We know many of you are Manhattanites who only know the Hamptons outside the city. But there’s a worthy field trip to Arethusa, an old-fashioned dairy farm that may just inspire you to expand your horizons. After all, it’s a novelty to play city slicker for a day and ride a horse or milk a cow (just kidding). Play it safe and stick to lunch.
Fashion Runs in the Family
The owners of Arethusa farms are none other than George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis of Manolo Blahnik shoes. It all started when an upcycled firehouse and village handy store were set to close in rural Bantam, Connecticut. When Malkemus and Yurgatis got wind that these beloved community staples would soon close, they were inspired to create Arethusa farms. The historic buildings then became the dairy and fine dining restaurant, a cheese lovers paradise.
If you’re going to have a dariy farm, you will need cows, who are the real stars of the show. In fact two of the cows won the Supreme Champions of the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin during the farm’s relaunch. A humble group of five soon turned into a mighty herd of 350.
Now, let’s talk about why we’re really here – the food. Arethusa Al Tavolo received the Wine Spectator award of excellence this past year, so all indications are that it’s worth the three hour drive from the city. Arethusa farms is the perfect day trip if you’re looking to take a break from the city, and get your dairy fix.
From the yogurt cumin dressing in the quinoa starter to the short rib agnolotti with smoked sour cream and homemade ice creams, Arethusa’s dairy is tasted in every course. Executive Chef Dan Magill was nominated as a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award as “Best Chef Northeast”. So you’ll be in good hands while eating vibrantly colored and locally sourced ingredients. The vibe is farm chic with wood and leather furnishings and barnyard decor.
Bakery and Dairy
If you’re an early bird, Arethusa A Mano cafe is open at 7am on weekends. They make hand rolled bagels and homemade donuts with milk from their farm. An assortment of other farm to table lunches are also available. At the shop, you can select up to nine homemade cheeses, including their award winning Europa. Butter, yogurt, seasonal eggnog, milk, and twelve ice cream flavors are also made fresh.
Things to Note
The restaurant has a two hour reservation cap with a max of six guests, and bar seating is first come. Patio dining is weather dependent, and to go options are available via email before 4pm the day of. Both the cafe and restaurant are closed Sunday and Monday. Personally, we’ll be adding their sticky toffee pudding to our must try dessert list.