saltwater sommelier

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Everyone knows what a lobster roll is right? Wrong.

In Albe's Blog on June 17, 2010 at 1:44 am

That’s because they are an east coasters innovation and summertime food niche.  According to the book “Connecticut Icons,” the first Lobster Roll made its debut in Savin Rock, New Haven, CT at a restaurant called Perry’s in the early 1930’s.  It was served with the meat of a freshly cooked lobster taken out of the shell, tossed in warm butter, and generously stuffed in a soft hot dog roll. It wasn’t until the late 60’s or early 70’s that the lobster roll started to appear along the shore and throughout the eastern sea board.  It wasn’t long until Maine’s abundance of lobsters made there way into the lobster roll.  Travelers loved the novelty not found in other states.  Today lobster rolls are simply synonymous with Maine.  The Maine Lobster roll has a different twist from the original CT roll.  Mayonnaise or Kraft Miracle Whip, true to tradition, is tossed with a bit of celery, onion, and of course lobster in the Maine version.

Be it Mayo based or butter The Lobster Roll is a serious craft that is highly debated amongst foodies.  Road trips are dedicated solely for the purpose of hunting the best one around.  Using enough knuckle and claw meat are an important topic of discussion.  Simplicity, juiciness, and refraining from the urge to over garnish are all points lobster roll aficionados look for.

The LSWG lives and breathes lobster every day.  The kitchen at the Saltwater Grille uses over 200 pounds of fresh lobster a week.  Not to mention people come in droves for the classic steamed lobster special on Monday nights.  Be it a lobster cob salad, a lobster Panini press, or lobster baked stuffed shells, chef Albert Clugston III has incorporated lobster into just about every dish you can think of.  And now we present… “The SWG Lobster Roll”

For only $19.00 the LSWG Lobster Roll is filled with the meat from an entire 1 ½ pound lobster.  Offered hot or cold the roll is served at the Saltwater Grille all day long for lunch and dinner seven days a week.  Enjoy now.

Albe Galotta, SWG

A great debate about the best Lobster Rolls around…

Some technical information about lobster rolls…


Father’s Day 100th anniversary…

In Albe's Blog on June 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Sunday June 20th, 2010 will be the 100th anniversary of the observance of the holiday Father’s Day. The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington, on June 19th, 1910.  Sonora Dodd, a young child being raised by a single father, encouraged churches to honor dads upon hearing a Mother’s Day –themed sermon. President Nixon made it an official National celebration in 1972.  The “POP” Culture of Father’s Day has always had some interesting facts and fiction when it comes to its lure.

Neckties turn out to be the least popular Father’s Day gifts, making up just 1% of presents received, while dining out on Father’s Day is the 5th most popular restaurant day of the year. The United States has an estimated 158,000 stay at home dads according to 2009 U.S. Census data, who said that idea would never work? Seven out of the top fifteen TV dads are from programs that aired in the ‘50s or ‘60s, and seven out of fifteen dads that eat at the Saltwater Grille order the Rib Eye or the Grilled Swordfish, all of them love it. Last year 100% of all the mothers that took the dads to the Saltwater Grille left very happy, full and waiting to bring them back this year.

When asked what would you enjoy doing  most  on Father’s Day this year, the most popular answers given were , golfing, fishing and watching baseball, all followed by enjoying dinner at the SWG, (with the whole family of course). Dads seem to enjoy big bold red wines with their celebration dinners, and The Litchfield Saltwater Grille has a big bold list just waiting for him. With labels like Silver Oak, Shafer, Paul Hobbs, Cakebread and Mount Veeder, to name a few, chances are dad will be very happy.

For a 1989 Oldsmobile campaign, General Motors launched a celeb-filled $140 million ad blitz featuring the tagline “THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHERS OLDSMOBILE”. Didn’t work.   Old’s sales dropped 16% that year, and GM stopped producing the make in 2004. In 2006 The Litchfield Saltwater Grille was launched with outstanding Food, Service and atmosphere, and now in 2010 our tag line is still “THIS IS YOUR FATHERS KIND OF RESTAURANT”. This year skip the necktie and bring dad to the SWG, with the whole family, and enjoy all we have to offer, while making Fathers Day a day for all to enjoy.

