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Honoring Mothers…

In The Mount Veeder Blog on May 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Mother’s Day was an absolutely lovely affair. Given the unexpected drop in temperature and strong winds, I had the company of many people and the rest of the restaurant was quite busy too. Flowers, chocolates, and cookies were scattered about the restaurant, the latter two as little nibbles that children readily enjoyed, and the whole place had calm, warm feel to it. A pianist graced the air with wonderful songs, and the happy chatter of families joined it.

One of my favorite things was seeing families arrive with babies. They varied in age, but no matter how old they were, they were absolutely adorable. Some young children also came in. I was very impressed with all of their behavior. The children, young and old alike, let their parents enjoy the meal in relative peace. And the politely chirped pleases and thank yous were darling. There are few things more charming than well behaved children, and on Mother’s Day, it seemed like an extra gift.

The day itself began with a mimosa and the specialty Bloody Mary. As the ticket came up behind the bar, more people arrived, and a flourish of activity began. The lobster and artichoke heart bisque was a huge hit. So much so that a second batch was made in the afternoon, and it almost ran out! I heard whispers at the end of the night that it had been very popular with the servers as well. The other specialty soup, the lump crab and potato leek, was also very well received.

But my favorite moment was when desserts arrived. There were so many to choose from: pecan pie, lemon meringue pie, banana cream pie, bread pudding, chocolate mousse with a touch of amaretto and kahlua, warm strawberry crumble, carrot cake, and chocolate peanut butter torte. They looked fabulous and smelled delicious. I overheard one mother   talk about the chocolate mousse. Though not typically a fan of alcohol flavoring, she adored the additions to the house chocolate mousse. The server happened to be a huge fan of that dessert as well and shared a secret: if you drink a ruby red port, like the Sandeman Ruby Porto, with the chocolate mousse, it tastes like raspberries.

As the day came to an end, many smiles adorned the faces of those departing. Hopefully next year will be as enjoyable as this year was.

A string of Events…

In The Mount Veeder Blog, Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 1:02 am

It was muddy and messy. Shouts of glee and hope filled the air. And the horses did their best not to disappoint. The Kentucky Derby was, as usual, a fun filled affair. Lots of people joined me in the lounge where complimentary baked stuffed mushrooms and gently fried rice balls were served. The wide screen television provided a clear view of the racetrack as the bartenders mixed up mint juleps and served race inspired food like the brisket sandwich. As the shouts of joy and disappointment faded, I realized that the Kentucky Derby was just the beginning of the week’s festivities.

Monday night is the first lobster night of the summer. The meal includes whipped butter with warm bread, salad or soup, a steamed lobster with drawn butter, and dessert. The salad comes with our homemade Italian balsamic dressing on the side. Connecticut clam chowder is available daily. It is very creamy with a bit of a spicy kick and has plenty of clams and bacon. Desserts vary and have included bread pudding, chocolate mousse, and special creations by the chefs.

On Sunday, a special Mother’s Day menu will be available. Coffee, fresh orange juice, milk, mimosas, and the Saltwater Grille Bloody Mary will be served. Goat cheese hash browns with apple chutney, and breakfast sausages with apples, cinnamon and sugar will be available as sides. The entrees will include fresh fruit salad, baby arugula salad, and hash browns. The choices include seafood crepes Florentine, baked eggs strada, lobster rolls, shrimp and avocado salad, hot crab melts, vegetarian frittata, crab frittata, chicken Waldorf salad, and quiche Lorraine. Shrimp, scallops, spinach, and roasted peppers will snuggle in the crepes and be topped with a light Béchamel sauce. The eggs strada will be flavored by basil, cheddar, and tomato. The lobster roll will be hot or cold. If it is hot, the lobster is sautéed in butter and if it is cold, the lobster is mixed with a bit of mayo. The shrimp and avocado has a sprinkling of feta cheese, some chickpeas, citrus vinaigrette, and mixed greens.

The hot crab melts are open-faced and have Fontina cheese, roasted red peppers, and basil puree. Avocado, fried onions, tomato, and feta are mixed among the eggs in the vegetarian frittata. The crab frittata adds crab to the mixture. The chicken Waldorf salad features endive salad, walnuts, Gorgonzola, apples, croutons, and a grain mustard vinaigrette. The quiche Lorraine has Swiss cheese and apple wood smoked bacon.

