An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 19, 2013
08:22 AM
The Connecticut Table

Local Tomatoes Find Ripe Glory in Hands of Connecticut Chefs

Local Tomatoes Find Ripe Glory in Hands of Connecticut Chefs

Laurie Gaboardi/The Litchfield County Times

Tomato salad at the West Street Grill in Litchfield.

Tomatoes may be a year-round menu staple, but fresh, local tomatoes are a treat of an entirely different order, gracing our plates for only a short time each year. This summer, restaurants all over Connecticut are serving tomatoes in a variety of delicious ways.

Combat August heat by ordering gazpacho at the Gray Goose Café in Southport (203/292-8779, This chilled tomato soup du jour is available through the end of summer.

To cool off with a Bloody Mary, head to G-Zen in Branford (203/208-0443,, whose special Saturday brunch menu features the drink made with spicy organic tomato juice and organic raw sake.

Tomato salad is another classic summertime dish, and West Street Grill in Litchfield (860/567-3885, offers the best one around: luscious, organic tomato grown by March Farms in Bethlehem, served with fleur de sel, native basil and aged balsamic.

Typically sold out by morning’s end, tomato tarts at the SoNo Baking Co. & Café in South Norwalk and Westport (203/847-7666 and 203/ 955-1111, provide a savory start to the day or the perfect addition to a picnic lunch.

Thinly sliced tomatoes, accented by Italian Fontina cheese, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, sit atop a golden pastry crust. Fans of Southern cuisine make a beeline for Us Restaurant & Lounge in Middletown (860/788-6544, for fried green tomatoes, served with fresh green tomato salsa, feta and scallion crema.

For a totally different spin on tomato, visit Saray Turkish Restaurant in West Haven ( 203/937-0707, and order imam bayildi, a traditional appetizer of baby eggplant stuffed with fresh tomato and an herb sauce of black pepper, salt, crushed red pepper and mint.

If you like to create your own tomato dishes, you can pick them yourself at The Pickin’ Patch in Avon (860/677-9552, or Futtner’s Family Farm in East Hartford (860/569-4138,

And folks in Litchfield County know to seek out the tomatoes grown organically at Waldingfield Farm in Washington (860/868-7270, which was even inspired by its tomatoes to come up with its own Bloody Mary mix.


Local Tomatoes Find Ripe Glory in Hands of Connecticut Chefs

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