An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Aug 13, 2013
09:35 AMThe Connecticut Table
Cheese as Sexy as Manolo Blahniks? Arethusa Farm of Litchfield Wins Awards
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Giving some measure of how impressive it was for Arethusa, a relative new kid on the cheese making block, to bring home two awards is the fact that 257 companies submitted 1,794 different products to the competition.
And as much as this all might seem like information for cheese geeks to chew on, the American Cheese Society is more Manolo than mathematical. “Unlike other cheese competitions, where cheeses are only graded down for technical defects, ACS’s goal is to give positive recognition to those cheeses that are of the highest quality in their aesthetic and technical evaluation,” its website says.
The word aesthetic is apt, and important. While it’s a given that everything Arethusa does is technically perfect, the aesthetics—with regard to the ice cream, the wine bar and all of the products' deep, rich flavors—are what put the experience over the top.
Putting Brillat-Savarin’s signature experiences together—beautiful place, beautiful people, wonderful wine, and great cheese—is easily done at Arethusa al tavolo, where the artisan cheese plate ($16) is served with a fresh honey comb, Melba toast, spiced walnuts and ripe fruits.
Or, especially with autumn closing in and dark evenings by the fire to follow that, you can do what I personally did with absolute contentment on a number of weekends last winter—which was to buy wedges of Arethusa cheeses in the creamery and pair them in the comfort of home with very nice Italian red wines. The creamery and retail store is located at 822 Bantam Road (Route 202) in the Bantam section of Litchfield. The phone number is 860-361-6600 and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Why not add to that recipe a novel by Umberto Eco, perhaps sourced at Dickens Books and Art, some crusty artisan bread from the Bantam Bread Company, a handmade serving vessel from Bantam Tileworks in a hue an Italian Surrealist could love, some olives from the gourmet Bantam Market, candlestick holders as a décor and lighting flourish from The Housatonic Trading Co., and decorate the table with flowers from Brierwood Nurseries—you get the idea.)