Edible Nutmeg Spring 2010 : Page 10

ROADSIDE DIARIES COMMUNITY TABLE A place to gather and enjoy by mary e. adams Joel Viehland A 21st-century interpretation of a family-style restaurant is com- ing to the former Thomas Moran’s on Route 202 in the Woodville hamlet of Washington. The revival will combine the fresh culinary expertise of Chef Joel Viehland with the sustainable design aesthetic of Peter Talbot Architects of Washington. A 10-and-a-half-foot black walnut table is the centerpiece of the restaurant. It was hewn from a 200-year-old tree that was felled in Kent 30 years ago. Alfred Brown, a furniture maker in nearby War- ren, had been saving the boards for something special when Talbot contacted him. The table will accommodate 12 friends, neighbors, or strangers who wish to break bread together. For those not so in- clined, nine smaller tables of black walnut culled from the property are also being made by Brown and will provide the balance of seating for 34. Chef Viehland, at age 33, brings with him impressive credentials from New Orleans, New York, and Copenhagen. A graduate of John- son and Wales University in Rhode Island, Viehland has been sous- chef at top New Orleans restaurants like Donald Link’sHerbsaint, as well as at the Gramercy Tavern and the former Quilty’s in New York, where he worked with Katy Sparks. He was chef de partie at NOMA in Copenhagen, a Michelin 2-star restaurant that ranked third in the world in the 2009 San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. 10 SPRING 2010 The goal of the restaurant is to serve the community, all of it, so Peter Talbot was a fortuitous choice of architects. He remembers fondly that when he was a boy, the building housed a favorite family eatery called Eric the Chef. For many years after that it was Le Bon Coin before becoming home to Thomas Moran’s Petit Syrah. There were loyal patrons of all these incarnations. Joel wants to attract a broader clientele with the freshest locally sourced ingredients prepared in a creatively pure and natural way. To accomplish this he has been touring farms and forming working rela- tionships with farmers, foragers, and artisanal producers. Renovation is nearing completion. The restaurant will open in late May for din- ner, adding a light breakfast sometime in June. It will be open Thurs- day through Monday. The website is under construction. Please visit in early May for more details on Community Table. Community Table 223 Litchfield Turnpike (Rte. 202), Washington 860.868.9354 www.communitytablect.com Opening in late May EDIBLE NUTMEG Photograph: Robert Lockhart

