Thursday, February 28, 2008

LOTS OF DELICIOUS MEALS-and the farms that help provide them

The Rose and Kettle Restaurant   607-264-3078
4 Lancaster St.
Cherry Valley, NY

Dear Friends,

Usually I promise brief missives, but today I promise a little more. This letter concerns first, the food we cook, then, the sources of our food. We'd like to remind you that many of our menu items come from the inspired efforts of some amazing local farmers and food artisans who make most mortals lives seem breezy and easy. 

The Rose and Kettle opens this weekend (tomorrow at 5 in fact) with a whole host of great foods, many from our friends at local farms in the region and a few fished from far-flung and chilly waters. On the chilly waters front, we are continuing to serve wild Barramundi, a flakey thin filet from New Zealand that we coat in ground almonds and flour and cook tempura-style and serve with balsamic aioli and potato wedges. More to the local, we have Painted Goat Farm warm goat cheese tarts with a mission fig glaze. We are also making garlicky meat dumplings with ground pork, lamb and beef from Nectar Hills Farm and Vancalcar Acres. I am also cooking a jambalaya style stew of organic rice, tomatoes and local Gaia's Breath Farm chicken sausages with wild Gulf of Mexico shrimp. We will have a lamb risotto with leeks, parmesan and pinenuts, and braised lamb from Vancalcar Acres Farm. Finally, this weekend we are serving thinly-sliced eggplant marinated in mint and red wine vinegar and served with eggplant ravioli, marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

I'd like to take a minute to tell you a little about our farm partners who work very hard to bring us the delicious foods that we have the pleasure of feeding you. While corporate farming structures have steadily marched our culture further and further away from it's own inherited and diverse food principles, and left us and our kids almost blind and lacking in real pallet and plate diversity, a few courageous people have chosen to turn around and look over their shoulder, grab the brakes and try to steer this vessel back back back, closer to the world we'd like to live in. Farming is very hard work, and to choose to return to the land and work with plants and animals in a pre-industrial fashion is an incredible undertaking that requires commitment to something that is largely unsupported by the norms of America today. Some people would almost say it's crazy. But enough folks have been doing it and I meet new ones every year who are striking out with all sorts of schemes, varying goals and approaches, and interesting life stories to tell. 

We know that while we didn't invent the notion of 'LOCAL' as either a healthier whole approach to eating and living, or as means of nurturing the regional economy, but we are excited to report that our experiment in it has been so successful and that our roster of friends who we buy from has grown every year and deepened, as young and energetic farmers are cropping up every year. Here are 3 short farm bios for you:

Recently we met the people at Painted Goat farm, Ilyssa Berg and Javier Flores. Their aged goat cheese buttons and creamy chevre are phenomenally light and tangy and worldly tasting, especially for a farm hardly a year old. Then I learned that they were busy excavating caves deep under ground and pouring concrete down there and crafting a dumb waiter system for accessing their products and I thought "Damn, that's for reals." (yes, "For Reals." That's what I thought.)

more info on these folks can be found here:

Last Spring we began buying meat and vegetables from Gaia's Breath Farm. While Painted Goat does the "one thing, and with incredible focus" approach, Gaia's Breath approaches their property like a little panoramic micro-world, and make a go very successfully at being everything for everybody. That's why our menu can feature beets and heirloom tomatoes, boudin blanc sausage, roast duck or even suckling pig, and all from one farm. These folks are tireless workers and Chrissy, who has a background in culinary art, makes sausages so delicious that I buy them whenever they are available.

more on Gaia's  Breath Farm here:

Finally, it's been a few years since Dave and Sonia (Dutton and Sola) moved from New York City and brought their eclectic skills to Cherry Valley. They've opened The Nectar Hills farm Store on Main Street, they've performed at local music events (MORE ON THIS IN MINUTE) and they've fed this town with copious bushels of delicious potatoes, wild edible flowers, and lots and lots of some of the best pork and lamb and beef we've ever tasted. Their Highlander Beef is a popular and recurring component to many Rose and Kettle risottos, they introduced me to my first skin-on spare ribs and shoulder roasts, and they play some wickid (that's right, WICKID-spell check it in your Street Dictionary) psychadelic acoustic music. More on them here:

Dave and Sonia will be joining us this Sunday at 8 PM for some great free live music.  We promise surprise guests artists, open tunings, slide work outs and wild fret gymnastics. YEAH!!! Come on out and celebrate local food, local farms and local music.

Take Care, and thanks for reading.


Friday, February 22, 2008


The Rose and Kettle Restaurant
4 Lancaster St.
Cherry Valley, NY

Dear Folks,

If you want to read about the chocolate brownie, skip to the last line of this email. If you're here to read about the music being postponed, just proceed as you would normally when reading an email.

We're postponing this weekend's acoustic music night for 2 weeks for a host of small reasons. Our DJ is sick and half the village is off to NYC for an art field trip, and finally, it's Academy Awards night and we'd rather have the whole night to ourselves.

