What’s in name? Apparently a lot. At first blush you might look at LeFarm as an interesting combination of French and English words and leave it at that. But, being a marketing professional, I couldn’t help but dissected it. “Le” connotes high-end cuisine and “Farm” connotes local, farm-sourced food. Put the two together and voila, you have a beautiful, custom-made name that perfectly reflects the restaurant’s concept of high-end, locally sourced food.
Coming up with a name that really reflects a brand is not that easy to do, so kudos to Chef Bill Taibe for hitting a bull’s eye not only on the name, but also with the concept and execution. I’m still wondering if that naming exercise took place late one evening over a few bottles of wine with a group of close friends. A few chefs maybe?
This was my second visit to LeFarm; the first was a dinner shortly after they opened. The food was delicious, out of the ordinary (slow roasted bone marrow anyone?) and memorable enough to talk about for a few months. Our waiter Frank has worked so long with the Chef Taibe, that there were no bumps in service to try to excuse away. Au contraire, we had a ball after the table next to us asked Frank why a grass-fed burger cost $20. Let’s just say that man left enlightened and seemed pleased that such a simple questions garnered him so much attention.
This most recent visit was with a friend who exclaimed “Why haven’t I been here before?” as she sat down at our table and surveyed the crowded room. Every table was filled and we felt lucky to to be seated because they don’t take lunch reservations.
We ordered our glasses of wine, Qupe Syrah to go with my roasted squab entree and Emerson Pinot Noir to accompany my friend’s Hamachi crudo. The wine is served from a small combination bar/ service station located near the front of the restaurant, and arrived in stemless glasses, congruent in style with the wide-mouth vase holding our silverware, arranged point down, in a bed of dry beans.
As our lunch arrived, the diner next to me rose to leave. Glancing at my plate as she shimmied between our tables, she wondered out loud what it was. “Squab from John Boy” I said, grateful for having asked Frank about the source. The diner turned to her friend and said “that’s John Boy’s squab”, which elicited a “Who’s John Boy?” from my friend and a long conversation about locally grown food, quail, and sustainable agriculture. Perfect conversation for lunch at LeFarm. This chef is serious about his food and so are his guests. Where else do diners discuss which farm their food is coming from with one another ?
The two Frenched breasts of squab adorned a crescent of warm, soft polenta flanked by beets and preserved cranberries. Do not be afraid of this game bird, for it is a delicacy. Seeing a whole bird on your plate could scare off some diners, but Bill has astutely presented it as a breast perhaps in part to avoid this issue. The delicate, tender and deeply flavorful dark meat of the squab coupled with the creamy polenta, rich cranberries and savory beets yielded a dish that evokes the term culinary alchemy. Nothing short of that would do this food justice.
Since this was a birthday celebration, we agreed to order the chocolate bread pudding to share. It arrived thoughtfully studded with two burning candles in a serving size sufficient for two. Silky-smooth, light and velvety, this old-fashioned mixture of bread, custard and chocolate was a delightful and satisfying finale. French press coffee in hand, we toasted our birthdays, our friendship, and our good fortune of living in close proximity to LeFarm.
256 Post Rd. E Westport, C.T. 06880
Look for LeFarm on Facebook