Former New Canaan Chef Brian Lewis Buys Westport’s LeFarm Restaurant

In a move sure to send seismic shock waves throughout the Fairfield County culinary landscape, it was announced today that Brian Lewis—former chef and owner of New Canaan’s elm restaurant—has bought the pioneering farm-to-table Westport establishment LeFarm from chef/owner Bill Taibe. Taibe—in a release sent out today—announced the sale stating that “when the opportunity presented itself to pass on LeFarm’s mantle to such an accomplished chef as Brian Lewis, someone who could seamlessly carry on the legacy that LeFarm has forged; it was a no-brainer.”

Under Lewis’ direction from its opening in March of 2012 until his departure in the fall of 2014, elm has been one of New Canaan’s most consistently popular restaurants, earning high praise from the New York Times, Esquire and Connecticut Magazine for its innovative and seasonal cuisine. (Elm remains operational under chef Luke Venner.)

At the same time, LeFarm—one of three Westport eateries created by the James Beard-nominated Taibe (the others being The Whelk and Kawa Ni)—was one of the most-celebrated restaurants in the area, famous for its evolving menu of farm-fresh ingredients and support of local purveyors since opening in 2009. The final night of service at the 36-seat LeFarm was Tuesday night. Lewis has not yet announced when the new establishment will open, or what the new name and concept will be.

SLIDESHOW: 20 Things You Only Know If You Shop and Dine in New Canaan

New Canaanites have plenty of reasons to shop and dine locally, and those reasons go far beyond the fact that the village center has scores of independent businesspeople—retailers, restaurateurs, service providers—who work here and have had a tough go with the weather these past few weeks. Our owners-on-site specialize in their fields and offer a wide range of expertise. They support most every community event that locals associate with the town—fishing derby, Waveny summer concerts, Santa’s visit, little league, Holiday Stroll, ice cream social, Halloween Parade. It’s hard to find two important community events in a row in New Canaan that aren’t sponsored in some way by Walter Stewart’s, Karl Chevy or both. Because familiarity breeds conversation and rapport, we can come to know our local small business owners and workers better than we may at, say, out-of-town chains. The slideshow above is a testament to that strong connection—click through to learn more about some of those who make up the economic lifeblood of the business district.

New Canaan Restaurants Prep for Al Fresco Dining Season

Despite rainy days forecast for the week ahead, New Canaan received true, prolonged tastes of spring with picture-perfect weather the past two weekends. With Spring at long last arrived in earnest, local restaurateurs such as Henry Rosenbaum of Boulevard 18 began preparation for the resulting demand for outdoor dining. “We are thrilled,” Rosenbaum said on a recent evening at Boulevard 18, also a top-5 most romantic New Canaan restaurants selection. “We had people out on Friday and Saturday night on the patio, which was the sign for spring.”

In addition to the idyllic al fresco dining on Main Street at Boulevard 18, New Canaan’s “Restaurant Row” has several options, including Cava, Tequila Mockingbird and the soon-to-be-reopened Farmer’s Table where chef Robert Ubaldo and partner Lucia Leone are working nonstop to get the former Bistro Bonne Nuit space ready for business. received an impromptu peek at the new Farmer’s Table space, which will feature an open kitchen and rustic design in addition to the sidewalk patio.

Yankee Gas at Chamber Event with Mallozzi: ‘We Are Fully Committed’


Yankee Gas has pledged to meet with New Canaan’s highest elected official within two weeks to review a widely anticipated plan to bring natural gas to businesses, public buildings and residences here, a sales manager with the Berlin, CT-based utility said Wednesday. Michael Collins told about 60 local businesspeople gathered for a special event downtown that Yankee Gas is “fully committed” to bringing natural gas to New Canaan starting prior to the “next heating season.”

“It’s a great thing for the town. It’s going to be a multi-year build-out,” Collins said during the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast with First Selectman Rob Mallozzi. Held at elm restaurant, the 90-minute event featured a meet-and-greet session over buffet-style breakfast for chamber members, comments from Mallozzi as well as a chance to put questions to him and chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy, and the update from Collins. Saying that Yankee Gas is not experiencing hiccups so much as “fitting it [the plan] into the box that we have been told to fit it into,” Collins told attendees that plans have changed since October-November due in part to new regulations at the state level.