We are going into our fifth season but it seems like yesterday that we moved from Manhattan to settle at the Bee and Thistle Inn and Spa in beautiful old Lyme. As we were acclimating to our new home, I gravitated immediately to the River Tavern restaurant in Chester, Conn. I was so happy to find a place I loved immediately it reminded me very much of my favorite place in Manhattan. It was odd that it even had the same date pudding that I think is the best dessert I have ever eaten.
Looking closer, I realized very quickly this restaurant was owned by the son of my city haunt. I knew I had moved to the right place. David and I go to the River Tavern when we can and always have the best experience. Jonathan Rapp is true to his menu and you always know you are eating the most local fresh ingredients.
Well, things just got better … I learned that Jonathan was opening the Flo Café in the Barn space at the Florence Griswold Museum, which happens to be almost in the Bee and Thistle’s back yard!
I have had two fabulous lunches there now. The first visit I started off with the famous guacamole it is the perfect blend of Chucky ripe avocado, red onion and cilantro accompanied by fresh baked chips with a hint of sea salt. Next came the deviled eggs with lobster perfectly cooked which was so fresh that I found a small piece of shell … it made me smile! This was followed by the sensational summer rolls, which were tender and delicious. They were wrapped in rice paper and inside were noodles, fresh seafood, and cilantro. They were topped with roasted peanuts, and served on a bed of garden lettuce. All of this was of course washed down by a large glass of iced tea mixed with fresh lemonade.
You can sit in the barn or grab a wire basket and blanket to picnic on the banks of the river. But don’t forget the most important part of your lunch experience … the amazing collection at the museum.
I cannot wait to go back and I also look forward to sending our inn guests next door too!