Elm Restaurant celebrated its first birthday on the first day of Spring, March 20th. Within one year of being in business, the modern American restaurant has earned many accolades including the title of “Best New Restaurant” by Connecticut and Esquire Magazines.
We stopped by to congratulate Chef Brian Lewis and to enjoy the “signatures of elm tasting menu” featuring the year’s most memorable dishes.
The evening started with an amuse bouche of creamy sunchoke topped with puffed wild rice and piquillo pepper served in a small shooter glass. Clean. Rich. Flavorful. Words can’t describe our excitement. We knew a great evening was in store for us.
As we eagerly awaited the next course, we enjoyed a glass of Tahitian Bloom, a cocktail made with Champagne, hibiscus flower and syrup. The hibiscus syrup added a nice floral note to the Champagne and brought back memories of our recent babymoon to French Polynesia.
The next course in the tasting was Chilled Kushi Oyster, a small oyster from British Columbia, served with green apple gelée, pickled Buddha’s hand, and a yuzu vinaigrette. The taste was refreshing, sweet, and citrusy.
We loved Chef Lewis’s presentation of “bacon and eggs.” Served in an eggshell is soft-cooked eggs with a fontina sauce flavored with truffles, maple bacon and chives.
The Crunchy Yellowfin Tuna was our favorite – Seared tuna topped with quinoa and toasted sesame resting on puréed heart of palm and brown butter caramel sauce.
Chef Lewis’s take on porchetta was interesting, and delicious. Instead of pork, the porchetta is made with rabbit and foie gras served with mixed greens and a hazelnut emulsion.
The wild escargot tortellini is something we’ve never seen, or heard of, before coming to elm. Definitely a new take on presenting escargot, and worth trying.
The final entrée was Duck breast sitting on leeks pureé with cippolini onions, squash spaghetti and foie gras jus. Another well executed dish.
The meal ended with two of elm’s best desserts – a pre-dessert and palette cleanser, yogurt sorbet with granola and pineapple, followed by sticky toffee pudding, a rich treat served with toffee sauce, crème fraîche.
Our taste buds, and stomach, went on a wonderful culinary adventure. The tastes of each dish were pleasing to the eyes and the palate. Should you come to elm for the first time, we highly recommend trying the chef’s tasting menu.