By Analiese Paik
No summer bucket list would be complete without a meal at Back 40 Kitchen on Greenwich Avenue, the newest addition to the Back 40 Group of family-owned businesses that include Back 40 Farm in Washington, CT and Back 40 Mercantile in Old Greenwich. The warm and relaxed decor in this modern farmhouse restaurant sets the stage for casual yet sophisticated dining in harmony with the seasons.
Chef George Demarsico, formerly Executive Chef of Xaviars at Piermont (5 stars on Google), insists on working with organic, farm-fresh ingredients throughout the year to create “simple food, very well executed.” It’s no accident that Back 40 Group owners Lesley and Bill King also own Back 40 Farm, the restaurants main supplier of organic vegetables and eggs. Dancing Dog Farm in Ridgefield; Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grover, NY; Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, Beltane Farm in Lebanon, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery in Westport and Red Bee Honey in Weston are among the local farms and producers that currently supply the restaurant.
At the “Barn Raising” this week, guests met and mingled with the owners and staff and enjoyed a wide variety of chef tastings to celebrate the grand opening. The space was formerly home to Organic Planet, which has been renovated and rebranded to be in harmony with the Back 40 brand.
Snack-sized bowls of heirloom popcorn dusted with smoked paprika and heaping bowls of crispy root vegetable chips dotted the reclaimed wood dining tables along with lidded mason jars of excellent pickled spring vegetables.
At the bar, organic wines and Non- GMO spirits take center stage in Beverage Director Michael Galluccio’s (formerly of the Inn at Pound Ridge, NY) “drinking healthy” domain where I enjoyed an excellent Dark and Stormy.
Large, wall mounted slate boards flanked two community tables in the dining area, one with a captivating still life by artist Deirdre Mannix, the other with a vertical garden and list of farm purveyors. I was so taken with her work – larger-than-life purple turnips with their roots and greens – that I asked her to please memorialize each chalk work she does and perhaps create a set of cloth napkins to be sold at Back 40 Mercantile.
If Mannix’s art work is any reflection of the heart and soul of Back 40, we’ll be having a lot of delicious fun here. A large part of it is certain to center around local-in-season vegetables, and pork, the chef’s indispensable ingredient.
Back 40 Kitchen is now open for lunch on Mondays from 12-3, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday from 12-3:30 and 5-10, and dinner on Saturdays from 5-10 pm. Reservations are accept for parties of six or more.
Back 40 Kitchen
107 Greenwich Avenue, Rear
Greenwich, CT 06830
Phone: (203) 992-1800