It’s an absolute treat to find produce from nearby farms, bread and baked goods from local artisans, and coffee beans roasted just miles away all in one place. The little yellow house known as Long River Local, just off of Exit 70 in Old Lyme, is positively bustling just one week out from its opening. The small but carefully merchandised larder is stocked with all manner of cheese (Cato Corner!), cured meats, pasta, and syrup (Fat Stone Farm!). Seasonally available fruits, veggies and eggs come from co-owner Walker Potts’ Long River Farm and we’ll see lots of products grown by the Healthy Planeat community. Deep River’s Eight Mile Meadow’s baked treats are here and Ashlawn Coffee is available by the bag or by the cup.
We got right to sampling fare from the on-site kitchen, run by Chef and Co-Owner Shelley DeProto of Lupo and Red Hen, last week as they opened their doors to the public. Shelley, Walker, and partners Andrea and Simon Mockford are committed to sourcing locally, when possible with a focus on Connecticut and the Northeast region both in the shop and in the kitchen. The standout for us was a sandwich made-to-order called “The Greek” – a flavorful medley of marinated chicken, tzatziki feta, fresh greens, and tomato on the softest (warm!) pita (pictured above). We took a container of Matzo Ball soup to go and an armful of bread (ficelle, boule, sliced sourdough Pullman, and a kalamata loaf). Slow roasted pork loin, Faroe Island salmon, Chicken Tikka Masala are just a few options in the fridge. Choose from a collection of butters, whipped up in-house in flavors like Bearnaise, roasted garlic/thyme or lemon dill. Breakfast sandwiches are made from Long River Farm eggs, over medium, with everything from breakfast sausage to smash burgers, served on warm ciabatta. Ask for it over greens if you’d rather skip the bread.
At the top of our list to order next is The Farm: seared eggplant, baby spinach, roasted pepper, local mozzarella, white balsamic vinaigrette, on ciabatta, and Muffaletta: mortadella, capicola, soppressata, provolone, olive salad on ciabatta.
96 Halls Rd, Old Lyme