Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut is a great destination for foodies with any excuse to celebrate.
The hand-painted plates set on our table were the first clue that our anniversary dinner at the Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut would be special. Then we were handed two oversized menus on exceptionally heavy stock with eye-catching artwork that looked hand-drawn.
Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann—which includes a restaurant and 18-room boutique hotel—is one of 39 Relais & Chateaux designated properties in the eastern United States; there are only 81 (either free-standing restaurants or restaurants combined with hotels) in the entire United States.
This one is located on 2.6 acres on the Bell Haven Peninsula of Connecticut, a posh residential enclave close to Long Island Sound that was once called “Newport on the Sound.”
The dining room of the Homestead Inn is a restored 1799 Victorian-style farmhouse with stucco walls, beamed ceilings, elegant chandeliers and a wraparound glass enclosed porch overlooking manicured gardens. You almost feel as if you are sitting in a glass box within the house because there are paned windows along the walls.
The tables are so nicely spaced that once you are seated you quickly forget other diners are in the room. The décor is cozy and romantic, pitch perfect for a special occasion.
Chef and co-owner Thomas Henkelmann (with his wife Theresa, an interior designer) hails from Germany but his cuisine is often described as contemporary French. Each course of our meal was creative, beautifully presented and tasted exquisitely. We started off with an appetizing amuse bouche of chopped salmon and halibut over cucumber mousse.
There was a choice of three types of breads: sourdough, multigrain and bacon with potato, all piping hot.
For first courses, I ordered a sinful preparation of Hudson Valley Foie Gras with macaroni and cheese. Before ordering, I hesitated for a moment because I could only think of the orange stuff that came out of the blue box. However, this one was exceptionally light and paired perfectly with the seared foie gras on top.
Jerry ordered sweetbreads that were sautéed and served on a bed of fresh green peas.
We both had fish entrees that were outstanding and then shared a warm chocolate soufflé cake.
George and Umberto, our two main servers were professional yet personal. They were knowledgeable about the menu and offered helpful guidance. Service was almost perfect. An added bonus: I was thrilled to come home with a recipe for making fish sauce that Umberto recounted from the time when he owned three restaurants himself. (I made it for dinner the following night and it was terrific).
After dessert, we were full to the gills but couldn’t resist the plate of petit fours served at the end of the meal.
Homestead Inn received a four-star review from the New York Times. Upon entering the restaurant, we noticed that several tables seemed to be filled with small groups of people who looked like hedge fund managers (there are no less than 17 hedge funds in Greenwich), probably dining on their expense accounts.
Yes, this anniversary dinner was a splurge but a memorable one, worth every penny. The meal was as sensational as the ambiance.
- Go easy on wines and spirits; they are pretty expensive.
- Arrive before sunset, so you can take advantage of the garden views.
IF YOU GO
Homestead Inn – Thomas Henkelmann, 420 Field Point Rd, Greenwich, CT 06830