Community Table – Washington Ct

As Many of you may know we are huge fans of Chef Joel Viehland and his restaurant, Community Table. The first time we went was back in April 2011 and the meal blew our minds! post here I often say that dinner and the conversation that followed with Joel is what catapulted our food love into a whole new stratosphere. Since that memorable night Jose and I decided to go back to this little gem in beautiful Washington ct. as often as we can.
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In early March Joel and lovely wife Audra came to bk to join us for a meal at Aska. over the many tasty courses we had the chance to catch up and hear about whats been going on at the restaurant. Joel was very animated and excited when he told us about the young and talented new hires in the kitchen. Marcell, Joel’s new sous chef came to him from copenhagen where he was previously at Noma. The latest addition to this culinary dream team was chef Tommy Juliano, a very artistic pastry chef that Joel worked hard at scooping up. All this news left jose and i intrigued  A few months after this conversation we decided that it was time to head up to witness these changes for ourselves. We rented a car and took the 1.5 hour trip out to ct for an all immersive food focused overnight adventure.
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When we arrived the charismatic chef himself greeted us and brought us to the table. Once seated the dishes started coming out. First some homemade bread made fresh daily by their bread maker April Massey, also a Noma alum. While the bread was delish i must say that jose and i were hoping for april’s sourdough, a bread that last year,inspired jose to restart his bread project.
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eggFollowing those glorious carbs…A cracked farm egg filled with a soft scrambled egg. There was some magical green oil drizzled on the top… Need to ask Joel what this was. With even just the first dish we could tell that things were different behind those kitchen doors.
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venison
Next up a beautiful dish of greens atop a bizarre combination of venison and fluke. To be honest I was a little skeptical when Joel explained the dish but after diving in I can assure you that the flavor combinations were fantastic!
The last time I had this kind of combined proteins was at diverxo in Madrid and as much as I loved that dish this combination worked a bit better for me.
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artichoke soupThe next course was a soup. This creamy masterpiece wasn’t just any old soup it was pure happiness in a bowl. Each bite resulted in a huge smile that uttered sounds of joy. The smile turned into a sad face when I reached the bottom, yes it was an emotional moment.   (Take away, Jerusalem artichoke purée and white chocolate is indeed a killer combination!)
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scallop
A beautiful colorful creation came next. The ingredient combinations were as brilliant as it was gorgeous to look at.  The earthy flavors of the smoked parsnip, walnut oil, ramp emulsion and soil grounded the seafood, and evoked a subtle nod to a surf and turf dish minus the animal protein.
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oysters2
A wonderful light creamy dish full of clean and fresh seafood topped with fragrent dill and salty roe.
vealBy this time I was beyond full but power on I did. It wasn’t that hard given how perfectly cooked the Veal breast was.
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sheep yogurt
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We have always loved joel’s desserts. Especially this  one  from our first visit back in 2011. This time desserts were especially exciting. Such creatively conceived flavor profiles and all of them beautiful plated. The Sheep yogurt foam cake was incredible even more so after hearing the process of making it.
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tommy Juliano
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brunch
The next morning we woke to a beautiful sunny day.  We got ready and made our way outside where we took in the fresh air and the country views: majestic rolling green hills, miles and miles of stone fences and scattered old farms in the horizon.  Being outside Brooklyn was a much needed relief, if only we could stay longer. Instead of taking a walk through the woods, as any healthy person would do after a long dinner, we instead made our way back to the restaurant for a “little” bite before heading back to the city.  This was our second brunch at CT and the dishes keep getting better and better, this time the menu appeared to push the culinary envelope a bit more.
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scones
To start, an out of this world carb fest, made daily by the talented April Massey.
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polentaThe Polenta was a familiar dish, so much so that it teleported me back to the heartwarming breakfasts my grandmother used to make growing up.
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rabbit
Jose’s Rabbit Rillete was one of the more creative brunch dishes I have had in a long time. If it is on the menu I strongly recommend ordering it.
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BURGER
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Overview:  If it is at all possible, Joel has indeed upped his game and the kitchen is overflowing with creative energy. We are both excited about the continued growth of the cuilinary team at Community Table. Both Marcell and Tommy are young and ambitious and continually looking to experiment and grow. With Joel at the helm leading these two new members big things are bound to happen.  It is only a matter of time before Community Table gets the recognition that it deserves!

Community Table

Executive Chef Joel Viehland
223 Litchfield Tpke. Washington, CT 06777
For reservations call 860.868.9354

Website

 

Many people have asked me for information about places to stay. Below is a list of b&b’s. (I would skip the first one, unless you want to spend 1k per night…)

where to stay

The Mayflower Inn and Spa Washington (high end/spa)
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6.3 miles/9 minutes from Community table

The Winvian Litchfield (high end/spa)
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8.6 mi/15min

The Hopkins Inn on Lake Waramaug
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6 mi/10 min

The Sachem Farmhouse B&B Lake Waramaug
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5.9 mi/10 min

Hidden Valley Washington
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3.2mi/4 min

The Inn at Kent Falls Kent, CT
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15.4mi/23 min

The Rooster Tail Inn Warren, CT
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5.3mi/9 min

The Litchfield Inn Litchfield, CT
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6.1mi/8 min

The Homestead Inn New Milford
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10.8mi/15 min

Starbuck Inn Kent,CT
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2 Comments

  1. We finally went to Community Table last night, after reading your posts, and loved it! And you’re completely right, the pastry chef is super-talented: our tres leches dessert was the best dessert I’ve had in a while. We’ll try to stay the night nearby next time so that we can eat brunch as well.

    • Hey Ben, So glad you made it out there! Joel, Marcell & Tommy are incredibly talented and some of the more passionate chefs we know.

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