My visit to Taste of Ridgefield, a fantastic annual food and wine event in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
I’m going to confess from the start: I ate way too much when I visited Ridgefield, Connecticut last month. If you’re going to attend a gourmet tasting event, you have to go “all in” and indulge!
My friend invited me to join her for the 18th annual Taste of Ridgefield, a premier food and wine event hosted by the Ridgefield Rotary Club.
Held at the historic Lounsbury House, the event featured displays from the area’s chefs, food artisans, and beverage purveyors. It was a great opportunity to sample some of the best culinary talent of the region and support a warm and gracious community.
Proceeds from Taste of Ridgefield benefit the Rotary Club’s scholarship fund and grants for a number of local organizations. Fabulous food in support of a great cause? What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The Lounsbury House
Dating to 1896, The Lounsbury House is a beautiful marriage of gracious elegance and grandeur. Striking columns greet visitors at the main entryway with a sweeping porch that runs the length of the facade.
Preserved wood moldings adorn Lounsbury’s rooms and hallways. A focal staircase allures visitors to its landing with soft light filtered through stained glass windows. On this afternoon, a harpist at the base of the staircase provided an ambient backdrop to the setting. Every aspect of the event was, in one word, “lovely.”
This year’s event featured more than 30 food and beverage participants. (Yes, I visited them all!) I’ve selected a few of my favorite bites for this post.
I can never resist Croque Monsieur (above). The taste that Sucre Sale provided as one of my first stops did not disappoint. It was a perfect buttery, crispy, cheesy morsel to start the event.
Strolling around the corner, I immediately honed in on the Orange-Ginger BBQ Pulled Pork from Little Pub (below). Paired with a Thai Peanut Slaw and Wasabi Mint Yogurt, the dish had an outstanding balance of textures and flavors.
I loved creamy agave butter that Southwest Cafe paired with their Green Chile Cornbread. Guests often mention the appetizer in the Cafe’s reviews, and I can see why.
Taste of Ridgefield also gave guests an opportunity to sample wines and spirits. I discovered two reds via family-owned Acona’s Wines & Liquors.
First, Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), which begged to be served with steak.
Second, Mas de Gourgonnier (Provence, France), a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This sip was smooth, rich, and complex, but not overpowering. It was very drinkable and would pair well with a range of dishes.
No tasting event is complete without dessert! Artisanal gelato from Johnny Gelato was a wonderful way to round out the afternoon. Choosing between Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge, Java Chip, Cannoli, and Banana Stracciatella was impossible! Definitely a Ridgefield “must visit” to indulge in their extensive menu of gelato and sorbet.
Last, but certainly not least: miniature cupcakes from The Cake Box. They were so good that my friend and I went back for seconds.
I indulged in the Sweet and Salty. (Vanilla cake and buttercream with homemade salted caramel sauce.) My friend fell in love with the Mochaccino. (Chocolate cake with espresso buttercream and a ganache drizzle.)
The Cake Box balanced the flavors of the salted caramel cupcake perfectly. It was not too sweet and not too salty. It is a reason on its own for me to make the drive on to Ridgefield again in the near future.
Don’t miss next year’s event! (Look for announcements on the Ridgefield Rotary page as the date nears). With its hospitable residents, charming downtown, and vibrant culinary scene, Ridgefield is a wonderful stop in Connecticut’s Fairfield County.