Social Media Sampling
Early in December we were invited to sample some of the snack items and small and medium plates available at Oak Haven Table and Bar in New Haven CT. (Note: 'large' plates are also available but were not part of this sampling.)
Owners Craig Hotchkiss and Al Greenwood have a winning combination of specialty cocktails and a true farm to table menu overseen by chef Meg Fama.
Enter the cozy restaurant on State Street in New Haven's East Rock section and you'll be surprised at the size and comfort of the surroundings in the warmly decorated and amber toned dining room and bar.
The menu changes daily in accordance with the availability from local sources. And everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, is made on premise. Good lordy, even the ketchup is made on premise from scratch!
We started with some cocktails, which also change seasonally, as well as featuring market specials of the day. Remember I said made on premise...yup...even the juices are prepared on premise!
|Left: Taste of Christmas with rye and winter spices|
Right: Market Special Rime Vodka with Cranberry and Rosemary herbs
We started with the Autumn Rolls from the snack menu, prepared with shredded market vegetables and a plum sauce, these were crunchy good, and similar to a spring roll.
|Oak Haven Mussels|
Also from the small plates menu were a nice dish of brussel sprouts, prepared with garlic, shallots, and a maple reduction.
|Oak Haven Brussel Sprouts|
And last from the small plate menu were the crabcakes, prepared with a house made remoulade. These were also quite tasty and chock full of fresh crab meat.
|Blue Crab: Dual Crispy Crab Cakes|
Then we moved on to the medium plates menu, where we sampled scallops, a cassoulet, and steamed clams.
The seared scallops were served with a tangy tarragon cream sauce, bacon bits and fresh market vegetables.
|Dry Boat Scallops|
Then, my favorite dish of the evening, a beautiful cassoulet, prepared with sausage, mushrooms, carrots, onions, white beans, local greens, parmesan cheese, with a wine broth. While I'm not typically a fan of anything made with sausage, this dish was an amazing blend of flavors that didn't allow the sausage to overtake the dish.
|Oak Haven Cassoulet|
Last on our medium plate menu sampling were the clams fra diavlo. The star of this dish was the incredible spicy tomato based broth it was prepared in. My tablemate Julie, of JuliEdibles kept referring to the broth as 'liquid gold' and I couldn't agree more. It was rich and hearty, and the Cowboy and I had the perfect arrangement, I savored the clams while he soaked up the broth with Oak Haven's crusty bread. It was all he could do to keep himself from picking up the bowl with two hands and drinking the warm delicious elixir.
|Clams Fra Diablo|
To finish our evening, we sampled some of Chef Fama's baked goods for dessert, delicious cookies, dessert bars, and shortcakes.
|Assorted Cookies and Bread Pudding Bars|
|Shortbread with Jam|
During dessert, Chef Fama was able to join us for a few minutes and we were certainly impressed with her commitment to the farm to table movement that the restaurant is becoming well known for. She was able to name each dish we sampled and the farm it was connected with. Every dish, and even many of the cocktails, have ties to local sources. Folks, this is a wonderful way to support local!
For a list of farms the restaurant works with click here => Oak Haven's Local Farms
We certainly enjoyed this cozy little place in New Haven and we're looking forward to a return in the coming year!
Oak Haven Table Bar
932 State Street
New Haven, CT 06511
On the Web: http://www.oakhaventableandbar.com/index.php
Disclaimer: We were invited to this sampling by Oak Haven's management team. However, all opinions expressed are entirely our own.