Dinner will feature many house specialties like oysters, the Saltwater lemon sole, and lobster dinners. There are also a few new items: the chicken Saltimbocca has prosciutto, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and roasted garlic sauce in a bed of angel hair pasta. Shrimp and lobster chardonnay is another special creation. It will have a lemon dill chardonnay cream sauce with roasted red peppers and mushrooms.

I am very excited about everything that is going on. Hopefully some people will join me in the lounge, but with the weather improving daily, I’m sure the patio will be very busy. Here’s to a happy week.

Oysters, Droplets, and Music…

In The Mount Veeder Blog on April 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I was quite fretful on Sunday. True, the last few days had been wonderfully busy, but puffy, gray clouds threatened the patio party’s outdoor launch. Rain drops fell by mid afternoon, and save a handful of people at the bar and two enjoying the warmth by the fire, the restaurant was quiet. But I should have known better.

The musician came to set up around 3:30 p.m., and by 4:00 p.m., the bar was full and more people joined the musician in the main dining room where the raw bar could be seen on the patio. Though many people went outside to see Albe shuck the clams and oysters, they ultimately claimed tables in the lounge and main dining room. As the afternoon faded into evening, the clouds thinned to reveal a few rays of sunshine. Despite being indoors, many costumers were cheered by this.

Towards the end of the night, the musician moved into the lounge where most of the customers remained. Amid requests for songs and some laughs, I found out that his name was Mike and enjoyed his spirited guitar and harmonica playing.

All in all it was a good night. The brisket sandwich was savored by every taster, and the oysters were, as always, a favorite. The new UFO beer was also well received. I overheard the bartender describe it as a cloudy, easy drinker garnished with an orange slice. Given its popularity, I would imagine it will be around through the summer at the very least.

After enjoying the lovely aromas of the party for a while, desserts began to appear. There was banana cream pie and a chocolate peanut butter torte. Even though I could not smell these desserts, they looked magnificent. The latter was very rich and often shared, while the former’s plate was often cleaned within minutes. The fabulous bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins, and a rum caramel sauce was also served.

Though the party was ultimately inside, it was still an enjoyable event. With the progression of days, I have no doubt that the patio will be sunny and host to many people.

Lovely Luncheon…

In The Mount Veeder Blog, Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm



There never seems to be a shortage of activity in the restaurant. A special five course luncheon menu is available this week from noon until three p.m., Tuesday through Friday in honor of Administrative Professionals Week. The meal will start with an amuse bouche chosen daily by the chef followed by chilled gazpacho soup sippers, which will feature cocktail shrimp garnishes. The salad, with an Italian balsamic with herbs, and warm bread with whipped butter will be next. For the main course, there are six options.

There are two special creations for this menu. The first is butterflied shrimp, grape tomato goat cheese risotto, pesto cream, and micro greens. The second is breaded chicken medallions, and heirloom tomato and red onion salad with a balsamic reduction. Restaurant favorites comprise the remaining entrees, like the Saltwater sole, butternut squash ravioli, and Hawaiian Mahimahi. A filet mignon will also be served with goat cheese hash browns, blue cheese fondue, and grilled zucchini.

Tuille strawberries with crème fraiche or French macaroons with chocolate mousse will finish the meal. Coffee and tea will compliment the desserts. I heard that the meal is just $20 and will be available anywhere in the restaurant; even outdoors if the weather is pleasant.

If the above menu does not strike your fancy, the normal lunch menu will also be available. Featuring oysters, clams, and shrimp from our raw bar, Connecticut clam chowder, and a variety of scrumptious starters and entrees, you are sure to find something you will love.

I found the menu for the patio party too. Now all I have to do is remember where I put it. Perhaps I will find it by next week…

In Honor of Eggs, Bunnies, Chocolates, and all that Jazz: Easter Dinner

In The Mount Veeder Blog, Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I cannot believe it’s almost here.  Easter is this Sunday, and the chef is already finalizing the menu.  Though there will be brunch in the afternoon, dinner is served all day. Many favorites and some holiday specials will be served. As a staple of the restaurant, the Connecticut clam chowder will be part of the menu and a soup of the day will be announced. The raw bar will include Rhode Island little neck clams, Blue Point oysters, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and a seafood assortment of all three. The seafood towers will be present in full force too.

The starters include jumbo lump crab cake with exotic fruit preserve, sliced avocado and lime; fried calamari with marinara sauce; and steamed mussels with white wine, shallots, tomatoes, and thyme. The ever popular sliced rare Ahi tuna with cucumber seaweed salad, lemon oil, wasabi, and soy is also on the menu. Asparagus Wellington with raspberry vinaigrette and baked brie encroute with Georgia peach sauce are special additions for Easter.

