Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ferme at Avon Old Farms Hotel - Avon, CT

Always in search of good eats for lunch, my co-worker and I decided to check out Ferme, located in a beautiful space at the Avon Old Farms Hotel. I read some positive reviews of it by my fellow Chowhounders, enough to pique our interest. We arrived on a recent weekday at prime lunch hour to find an empty restaurant. I have no idea how any restaurant in our area could be completely empty at lunch, as it’s happened to us on several occasions at various places. To those non-diners, I ask…are you patronizing your local businesses??

Ferme bills itself as a true farm to table restaurant, the menu reads like one long mouth watering description of local bounty. Cato Corner Cheese, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Nodine’s bacon, among others. You can order half or full portions of most appetizers and entrées; we’ll discuss this later. The menu begs you to play nice and share with others, perfect for a group of friends or a quiet dinner for two.  Me, you and warm duck pâté…ooo la la

After obsessing about what to order, we decided on a cheese plate, roasted mussels, and meatballs. Yeah, I said meatballs! While waiting, we relaxed over two mason jars of chamomile coolers; a refreshing blend of chamomile tea, honey and lemon verbena. The drink list contains some interesting and classic cocktails, along with a thoughtful wine selection. An olive-rosemary martini, anyone?

Our cheese plate arrived, a generously sized assortment of Cato Corner Bridgid’s Abbey, Champlain Triple Cream and Point Reyes Original Blue. Complimenting each were apricots, honeycomb, marcona almonds and a fig jam. Every lunch should start out that way! As we wondered if we could finish our cheese fiesta, the mussels and meatballs arrived. As our server set the mussels on the table, our mouths gaped open. A half portion was set before us; a huge bowl, overflowing with mussels in a fragrant broth. Four large meatballs arrived in a small cast iron skillet, the size of tennis balls. There was nothing left to do but dig in! The meatballs were amazing, a rich mixture of meat and foie gras with hints of tarragon, Dijon in a cognac sauce. The mussels were a delicious mess, the roasting brought out their sweet flavor which was complimented by the saffron broth and sauce that was drizzled over the entire dish. A side of hand cut fries rounded out our lunch, and we were already making plans for our return. I snapped a quick photo of the mussels, but it doesn't do the dish any justice.

Now, about the prices and portions; you are getting some serious bang for your buck at Ferme. In the land of the $12 lunch sandwich, our mussels set us back $9 while the meatballs were a wallet-friendly $8. I will definitely return, hopefully soon to try it out for dinner. I haven’t seen much advertising from them, and I hope people will give them a try. Don’t let the fact that they are a hotel restaurant dissuade you; Ferme is a gem and an incredible value.



Anonymous said...

Been 4 times. OMG! The wedge, the calamari, the corn chowder, the salmon and OOOOHHHHH those meatballs. = EW

Carl Rynecki said...

I love the food. The scallops and short ribs are not to be missed. on my recent visit the chef had added a few new items--lobster roll on brioche for $15; lobster panzanella salad for the same price (it was a half of a Maine lobster!); a unique yet accurate paella like I've had in Velencia--bomba rice, saffron, manchego cheese, chorizo, crispy asparagus, olive oil and fresh herbs. My new favorite. I've been with various couples a half dozen times and each time it's better! I see it getting busier--I guess the secret is out!

Michelle said...

The paella is next on my list of things to try!