spirits. Oh, and speaking of spirits, those cocktails have been crafted by Beverage Director Michael Galluccio who used to be at Chef Jean-Georges’ Inn at Pound Ridge.
Rustic at-farm feel atmosphere
Since the closing of Organic Planet for renovations, owners Lesley and Bill King, the team at Back 40 Kitchen have made some noticeable changes. When you step into B4K, you’ll notice a barn-like feeling with almost a completely new second floor dining room. They have put in reclaimed wood, a wall-mounted herb garden for kitchen use, and a beautiful cupola to top it all off.
A quartet of awesomeness: Back 40 Farm Group
Lesley and Bill King own Back 40 Mercantile in Old Greenwich, a nice little spot that carries lots of local and crafty goods as well as some carefully chosen snacks, treats, and food items. Dan recently visited to check out the spot and to also meet with Christy and Tracey for The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook signing. The store is charming and was very busy, especially for a random weekday at 4. You’ll soon see more Back 40 Kitchen meals and snacks for sale there as they get closer to opening.
And, when Back 40 Kitchen opens, they’ll be using all those beautiful, fresh fruits and veggies from the farm. But, that farm is going to be on double duty starting in August as Mill Street Bar & Table Restaurant opens. Located in the Byram area of Greenwich (right around the corner from Burgers, Shakes, and Fries), Mill Street will be another culinary force to be reckoned with Chef Geoff Lazlo at the helm. That name should be familiar because he was the Executive Chef at The Whelk in Westport.
These two openings are not only great for people who live in Greenwich, but for everyone in the surrounding areas who are in search for that honest Farm to Table experience. Needless to say, we’re really excited for both restaurants to open . . . especially because Back 40 is just 5 minutes away and Chef Lazlo’s spot is just 2 minutes away.
Oh, this is gonna be trouble.
Back 40 Kitchen
107 Greenwich Avenue (parking & entrance in rear)
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner; Monday for lunch