There are nine entrée options. Leading the way in holiday fare is honey baked ham and oven roasted stuffed leg of lamb. The ham will be joined by rutabaga, sweet potato, French green beans, fried onions, and natural gravy.  The lamb will have spinach, pine nuts, caramelized onions, golden raisins, mint jelly, and tatar tots.

Other specialized items include seared steel head trout with sautéed broccoli rabe, lemon olive oil and oven dried tomato; and crab crusted filet medallions with zucchini, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted red pepper cognac sauce.  The classic Saltwater sole with lemon caper butter sauce and texmati rice, and the Maine lobster tail and gulf shrimp with herb sauce, drawn butter and chef’s potato are also on the menu.

To see more options, visit the website: http://www.litchfieldsaltwatergrille.org/id85.html. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling the Litchfield Saltwater Grille at 860-567-4900.

The Arrival of Spring

In The Mount Veeder Blog on March 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

With the bouts of fresh, warm air we had been experiencing, the owners decided to open the patio. Dining al fresco was back. And it was lovely.

With about six tables and a heater, the patio came to life. Birds sang to our guests who ventured out, and the sunset charmed them. Though it was a touch chilly to remain outdoors once dark, the opening of the patio was a clear reminder that spring had arrived. Being stuck inside, I had mixed feelings.

Yes I love the sunshine, but when it arrives in full force, I feel abandoned as people head outdoors. On the upside, many retire to the lounge for after dinner drinks, and that is exactly what happened last week. Two kind ladies chit chatted over coffee after enjoying a meal befitting the beginning of spring. A chilled lobster cocktail had been shared along with shrimp and oysters. To start things off, they had enjoyed a new creation by the chef: peanut chicken lettuce wraps. This starter featured peanut sauce sautéed chicken mixed among daikon radishes, onions, and mushrooms. A variety of sauces were available to go with it: sesame seed, caramelized onion soy, and a concoction specially made by chef.

Filled with content, the ladies finished off their meal in the lounge with cups of coffee. I am sure that many people will soon join their routine. In the meantime, I will relish the sights, sounds, and smells in the lounge where many people visit for happy hour and a wonderful meal.

Easter is on it’s way…

In The Mount Veeder Blog on March 16, 2010 at 2:22 pm

With all the excitement of St. Patrick’s Day, I didn’t realize that Easter was getting so close until yesterday. As one of the girls turned the television on, a big white bunny with bright pink eggs showed up on screen to remind me. I did some poking, and it turns out that ideas for the special day have been brewing.

An a la carte Easter brunch will be served on April 4th from 11 am to 2:30 pm. There are several egg dishes to choose from: Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Tenderloin, and Eggs Benedict. The Huevos Rancheros features potatoes, fried eggs, salsa, sour cream, avocado, and queso fresco. The Eggs Tenderloin is served on garlic toast with filet mignon, sautéed spinach, roasted red peppers, poached eggs, mushroom demi glace, and whipped potatoes. The Eggs Benedict has Easter ham, Hollandaise sauce, and an English muffin.

Aside from eggs, there are pancakes, waffles, and even sausage. The pancakes have a blueberry coulis and whipped mascarpone. The waffles are accompanied by sliced bananas, fresh strawberry compote, and homemade whipped cream. Sweet sausage and goat cheese hash browns will be available with apple chutney too.

For those seeking a sturdier lunch, there will be lobster, steak, salad, and a Monte Cristo sandwich, complimented by sweet potato fries and local Connecticut maple syrup. There will be Rockefeller stuffed lobster tails, the Saltwater Lobster Roll, and a half chilled lobster with a citrus seafood salad. A New York sirloin and chicken Waldorf salad are also going to be available.

By the time Easter arrives, the flowers will be coming up and St. Patrick’s Day will be a memory. It’s going to be an exciting, busy day. I do hope we’ll see you.

St. Patrick’s Day Expansion!

In The Mount Veeder Blog on March 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Well, it was decided that St. Patrick’s shouldn’t be celebrated merely by a luncheon, so it will be a dinner too! On Tuesday March 16th a dinner, which will be the same as the one I last described, will begin at 6:30 P.M. The cost is $40 for the seven beers and seven course dinner.

