The Woodward House A Treasure in Fine Dining

This particular Saturday, we decided to treasure hunt through the many fine vintage and antique shops located in Southbury, Woodbury and Bethlehem. After an exhausting afternoon of driving and shopping we decided to stop and have an early dinner.{{more}} Because of our excitement we skipped lunch so we were really hungry.

Driving through Bethlehem, we noticed a quant 1740 saltbox which was converted into a restaurant, with beautiful old-fashioned gardens, including a chicken house in the backyard. Being so interested in seeing the inside of this restaurant we decided to call for reservations.

On arrival we were greeted by Adele Johnson, the proprietor. The entrance parlor had some wonderful paintings of Adele’s personal pet dogs Coco, Peaches, and Cinnamon and in one corner a handsome antique bar with chairs and tables to enjoy a cocktail before entering the dining area. Adele, took us on a tour of this wonderful historic building. She explained that it was first the town’s post office, a court house, and Underground Railroad stops, but most known in the mid-1700s, as The Bird Tavern.

After our tour we were seated next to a large paned window overlooking a charming flower garden in one of the four unique dining rooms adorned with artwork by renowned contemporary artists.

Kent, our waiter had great knowledge of their diversified menu he explained the menu in detail then took our drink order of chardonnay and pinot noir. With such a marvelous choice of items on the menu it was hard to decide. For starters they offered pan seared crab cake, duck and mango spring rolls with plum sauce and sweet chili sauce, spiedini, which is baked layers of mozzarella and bread, served with marinara and Alfredo sauce, escarole and beans, besides many different salads and soups.

They also make homemade ravioli with a variety of different sauces, such as tomato mozzarella, basil, wild mushroom, sorrel and goat cheese with almond butter sauce.

For starters we ordered the spiedini and crab cakes. The crab cakes came with remoulade sauce, they were moist and delightful in taste. The spiedini is an Italian specialty and a favorite with most customers very delicious and enough to be shared.

The evening menu, consisted of Berkshire stuffed pork chops stuffed with prosciutto, provolone, broccoli rabe, grilled apricot polenta and apricot barbecue sauce, grilled salmon with horseradish and lemon cream lentils, sea scallops, wasabi, ginger and lime cream sauce over pasta, beef tenderloin with green peppercorn madeira sauce, served with roasted fingerling potatoes and the list goes on.

Robert ordered the rack of lamb; he explained it was a fascinating trip for the palate, certainly recommended. My order was the salmon which I like cooked on the dry side without the fishy taste. It was incredible in flavor joining with the taste of horseradish and lemon cream lentils. This was the best combination of fish and spices that I ever tasted. It was also presented very artfully. We ended our meal with their house made strawberry rhubarb crisp and vanilla ice cream.

Did we find any treasures on our venture – we sure did.

Two Guy’s are Vincent Farricelli and Robert Modena. Both reside in Orange and have agreed to share their restaurant adventures.