Madison Beach Hotel, Madison, CT
Madison Beach Hotel is the only boutique beachfront resort in Connecticut.
It boasts 32 guest rooms each overlooking the Long Island Sound.
In addition, the hotel has casual and fine dining, event space perfect for weddings and special occasions, and a spa and fitness center all with a comfortable, elegant style.
Recently, I attended a “Meet the Chef” event as the hotel was introducing their new chef, Leo Bushey.
Since he was 13 years old, Chef Bushey has been passionately involved in the restaurant industry, raising the bar in Connecticut’s culinary scene. Starting with his humble beginnings at family style restaurants, he quickly progressed through the culinary landscape where his talents were recognized and nurtured by the country’s leading chefs, including James Boyce, Alex Statta, Peter Hoefler and Edward Flattery.
Chef Bushey’s past experience in Connecticut includes executive chef positions at Acqua Oyster Bar, Hartford Club, Country Club of Farmington and The Willows at Doubletree Bristol before being named the executive chef at Madison Beach Hotel.
We had an opportunity to enjoy the fresh flavors of the spring season as Chef Bushey prepared a preview of the upcoming items from the spring menu.
We made our way up the staircase to the pre-dinner cocktail reception.
Immediately upon entering the room for cocktails and hors d’oevres, a glass of La Petite Perrier Pinot Noir 2012 was waiting for us. It was mentioned that this wine goes well with the earthy flavors forthcoming from the appetizers.
As we mingled and enjoyed the view of Long Island Sound, a round of hors d’oevres began circulating. First, were tried fried Rhode Island clam fritters with a pepper aioli. The aioli was a nice compliment to the perfectly fried fritter and had a little spice kick to it.
Next was a fish cake with heirloom tomato remoulade.
It was delicious. I also loved the presentation.
Our third hors d’oevre was cream of mushroom soup shooters finished with truffle crème fraiche. I loved the richness of the soup paired with the light cream.
To round out the cocktail reception was the final appetizer, which consisted of pan flamed beef tenderloin paired with celeriac pomme puree and tomato confit. It was delicious – the perfect bite.
Then, the hotel’s general manager, John Mathers, invited us into the dining room where we were warmly greeting. As it turns out, we were assigned to John’s table for the dinner. He and his wife were wonderful company.
The tables were elegantly set with white and blue linens and simply adored with pansies wrapped in burlap. It was the perfect juxtaposition of rustic flair and sheer elegance. I loved it and might use it for an upcoming dinner party.
Chef Bushey and a representative from Worldwide Wine introduced us to each menu course, along with the accompanying wine.
The appetizer course consisted of fried Chesapeake Bay oysters with frisee and maple pancetta lardons. Seared diver sea scallops with roasted bacon, heirloom potatoes and apple gastrique accompanied it. The plate was paired with a deliciously fruity white wine called Ca Dei Frati Lungua 2013. We were told that it’s from a vineyard just south of Lake Garda and has nice acidity from the tartness of apple. While I am not an oyster fan, I did appreciate the combination of flavors on the plate and absolutely loved the perfectly seared scallops and baby potatoes.
The entrée course consisted of two plates covering a selection from the sea and one from the land. From the sea, we had grilled mahi mahi paired with coconut basmati rice, limed mango and passion fruit essence. It was nicely paired with “Butter” Chardonnay 2013 that had a rich flavoring and picked up on the tropical fruit accents. The fish was nicely grilled and was flavorful and flakey.
From the land, we were served pan roasted lamb loin chops with spring pea puree and organic mushrooms. It was not only a beautifully presented plate but also delicious to the palate. The lamb was paired with Vincent Girardin Rouge Cuvee St. Vincent 2012. We were told that this burgundy wine had a hint of black cherries and pairs well with red meats.
Before dessert was served, we were introduced to Sarah, the Madison Beach Hotel’s pastry chef. She’s leads everything cooking in the “sugar shack.”
Our dessert consisted of a cherry newton, paired with almond Devonshire cream and lemon Anglaise. The dessert was served with Michele Chiario Nivole Moscato d’Asti 2012. It’s a lovely sweet, light sparkling wine with a hint of fruit flavors. We were told this is the best dessert wine in the world and an excellent companion to fresh fruit pastries.
The dessert and accompanying wine were a perfect ending to the wonderful meal and night.
In addition to all of the magnificent food and wine we sampled, my notes wouldn’t be complete without an acknowledgement to all the wonderful skills and service provided by the kitchen and wait staff.
It was top notch all the way around!
Madison Beach Hotel and its Wharf Restaurant are located at 94 West Wharf Road in Madison, CT among a picturesque beachfront community.
The Wharf restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner and has outdoor seating on the porch when the weather permits and a Sunday jazz brunch. The restaurant serves farm-to-table cuisine showcasing the flavors of the Atlantic northeast by using locally sourced ingredients and classical preparations.
I can’t wait to return for a cocktail on the pictorial patio or a relaxed Sunday jazz brunch now that the weather is spectacular!
Have you been to Madison Beach Hotel in Madison, CT?
Where’s your favorite place for drinks and dining on the shore?
Disclaimer: While I was provided with a complimentary reservation to the “Meet The Chef” event by Madison Beach Hotel’s marketing team, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event