An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 29, 2013
02:42 PMThe Connecticut Table
A New Farm-to-Table Café for All, Kitchen at Hartford Public Library
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On the side, there’s fruit salad, seasonal grain salads and seasonal vegetable salads, which are likely to change daily and priced at $4 for eight ounces and $7.50 for 16 ounces.
Anyone not in the mood for a hot beverage can choose from among Hosmer Mountain sodas, lavender lemonade, infused iced teas and bottled water and juices.
As if all of that weren’t exciting enough, the arrival of Kitchen will prove to be a dining and entertaining boon for a library already known for its high level of community engagement. Kitchen will serve as the library’s exclusive caterer, in part thanks to the existence of a “Top Chef” worthy teaching and demonstration kitchen on an upper floor.
As such, Kitchen will offer full-service catering for corporations, nonprofits and event planners, the library said, and in addition to that, café and library customers will have the opportunity to take cooking classes. (Liquor licenses are even in the picture to make the library a unique venue for catered events to rival those of any country club.)
Beyond that, the advent of Kitchen will allow the library’s major annual fundraiser, called One Big Summer Night, to return home the next time it rolls around, next June 12, after it has been held for the last four or five years off-site. Details are still being worked out for the next event, but Kitchen will definitely play a role.
For now, as a way of rediscovering Hartford and seeing how it’s taking “one opportunity at a time to make our city a much greater place,” in the words of Mayor Segarra, put Kitchen on the itinerary. You won’t be disappointed—especially if you’re the type of literary-minded person who will take an Omar’s coffee and a cinnamon scone as license for a Joycean reverie about what might have resulted if one of Hartford’s most famous literary lights, poet Wallace Stevens, composed verses not while walking to his job at an insurance company but during a caffeinated interlude at Kitchen.
In terms of all of those other great dining options in Hartford, one place to start is our brand new Best of Connecticut 2013 section, which, among other winners, singles out Firebox for its farm-to-table cuisine, Trumbull Kitchen for its gluten-free menu, Jojo’s Coffee Roasting Co., Jeffrey Lizotte of ON20 as best new chef, Tisane as best tearoom, First & Last Tavern, and Dish Bar & Grill for—yes—its dog-friendly dining environment. See Best of Connecticut for more on those and other Hartford dining hotspots—and stay tuned to our website to get in on the voting for our next Readers’ Choice, Best Restaurants 2014.