Tag Archives: Modern American

In Bloom: A Review of Chef Pasternack’s Spring Menu @ Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield

13 May
The back room at Bailey's Backyard also opens up to the outside for warmer weather...

The back room at Bailey’s Backyard also opens up to the outside for warmer weather…

It’s been a year since Sal Bagliavio and Executive Chef Forrest Pasternack worked together tirelessly to give Bailey’s Backyard a new vibe, a new focus on local food, and a new soul.  When we went for a pre-opening dinner back in April 2013, we were excited to see what Chef Pasternack was up to since he left Morello Bistro in Greenwich, where we first met him.  Our experience was amazing and we came back lots of times alone and with friends and family.  We came with our buddies Renato and Alicia, Jay and Ali, and even Kristien’s parents…closing the place down each time.  We even sent friends and colleagues, like Ashley and Rudy, Kristien’s hairdresser Ashley, Fran, Kelley & Mike, and many more… all who reported back with RAVE reviews. So, we couldn’t say no when we were invited back for a special writer’s dinner to introduce us to the spring drink and food menu, using local, in season ingredients.

Lucky us got the chance to literally taste almost the entire menu, and lucky you, we’re going to share all the juicy details!  Let’s take each dish in order of menu headings. Here we go…

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Crafting Modern American Dining at Artisan in Southport, CT

6 May

People throw around big words all the time, so much so that they begin to lose their meaning. Foodie, farm to table, organic, handmade, and artisan (to name a few). It’s not that we hate these words or what they stand for, but take artisan for example…brands like Lays hijacked the word and weakened the cache it carries with machine-created artisi-ficial products. With that being said, there’s a restaurant set away in the Delamar Hotel called Artisan that actually lives up to its name.

In style, it’s sleek, modern, and comfortable, while the food is American at heart, though it is inspired and influenced by a classically trained French chef, Frederic Kieffer. Along with working at various restaurants in Paris, he has also worked at Windows on the World, C’est si Bon, Gaia, and l’escale, Artisan’s sister restaurant. And, you can add another feather to his cap:  gardener.  That’s because he manages, grows, and helps to pick herbs in the Artisan patio garden.  Rosemary, Genovese Basil, Sweet Thai Basil, chives, lemongrass, parsley, Italian Parsley, and other herbs are all at Chef Kieffer‘s disposal throughout the summer and fall.  And, because there isn’t an infinite amount of space at Artisan and the Delmar, they get a big portion of local produce from Gilberties Farm in Westport, even planting some of their own veggies and herbs there.  Now that is artisan:  cultivating and creating beautifully finished products by hand.

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