Today we were thrilled to be cooking at the Chef & Farmer Brunch to benefit the North East Community Center (NECC) in their 25th year. The NECC is a tremendous community resource which, among many other important programs, sponsors the Millerton Farmers Market and runs the totally awesome Summer Lunch Box which provides free meals to kids under 18. We made a sweet onion and chive biscuit with chorizo gravy and a fried quail egg. Oh, and since it was brunch--bloody marys.
Both Annie and Paul are vigilant about not wasting anything that we bring into the kitchen. Today, in their #wasteless series epicurious talked to Annie about cooking the whole vegetable, from stem to core. In the article Annie talks about learning to cook without waste early on. "My grandmother, who was born during the first war and raised kids during the second, taught me to cook....Pie crust trimmings were made into small pastries, vegetable trimmings were turned into stock. Today, I have two additional reasons to get the most out of what I buy - my kids. Finally, I understand my grandmother!"
What a morning! Today we heard that Bon Appetit listed our Dining Room as one of America's Best New Restaurants! Their list of 50 included only one restaurant in Connecticut and only four in all of New England. We couldn't be more honored.
We are excited to be taking part in the Chef & Farmer Brunch, to benefit the terrific North East Community Center, in nearby Millerton, NY. Along with other great area restaurants we will be working with local farmers to turn their donated produce into terrific tasting dishes. Oh, and there will be spirits, wine and beer from local microbreweries and distilleries. Come and enjoy some great food and drinks, all for a terrific cause.
Best Made is a company that we love. It was founded in 2009 making only one product, an axe. Today they still make beautiful axes, but have expanded their line of products (some of which they make, some of which they partner to make and some of which are made by others) to include knives, clothing, outdoor gear as well as books and home goods. In addition to their products we love their spirit: they encourage people to get outside, use their hands and have great experiences. To help with that they also conduct workshops. And we are pleased that we will be the venue for their first Axe Summit. This summit is a chance to learn more about the history and preservation of the axe, and share camaraderie with other axe enthusiasts, collectors, and restorers. This summit will feature historical perspectives of the axe, its manufacture, and origins on the east coast of America. The afternoon session will provide a hands-on workshop on restoring and returning axes to use, thus ensuring their use and utility for years to come. Participants are encouraged to bring their own axes to add to the discussion or for a full restoration consultation. Registration for the Axe Summit can be found here.
If you can't beat the snow, you might as well join it! The silver lining of all the snow has been incredible skiing at the three ski resorts that are within 25 minutes of The White Hart: Butternut, Mohawk and Catamount. When we haven't been working we've been enjoying the snow, mostly with our kids. We couldn't believe that it snowed again today but it sure did make the skiing nice.
Edsel Ford once owned The White Hart. As the story goes Edsel (who went to Hotchkiss) bought the inn in the 1930's when his children were attending the school. Our understanding was that he bought it to guarantee that he would have a nice place to stay when visiting the area. We were reminded of this piece of The White Hart's History when Jennifer Ganem wrote to us. Jennifer wrote a book, Dearborn Inn, about the history of another inn that the Ford family owned, the Dearborn Inn in Michigan. Until Jennifer wrote to us we hadn't realized that Ford had an interest in inns beyond just wanting a nice place to stay in Salisbury. There is an interview with Jennifer on Kiwanitalk, a cable TV show produced by the Kiwanis Club of Dearborn where she mentions The White Hart at the 19:00 and 27:30 marks.
We almost always have at least one dish for two on the Dining Room menu. We love everything about a dish for two: the spirit of sharing, heartiness, and the chance to show off larger cuts or whole animals. Few things are as comforting as a roast chicken. Here is ours, which we made with a D'Artagnan chicken that the New York Times called "the most pampered chickens on the planet." That's because they are fed on the scraps from some very elegant restaurants.
Here's a glimpse of the agnolotti, just after they were filled and folded. You can see the care that Paul put into each of these. The filling is smoked goat cheese and they are served in a white bean and rosemary broth
We are getting ready to open the Dining Room by having a few pre-opening dinners. This is the makings of prime rib for two. It will be served with steak fries big enough to stand up to hold their ground beside these cuts! We've got a few spots left if you would like to try these (or any of our other dishes) out tomorrow.
Those of you who were anywhere near the area today know that it was an incredible day and unseasonably warm. The Appalachian Trail is a stone's throw away and we took advantage of the weather to take a short hike (in shorts!) up to the AT and up to Bear Mountain, the highest peak in CT.
This is venison that we are putting aside to age for a few weeks. It will be on our Christmas menu, served with parsnips and wild mushrooms. The venison comes from Millbrook, which is a few towns over.
A good bar needs snacks and although we love our regular snacks we also have fun putting together "snack specials." This week we did house-made crispy pork rinds with onion and creme fraiche dip. We think that goes pretty well with one of our local craft beers on tap!
Even Santa missed The White Hart! In honor of our first Christmas back up and running the Tri-State Chamber of Commerce helped bring Santa back to The White Hart with the Salisbury Band and Michael Brown leading caroling on the green following the tree lighting. It was cold but it was great to bring back the tradition.
We almost always (probably always, always) have a sandwich special for lunch. Today and tomorrow it is this shrimp po boy with chips. It looks pretty good with that beer.