This post was contributed by guest blogger, Margie Treisman.
Chef Robert Ubaldo’s small, rustic and cozy restaurant is already known for it’s delicious farm-to-table food. But it deserves special recognition as a haven for Kosher Keepers (who eat veg) and vegetarian foodies in Fairfield County.
Yes, Farmer’s Table, in New Canaan, CT, offers a full vegetarian menu at lunch and dinner. This alone merits a shout out.
What’s more, the choices are both plentiful and delicious. With vegetables sourced from Ubaldo’s own Pound Ridge garden or his brother’s upstate New York farm, John Boy, the vegetarian offerings are fresh, vibrant and bursting with flavor. On top of that, this chef bakes his own bread in house daily, as well as three homemade dessert offerings (but more on that later).
The service is as accommodating as the menu. Chef’s wife, Lucia, knowledgeably and efficiently served all five of the restaurant’s occupied tables, while patiently answering our questions and modifying portions to accommodate our group.
The interior is simply appointed, with bowls of drying herbs and garlic resting in an otherwise unused, open front cooling unit. The focus is clearly on farm fresh ingredients.
The fresh, homemade bread arrived with three dipping choices: Butter, olive oil and a truly memorable pesto. Today’s bread, country white (they change daily), was dense and delicious, with a perfectly chewy crust. Dipped in the fresh green pesto, it was impossible to resist.
There are plenty of salad options on the vegetarian menu. They all start with a bed of fresh lettuces, tasting straight from the garden. The Beet Salad added toasted walnuts, goat cheese and beets tossed with herbs and a fresh citrus vinaigrette (more on that – and the vinaigrette recipe – later, too). Though beet salads are ubiquitous these days, this one had a lively citrus/beet flavor.
The Lentil Quinoa Salad featured a mix of quinoa and baby lentils on top of the same lettuce, surrounded by colorful chopped tomatoes and avocado. A light balsamic vinaigrette added flavor without overpowering the fresh vegetables. The quinoa/lentil combination, though simple, was a satisfying, clean-tasting protein. This salad was a big hit at our table (quinoa-lovers all) — and will only get better as we hit the height of tomato season.
The Garden Vegetable Salad was, exactly as the name suggests, a mound of fresh vegetables on top of the greens, tossed with the same mouth-watering citrus vinaigrette that dressed the Beet Salad. Grilled squash, zucchini and asparagus were mixed with lightly steamed carrots, string beans and broccoli. It was – like all the salads we sampled – clean, simple, and delicious.
Heartier fare is also available. We tried the vegetable tacos (served 3 to an order), grilled flour tortillas filled with many of the same vegetables – sautéed broccoli, carrots, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and garlic, plus lentils, lettuce and tomato. We particularly enjoyed the tasty layer of guacamole under the generous vegetable filling.
Many of the same vegetable friends made an appearance in an Asian-style stir-fry accompanying the pan-seared tofu. Even the non-tofu eater at our table admitted to liking this tofu. A five-spiced, well-seared exterior encased a soft, airy, almost creamy center. The tofu cubes and vegetables were served with a toothy, satisfying mix of grains. Though the mix of grains changes daily, today’s included short grain brown rice, Himalayan red rice and couscous.
As mentioned earlier, Chef Ubaldo bakes his own desserts (he usually offers three), so naturally we had to try one. The gluten-free flourless chocolate cake was everything a flourless chocolate cake should be — creamy, rich and full of deep chocolate flavor. Decadent and delicious, to be sure, but – hey – we’d certainly eaten all our veggies!
“Farmer’s Table” is aptly named – a cozy spot for vegetarian and kosher-friendly foodies – and anyone who loves fresh, local, seasonal vegetables, skillfully and thoughtfully prepared.
Welcome to guest contributor, Margie Treisman!
Margie is a former intellectual property and advertising lawyer who now uses her years of legal training as an avid eater and food blogger, pursuing justice for good farm-to-table eats in Fairfield County. She’s also an arts and community board member, fledgling fiction writer and mother of three girls.
Chef Ubaldo's note: Use good quality, big, smooth-skinned "Persian" limes.
- 3 cups canola oil
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lime* juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Put all ingredients in blender. While blending, add canola oil until emulsified