Suffice it to say you've got no more excuses--we're giving you an extra FORTNIGHT to dye that mullet and work up an a cappella rendition of Panic in Detroit like you've always dreamed of.

This weekend is not a slouch on the food end, however. We've got local Gaia's Breath Farm chicken sausages that are roasted with sage and radicchio and served with brown rice and broccolini. We've also got nectar Hills Farm Pork Chops grilled and served with a balsamic reduction, fava beans and potato puree. We have the Barramundi fish, that's a flakey wild New Zealand Fish that is crusted with almonds and served extra crispy with lemon-garlic aioli. And we have the return of an old house favorite, Vancalcar Acres lamb shank braised and served with lemon herb risotto. YUM.
ANDDDDD... tonight we introduce the chocolate chocolate chip brownie with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and crunchy chocolate pearls. I knew you'd skip to the end!

Take Care,

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Getting Ready For Later"

The Rose and Kettle Restaurant                   Open Friday Saturday Sunday at 5 PM
4 Lancaster St.
Cherry Valley, NY

This is Clem at The Rose and Kettle. we're cooking up some exciting stuff this weekend, but before we get to that I have a brief interlude for you.

Here's the story of the week:

I went to buy 3 tablets of drawing paper on Tuesday for my daughter Agnes. I went to the Cooperstown General Store, my favorite store. The woman at the counter--whom I'd never seen before-- looked at the paper tablets while collecting my money and asked me: "Getting ready for later?"

I said "Yup."

And since that moment I've been wondering what did she mean? Probably just a passing small-talkism, but not one I've ever heard before--it felt rather existential. If I was buying party hats or a hand gun maybe I could understand, but drawing paper? "GETTING READY FOR LATER?" If anyone has an explanation for this that they can suggest, feel free to email back.


The Rose and Kettle will be open next Thursday for Valentines Day. We will be serving our regular menu plus some classic lover's cuisine, like filet mignon with tuffles and hollandaise sauce, and roasted oysters rockefeller. Dining will be ala carte this year, so it will be all about freedom and choices! and love!!!

Alright. If your still reading this email you are most likely very hungry or starting to fall asleep, so I'll speed along and tell you about this weekend's menu.

We have our classic warm goat cheese tarts with caramelized onions; we have the recently popular new spinach salad with roasted beets, Stilton cheese and pumpkin seeds with a pomegranate dressing; and we have crispy winter rolls stuffed with potatoes, parsley and cheese and served with slow-cooked apples; on the entree side we have crispy duck breast with Madeira beurre rouge; our classic French-cut chicken breast and thigh with garlic mashed and sauteed spinach; We also have a great Baramundi fish from New Zealand, a thin filet, white and flaky, rolled in crushed almonds and served with a lemon sauce--this is a spun version of the traditional Sole Almondine!!! check it out.

And finally, this Sunday we are happy to have local guitar slinging cowboy Jim Faliveno with his baritone voice and his deep supply of classic country, pop and rock and roll tunes. * PM to 10 Sunday Night.

Alright, congratulations because you made it to the finish. Thanks, and have a good weekend!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Ommegang: "Great Beer Deserves Great Food" --

The Rose and Kettle Restaurant
4 Lancaster Street Cherry Valley, NY
Open Friday-Sunday at 5 PM

Hello Everybody,

Cherry Valley is in the midst of an ice storm as I write this note, but we continue to persevere with the hope that the weather will break and you will be able to join us this weekend because we have great food and music and a special event on Saturday at The Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown. Actually, the weather report has it that the storm ends at 5 tonight, which is exactly the moment we open our doors and welcome you in for dinner.

This Sunday we have an un-superbowl party begining at 8 PM with live music from Mike Hand and Don Osterberg, two core members of the Hand Band. Original and popular rock and roll standards from two of Cherry Valley's favorite musicians, a touch of improv and a touch of danger (actually, no danger--just fun). The music calendar is swelling with talent from near and far and if you want to check the schedule visit our blog at the following address (also at the blog you can revisit some of our hilarious emails from yesteryear--uhg!):

Saturday at noon, come on out to the Ommegang Brewery and sample all their delicious classic and radical Belgian Ale concoctions paired up with some wild Rose and Kettle food stuffs. The boys from the Brewery dropped off a couple of cases of their Chocolate Ale and the Ommegedon for me this week with the simple instructions to cook whatever I like as long as I make enough food for a hundred and fifty folks and that everything I cook is saturated with Ommegang beer. So I've got some delicious Pork Shoulder Roasts, Lamb steaks and duck sausages, all from local farms, and all ready for the next step on the food chain (which is hopefully the last step on the food chain).

Coming up on February 14 is Valentines Day, and the Rose and Kettle will open especially for this night with our regular dinner menu and some delightful specials. Look for fancy steaks and rare truffles, exotic fish and rich seafood. More to come!!!

Alright, thanks for reading, keep in touch, visit our blog and drop a comment there if you like.

Clem Coleman