Monday, November 30, 2009

Poets and Poetry at White Memorial

LITCHFIELD-A free literary event, entitled "A Gathering of Exceptional Poets Reading from their Books," is taking place at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 at White Memorial Conservation Center Carriage House.
In this coffeehouse style event, six poets will read from their books and hold an open discussion on the process of writing poems. A book-signing will follow the reading and discussion.

The participating poets are Cortney Davis, Jim Kelleher, Norah Pollard, David Leff, Cheryl Della Pelle and Jean Sands.

Ms. Davis is the author of four poetry collections, including the recent "Leopold's Maneuvers," winner of the Prairie Schooner Poetry Prize, and "Conversion/Return," a chapbook. Her memoir, "I Knew a Woman," won the Connecticut Center for the Book nonfiction award, and an essay collection, "The Heart's Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing," was published this year by Kent State University Press. A nurse practitioner, she has co-edited two award-winning collections of poetry and prose by nurses, "Between the Heartbeats" and "Intensive Care" (University of Iowa Press). For more information, see her Web site at

Mr. Kelleher is author of "Quarry," a book of poems that touch the heart with a focus on work indoors and out, the animals that share the field and woods at his home, and the everyday life of the everyman. He has taught in the Boston public schools and at the Connecticut Junior Republic in Litchfield. He is currently an adjunct professor of English at Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Winsted and is the owner of Jim's Fine Carpentry. His poems are widely published and have been praised by major American poets including Maxine Kumin who said, "[Mr.] Kelleher makes tough, knobby poems out of what he knows as carpenter, wood splitter, snowplower, and canny observer of the natural world. He is one of a kind and so are his carefully crafted but unvarnished poems."

Ms. Pollard is the author of the poetry collections "Death & Rapture in the Animal Kingdom," "Leaning In" and "Report From The Banana Hospital." She is the daughter of jockey Red Pollard, who rode Seabiscuit to his famous win. Her poems are about horses, people, nature and life. Laura Hillenbrand, author of "Seabiscuit, An American Legend" called "Leaning In" "a work of singular radiance ... an elegant, truthful, resonant collection." Ms. Pollard is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Prize and is the former editor of The Connecticut River Review. Her CD recording of 26 poems is available at

Mr. Leff is author of the poetry collection "The Price of Water" and the nonfiction books "The Last Undiscovered Place" and "Deep Travel: In Thoreau's Wake on the Concord and Merrimack." "The Last Undiscovered Place" is about living in a natural setting away from cement and tar. Mr. Leff is a freelance writer and a past deputy commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection. Poet and blues singer/songwriter Bruce Pratt said that in "The Price of Water" Mr. Leff "married lyric and narrative poetry and prose into a series of lush reflections and musings that entertain the heart and eye while edifying the soul." Mr. Leff can be heard reading some of his poems at

Ms. Della Pelle is author of "Down to the Waters" and an educator, meditation instructor and master gardener who runs her own small business tending to client's gardens. She is also co-founder of Common Thread, a poetry performance group and founded the Walking Haiku Meditation Workshop, which draws on the Zen tradition inspiring poetry born on the tongue. She is a visiting artist in public schools, colleges and retreat centers, helping students find expression through poetry. Joan Kunsch, a poet and associate director of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, said of "Down to the Waters" that "the reader is carried along into the wonder of Della Pelle's own journey." Poet Sandra Bishop Ebner called "Down to the Waters" an "amazing debut book."

Ms. Sands, author of the newly released poetry collection "Gandy Dancing," is a journalist, reviewer, and correspondent whose interviews, essays, and feature articles appear in regional and national publications, as well as online. Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is founder of "Writers' Work Workshops" and has taught poetry and creative writing and offered writing tutorials to adults throughout Northwest Connecticut for more than 20 years. Poet and memoirist Honor Moore said "Gandy Dancing" is "the narrative of an American Everywoman whose life does not often come into poems." In his review of "Gandy Dancing," poet Dick Allen said of the poems, "Not an image or sound is out of place." Visit her Web site at

For more information, contact the White Memorial Conservation Center at 860-567-0857 or send an e-mail to The center is located at 80 Whitehall Road in Litchfield.

