Last month Renato and I went to a special event at Mill Street Bar + Table in Greenwich, CT. This is one of our favorite spots and we were excited to see what they have going on. We met the new executive chef, tasted new menu items, and learned about new restaurant hours. That’s a lot of new, but what hasn’t changed is the passion for good food and good farming.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The tasting event was free of charge. The opinions contained herein are my own and reflect my experience. Your own may differ.
Mill Street Bar + Table is part of the Back 40 Farm Group, which includes Back 40 Farm, Back 40 Kitchen and Back 40 Mercantile. Therefore it should come as no shock that there is a true love of local ingredients at Mill Street. The food is a celebration of seasonality in an elegant yet totally approachable way.
Stepping into the Executive Chef role at Mill Street is Ian Vest, a young chef with quite the culinary pedigree.
Chef Ian started his career at age 13, working at various restaurants in St. Louis and Dallas. At 25, he was named Executive Chef of The Crossing, an acclaimed restaurant in St. Louis. After nearly two years as the executive chef there, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America’s Advanced Career Experience (ACE) program in Hyde Park, NY. After graduating in 2012, he was hired at Daniel, Daniel Boulud’s three Michelin-starred namesake restaurant in New York City. At 30, Chef Ian became Executive Chef of Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen + Bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After two years, he decided to travel throughout Europe and get married. Then in July 2016, he became the Executive Chef of Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich, CT. In 2017, he was honored as “Most Innovative Chef” at the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival. This past January, he was promoted to Executive Chef of the Back 40 Farm Group, overseeing both Back 40 Kitchen and Mill Street Bar + Table.
As we sipped rose spritzers and grilled margarita’s we enjoyed freshness at the raw bar before meandering our way to the patio for a variety of grilled vegetables, beef, and monkfish.
The staff hustled and bustled among the crowd serving small bites such as fried polenta with piquillo pepper puree, fresh mozzarella and pesto panini, and crisp crackers topped with whipped avocado.
Fun fact: Chef Ian’s favorite thing to cook and eat is pasta. Hence, we tasted a delicious assortment of pasta choices including rigatoni with a spicy Bolognese and cacio e pepe fusilli.
Chef Ian remarked that he truly loves to cook for people. It’s the connections to people, through food, that continues to motivate him.
This very much falls in line with comments from Back 40 Farm Group owners Bill and Lesley King that while it’s about food, it’s also about family and community. Whether it’s on the farm or in their restaurants, Back 40 Farm Group strives to be a good steward of the land, nourish the community, and cultivate a vibrant future.
The last new thing to mention before I wrap this up is that Mill Street Bar + Table is now open on Tuesday evenings complete with live music.
Mill Street Bar + Table
230 Mill Street . Greenwich
Tuesday: Dinner 5pm-9pm
Wednesday + Thursday: Dinner 5pm-9pm
Friday: Dinner 5pm-10pm
Saturday: Brunch 11am, Dinner 5pm-11pm
Sunday: Brunch 11am, Dinner 4pm-9pm