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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Schoolhouse Rocks

For Dave's birthday, he wanted to celebrate at "the best restaurant in Fairfield county": Schoolhouse Restaurant.  Now, I'm not fully familiar with the Connecticut area, but I'm no dummy and smart enough to know that a county encompasses multiple cities, making this a mighty bold statement.  Well Mr. Smiles, I am here to say that you were right...but don't get used to hearing that phrase.
  • I probably shouldn't have to explain this, but this small and adorable restaurant is a former schoolhouse, located in an unassuming area just over the Wilton train tracks.  
  • We started with what may just be the best soup I have ever eaten.  Jerusalem Artichoke Soup doesn't sound like anything special, but the creamy concoction tasted like Fall in a bowl, topped with toasted pine nuts.  I wish this soup would come out of my showerhead instead of water.
  • We also shared a cheese plate.  If you have ever gone to a nice restaurant with me, you may know that getting a cheese plate is my absolute favorite thing to do.  I love trying each cheese with the recommended pairing of quince paste, wine macerated cherries, honeycomb, or whatever other combo they come up with.  Our server was very knowledgeable and was able to tell us about each cheese as  well as provide a recommendation for the order in which we should try them.
  • For the entrées, Dave ordered a NY strip with potato purée and kale, and I ordered the duck with barley, golden beets, and beet leaves.  It was at this point, for the 3rd time over the course of the meal, I had to remind Dave it is inapporpriate to lick your plate in a nice restaurant.
  • For dessert, we had the honey panna cotta that was served with some sort of fig paste, goat cheese, shortbread, and fresh grape sorbet.  The waiter must have overheard us talking about Dave's birthday, so they presented the dessert with a candle - nice touch.
  • It wouldn't be a birthday celebration (who am I kidding; it wouldn't be dinner) without a bottle of wine.  The restaurant had a nice list with a good mix of medium to high priced glasses and bottles.
  • Don't be fooled by the sample menu on the website.  Yes, the menu is small, but it changes frequently to accomodate seasonally fresh ingredients.  They also support local Connecticut farmers, so everything served is not only delicious and seasonally relevant; it's home-grown.
  • Dinner is not the only thing they do well - the brunch menu looked yummy and apparently they have a $40, 4-course dinner on Thursdays that may actually get me to ::gasp:: go to CT during the week.
If you're looking for a great, low-key fine dining restaurant in the Connecticut area, Schoolhouse is pretty money.

The bday boy enjoying scotch and dessert

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