The Parallel Post located in the Trumbull Marriott Hotel is one of Connecticut’s newest dining hotspots. Best of all, the menu is reasonably priced. The food is farm to table fresh prepared by chef Dean James Max, a James Beard-nominated chef who is widely respected as one of the foremost seafood provocateurs in America. Max is also a cookbook author; in his book, “A Life By the Sea: The Atlantic Ocean (2006) he notes, “My love of food is fed from fond memories of smells and tastes of my childhood.” Considering all these achievements, it is not a surprise that he “wows” diners with his creative farm to table offerings.
Originally, from Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay, Max spent his summers living on a farm. This experience, along with his family’s culinary traditions, helped him to understand the seasonality of food. His journey as a chef has taken Max to many states; he has created many successful menus and has been recognized as “Best Chef” many times. One of his most prestigious accolades is from the highly regarded James Beard Foundation, which has recognized Max as a “Great Regional Chef of America.”
Max’s farm to table outlook is not part of a trendy movement rather it is his philosophical approach to food and his diligence to his profession as a chef. To that end, Chef Max uses many area purveyors such as Norm Bloom and Sons in Norwalk for oysters and lobsters, Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury for beef, Beltane Farms in Lebanon for Cheese, Gilberties and Sherwood Farms in Westport for fresh herbs. The menu changes with the seasons so there is always something new to try.
Before dinner, or after work, cocktails can be enjoyed at the swank new bar area that offers all manner of drinks in a convivial and comfortable setting. Signature drinks include a “healthy” gin tonic upgrade that contains quinine, cucumber and juniper, a refreshing Appleton rum continental with fruits and honey and an evocative Belgian style drink with beer, Orangecello, lemon juice and St. Germain.
When dining at Parallel Post, don’t miss the Katama Bay Oysters that are plump and succulent; they are served with a tarragon mignonette cocktail sauce; another winner in the oyster family are fire roasted with preserved lemon butter and smoked bacon. A perennial favorite are the hand cut sea salt french fries, they have just the right amount of crunch and are served with a spicy ketchup and old bay vinegar.
Tomatoes are in season so now is the time to try the burrata cheese, heirloom tomato salad that is elegantly mixed with hot soppresata, arugula, piquillo paint, peach oil and grilled bread. Another refreshing salad is a combination of baby greens, cucumbers, blistered tomatoes and aged farm cheese mixed with delicious hazelnut vinaigrette.
As for entrees try the grilled mahi that is cooked to perfection and served with yukon puree, grilled broccolini, fried okra, and buttery corn with verbena jus. On the lighter side, pineapple glazed shrimp with sticky rice and grilled vegetables are just enough to satisfy. The grass-fed beef double burger, voted VT’s Best Burger is from OxHollow Farm in Roxbury and is served on a fresh sesame brioche roll with Vermont cheddar and Benton’s bacon. This burger is delectable and pairs well with the hand cut fries.
The desert menu offers a medley of goodies from espresso flan to a luscious white chocolate lavender cheesecake with strawberry sauce.
The menu is seasonally inspired and always evolving. For current menu offerings visit http://parallelpostrestaurant.com. The Parallel Post is located in the Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull CT. Call 203-380-6380 for reservations.
For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com