SWG Albe Galotta

Going Local is a Long Drive…

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I organized a Connecticut farm tour for myself and my little black pug Nina on my day off.  I needed to check out products for our first farm to table inspired wine dinner coming up this weekend. And  I wanted to meet the farmers and see for myself where the food was coming from. I just saw the movie “Letters to Juliet” at the theatre and I had taken sides with the fiancé who had created a culinary tour for himself visiting every wine maker, cheese maker, and olive oil producer on his pre honeymoon in Italy with a not so ecstatic fiancée in tow.  It took quite a few calls to finally reach Paul Trubey the cheese maker and owner of Beltane farms to set up an appointment.  I programmed Lebanon Connecticut into my VZ navigator on my phone and an hour an a half later it directed me left and right on a dirt road until I arrived exactly at a little house with a small wooden sign saying “Beltane Farm.”  I meet Paul the cheese maker and Nina meet Veronica who did not like Nina.  Veronica (actually a really sweet goat who loved attention from people) did not like a little dog intruding on her space so she promptly backed Nina into a corner and butted heads with her.  I decided to pick Nina up and hold her for the rest of our trip at the farm.  Paul took me on a tour that consisted of introducing me to all of the goats by name as well as the donkeys and one cow.  The donkeys were there to keep the coyotes away, the goats for the cheese of course, and the cow because it was a gift.  I peeked in the cheese making room as well as the aging room but had to move on considering this was only stop one on my Connecticut farm tour.  I thanked Paul and left with his famous Cheve as well as some Ricotta and Feta.

Paul had mentioned that Cato Corner Farm was just 15 minutes away.  I had tried to make an appointment with the mother and son team at Cato Farm but they were even harder to reach than Beltane.  I took a quick drive over to Colchester where Cato Corner is but the tasting room was not open.  Although I did get to see all the Jersey cows that make their Bridgid’s Abbey cheese served in some of the most exclusive New York city restaurants.  So I continued on the journey all the way back to the beautiful Litchfield Hills where I started.  March Farms in Bethlehem is another family run operation.  I originally came for strawberries to be used in a parfait dessert but when I saw the tomatoes I bought a few to bring back to Albert (the chef).  When he saw them he decided to go back for more to use for this coming Fridays event.  I took one look at the strawberries and was silently disappointed.  They were so small.  This is not what I was used to seeing in the supermarket.  Little do I know, Albert later told me that those are the best.  They are jam packed with flavor and are so sweet.  I took home some homemade doughnuts for myself as well.  Oh and allot of fresh red and green leaf lettuce to be used for salads.

When I left March Farms I passed a stand with the emblem for “Connecticut Grown” on the tent.  I pulled over to check out the herbs, lettuce, and vegetables.  There was a metal cup with money in it and a note saying to use the honors system.  By the way this was in the little town of Bethlehem.  Interesting I thought, but did not buy anything.  For my last stop I tried stopping by Keeds farm in Woodbury to check out his micro greens but after finding the greenhouse the owner was not home.  That’s OK I was actually excused and so was Nina.  We were ready to go home.  And at the end of the day as important I realized it was for me to see the farms and meet the farmers I also realized how awesome farmers markets are!  Going local sometimes a long drive.

Brett Clugston, SWG Sommelier

“Farm to Table” cuisine is the hottest buzz word in the restaurant scene right now…

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm

This summer The Litchfield Saltwater Grille will take this trend to a whole new level offering a series of wine dinners at local Connecticut Wineries.  What better to pair with New England’s local seafood, cheeses, and produce than local handcrafted Connecticut wines?

What is totally unique about the wine dinners is that they will actually take place at the winery with the wine maker and chef co hosting the event.  Dining amidst the scenery of the vineyard is a transporting dining experience unlike any other.

At both Miranda Vineyard as well as Sunset Meadow Vineyard wine makers Manny Miranda and George Motel (respectively) will pour wine for guests offering stories as wine makers often do.  And you can bet they most likely hand picked the grapes in the glass of wine you are drinking.

Both dinners will feature fresh local products from New England and particularly Connecticut.  Artisan cheeses from Connecticut’s famed Cato Corner Farm as well as Beltane Farm will be served as well as Sea Scallops from Stonington Connecticut.  Much of the produce will come directly from Chef Albert Clugston III’s personal garden.  Depending on this summers growing season items will include: tomatoes, romaine, cucumbers, zucchini, and Swiss chard to name just a few.  Fingerling potatoes, commonly purple in Connecticut will be used as a sort of canapé base topped with a halibut salad, caviar, and horseradish cream.  Hen of the Wood Mushroom soup sippers are another Litchfield Hills inspired dish on the menu.  Traditional Maine Lobster Rolls, Long Island Blue Point Oysters, Connecticut Trout, and Clam Pie Flatbreads are other menu items featured.

Menus for each event can be viewed online

Miranda Vineyard Menu, Friday June 25th

Sunset Meadow Vineyard Menu, Friday June 4th

Sign up’s can be made by calling the restaurant at 860.567.4900.  “A Taste of Summer New England” at Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen will take place on Friday June 4th starting at 6PM.  The event priced at $83 per person features seven food stations and seven wines. “A Connecticut Wine Dinner” will take place at Miranda Vineyard in Goshen on Friday June 25th.  The event is $96 per person and includes five courses, stationary style hors d’oeuvres, and six wines. Go Local!

Brett Clugston, SWG Sommelier