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Oriole9 and Woodstock

March 6, 2010

I never got to see Woodstock in its heyday of revolutionaries, flower-power people, and awesome rock bands, but this weekend I did get to see what the town has evolved into. I must say, I liked what I saw. While the central town was small, it contained many local treasures. There were small boutiques with contemporary bohemian clothing that emulated Urban Outfitters or Anthropology in a satisfyingly less commercial way. It has a variety of other stores, from one called ‘Candlestock’ which sold the most amazingly psychedelic candles, to stores that, of course, sold outlandish Woodstock memorabilia. But, critically for this tourist, it has unique eateries. Before checking in for our night’s stay at a nearby town, Chris and I hit up Oriole9 for some breakfast/lunch. Chris had found this restaurant on the web, and it promoted a huge focus on local ingredients, fresh food, and a truly green-conscious concept of food.  These places are few and far between in CT, so we were eager to give it a shot.

My first impression was positive; the space of the eatery was contemporary and warm, with regulars talking to the waiters, and a long family sized table that ran across the length of the dining room acted as the centerpiece. Being a small party of two, we sat at one of the small booth tables off to the side. The menu was medium sized, with a variety of choices. I opted for scrambled eggs, toast, a croissant, sausage and bacon. The eggs, sausage and bacon all promised to be locally grown and harvested. Chris opted for the Falafel with Arugala.

We were well satisfied with both our meals. I felt especially satisfied with my choice of bacon and sausage, which usually leaves me with this greasy overly fattening feeling. This cut of meat tasted fresh and clean, not heavy in the least. The sausage was the standout, since they had opted to cook it with rosemary, which really developed the taste complexity for me, since sides like this can also fall victim to one-dimensionality. Rosemary was a perfect herb for the task, and the next time I make some sausage, I’m definitely trying this trick. My croissant was buttery, flaky, and fresh. My one criticism of my meal was my eggs, which while fresh, were a little dry. I usually mix in cheese with my eggs when I’m cooking at home to keep the end result a little more gooey.

Chris praised his Felafel with Arugala and horseradish. It was clean and simple, with local ingredients as well. He enjoyed the hint of horseradish, and his only wish was that there was more of it. But, overall, our food was wonderful. I also felt like the added benefit of knowing we were supporting local farmers and growers made the experience that much better. The focus on this, as well as consuming ingredients untainted by hundreds of pesticides and weeks in the freezer, made me feel good both physically and mentally. In the future, I look forward to exploring more restaurants with this focus.

– Ren

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