Tucked away in a cozy plaza in Newtown is an amazing farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on delivering fresh local food in a warm and welcoming setting. As soon as you walk into The Farmhouse Restaurant you are greeted like family. They have a gorgeous dining area with floor to ceiling windows where you can watch the sun go down, relax and enjoy a spectacular meal.
Executive Chef and Owner Winnie Togonon joined with Michele Carrino-Hanson and Michael McGetrick to create a true farm-to-table dining experience for their community. Chef Winnie is no stranger to the culinary arts industry and attributes his skills to the outstanding training he received through the many positions he has held since entering the food industry in 1974. A native of the Philippines, Chef began his career at a major international hotel and his work took him to the Middle East, and later to Norwegian Cruise Lines on the S.S. Norway, where he became a protege of several world-renowned French chefs.
Chef Winnie takes great pride in personally selecting the finest cuts of meat, seafood, fresh produce and other ingredients stocked in his kitchen. He views his work as art, and as such believes that the highest-level cuisine demands superior quality food products. His favorite aspect of the job is the regular challenge he faces to live up to his training and experience. Seeing such intense customer satisfaction with the various menu selections is the ultimate gratification for him.
In 1994, Chef brought his 20 years of international experience in the food industry to Oheka Castle Catering, Inc. He was the magic behind the much raved about and award winning cuisine at the Castle. In addition to his culinary creations, Winnie’s artistic talents with ice and food carvings have received wide acclaim. His expertise includes the ability to create delicately carved floral design garnishes from vegetables and fruits, as well as customized ice carvings that are consistently met with awe.
His partner, Michele, is a dynamic and accomplished Catering and Event Planning Professional with extensive Restaurant Management Experience. Michele started her career at the Spinning Wheel Inn where she worked for over 18 years serving as first the Assistant Banquet Director, then becoming Sales, Marketing and Banquet Director and General Manager. Michele’s forte is working with the public, which is easy to see as she is the first person to greet you as you walk through the doors of The Farmhouse Restaurant.
With such amazing hospitality and experience at the helm of The Farmhouse, we couldn’t wait to taste the food! We were excited to hear that the fish and seafood is delivered fresh daily at 4pm. And you could certainly tell when you try it! To start we shared the Polpo with crispy marble potato, charred shishito peppers, young tomatoes, and cilantro calamansi glaze – this is the place to go for octopus – it was melt in your mouth delicious. For our entrees, we had the Branzino– out of this world tender, moist and in a lovely lemon butter sauce with crispy Brussels sprouts and tender baby carrots; and the Cajun Spiced Tuna with black beans, mango, jicama in a nice cilantro-lime vinaigrette…both were outstanding. For dessert, we shared a Strawberry-Rhubarb crisp which had a great contrast of sweet/sour with a crunchy crisp on top.
In addition to the great culinary experience, we were excited to see that the Farmhouse was hosting its first exhibition of art since opening in December. “Art with a Heart: Sharing is Caring,” the latest collection curated by Newtown resident Rosemary Rau, features paintings by Jeanne Eleck, Adele Moros, and Roberta Shea, and photographs by Bill Glass. The exhibition opened on May 9th. Partial proceeds from the sale of each artwork, as well as donations from Farmhouse customers, will benefit FAITH Food Pantry and the Salvation Army Food Pantry at Newtown Social Services.
The Farmhouse Restaurant is a place you won’t want to miss and well worth the drive from anywhere in Connecticut. While many places boast using fresh ingredients and offering farm-to-table dining, the Farmhouse truly delivers on both. Their seasonal menus are designed with ingredients sourced from the farmlands, fields and oceans of the Northeast.
Submitted by Dr. Diane Hayden. For more information, visit:
www.farmhouserestaurantct.com located at 43 S. Main Street in Newtown, CT. 203-491-2840