From the Litchfield County Times
©Litchfield County Times 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

A rare loon in Connecticut

Greg Hanisek's blog at the Waterbury Republican-American: Normally, two species of loons occur in Connecticut. Common Loons can be found on both salt and freshwater during spring and fall migration and throughout the winter. Red-throated Loons follow the same schedule but are much less frequently seen away from Long Island Sound. Both species sometimes linger into summer, usually on Long Island Sound. Neither breeds in Connecticut, but Common Loon could potentially nest if it could find an undisturbed spot on one of our lakes.
This week I was fortunate to find a third species of loon, a Pacific Loon, on Lake Quassapaug in Middlebury. This is a very rare species in the East, so I was relieved when it decided to stay on the lake (it was still present this morning), allowing a lot of birders to see it and several to get good photos, such this one by Mark Szantyr....

We've used a photo from Wikimedia Commons of a Pacific loon, shot by John Mosesso, US Geological Survey

For the benefit of Litchfield's firehouse

Worthpoint: Items gathered from private homes, family estates, important collections and even the contents of a safety deposit box will be auctioned off later this month to help pay for the finishing of the interior of the new addition to the Litchfield Firehouse. The auction, to be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the firehouse, will be conducted by Tim’s, Inc., of nearby Bristol. The sale will feature sports cards, coins and stamps, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, artwork, autographed items, collectibles and more.

“This will be no average fundraising auction,” said Tim Chapulis of Tim’s, Inc., himself a resident of Litchfield. “In many ways it will be a somewhat smaller version of our Cabin Fever Auction, held every spring at the Litchfield Firehouse.” The two-story, 2,150-square-foot brick addition to the existing firehouse was started in April and completed at the end of August. It comprises a meeting room, two offices, a storage room, two rest rooms and a communications room that is 90 percent complete. But much is still needed to complete the job, and that’s where the auction comes in.

The money would go toward interior walls, heating and air conditioning, electricity and phone service, insulation, carpeting, furniture, artwork and other decorations and appointments that will make the current shell habitable. “The work will take six months to complete,” said Litchfield’s Fire Chief James Koser, “We’d like to stud the walls and install the plumbing within three weeks of the auction.”….

Goshen Players Audition Annoucement

GOSHEN-Goshen Players, Inc. has announced auditions for its 62nd anniversary spring production, "Working." Auditions will be held at Old Town Hall at the junction of Routes 4 and 63 on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Callbacks will be Thursday, Dec. 3. In case of inclement weather, visit the Web site at or call 860.491.9988.
"Working" will be directed Jim Smith of Wolcott, with musical direction by Scott Stanchfield of New Hartford and choreography by Jack Crann of Bethlehem. Performances will be at the Goshen Old Town Hall on April 30 and May 1,7, 8, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., with 4 p.m. matinees on May 2 and 9.

Based on the best-selling book of interviews with American workers by Studs Terkel, "Working" explores the American workday from the Monday morning blues to the second shift blahs, using the original words of some very uncommon "common" men and women.

The cast will be an ensemble of between eight and 10 men and women of a diverse range of ages and ethnicities. All those auditioning must be at least 16 years of age. Most actors will fulfill more than one role in the production.

If actors or actresses wishing to audition have conflicts with the dates and times scheduled, they are encouraged to contact director Jim Smith at 203-879-1355.

Goshen Players, Inc. is a 501©3 not-for-profit organization that has presented quality musicals in the Goshen Old Town Hall annually since 1949, expanding their season to include straight plays in 2005. The venue for their productions, The Goshen Old Town Hall, was purchased from the town in 2004. Major updates and renovations to that space are currently underway.

From the Litchfield County Times

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Funds to protect Connecticut farmland

CT Environmental Headlines: Douglas Zehner, Connecticut State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced the agency has received $4 million through the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).

ctfarm“This program helps ensure that valuable, productive land is protected,” said Zehner. “The funds will be used to purchase conservation easements to limit conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses.” (Since 1996, NRCS has provided $21.6 million to protect over 8,000 acres of farms in Connecticut.)

