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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Peachy's Picks Connecticut: Litchfield Saltwater Grille in Litchfield Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

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Once upon a time, an amazing actress delivered a stellar performance at Rye Playland in Westchester New York, and someone thought she was so spectacular, he just had to meet her after the show.  (He was a chef...and she happens to come from a restaurant family.)  Why are we telling you this?  It has everything to do with your next dinner.  It is the story of Litchfield Saltwater Grille in Connecticut!  There's the guy who appreciated the performance above, Executive Chef and Owner Albert Clugston III.  And the amazing actress?  That's Brett Clugston, who stars as Owner and Hostess at 26 Commons Drive, and they are among the most talented -especially for their generation- we've encountered in both Connecticut and New York.  There are a few of their numerous awards they're holding in the below photo that rest upon the high kitchen shelf...and of course, now they're married to each other.  By dessert you're going to be throwing roses and shouting "Bravo!" at the curtain call too.  Don't miss it though-it is distant from the street but we know our readers are smart and they can find it!  A Connecticut original from Newtown, Brett was at the door when we arrived and she graciously greeted us.  Litchfield Saltwater Grille looks fantastically festive for the Christmas season right now.
Litchfield Saltwater Grille was first featured in Tasty Tidbits:
and we are pleased to announce it has joined the ranks of Peachy's Picks!  Its tremendously fresh seafood, acute attention to detail and fantastic professionalism and winning owners sailed this ship through with flying colors!  
Deciding what to order is not easy as there are many convincing choices.  It was impressed upon us that this is a place that knows their seafood.  Both people on the panel are avid seafood connoisseurs and their combined years evidence decades of enthused fish consumption in Connecticut-and they agreed that this is one of the best in Connecticut for fish.  Especially inland.
It's not only for fish however, as it is a fish house with steak house concepts.  Many sides are offered as they would be at a steak house.  
Don't lose that address.  Put it on your to-do list pronto!
We began with a full-bodied Italian Nero D'Avola Don Tomasi 2009 from Italy, and this proved to be a winning choice for pairing throughout the evening.  
They have a tremendous wine list at Litchfield Saltwater Grille, and we were seated in the B. R. Cohn room.  The bar area boasts an impressive collection of wine that you see displayed on the walls.
An amuse-bouche of yellow tomato, mozzarella, creme fraiche and avocado perched on a crostini was the perfect beginning to a stupendous culinary adventure.
The atmosphere is engaging yet tranquil in the dining area and would be equally successful for a family dinner, catching up with your friends, a business deal or a date.  Since you are in the great state of Connecticut, there is lots of room and you won't be sitting on top of another table.
As a starter, Peachy Deegan chose the Baked Oysters Rockefeller:
Oysters dancing in creamed spinach, swiss, and pernod essence on a bed of red cabbage will ignite your appetite and bring you back to summery days.  Seafood is delivered daily to Litchfield Saltwater Grille, ensuring that only the absolute freshest is brought to you.  This generous portion was highly satisfying in quality of seafood, beauty of presentation and texture of ingredients.
A first-class green salad punctuated the end of the appetizer and got us ready for the main course.  Ingredients were crisp, nutritious and delicious and salad dressing was served on the side appropriately.
Do we love shrimp?  Do we love risotto?  Do we love artichoke?  Do we worship truffle oil?  The answer to all of those questions is YES if you have been reading our 13,000 other posts, so you can imagine who was nearly jumping up and down in her seat when she saw Grilled Gulf Shrimp with Oyster Mushroom Risotto, Grilled Artichoke Hearts and Truffle Oil!  Its gorgeous consistency and definition of flavor distinguished it among an all-star lineup of entree selections for Peachy Deegan.  Absolutely brilliant, and again, presented with style.
Zoomed in, it is even more enticing:
It is filling yet you will want to devour it all as delicately as possible.
Keep your computer screen clean, and put the pedal to the metal and set your car's internal driving map to Litchfield!  You can't get this in New York!
As if you need further convincing, everyone who is anyone in Connecticut will be there Saturday, January 5th for Peachy Deegan's favorite show-join her Faceb
ook Group:
Peachy did not know this prior to Brett telling her at the review, but it reinforces our philosophy that the best brands work together.  We'd encourage you to order a bespoke mini-Victorian riding hat by Ellen Christine Couture Millinery to wear to their event, shown by Peachy at the Landmarks Conservancy Gala with Liza.  If you are asking what is her favorite show this must be your first Whom You Know encounter; Downton Abbey was celebrated on an episode-by-episode basis for our 12,000th post.
Our esteemed panelist adds:
I have lived in Connecticut for many years, and have been to many, many restaurants (in fact, I took Peachy to quite a few when she was growing up!).  Few have impressed me as much as Litchfield Saltwater Grille, and days later I am telling everyone what an outstanding venue it is.  Going there was Peachy's idea and I hadn't heard of it before though it is six years old.  I have driven by it many times however was not aware of it, as it is nestled in a spot not close to the street and unless you drove slowly (not my style) or ventured into the shopping village it's in, it's likely you would not notice it either.  We are pleased to shine the spotlight on it today, and I can't wait to go back for the Pork Chops.
I began with the Saltwater Clams Casino, shown above, and it was a singular sensation!  With bacon bourbon butter to-die-for and festively adorned with tortilla fries, it put me in the proper Christmas spirit.  The clams were succulent and fresh and overall, this is the best Clams Casino I've had in recent memory.
A special of the night was the Swordfish.  A thick cut seared perfectly, it was ideally complimented by both shiitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms in a light demi cream sauce with grilled polenta.   I loved it!
Great restaurants have their own wineglasses!  You will be privileged to sip from these!
By the way when they say wine loft, be aware Manhattan-dwellers that this wine loft may trump your apartment in space!
If you have been with Peachy on a review, you know the rule is we eat dessert if the owner eats it with us.  Of course we only say this if we are thrilled with the venue...
Creme brulee garnished with fresh blueberries is one of the many sweet fortes of Litchfield Saltwater Grille:
And our esteemed panelist learned that so is the carrot cake!  It was so moist and delicious!
Brett also had the carrot cake (her mom makes the desserts!), and we all had this dessert wine from Italy she suggested:
Peachy Picks Litchfield Saltwater Grille!
Litchfield Saltwater Grille is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

26 Commons Drive, Route 202

Litchfield, CT 06759


Hours of Operation

Monday / 4-10 PM

Tuesday / 4-10 PM

Wednesday / 12-10 PM

Thursday / 12-10 PM

Friday / 12-11 PM

Saturday / 12-11 PM

Sunday / 12- 9 PM

(Lounge Open Late)

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