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Posts Tagged ‘Chef Albert Clugston III’

Sunset in July…First Farm to Table Dinner of the Season

In The Kitchen on June 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm

The Litchfield Saltwater Grille is excited to announce the opening of the second Farm to Table Dinner Series season.  The first scheduled event is on Friday July, 8th at Sunset Meadow Vineyards in Goshen.  Last years dinners were hosted with March Farms (Bethlehem), Miranda Vineyards (Goshen), and Sunset Meadow Vineyards (Goshen).

Each menu is created by Chef Albert Clugston III and features fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from Litchfield County Farms.  Some items such as a very special Muskmelon, Green Zebra Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Eggplant, and Squash Blossoms come from the Chef’s very own garden.  The July 8th menu includes grass feed beef from Litchfield’s Laurel Ridge Farm as well as dairy products from the highly acclaimed Arethusa Cow Farm (Litchfield).  East Coast Shellfish is always incorporated into the menu because there is such an abundant amount of fresh local oysters, scallops, clams, and fish to draw from.

The style format of each menu varies.  July 8th is a casual stationary style menu.  Check out the complete menu here… and remember menu items are subject to change in order to bring you the freshest ingredients available.  There are quite a few farm to table dinners being hosted these days and one of the most unique qualities about our dinner series is the variety of menu items offered.  The July 8th event starts with an iced down raw bar display.  Shucked to order by our raw bar chef guests are welcome to enjoy as much as they would like of Blue Point and Stonington CT Oysters, Baltimore Style Shrimp Cocktail, and Rhode Island Little Neck Clams.  Hors d’oeuvres are passed during the first hour followed by a dinner with two main stations. An Antipasto Bar Style station will include seven interesting dishes (Grilled assorted squashes from Sun One Organic Farm, and Prosciutto Muskmelon Carpaccio to name just a few).  The grill station will serve skirt steak with a green goddess dressing and Tuna skewers with a Ponzu, lime, cilantro vinaigrette.  There are so many different menu items that is hard to believe you could actually have time to try them all.

My favorite part is the strawberries with anglaise for dessert.  Mr. and Mrs. Skilton’s strawberry farm in Morris produces small strawberries that are so jam packed with flavor.  The anglaise sauce is made with local cream and poured while still warm on the strawberries then garnished with mint from The Saltwater Grille’s own garden.  The July 8th event will feature Sunset Meadow Vineyards wines by Goshen wine make George Motel. Tickets usually sell out fast so sign up early.  Sign up here…

View the complete menu here…

More info here…


Recipe Spring Strawberry Salad with Baby Romaine Hearts, Maytag Blue Cheese, Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

In The Insider View, The Kitchen on March 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm

For the Vinaigrette:

1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Cup Olive Oil (Good Olive Oil for dressings)

A few basil leaves, chopped

1 Clove Fresh Minced Garlic

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Julienne two cups of romaine lettuce.  Slice or quarter one cup of strawberries.  Crumbled Blue Cheese to taste.  Toss ingredients with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.  Garnish with tomato, red onions, and radishes.

Reserve some dressing and marinade shrimp for 20-30 minutes before grilling.  Add grilled shrimp to the salad if you would like.

Chef Albert Clugston III

The Litchfield Saltwater Grille

Or: Come in to The Saltwater Grille during Administrative Professionals Week and let us prepare this special Spring dish for you.  View the complete luncheon special here…

What’s the soup of the day?

In The Kitchen on March 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm

You would think soup was the only thing served at The Saltwater Grille.  All day long everyone asks, “What’s the soup of the day?”  The phone rings ten times every morning before we open for lunch and more than half ask “What’s the soup of the day?” Every great restaurant has to back their reputations by serving great food. What better place to start than with a bowl of soup?

Many famous restaurants around the world have found serving a great bowl of soup is worth its weight in gold. In New Orleans, the famous chef Paul Prudhomme at his very famous restaurant K-Paul’s, serves a bowl of steaming hot seafood gumbo with the gumbo poured over the rice tableside giving you a face full of Southern charm, a style chefs around the world love to copy.  Molyvos, in New York City, a bustling, longstanding and well received Mecca for great Greek food has served more Avgolemono soup (Chicken, lemon and egg) than you would want to count the calories in. Any great Jewish Deli or sandwich shop has its own famous “Borscht” fresh puree of Beet soup with sour cream, made their special way. Just a bit north of Santa Barbara in California in the town of Buellton you will find Pea Soup Andersen’s a landmark place serving hundreds of people a day, a place I’m sure you figured out  what their famous for.  And let’s not forget all the new kids on the block with their fast food menus and their relaxed spaces. Customers flock to Panera Bread Bakery for their wonderful Broccoli and Cheese soup. My favorite has to go to Maxim’s in Paris for serving the best French Onion Soup in the world in the most romantic location for over one hundred years.  With all that noted, here at the Saltwater Grille we pride ourselves on serving the most famous Clam Chowder on the east coast. Chef Albert’s Connecticut Clam Chowder has earned followers from all over the New England area making the SWG Connecticut Clam Chowder the famous Chowder that it is.   Using local clams and potatoes plus all the best of what the area’s farms have to offer, this satisfying soup really makes the grade.  The SWG kitchen also flavors this amazing crowd pleaser with special double smoked bacon made just for this recipe by our very own local, world famous smokehouse “Nodine’s Smokehouse” in Goshen Connecticut. With this soup you don’t have to ask me “What the soup of the day is?” just come in and order some. It’s available for sit down service along with take-out all day and every day.

