Fairfield County Guide to Grass-Fed Beef

 

By Analiese Paik

This  guide was created to make it easier for Fairfield County consumers to buy grass-fed meat for preparation at home, and to guide diners to establishments that serve grass-fed meat. Some of the businesses listed below are also excellent resources for a wide variety of local, organic and sustainably-grown and raised foods. We cover everything from CSAs and farmers’ markets to farm-to-table restaurants in this exhaustive guide. Enjoy it and please share! If you have an additional resource you’d like to tell us about, please email us at info@fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com.

Farmers’ Markets (winter only; spring and summer will be updated for 2013)

Ox Hollow Farm of Roxbury, CT is a premium grower of pasture-raised beef along with pastured chicken and pork. Visit the winter Westport farmers’ market at  Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Westport each Saturday to purchase directly from the farmer. Eaglewood Farms offers natural beef (fed 90% grass and hay, no corn or soy, no hormones or sub-therapeutic antibiotics) and pork each Saturday at the Norfield Grange winter market. Click here for a complete guide to winter farmers’ markets including hours, locations and vendors.

Meat CSA

John Morosani moving his herd of cattle to graze on fresh pasture. These cows eat a diet of grass and hay and never receive hormones or antibiotics. Photo c/o Laurel Ridge Farm

John Morosani of Laurel Ridge Farm is a grower of 100% grass-fed beef who supplies top restaurants including Community Table in New Preston and Toll Gate Inn in Litchfield. He uses no pesticides or herbicides on his farm and no GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism) are grown or fed to the cows. John makes a CSA delivery the first Thursday of each month to Fairfield; please consult this CSA article for a complete description and subscription instructions. If you live outside Fairfield, John will take custom orders for half or whole cows and add a delivery fee. All in, you still wind up saving 30-35% off retail prices. Your order will be completely broken down into retail cuts, but since he gives you meat from the whole animal, be prepared for lesser-known cuts. If you and some friends decide to “cowpool”, contact John Morosani at john@lrgfb.com for pricing and delivery fees. Laurel Ridge Farm also sells pork and chickens and uses exclusively organic feed.

Specialty Retailers

Ryan Fibiger and Paul Nessel from Saugatuck Craft butchery during an outdoor demo in front of the store in 2011.

Saugatuck Craft Butchery in Westport is a whole animal butcher (think oxtail, tongue, and offal in addition to all the regular cuts) specializing in fresh (not frozen) beef, pork and lamb from sustainably run family farms in New York and Connecticut. When buying in quantity, inquire about the meat buying club. The newly opened SoNo Marketplace in Norwalk counts Percy Thomson Meadows, a 100-acre farm in Bethlehem, CT, among its vendors. Stop by their booth for 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, pastured poultry, Berkshire pork, and eggs. Visit The Double L Market in Westport has everything from New York state bison to Vermont grass-fed beef and The Farmer’s Table in New Canaan typically has a small selection of meats from John Boy’s Farm in New York, a “beyond organic” farm. Nature’s Temptations in Ridgefield sells 100% grass-fed beef fromVermont,  The Pantry in Fairfield sells NY strip steaks from Australia that are 100% grass-fed (that’s a lot of food miles though!) and Palmer’s Market in Darien carries 100% grass-fed filet mignon and strip steaks, also from Australia (ditto on the food miles!).

Supermarkets

Whole Foods Markets sell a variety of New England and other US grass-fed beef products that have humane ratings on them, some of which are organic. Mrs. Greens Natural Markets sell Grateful Harvest brand grass-fed beef, which is Certified Organic.

Farm-to-Door Delivery Services

Farm-to-door delivery services are practical and convenient for busy families. Order online and they’ll deliver to your door. Offerings change week to week as the season’s change. Connecticut Farm Fresh Express serves all of CT and sells exclusively CT Grown and made foods, Graze (Fairfield County only) specializes in VT Grown and made foods, and, Mike’s Organic Delivery (Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan only) focuses on market baskets from small, sustainably run NY farms.

Dining Out

Fairfield County has watched the number of farm-to-table restaurants grow over the last year, and there are more to come. Bill Taibe, celebrated chef/owner of LeFarm in Westport and a James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast, recently opened The Whelk, a new seafood eatery (that also serves meat) in Saugatuck Center directly across from Saugatuck Craft Butchery. Chef Brian Lewis, best known for his collaboration with Richard Gere and Carey Lowell in creating the Bedford Post, opened Elm in New Canaan in early 2012. Chef Lewis describes his modern American cuisine as rooted in tradition and inspired by the seasons. Our listings will be updated to reflect new openings. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants can be found in our Town Guides.

The cooler cases at Farmer's Table in New Canaan are a mini "farmers' market". One case displays local in season vegetables and fruit; a second case holds fresh, not frozen, meat and poultry.

Eateries serving farm-to-table and/or organic food and drink, from fast food to fine dining:

  • Boxcar Cantina (Green Restaurant Certified), Greenwich, Southwestern food, also a regular lunch vendor at the Westport farmers’ market
  • LeFarm, Westport (innovative local farm-to-table cuisine; Chef Bill Taibe is a James Beard Foundation Award 2011 Semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast)
  • The Whelk (cutting edge seafood eatery on the SautatuckRiver, Chef/restaurateur Bill Taibe’s new restaurant in Saugatuck Center)
  • Farmer’s Table, New Canaan (Southwestern casual fare made with local meats and vegetables; features in-store mini farmers’ market).
  • Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Wilton (elegant and refined regional farm-to-table cuisine)
  • The Dressing Room, Westport (white tablecloth regional farm-to-table cuisine)
  • The Boathouse at Saugatuck, Westport (refined regional farm-to-table cuisine)
  • The Filling Station, New Canaan (hamburgers, hot dogs and sloppy joes made with organic raised beef from local farms, organic French fries, and hormone free & anti biotic free milkshakes)
  • Elevation Burger, Rye Brook, NY (100% grass-fed, free-range, Certified Organic beef burgers, French fries cooked in olive oil, veggie burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. Franchisee Daniel Magnus will be opening 7 locations in Westchester and Fairfield counties.
  • Napa & Co., Stamford (“innovative wine country cuisine made from organic, farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients”)
  • Sugar & Olives, (Green Restaurant Certified) Norwalk (local, sustainable farm-sourced ingredients for a seasonal menu)
  • Restaurant North, Armonk (refined farm-to-table new American fare)
  • Tarry Lodge, Westport & Port Chester (Green Restaurant Certified; some sourcing from local farms, sustainably farmed ingredients)
  • Artisan, Southport, (“seasonally inspired” New England cuisine)
  • The Organic Market, Westport (also has a lunch counter, hot buffet and seating area). 285 Post Road East Westport, CT 06880-3613 - (203) 227-9007 Note: At press time we could only confirm that this meat is Certified Organic but not that it was grass-fed. By definition, Certified Organic meat must spend at least part of its life on pasture.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, Darien and Fairfield, (a fast-food chain  based on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, organic when possible, and humanely raised) Note: Grass-fed beef may not be served in every location, in which case it is vegetarian fed.

Do you have a resource to share? Please post in the comments below and/or on our Facebook page.

 
 
 

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