NRCS will accept FRPP proposals from interested state, tribal, and local governments and non-governmental organizations until February 1, 2010. For those proposals selected for funding, NRCS will enter into an agreement to support efforts to protect soils and historical and archaeological sites. NRCS provides up to 50% of the appraised fair market value of the conservation easement. All funds will be awarded to the highest ranked eligible parcels through a statewide, competitive process. Applications submitted after February 1, 2010, will be held for Fiscal Year 2011 funding consideration.

Any state or town government or non-profit organization may apply for FRPP funds by submitting a proposal. Eligible entities must demonstrate a commitment to long-term conservation of agricultural lands, a capacity to acquire and manage easements, have pending offers on a farm(s), and available funding to match federal funds….

A Ford tractor, shot by, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Friday, November 20, 2009

32nd Annual Goshen Turkey Trot

GOSHEN-The town's longstanding Thanksgiving morning tradition, the running of the Turkey Trot, will be celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year. The 6.2-mile race starts at 10 a.m. sharp Nov. 26 at the Goshen Fairgrounds on Old Middle Street and covers a hilly course on mostly dirt roads-the perfect prelude to a calorie-laden holiday meal, according to race organizers. The race is always held no matter the weather conditions.

There are many divisions, from 10 and under to Super Grand Masters. Walkers are also welcome. The field is limited to 400 with preregistration strongly encouraged.

Preregistration $15, while the race-day fee is $20. Race T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 200 registered runners. Thirty-one local businesses and professional organizations plus scores of volunteers make this event possible.

Race forms are available online at or at Goshen Wine and Spirits, Goshen Recreation Department and Sportsmen of Litchfield.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PPG Wins Award!

The Americas Property Awards 2009 in conjunction with CNBC, Maserati, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, The World and Kohler selected Portfolio Properties Group, LLP as 2009 Best Real Estate Agency Connecticut USA. “The Americas Property Awards 2009” are run in conjunction with the International Property Awards, the world’s most prestigious competition dedicated to finding the best real estate fields from across the globe for the last 15 years.

This symbol of excellence will be recognized and appreciated by the public who are becoming increasingly well informed and discerning about the properties they seek to buy. Entries were judged by a panel of 40 professionals whose collective knowledge of the property industry is second to none and unsurpassed by any other property awards. Over 62 Countries were represented at this year’s selection.

Stephen M. Drezen, Managing Partner of PPG, attended the Black Tie Gala Presentation at the US Grant Hotel, San Diego, CA. on Thursday November 12, 2009, with over 3300 applicants and over 55 winners in attendance. The event was chaired by Mr. Stuart Shields, Awards Chairman for the IPA. According to Mr. Drezen, “We are pleased to be the recipient of the 2009 International Property Awards ,for Best Real Estate Company, Connecticut, 2009. “

Portfolio Properties Group, LLP is headquartered in Litchfield County Connecticut with offices serving clients from all over the world, specializing in properties from $350,000 to $35,000,000. For over 35 years, PPG has responded to the needs of their clients through personal attention to detail.

Portfolio Properties Group, LLP is Litchfield County’s exclusive affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates, a wholly owned subsidy of Christie’s, London, England. For Further Information, Please contact: Stephen M. Drezen, Managing Partner, Portfolio Properties Group, LLP 860.491.2000,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wolf Kahn, master of pastels, in Kent

The Morrison Gallery in Kent: Pastels by famed artist Wolf Kahn are on display at the Morrison Gallery October 17th – November 29th. The exhibit, featuring 20 works of varying size, begins with an opening reception Saturday, Oct. 17 from 5-7 pm at 8 Old Barn Road in Kent, CT. Kahn's work currently hangs in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC and the Los Angeles County Museum.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927, where his father was director of the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Kahn was sent to England in 1939 with a children's refugee transport and a year later he was able to join his family in the United States. He graduated from New York's High School of Music and Art in 1945, studied briefly with the painter Stuart Davis and, after serving in the U.S. Navy, studied with the renowned teacher and abstract expressionist Hans Hoffmann. In 1950, he enrolled in the University of Chicago, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in just one year.

He is now considered one of the leading landscape painters of our time and is a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He and his wife, the painter Emily Mason, divide their time between New York City and their farm near Brattleboro, Vermont…..

