A First Look at the New Litchfield's with Chris Bianco
|The restored exterior of the original Wigwam Resort building.|
We scored a sneak peek at Litchfield's, the farm-to-table restaurant that replaces Red's Steakhouse and opens to the public today. Designed by Jim Smith (also responsible for T. Cook's and Lon's at the Hermosa), the restaurant continues the cozy, private feel of the remodeled resort. Three dining patios offer trickling fountains, roaring fireplaces, comfortable padded seating and a sweet view of the new pool area.
|The bar at Litchfield's restaurant.|
|Chris Bianco (right) with Chef Brian Cooper|
Though pizza maven Chris Bianco is credited as the inspiration behind Litchfield's menu, he swears he's not moving into the restaurant consulting business. According to Bianco, this project was more about his personal interest in a landmark hotel he calls "fun and funky."
"It's not about anybody trying to take credit," says Bianco. "It's just that there are a lot of people in the community that, if we set in the right direction, will go farther than we ever imagined."
Nationally, the farm-to-table concept is getting a lot of public attention. Folks from rural Iowa to New York and Los Angeles are embracing the idea that you should understand the food on your table, as well as the ingredients used at restaurants. Are the vegetables grown locally, or flown in from Chile? Is the meat being irradiated? These are things diners want to know.
|Brian Cooper puts the finishing touches on a salad made with Wilcox apples.|
Bianco is equally excited about sourcing ingredients at the onsite farmer's market, which takes place every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on the Wigwam's front lawn. "The idea was that these things exist in the community," Bianco tells New Times. "If your neighbor has onions, you make onion soup. I was always taught that you cook from your back door out, and you stop at the point of compromise."
The price point at Litchfield's is about $8-14 for appetizers/small plates and $16-26 for entrees such as Double Check Ranch chopped steak with sweet potato spaetzle, Talus Wind lamb stew, and wood fired pork chops with Wilcox apple sauce.
At yesterday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, Jerry Colangelo and his partners hinted at some huge changes in store for the resort's other restaurant, Arizona Kitchen, including bringing in some internationally known chefs! Look for more information on Chow Bella as the project progresses.
|Double Check Ranch chopped steak with sweet potato spaetzle at Litchfield's.|
More pics of Litchfield's on the next page...