An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Nov 12, 2013
02:09 PMThe Connecticut Table
'Good News' for Hillary Clinton? Connecticut Restaurant She Likes Celebrating
Chef Carole Peck at her Good News Cafe with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton.
(page 1 of 2)
Parts of the political blogosphere already have Hillary Clinton being elected president in 2016, while others are bringing a white-hot intensity to parsing the potential matchup between Clinton and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—three full years from Election Day and before either one has formally announced a candidacy.
In Connecticut, there are much more savory ways to bring the Clintons into a conversation over dinner—and one way, especially, that will have delicious resonance this week, one in which light snow kissed the Litchfield Hills for the first time, signaling with sparkle the arrival of the holiday season, when feasting on heartier fare is in fashion again.
This fine “new” season, the week that we’re in and—as odd as these bedfellows seem in the same sentence—the Clintons come together in a recipe for enjoying the farm-to-table-before-anyone-else cuisine of chef Carole Peck and her Good News Café in Woodbury, which she co-owns and operates with her husband Bernard Jarrier. (Photo of Peck by Laurie Gaboardi/The Litchfield County Times.)
Good News is marking the 20th anniversary (Nov. 12) of opening the doors of its Route 6 location in Woodbury—after Peck had launched her debut restaurant in New Milford—with a special promotion offering its legions of loyal fans, and anyone else, 20 percent off the price of signature dishes that have anchored the menu for 20 years.
In the promotion, which runs from Nov. 13 through Nov. 18, that translates, for example, into $23.20 instead of $29 for the “always good” Wok-Seared White Shrimp, with green beans, peas, olives, roast potatoes, peppers and garlic aioli. (below)
Another dish that would cause a political-style protest if it came off the menu, “Lots of Lobster ‘Adult’ Baked Lobster Macaroni with Imported Provolone cheese [and] White Truffle Oil,” will ring up at $24 instead of $30.
Just $15.20 can buy another dinner entrée that’s been on the menu from the beginning by popular demand: Gemelli pasta with asparagus, spiced pecans and gorgonzola cheese, along with crisp capers, sage and six-year-aged balsamic drizzle.
Meanwhile, the standout staple among salads, “The Martha,” is $13.60, rather than $17—and it has synergy with the theme of smart, savvy, strong, determined women (think Peck and Clinton): “The Martha” features layered beets, avocado, peas, cucumber and greens, with horseradish chive cream. (Such is Peck’s talent that non-beet-eaters will be wowed and converted by “The Martha’s” will.)
Another signature winter warmer, the “original” lobster soup with lobster chunks, will be just $7.20 for a cup, and $8.80 for a bowl during the promotion.
“My cooking,” Peck says at the top of the Good News website, “It is what it is … handcrafted, seasonal, [as] local & organic as possible, definitely natural, love-inspired, pure & truthful, genuine & sophisticated.”
That sounds like a persuasive culinary campaign platform, and Peck wins because it’s all true and always has been, which is why Good News Café is brimming with business every day it’s open, and why it attracts a healthy combination of area residents and the most discerning folks in the land when they’re looking for a great meal—folks like actress Nicole Kidman and, yes, the Clintons.
Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, who was Secretary of State at the time, spent her 65th birthday weekend in Litchfield County in 2012, with their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, and for their Saturday lunch they chose Good News—completely unannounced.