Roadside Diaries

Mary E. Adams

Community Table<br /> <br /> A place to gather and enjoy<br /> <br /> A 21st-century interpretation of a family-style restaurant is coming to the former Thomas Moran's on Route 202 in the Woodville hamlet of Washington. The revival will combine the fresh culinary expertise of Chef Joel Viehland with the sustainable design aesthetic of Peter Talbot Architects of Washington.<br /> <br /> A 10-and-a-half-foot black walnut table is the centerpiece of the restaurant. It was hewn from a 200-year-old tree that was felled in Kent 30 years ago. Alfred Brown, a furniture maker in nearby Warren, had been saving the boards for something special when Talbot contacted him. The table will accommodate 12 friends, neighbors, or strangers who wish to break bread together. For those not so inclined, nine smaller tables of black walnut culled from the property are also being made by Brown and will provide the balance of seating for 34.<br /> <br /> Chef Viehland, at age 33, brings with him impressive credentials from New Orleans, New York, and Copenhagen. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, Viehland has been souschef at top New Orleans restaurants like Donald Link's Herbsaint, as well as at the Gramercy Tavern and the former Quilty's in New York, where he worked with Katy Sparks. He was chef de partie at NOMA in Copenhagen, a Michelin 2-star restaurant that ranked third in the world in the 2009 San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants list.<br /> <br /> The goal of the restaurant is to serve the community, all of it, so Peter Talbot was a fortuitous choice of architects. He remembers fondly that when he was a boy, the building housed a favorite family eatery called Eric the Chef. For many years after that it was Le Bon Coin before becoming home to Thomas Moran's Petit Syrah. There were loyal patrons of all these incarnations.<br /> <br /> Joel wants to attract a broader clientele with the freshest locally sourced ingredients prepared in a creatively pure and natural way. To accomplish this he has been touring farms and forming working relationships with farmers, foragers, and artisanal producers. Renovation is nearing completion. The restaurant will open in late May for dinner, adding a light breakfast sometime in June. It will be open Thursday through Monday. The website is under construction. Please visit in early May for more details on Community Table.<br /> <br /> Community Table<br /> <br /> 223 Litchfield Turnpike (Rte. 202), Washington<br /> <br /> 860.868.9354<br /> <br /> www.communitytablect.com<br /> <br /> Opening in late May<br /> <br /> CHERRY PRESERVES WITH ALMOND AND GINGER<br /> <br /> Courtesy of Joel Viehland, Community Table, Washington<br /> <br /> 4 1/2 cups sweet cherries<br /> <br /> 1/4 cup water<br /> <br /> 3/4 cup almond liqueur<br /> <br /> 2 slices ginger 1/2-inch thick<br /> <br /> 3 tablespoons lemon juice<br /> <br /> 1 package Sure-Jell fruit pectin<br /> <br /> 4 1/2 cups sugar<br /> <br /> 6 small half-pint canning jars with lids (sterilize in boiling water before starting)<br /> <br /> Pit and chop cherries. Combine cherries, water, almond liqueur, ginger, and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Stir in Sure-Jell. Bring to a rolling boil. Add sugar and return to a rolling boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes or until cherries break down completely, stirring constantly. Add water if it becomes too thick. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Pour hot mixture into hot jars, leaving quarter-inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 6 half-pints.<br /> <br /> ROASTED AND RAW SALAD OF SPRING VEGETABLES<br /> <br /> WITH A MINT-GINGER, BROWN-BUTTER VINAIGRETTE<br /> <br /> Courtesy Joel Viehland, Community Table, Washington<br /> <br /> I like to make this salad for lunch but I don't always have time to wait for the vegetables to roast, so I often do that the night before. Every week at Community Table, we will have a vegetable-inspired dish on the menu. It may not be completely vegetarian but its focus will be extremely fresh vegetables from local farms.<br /> <br /> For this recipe I recommend using a Japanese mandoline or hand-held food-slicing tool to make thin and uniform slices of the vegetables and maintain a semblance of their original form. I think the elements of a meal look more beautiful when they are prepared and plated to look as natural as possible, not overly contrived or altered too much.<br /> <br /> Note: This recipe serves 1. It may sound like a lot of work for just one salad, but when you get the hang of it, you can make this dish in less than 20 minutes if you roast the vegetables the night before. You could also add your favorite cheese to the salad. You can double, triple, or quadruple this recipe and cook for your friends. –JV<br /> <br /> 2 small beets<br /> <br /> 2 baby carrots<br /> <br /> 1 baby fennel or a quarter of a normal head of fennel–save some of the feathery part from the top<br /> <br /> 4 fiddlehead ferns or asparagus<br /> <br /> 2 small turnips<br /> <br /> 2 ramps<br /> <br /> Half a handful of either arugula or kale or any of your favorite spring greens<br /> <br /> 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil<br /> <br /> Salt and pepper<br /> <br /> Preheat oven to 425°.<br /> <br /> Take one of your beets with the skin on and season it with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper and wrap it in aluminum foil, just enough so that it is completely encased. Roast it in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until it is tender enough to give no resistance when pricked with a fork.<br /> <br /> While the beet is in the oven, quarter one of the turnips with a knife and cut two of the asparagus spears (or fiddleheads) into three or four even pieces. Drizzle them with a healthy teaspoon of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.<br /> <br /> Place the pieces of turnip and asparagus on a small baking pan and roast in the oven, turning them after 5 minutes so they roast evenly. They should take about 10–12 minutes to be a nice roasted color.<br /> <br /> When the turnip and asparagus have about two minutes left, add the ramps and continue roasting until fork tender.<br /> <br /> Slice the fennel and carrots with a vegetable slicer as thinly as possible. Watch your fingers: the carrots are small so you want to go slowly and take the necessary precautions. Next, peel the remaining raw beet with a vegetable peeler and slice paper-thin slices with the vegetable slicer. (I slice raw beets onto a paper towel to keep them from staining a plate or the counter.) Clean the slicer of the beet juice and slice the remaining turnip in the same manner.<br /> <br /> After the turnip, beet, ramps, and asparagus are roasted, rub the skin off of the beet and discard the peelings. Slice the vegetables and arrange them on a plate however you like.<br /> <br /> Toss the sliced raw vegetables together lightly and arrange them on the plate over the roasted vegetables.<br /> <br /> Add some of the arugula or kale or other greens and garnish with some of the fennel fronds. Season lightly with a pinch of salt and pepper then drizzle the vinaigrette over all and enjoy.<br /> <br /> MINT-GINGER, BROWN-BUTTER VINAIGRETTE<br /> <br /> 1–2 sprigs of mint, chopped<br /> <br /> Fingernail-size nub of fresh ginger, minced<br /> <br /> 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter<br /> <br /> 1/2 teaspoon coriander<br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon lemon juice<br /> <br /> 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (I use one made by Averill Farm here in Washington)<br /> <br /> 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric<br /> <br /> Salt and pepper<br /> <br /> Melt the butter in a small sauté pan on medium heat. Allow the butter to cook until it foams and starts to turn golden brown but not black, then quickly add the lemon juice and apple vinegar to the pan and turn the heat off. Add the ginger, turmeric, coriander, salt, and pepper. At the very end, add the mint then drizzle this mixture over the salad or reserve until the salad is ready. If you think it's too acidic add a touch of olive oil to balance out the flavors. No recipe is perfect; they always need adjusting.

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