Image by Wolf Kahn from the Morrison Gallery website

Hand-made tiles in Bantam

Planning some tile work? Maybe you're renovating, and you want swatches, samples, fresh thinking. Maybe you even want handcrafted tiles. You can get that locally at Bantam Tile Works. "All Bantam Tileworks products are handcrafted at its studio in Bantam at the renovated Switch Factory. Our tiles start as wet clay that is wedged, rolled, dried, cut, dried again, fired, glazed and fired again on the premises. All this work results in a finished tile that can be found exclusively at the Bantam Tileworks studio and showroom."

Their website also says: "Before opening Bantam Tileworks, owners Darin Ronning and Travis Messinger lived in Lower Manhattan and owned a store called Pepper Jones. The store was a combination of a coffee shop and tableware store that specialized in ceramics made by artisans. There they learned the value of working directly with customers to help them achieve their aesthetic vision.

"It was in New York that the idea of Bantam Tileworks first came to Darin. While visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art a friend pointed out a fountain made by Louis Comfort Tiffany and suggested that he put his nose up close to the glass. Darin quickly realized how many layers of color were visible in each piece of glass. It was something that he knew that he wanted to try to replicate in ceramic tiled surfaces.

"After moving to Connecticut in 2004 they got the chance to attempt just that. For over a year they worked with up to 8,000 colors, combining them to create multi-layered depth to the glaze. Through a lot of trial and error they narrowed the options down to the 100 most eye-catching combinations for the current, though ever evolving, Bantam Tileworks palette. "

Overseas players pursue dreams at area prep schools

Steve Barlow in the Waterbury Republican-American: For Bjoern Werner and Kai Brusch, coming to America has been educational in many ways. For their friends back in Germany, who think Americans eat all their meals at McDonald’s, the two football players have had to educate them that it’s not so. In fact, fast-food franchises are all but verboten in this leafy Northwest Corner town.

And their new friends here, who think the German autobahn is just one step below the Indy 500, they’ve had to educate them, too. “There’s no speed limit,” Brusch acknowledged, “but not everybody drives like a maniac.”

Those are just a couple of things the two have dealt with while pursuing their dreams of playing football in the NFL. There’s also been the adjustment to speaking English all the time, not to mention the inevitable homesickness brought on by being half a world away from home.

The gridiron is where things come easiest. Even the language barrier melts away: A tackle is a tackle, in German or English. “On the field, you understand everything,” said Werner, one of the top prep linemen in the East.

Werner and Brusch, both 19-year-old seniors, are at this all-boys private school through Global Football, a Texas-based organization that places overseas players at private schools in the United States. Salisbury is one of two schools in Litchfield County in the program. The other is Kent, which played a game in England last month arranged by the same outfit…..

Northwest Conservation District honors environmental defenders

Alex Taylor in the Torrington Register-Citizen: The Northwest Conservation District held its annual awards ceremony Monday night, recognizing over a dozen local officials and volunteers. Jeanne Cronaeur, executive director of the conservation district, said candidates were chosen by district members as well as environmental officials.

Founded in 1953, the conservation district is a non-profit local environmental organization that promotes the use of natural resources and education and technical services in 37 towns and cities in Connecticut.

George Closson, a Winsted Selectman and chair of the Plan of Conservation and Development Committee, said the conservation district had been essential in drafting the long-in-the-works plan as well as the town’s natural resource map.

According to Cronauer, the conservation district began advising the subcommittee over two years ago and provided technical consultation, mapping, and field work. “You can’t plan without the proper tools,” Closson said of the organization’s help. Closson was recognized for his work on the subcomitte.

Awards were also given to Art Mattiello, chair of the Sue Grossman Still River Greenway Committee, Shelly Harms, president of the Winchester Land Trust; Dick Labich, president of the Highland Lake Watershed Association; and conservation volunteers Annette Caputi, Goldie Danzieri, Arline DeWitt, Ann Koplar, Peggy Kucinskas, Annette Leather, Dot Pkas, Betty Wells, Ursula Woodman, and Carol Zongatti….

Bears in Huntington State Park, near Redding

Mine Hill Preserve

Peter Martelka in the Hartford Courant fills us in on a trail near Roxbury: Mine Hill Preserve is a place where your imagination and legends both come to life. While walking an old abandoned tramway to the iron ore mines, one can almost hear the braying of the donkeys that once pulled ore-filled carts along the rails. Farther along the trail, one might hear the tink-tink of picks extracting the ore while peering into the maw of a water-filled mine shaft.

