Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Joel Viehland - Cornwall Covered Bridge Dinner

I had the honor of attending an intimate fairytale-like culinary adventure filled dinner with Joel Viehland of Community Table in Cornwall Connecticut. 13 of us boarded a bus from Pier 40 in NYC for a 2 and 1/2 hour ride to join others who drove. It felt like we were in a movie scene as we got off the bus and it magically disappeared. As I looked ahead I saw the picturesque landscape around this beautiful "Cornwall Covered Bridge", built over the Housatonic River around 1864. A four piece band played music as we enjoyed Krug Champagne, Clos Dubreuil and a "special" Covered Bridge Cocktail. Chef Joel Viehland talked briefly about his Farm to Table approach to cooking and Lisa Simon of the Garagista Group spoke about the wine "Clos Dubreuil, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2010". and the wineries and Family that produced this magical elixir! (remember it is a fairytale-like culinary adventure) I mingled by the River and had some wonderful passed hors d'oeuvre and a table full of cheeses, nuts, honey and breads. 

Dinner: As I approached the entrance of this beautiful Covered Bridge I took a deep breath and smiled. Every attention to detail taken care of from the simple lights and table scape created by Michael Trapp. I was in a movie scene and wanted to enjoy everything from the smells to the sights. I believe there were 85 people from all over and with such diverse lives and stories. The food was a like an orchestra each plate, each taste, each ingredient composed By Chef Viehland was a symphony being felt through every part of your body to transcend you to a place where you have never gone before; well at least I have never been before. 

Desserts: A perfect ending to a Symphony, these works of art we call desserts, were the most talked about pieces. We were all saying we ate a plentiful amount but not really feeling "full" and these beautiful works of art appeared and we ate it all. My favorite dessert if I had to pick was the buttermilk custard, concord grape, yuzu, buckwheat, st. george gin ice cream! There was a silence at our table as it arrived, then the look over I turned the dish as to delight in every angle. I next put a taste of buttermilk custard in my mouth and it went to the top of my mouth and the taste of fresh buttermilk lingered I spooned in for some gin ice cream and concord grape the tastes were divine. You want to know where the buckwheat fits in? To me it was the fairy pixi dust placed on the side to bring a certain tiny crunch to it all. The textures, the design, the placement....and the Taste total Divinity! 
It was time to say goodbye to friends whom we had just met hours before. As I boarded the bus back to New York City I turned around and smiled goodbye thank you for the memories.
Thank you Chef Joel Viehland and everyone who helped with this event! 

Special Covered Bridge Drink 

Joel  Viehland and Lisa Simon

Michael Trapp Tablescape

Chilled Cucumber & Champagne  Soup with a piece of smoked John Dory fish
Served with: Krug Grande Cuvee NV

Home Made Bread

Connecticut Royal Red Shrimp, White Currants, Fresh Milk, Dill, Tarragon
served with: Krug Grande Cuvee NV

Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata, Aged apple Vinegar, Olive Oil, Basil & Onion
Served With: Clos Dubreuil, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2010


Lamb Asada, Aji, Mint, Black Garlic, Smoked Potatoes, Caper Anchovy Aioli,
Kale, Peaches, Grilled Red Onion
Served With:  Clos Dubreuil, St-Emilion Grand Cru 2010

My Plate

Buttermilk Custard, Concord Grape, Yuzu, Buckwheat, St. George Gin Ice Cream

Cannoli Hazelnut, Ricotta Gelato, Rye, Nutella

Champagne Chocolate Mignardises
Served With: Haut Charmes, Sauternes 2009

Eventbrite:  All tickets sold benefit the Cornwall Volunteer Fire Department!


Unknown said...

What a magical and interesting dining experience! The covered bridge and landscape are a picturesque backdrop to what looks like a wonderful meal. xxoo Heidi

Mari said...

Grace, everything looks so beautiful and oh soooo yummy!
Thank for your visit and sweet comment ;-)


vivian said...

wow Gracie! you have the most awesome adventures! what a fun day!
miss you!

Victoria - Florence and Mary said...

My word a feast fit for a queen!


Anonymous said...

Hi Grace! Oh, what a special time this must have been! I love it! I'm so fascinated with all the covered bridges and to think having this elegant meal in one is just amazing! Oh, I wish you lived closer too - I'd put you to work! ;) Thank you so much for popping in and maybe one of these days when we get to the city we could meet and have tea! Wouldn't that be fun? Hope you're doing well.
Be a sweetie,

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh Grace, this food looks scrumptious. I've never heard of cucumber soup before, but it sure looks good. I haven't had homemade bread in so long - there's nothing like it. And the cannoli looks yummy. The sunflowers make the table pretty, and I have always thought they were a unique and interesting flower.