The final beer has been announced too. The Thomas Hooker Irish Red will accompany the first course, which is a choice between hot potato leek soup or cheddar ale with homemade Irish soda bread. The Thomas Hooker Beer is particularly exciting as it is from a local Connecticut brewery in Bloomfield, and the restaurant owners really enjoy promoting local commerce.

Tasting a Thomas Hooker Brewing Company beer is always a treat. The New York Times recently proclaimed their Octoberfest beer the best, and the company is constantly inspiring taste buds with their innovative flavors, like the new seasonal beers Watermelon Ale and Nor’Easter Lager.

With over ten years in the business, the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company is steadily working towards a successful two decades of business. They offer four ales and four lagers and have been rated highly both nationally and internationally. They are ranked number 15 out of 50 by the American Microbreweries by the Beer Advocate and are considered number 73 in the world by RateBeer.com.

Happily serving beer to Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Maine, and Eastern Pennsylivania, the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company makes a lot of New Englanders happy. We are very pleased that they will be supplying examples of their hops in addition to some international ones for our St. Patrick’s Day lunch and dinner diners.

Call 860.567.4900 to join us for either event.

Complete Menu and details here…http://www.litchfieldsaltwatergrille.org/id82.html

7 Beers and 7 Courses To Get Your Green On…

In The Mount Veeder Blog, Uncategorized on February 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Break seems like a distant memory. There has been so much hustle and bustle lately that I keep thinking the summer is here! Though a ways off, St. Patrick’s Day is the next holiday in line and is sure to be a busy day. I am more of a wine girl, but there is a special event scheduled to begin at noon that I am really looking forward to seeing.

First off, Mr. Galotta, who is very knowledgeable about beers, will be hosting this seven course beer tasting event. Throughout the meal, an explanation of the highlights of beer, such as how to pour a perfect Guinness, will be featured, as will a display of 250 tap handles. The following beers are the ones your taste buds will meet: Harp Lager Bottle, New Castle Brown Ale Draft, Harpoon Celtic Ale Bottle, Samuel Smith Organic Lager Bottle, and Smithwicks Red Ale Bottle. One more beer will be added the day of the event.

A Great Britain inspired menu will be served with the beers in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I am very excited about the cheddar ale soup and the potato leek soup. They smell so good! The hardest part will be choosing between them! After the soup will be venison Scotch eggs Casey with cranberry coulis. Scottish smoked salmon, which is being complimented by toasted Irish soda bread, caramelized onions, and crème fraiche will follow. Potato skins adorned with scallions, bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and cabbage are up next. I can already feel myself getting full! But be sure to save room as a lovely salad, main course, and dessert are still to come! The salad will have apples, warm bacon bits, chopped egg, and grain mustard vinaigrette.

When it comes to the entrée, there will be a choice between two classic items: corned beef and cabbage, and Sheppard’s lamb meatloaf. Both feature spin offs on the original. The corned beef and cabbage will have brussel sprouts and glazed carrots, while the sheppard’s lamb meatloaf will have sage Derby cheese and bacon. And then there is the dessert: I thought my heart was going to melt when I read it. There will be Bailey’s chocolate bread pudding with a toffee sauce. Delicious!

If you are looking for a dining experience on St. Patrick’s Day, come enjoy our seven course luncheon and beer tasting. Reservations are being taken now at 860.567.4900 or by emailing swgcorporate@optonline.net . More information is available via the following link: www.litchfieldsaltwatergrille.org

The End of a Holiday…

In The Mount Veeder Blog on February 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm

The restaurant was still quiet. As had been our weeklong tradition, Moose and I played catch with the cinnamon stick and then decided on a game of hide and seek. The later didn’t last long though… Moose had a decidedly unfair advantage!

As we curled up next to the fire, I was struck by how lucky we were to be enjoying a holiday. Few and far between at the restaurant, they were a nice time to enjoy a leisurely day. Unfortunately, they also gave me a lot of time to think. I had seen a note that in honor of Moose’s death, the 2004 B.R. Cohn Merlot Sonoma County California wine was being offered as a special on February 15th. It was a complex wine with dark fruit hints as well as anise and toasty vanilla hints from its aging in French Oak barrels. The wine was great, but if Mooses’ namesake existed, perhaps mine did too. It was something to consider.

But for the moment, it was wonderful to bask in the glow of the fire and enjoy what was left of the holiday. The television had announced snow was on the way, and I wondered how much we would get this time.