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Jul 14, 2012 02:46 PM

[Connecticut] Northern Fairfield County / Southern Litchfield County-Area Butcher, Fishmonger, Produce Vendor and Other Good Eats? (New Milford, Sherman, New Fairfield, northern Danbury)

Does anyone know of a good butcher or fishmonger in the Sherman / New Fairfield area? If I have to, I'll drive to Danbury for a good butcher, but the closer to home the better, of course.

I'm also slowly making my way around the area trying new restaurants and trying to establish a good source for other basics: a good bakery for bread, a particularly good farm stand for produce, maybe a good pick-your-own kind of place, etc... So any suggestions you have along these lines would be much appreciated!

As far as restaurants go, we've liked The Cookhouse in New Milford (though someone mentioned to me that there was an even better place for barbecue in the vicinity, without naming the place); American Pie Company in Sherman; Pho Vietnam on Pandanaram Rd. in northern Danbury; and Frannie's Goodie Shop in New Fairfield for bread and cannoli.

Already on my list of places to try: The White Horse Tavern, Oliva, Community Table.

If anyone has suggestions for other places to try, I'd really welcome your thoughts. I'd be especially thrilled to hear about places for well made, authentic Mexican, Peruvian, Salvadoran, Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, Korean and Japanese.

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  1. On Fridays and Saturdays, I believe, a fish truck does business on Route 7 in New Milford, just north of The Cookhouse.

    The butcher at the Sherman IGA is decent. I haven't looked for anything extraordinary there, but talk to him and he'll cut your meat to order.

    There are a few nearish farms that raise meat animals. I don't know names offhand, though you can find some good frozen local meat at Marble Valley Farm's stand (open weekends in summer). They're on Route 7 south of Kent, and they grow great produce. Highly recommended.

    Another farm for produce is Bloomingfields Farm on Route 55 in Sherman, just west of Route 39.

    New Milford and Kent both have Saturday morning farmers' markets in the summer.

    The better barbecue place is Big W's in Wingdale, NY. And it definitely is better. Amazing chicken.

    Primo Deli on Bridge Street in New Milford is a hole in the wall with quite good Latin food.

    1. Have you tried Larsen's farm stand yet? Their corn is outstanding and I've picked up some fantastic tomatoes and potatoes there, too.

      Agree with the Primo's rec - I sampled some of their food at last year's New Milford Village Fair and was quite impressed.

      7 Replies
      1. re: saturngrrl

        I've had some luck at Larson's in the past, though I haven't been recently. Is their corn great now? I haven't had any good corn yet this year and I want some soon....

        1. re: wasny

          It's all the super-sweet kind of corn. Sigh. Does no one grow old-fashioned non-super-sweet corn anymore?

          As for other places. Totally agree re Big W's--I dream about the smoked chicken.

          I might give the Sherman IGA butcher higher marks--they have Prime beef--their fish, less great--though this weekend, you can order live lobsters @ the Sherman IGA @ $3.99 a pound! I've also gotten good lobsters and steamers @ good prices from Stew Leonard's in Danbury (you just have to put up w/ moo-ing mechanical cows, etc!).

          The fish truck that comes to Rte 7 in New Milford on Fri and Sat is terrific (you make your checks out to "The Fish Guy"). Everything I've ever gotten there is super-fresh and fabulous.

          Best place for bread: Bantam Bakery on Rte 202 in Bantam--first-rate stuff. I esp. love their whole-grain loaf and donut-muffins/dirt-bombs (can't recall what they call them--a combo of a donut and a muffin--truly terrible for you and, of course, delicious).

          I like the Brewster NY Farmer's Market on Wed and Sat--less precious (and less pricey) than New Milford. Albeit a bit of a hike.

          Good farm stands: the one off 37n.,, going from the IGA to 55--look for a sign on the right--excellent stuff--not sure there's a name, but I think they're connected to Naromi Land Trust. I also like Sullivan Farm in New Milford on 202, en route to Litchfield--also on the right--and they employ youth who need a helping hand.

          1. re: sundeck sue

            Not meaning to be picky, but that's Bantam Bread, not bakery. And the dirt bombs are indeed very nice, as are their breads. Tarts are great too, and my dog loves their dog biscuits - it's all good in my book.

            1. re: harrie

              picky is good. hilarious re your dog.

              as my grandfather would have said (in an east european accent), "only in America"!

            2. re: sundeck sue

              p.s. re earlier post: re farm stands--meant 39n (not 37)--and the farm (off 39n) is called Babbling Brook Farm.

              Also we just got some produce @ the farm stand on Rte 22 in Southeast (or is it Patterson?)--if you're heading to Sherman from Rte 684, it's on the right, just before the turn on Haviland Hollow--tomatoes not very tasty and a bit mealy, ditto for peaches, corn OK.

              1. re: sundeck sue

                Sue, I know exactly which stand you're talking about. They hardly ever seem to be open, at least not when I drive by.

                More generally, thanks very much for all your (spot on) suggestions! I'm slowly going through your list and I've loved what I've tried so far (Fish Guy truck, Brewster Farmer's Market). You know this area well and I appreciate you sharing that knowledge.