The Saltwater Grille crew of hard working soup chef’s also makes great Bisques such as Lobster Bisque, Crab Bisque, and even Mussel and Purple Potato Bisque. Lately the rave has been about the Artichoke and Lump Crab Bisque; I am sure this one is going to be famous some day.   Seasonal soups are always the order of the day in this kitchen, making hearty bean and root vegetable creations, or soups with pasta or rice in the colder months and lighter versions in the summer. Cold soups always get a lot of attention in warm months using local fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak. Even the seafood used in our soup’s get’s chosen due to what comes off the docks that day.

Many times every day I get asked “What’s the soup of the day”? And every time I do I am glad to tell them what seasonal delight we have to offer. We do serve other things at the SWG but I guess everyone just wants to have a bowl of soup before they really get down to business. There goes the telephone, looks like I have to go, someone wants to know, “What’s the soup of the day?”

Chef, Wine Cellar Master, Albe Galotta

Christmas Eve at the SWG, A New Tradition.

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2010 at 2:39 am

Litchfield County has long been regarded as a historic community of rolling hills and New England charm, rich in history, and deep in family tradition. Holiday dinners and family get together seem to be the focus during the winter months spent in this area. Enjoying a wonderfully cooked meal with all the family’s favorites is always high on everyone’s wish list. With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day back to back warranting two large and lavish meals in such a short time, many families have taken up the new tradition of dining out at a comfortable, family friendly, local restaurant. With 2010 being the third year the Litchfield Saltwater Grille will be serving its festive and gourmet, home cooked, Christmas Eve dinner, locals are starting to make this their place.

The SWG Christmas Eve dinner starts at 3:00 pm with its special holiday menu inspired by the “Feast of the Seven Fishes”, along with many of your regular menu favorites.  Chef Albert and his staff have planned a menu with something that everyone is going to enjoy and no one has to do any work.  The perfect place for large or small groups or even a holiday dinner for two next to our fireplace

Great family dinners are easy when one of our professional staff members starts your table off with an array of home cooked traditional appetizers hot from our kitchen. Spicy Mango Shrimp and fresh fried crispy Calamari always brings smiles. Next a chilled display of Littleneck Clams and Blue point Oysters on the half shell along with a platter of iced down jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with our spicy cocktail sauce and tangy seafood mignonette. Find room for one more appetizer and try the Baked Feast of the Seven Fishes. This creation includes seven favorites from the sea, Snow Crab, Clams, Calamari, Lobster, Trout, Mussels, and Shrimp, topped with lemon seafood butter and white breadcrumbs then baked.  Non seafood offering such as “to die for” wild mushroom and goat cheese tartlets, along with angel hair pasta with green peas and Parmigianino cream round out the choices. This year the Grille has a great Managers Special Selection Wine List that has a wonderful selection of fun wines at a 25 plus % discount.

Christmas Eve entrees span the world with many different offerings.  Crispy skin Long Island Duck Breast with Clementine Cranberry jam, Rosemary Cumin crusted Lamp Chops and New York Sirloin with Maytag Blue Cheese and fried shallots are some of the meatier choices. To keep with the seafood theme the Saltwater Sole and the Grilled Swordfish are always a hit.  Chef Albert’s new twist on the Feast of the Seven fishes this year is a simmering dish of Shrimp, Squid, Sole, Lobster, Lump Crab, Mussels and Snow Crab Claws in a saffron Coconut Curry sauce. Grilled Shrimp, Crab stuffed Lobster Tails, and even Butternut Squash Ravioli are offered in some very festive presentations.

What would Christmas Eve be without the best Homemade Desserts around, just like mama made. Chocolate lovers tend to stick with our homemade Chocolate Mousse, while other adventurous diners try the Banana Cream Pie or the lighter than snow, Crème Caramel. Traditionalists enjoy our New York Cheese Cake with the Bing cherry sauce or the Almond Chocolate Cheese Cake.

This turned out to be a great way for the whole family to enjoy spending time eating, talking and being with each other, while not having to spend all day in the kitchen. The Litchfield Saltwater Grille will be serving Christmas Eve Dinner from 3pm to 9pm, so please make your reservations now and start making the SWG your NEW family tradition. The SWG will be closed on Christmas day so all our staff and owners can enjoy the day at home with their families. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night….

Albe Galotta, Chef and Cellar Master