missionAt Community table restaurant, our mission is to serve our community exciting and flavorful dishes, sustainably sourced and locally procured, in a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.
approachAt Community Table, our approach to cuisine is rooted in timeless cooking techniques and methods of preserving foods. Cooking seasonally and only with food gathered from the surrounding environment is our method and responsibility. Fortunately, Northwestern Connecticut is home to some of the most amazing farms in the United States, with some of the most fertile and nutrient-rich soil anywhere. The bio-diversity in the natural environment that surrounds us here is breathtaking. This natural wealth allows us to obtain the food we serve not only from local farms and our own cultivation, but it allows us to forage for plants, herbs and flowers that have important health benefits and are interesting in flavor. We also do our own salting, smoking, pickling, drying and curing. By approaching the cooking and preparation of our food in these ways, we hope to bring a stronger, healthier connection to the land and its seasons to the dining experience. Not only is the food healthier this way — richer in nutrients — but it is also more sustainable and lessens the negative impact on the environment. We hope you feel and taste the freshness and quality of Connecticut in our food as we pay homage to the farmers, artisans and land that provide it.
philosophyThe Community Table’s philosophy is rooted in a profound respect for nature and its seasons. Our restaurant is sustainably conceived, designed and operated. The cuisine is light and healthy, but bold and natural in feel and flavor. Our restaurant is for the community of Connecticut and we strive to make it available to all.
executive chef marcell davdisenExecutive Chef Marcell Davidsen, a native of Denmark, brings his Nordic sensibility and unique, artistic approach to create modern dishes that celebrate our local and natural ingredients in their purest form. Growing up in Scandinavia, Marcell received his formal training at HRS Copenhagen, then lived and cooked in Greece for five years, and subsequently moved to the United States to refine his craft. A former Sous Chef here at Community Table, Marcell has had the role of Sous Chef and Chef de Partie at restaurants including Heirloom and Bespoke in New Haven, Leventis in Greece, and Elvira Madigan in Denmark, and was a Summer Stagier at Chef Ronny Emborg's Marchal Restaurant in Copenhagen. In his free time, Marcell likes to forage for herbs, flowers, greens and more, and explore the New England landscape — a continuation of his early years when his grandmother took him into the woods in Denmark to pick wild strawberries and blackberries. Through his cooking, Marcell hopes to spark in people particular times, sensations and memories, establishing a balance between food, nature, life, and experience.
what does ‘local’ mean to us?
What does it mean that Community Table is a “farm to table” restaurant that focuses on “local” ingredients and sourcing whenever possible?
We made this claim as part of our mission statement when we opened six years ago. Since that time, it seems that you can’t go to any restaurant—even national chains—where there isn’t a claim about locally sourced ingredients. Rather than debate the truthfulness of those claims, we thought it would be helpful for us to explain exactly what we mean by our own mission statement.
“Local” for us began with the construction of our restaurant. A local architect, Peter Talbot from Washington, worked with owner Peggy Anderson to design the restaurant. A local builder, Bob Munson from Roxbury, led the effort to build the restaurant. We asked Peter and Bob to use as many materials from the local area as possible in the construction of the restaurant. The Communal table was created from a local black walnut tree and crafted by woodworker Alfred Brown of Warren. The other tables were crafted by Alfie using another black walnut tree that was actually felled on the property when we cleared the land.
Our focus on local even extends to the plates you are using at Ct, which were made by Simon Pearce of Vermont or Kiara Matos of New Haven. But, of course, most importantly, it’s the ingredients for the food we serve which is the key to being a “local” farm to table restaurant.
Let’s start with the proteins that many of us enjoy. If you are having the pork or chicken tonight, it’s likely to have come from our farmer Tom Levine of Longmeadow Farm in West Cornwall or perhaps from Bella Bella Farm in West Haven. Most of our beef lately has been procured from Rock Cobble Farm in Kent. When we want to use a more exotic meat such as elk or buffalo, it’s most likely to have come from Millbrook Farm over the border in New York.
Similarly, our vegetables are also sourced locally as much as possible. The carrots on your plate probably came from Anderson Acres Farm in South Kent or perhaps Back 40 Farm in Washington Depot. Our lettuces and other vegetables come from a variety of local farms many of which have greenhouses to supply us and others in the winter. Last year, we created an herb garden in the back yard of the restaurant, so our Executive Chef Marcell Davidsen has the freshest herbs on hand. Chef Marcell does a lot of foraging himself and also uses the services of other local foragers to find special treats that appear on our dishes occasionally. In the fall, we do a lot of pickling and preserving of vegetables and potatoes and such to extend the season as much as possible.
The fish and shellfish at Ct come exclusively from Browne Trading in Portland, Maine, who goes above and beyond to ensure that everything we serve is going to be available for our lifetime and hopefully our children’s as well.
Is everything local? No, there are some ingredients that just aren’t available locally and there are times in the dead of winter when the root cellar has run dry or the greenhouses aren’t producing everything we need. For example, the lingonberries on the Swedish meatball dish come from Canada—but, of course, that is more local than Sweden! When necessary, Chef Marcell has been using Baldor Foods—one of the top food service companies—to procure the ingredients we simply can’t find at our local farms. Baldor helps connect local farmers with restaurants, so although some ingredients are delivered by Baldor, they are all grown as close to us as possible.
In addition to the fresh ingredients, we try to use local purveyors for all of our products as well. The flour used to make our bread comes from King Arthur of Norwich, Vermont. While many of the teas we serve come from all over the world, we use Harney & Sons of Salisbury to select and package them, and our coffee is roasted right here in Washington by Nick Benson at Zero Prophet Coffee. Our beer on tap is most recently coming from Kent Falls Brewery and you will find some terrific bourbon at the bar from our friends down the road at Litchfield Distillery.
Why do we go through all the trouble to keep Community table as local as possible? We won’t lecture you about the health benefits of eating great fresh food from farms with the highest standards and the benefits of reduced carbon emissions, but let’s just agree that it’s always more fun to do business with people you know and to keep the local economy as strong as possible.
We hope you will agree that being truly local is one of the things that makes Community table unique—and when you combine those fresh local ingredients with the skill of our Executive Chef Marcell Davidsen and his team, it can make for a great meal and a magical experience.
Stay local! Because eating local… is about Community.