            3. re: wasny

              We really like it. We did a comparison against some other farm that was selling from a pickup truck with a pop-up shade tent thingy (forgive me, I'm having a hot flash and the proper name for it escapes me at the moment, LOL!) on the side of the road on Route 202 on our way back from Clamp's (good lord, that was a tasty, if a bit greasy, burger!). I can't remember the name of the farm, either. Sorry. But the Larson's corn was FAR superior. Sweeter, fresher tasting, wonderful texture, with that satisfying "pop" when you bite into it. Just so much better. But we LIKE the super-sweet corn. The other one was definitely NOT sweet and had that weird texture that I can only describe as "husky" which probably doesn't help anyone or make any kind of sense. It's what my mom used to call "horse corn." When I recover from my hot flash and can think of better words, maybe I'll come back and clarify. LOL!

          2. You guys are wonderful. Thanks a bazillion.

            2 Replies
            1. re: michelleats

              Chiming in late here (as per usual) I'll second Primo deli. I've had a couple hot sit down meals there and it was all delicious. The chicharrĂ³nes are to die for, and I image if you eat too much of them, they could kill ya. But it would be a delicious death.

              Another thing that needs mentioning is the Bridgewater General Store. The candy is delicious and when you want a nice gift you have a go-to now. But even better is the ice cream. OMG, the ice cream is dreamy. And the fruit flavors are from local fruit and the maple walnut is made with local maple syrup. It's damn fine stuff.

              Now, it you don't mind a bit of a drive, when you are in the mood for an outing: Salisbury!



              I'm sure it is all good, but the first time I found the place it was on a side road off the street and I was doing survey work such that I had to look in people's gardens. And I smelled this smell. And I followed my nose. And I walked into the place and I interrupted the conversations and I practically shouted: WHAT IS THAT SMELL?

              They told me it was almond shortbread. They told me it wasn't coming out of the oven for another fifteen minutes. I told them I'd wait. With my baffled coworker who had just found me from when I had wandered away, helplessly hypnotized by the aroma. I didn't even shoot her a side glance, and by then the poor woman had spent enough months out in the field with me under some pretty interesting conditions, adventurous even. And she knew the look in my eyes I get with different kinds of stress. She knew I was very, very serious. She waited and she bought a bag of gingersnaps and those were lovely and good (we shared, we shared) but that shortbread. It was what shortbread must be like in heaven and it was almost good enough to make my skeptical heart believe.

              Oh that shortbread. They do other kinds of shortbread and they'll all really good, but that almond one is my own personal religion.

              And in the summer, at least as of two years ago, they locally source homemade ice cream and they make ice cream sandwiches with that shortbread. I had lemon shortbread with raspberry ice cream. I'm just gonna lie here on the floor for a minute and quiver thinking about it. Oh, and another time I had a ginger one with both components ginger variants.

              Yep. You got some good eating up that way.

              1. re: Pipenta

                Hah, thanks, Pipenta. That's a moving description of the shortbread!

            2. Stan Elliott's fish truck is in Woodbury on Thursday, NM on Friday and Ridgefield on Saturday. It is fabulous. I particularly like the swordfish, scallops, salmon, clams, mussels and lobsters. I am not fond of the chowders or fishcakes. Oliva is a great option- try to get an outside table. They have squid stuffed with raisins and pignoli nuts as well as some unique ice cream for dessert. Bridgewater General Store has wonderful pies but you need to reserve ahead. Bantam Bread is available at several retail markets including New Morning in Woodbury. The bakery hours at the Bantam bread location are limited. I don't know how far you can travel but Ovens of France (Woodbury) has croissants and the Southbury Bakery has fabulous carrot cake. I have not tried CT but it's on my list. Oh - also try Lucia in NM for homemade pasta and really good Italian food.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LAC06488

                Thank you for your suggestions! Is it just me or do our cups runneth over when it comes to fish trucks? I've seen quite a few around.

                I bet my husband is going to be very excited to try Lucia. Do they have a regional specialization?

                1. re: michelleats

                  I have only tried one fish truck. Lucia does not have a regional specialty but I think their speciality is the homemade pasta's - we ate there since I last posted - fazzolina ( flat thin empanada's) stuffed with ground chicken, pheasant and veal with a touch of cream - to die for. My hubby had veal bracciole with gnocchi- a bit heavier but excellent. My son had angel hair pasta with pea's and pancetta - another winner. They had a special appetizers - zucchini flowers which I was really excited about - a soggy eggy disappointment. You can't go wrong with salad and pasta here. I'd be interested to hear what you try

                  We also tried CT at long last - fabulous - it will run about $75/pp including tax, tip, wine, dessert. The flavors and textures stand out : a generous portion of sweet crispy Stonington scallops with local kale - delicious but obviously quite different than Lucia. I tried the watermelon appetizer which was OK - not a substantial portion. My hubby had the bib salad which was generous - enough to share.

                  1. re: LAC06488

                    Hey Hounds - The fish truck will be in Woodbury no more. The new tenant (a former Good News Cafe employee) is opening a restaurant and has decided that the taco truck every day at lunch is OK but the fish truck on Thursday is not. It's really a shame. I know nothing about the new restaurant but rest assured I will protest. They're not getting my business.