Admittedly, the private club world isn’t my milieu. I’m sure I stand out like an extraterrestrial. Who let this guy in here?
Historically, private clubs have been known for stodgy food, the chefs shackled by the members’ conservative tastes. But increasingly, private clubs have been serving more interesting food. Some great cooking can now be found at private clubs. For instance, executive chef Christopher Kube is reportedly doing good work at the Hartford Club. And I have previously praised the food of executive chef Jacques Larsen at Silver Spring Country Club in Ridgefield.
Bringing me back to the Silver Spring Country Club
was the spring meeting of the Club Chefs of Connecticut.
There were a number of notable speakers,
including this caviar expert.
The Club Chefs of Connecticut also showed that they were charitably inclined.
Interesting hors d’oeuvre were passed around,
including oxtail strudel,
veal kidney in mustard sauce (just fabulous),
foie gras and prosciutto on brioche (thank you sir, may I have another?),
scallop and Grinnell caviar in a Champagne sauce,
and tartlets with trout caviar, crème fraîche and chervil.
After the hors d’oeuvre, people took their seats for lunch.
I was lucky enough to sit with Nicola Zanghi,
whom you see here on the receiving end of a friendly greeting. Nicola, who now represents Main Street Wholesale Meats, was one of my favorite Connecticut chefs when he was cooking at Zanghi on Summer Street in Stamford.
The special menus that awaited us at our seats were certainly intriguing.
Soon, bread was being broken
and wine was flowing.
Our first course consisted of chicken oysters with oyster liquor and American sturgeon caviar.
Even more intriguing was a unique surf-and-turf of octopus and bone marrow in a potato-and-crème-fraîche foam.
Somewhat more conventional but equally great was a steak course which included sliced sirloin and grilled filet mignon in a red wine sauce, plus berrichonne potatoes, rapini
and béarnaise sauce.
Highly unconventional (but highly delicious), dessert was a white chocolate crémeux with pine nut brittle and American paddlefish caviar.
At the end of the meal, toasts were made
and chefs introduced.
The country club life? I could get used to it.
Silver Spring Country Club, 439 Silver Spring Road, Ridgefield, 203-438-6720