I don’t know why, but I never think about the town of Ridgefield as a foodie destination, when I am looking for a restaurant in Fairfield county. Never heard anyone rave about any dining establishments up there…. except for Bernard’s, of course. And so I always assumed that there was not much worth exploring up there.
Then, a couple of my blogger pals started mentioning Bailey’s Backyard on Twitter (talking about you, Renato and Alicia Ghio!). They celebrated an anniversary there and seemed to really like it. And, that’s how Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield got on my radar.
As luck would have it, I got invited to a blogger dinner at Bailey’s Backyard last week. A golden opportunity meant to be seized!
I walked in, not knowing what to expect. I had no clue about their style of menu or their point of view. And I had never heard of Chef Forrest Pasternack before.
Chef Pasternack, a very pleasant and talented man. As he came out and talked about each dish he served us, it was easy to catch on to his respect for local and fresh ingredients. Him and his team at Bailey’s Backyard are committed to sustainable and green practices, supporting local farms. They are proud to be a true farm to table restaurant.
To me, as a foodie, it is just as important to eat delicious food – as it is to know that the ingredients were fresh and locally sourced. Just one or the other is usually not good enough.
One look at the menu and your mouth will begin to water. Everything sounds incredible with a promise of delicious and unique flavor profiles! Chef Pasternack, presented us with six courses (including two desserts!). And each dish was deliciously and lovingly prepared with great balance of flavors and textures. It was so wonderful to see which farm the various ingredients were sourced from. It made me realize that, this is not one of those places that may claim to be locally sourced (to get higher ratings) but are not really so in practice! No sir! this is the real deal.
I LOVED the Roasted ‘Ida Red’ Apple Salad with carrots, endive, black currants, and a yummy fresh dill and buttermilk dressing. This dish blew me away with its simplicity as well as its creativity. The light, healthful, delicious and fresh tasting dressing was perfect! I am SO stealing that idea for my next dinner with friends, chef Pasternack!
Another dish that everyone at the table ooh’ed and aah’d over was the Slow roasted Berkshire Pork Belly. Expertly prepared and served with baby pink shrimp, artisinal grits and roasted bell peppers.
But the one dish that made me surmise this chef’s talent in one bite – was literally one bite! It was a Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi with Truffle Powder … or as I like to call it “Love on a spoon”. It was one orgasmic bite, and in that instant it made me realize the true level of talent this chef has. It was buttery, soft, chewy earthy, creamy, tangy, cheesy … ABSOLUTE UMAMI! I sincerely hope that Chef Pasternack makes it a permanent fixture on the menu – because this bite WILL make me think of Ridgefield for a foodie destination over and over again.
Bailey’s Backyard, Ridgefield | http://www.baileysbackyard.com/index.html