FOOD & WINE

Celebrating at Homestead Inn

April 16, 2016
Crispy sauteed sweetbreads with green peas and Perigord black truffle sauce
Homestead Inn (screenshot)

Homestead Inn (screenshot)

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.

Playful hand-painted plate

Playful hand-painted plate at Homestead Inn

The menu

The menu, another artful touch

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.”

Entrance to the Homestead Inn dining room with fresh floors

Entrance to the Homestead Inn dining room with fresh flowers

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.

Dining room at Homestead Inn

Dining room at Homestead Inn

Another dining room, Homestead Inn

Another dining room, Homestead Inn

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.

Amuse bouch of chopped salmon and halibut over cucumber mousse

Amuse bouch 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.

Hard-to-resist sourdough bread

Hard-to-resist freshly baked sourdough bread

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.

Seared Hudson Valley Duck Foie Gras with macaroni and cheese and caramelized Granny Smith apple

Seared Hudson Valley Duck Foie Gras with macaroni and cheese and caramelized Granny Smith apple

Jerry ordered sweetbreads that were sautéed and served on a bed of fresh green peas.

Crispy sauteed sweetbreads with green peas and Perigord black truffle sauce

Crispy sauteed sweetbreads with green peas and Perigord black truffle sauce

We both had fish entrees that were outstanding and then shared a warm chocolate soufflé cake.

Atlantic sea bass with potato gnocchi, tomato fondue, leaf spinach and Champagne sauce

Atlantic sea bass with potato gnocchi, tomato fondue, leaf spinach and Champagne sauce

Striped bass with a lobster roll and lobster sauce

Striped bass with a lobster roll and lobster sauce

Valrhona chocolate souffle cake with a liquid center, pistachio ice cream and candied pistachios

Valrhona chocolate souffle cake with a liquid center, pistachio ice cream and candied pistachios

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.


Tips:

  • 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

  • Reply
    Janice Chung
    April 18, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Upon realizing it was a Relais & Chateaux designated inn, I had no doubt the surroundings and food would be wonderful….and what a great place to celebrate one’s anniversary! Congrats. P.S. Even if I were full to the gills, I’d also eat the petit fours!

  • Reply
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    April 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    What a lovely spot for a special celebration! This is my introduction to the Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut, and I do hope I get there sometime to enjoy a special day.

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    April 18, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful spot for a special anniversary dinner. The food certainly looks like it lived up to the occasion as well.

  • Reply
    Betsy Wuebker
    April 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    What wonderful ambience! It looks like the Homestead Inn would be a wonderful place to stay, too. The meal looks superb.

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    April 19, 2016 at 1:16 am

    A perfect place for a special celebration! Looks lovely. And happy anniversary to you ~ good wishes for many more anniversary dinners!

  • Reply
    Penny
    April 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    What a delicious article! Congratulations on your anniversary, and I wish you many more!

  • Reply
    melody pittman
    April 19, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    The Homestead Inn is gorgeous and that food…nom!! I would love to explore Connecticut maybe this late summer. 😉

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 21, 2016 at 8:03 am

      Yes, that would be a perfect time of year to explore the Connecticut coast.

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    April 19, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    The Homestead Inn looks like a fabulous place to celebrate your anniversary. I would enjoy seeing the gardens and dining in such a beautiful atmosphere. All the food looking delicious but you really had me with the foie gras. Thanks for sharing your celebration. Happy Anniversary!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 21, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Yes, quite a delicacy!Thanks for your anniversary wishes!

  • Reply
    Karen Warren
    April 21, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Homestead Inn looks fabulous. Wonderful setting, hand painted plates and delicious looking food – you couldn’t ask for much more!

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    April 21, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I would have asked if I could bring home the artful menu, if not the plate! What a special place gor an anniversary. I will look for one of those 81 now, wherever we go. I gotta have such am experience! Happy Anniversary!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      April 21, 2016 at 8:01 am

      I was really smitten with the colorful decor! Thanks for your wishes!

  • Reply
    Sand In My Suitcase
    April 21, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Of course you had to order the fois gras with mac-and-cheese! Who could resist! It looks like you two enjoyed a sinfully fabulous anniversary dinner in a very special place. We love Relais & Chateaux hotels – they always ooze character (and the dining rooms are always superb); the Homestead Inn looks charming both as a place to stay and eat :-).

  • Reply
    Rachel Heller
    April 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I grew up not far from Greenwich and there are a number of small inns and restaurants like Homestead in the area in buildings that ooze charm. The food looks outstanding too!

Leave a Reply

Share
Tweet
Share
Pin
Flip