And then there are the legends, as visitors walk the 3.5-mile trail surrounding the 360-acre preserve. One can easily imagine an oxcart traveling down the tramway as a German goldsmith was caught taking precious metals out of the mine when a box filled with silver ingots fell off.

Welcome to Mine Hill Preserve, home of the first purchase of the Roxbury Land Trust — a group that has preserved 3,316 acres of this small, turn-back-the-clock northwestern Connecticut town. While the granite quarries, abandoned mine shafts and old tramways are fun to explore, the draw of this preserve is the huge restored blast furnace and roasting ovens that take visitors back to a time when this hillside on the banks of the Shepaug River helped fuel the country's demand for iron….

Monday, November 9, 2009

Can you guess where this is?

Maybe you've visited it, but when we look at real estate ads, we always try to guess where the location is without peeking at the answer.

Westminster School names new headmaster

Rinker Buck in the Hartford Courant: The Westminster School has announced that William V.N. Philip, who has held a variety of teaching and administrative positions for 26 years at the school, will become the eighth headmaster there since the school was founded in 1888. Philip will succeed Graham Cole, who has been the school's head for the past 17 years.

An eight-member committee, assisted by an academic recruiting firm, spent most of this year conducting a national search after Cole announced in January that he planned to retire. But, after narrowing their search to four candidates, they concluded that their strongest candidate was a Westminster veteran.

"Bill's years of extraordinary service and accomplishment at Westminster encompass all of the qualities we were seeking in a new head of school," said John Armour, chairman of the Westminster Board of Trustees….

Image from the Westminster School website

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Water tumbling over rocks

From the Kent Falls website: Kent Falls, located in the northeastern section of the town of Kent, is a series of waterfalls on a mountain stream known as Falls Brook. The stream begins in the town of Warren, draining an area of six or seven square miles. It then flows west to the big fall where it plunges approximately 70 feet in a dramatic cascade. From here the stream descends in a series of lesser falls and cascades to the valley, where it enters the Housatonic River some 200 feet below the brink of the big fall only a quarter mile away. Much of the limestone over which the brook flows has been carved into interesting shapes including numerous potholes of all sizes.

...Acquisition of the park began in 1919 with the gift of 200 acres by the White Memorial Foundation. Other parcels were donated or purchased until the present 295 acres were acquired. The area was developed in the 1930's by the Civil Works Administration. In the mid nineteen-seventies, considerable trail reconstruction was done by the Youth Conservation Corps of Connecticut. The covered bridge is an authentic reproduction built in 1974 by a park employee, Edmund Palmer….

The Falls shot by Vux, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

Our river observed

From the Housatonic Valley Association website: ….As the Housatonic River moves into Connecticut, the valley changes dramatically. The valley walls narrow and are flanked by hills on either side. The river now flows through a much harder substrate consisting of limestone, quartz and granite, and the river bottom becomes much rockier. There are still some agricultural activities in this northwestern part of Connecticut due to the presence of the river's nutrient rich floodplains.

Just south of Bulls Bridge power station, water is diverted from the river and pumped uphill, through a penstock, to Candlewood Lake, the first pump storage reservoir built in the country. Constructed in 1926, it is the largest (5,400 acres) lake in Connecticut. When river levels are too low to support the power generation at the Rocky River Power Station in New Milford, lake water is sent rushing down the penstock and through the generators. Upon leaving New Milford, the river again changes dramatically, becoming a series of 3 in-stream lakes. Each lake is formed by a hydroelectric power dam. The Shepaug Dam forms Lake Lillinonah (1,900 acres) in Bridgewater. Farther south in Monroe, the Stevenson Dam, which is the largest, creates Lake Zoar (975 acres). The third lake is Lake Housatonic (328 acres), formed by the Derby Dam between Derby and Shelton.

The flow of the Housatonic River may vary in this area. River flows are periodically "ponded" behind the dams when normal river flows are inadequate. The water is then released to turn the turbines which produce electric power. Below the Derby dam, the river begins its final change, becoming an estuary, where salt and fresh water mix. The Housatonic River estuary produces one-third of all the seed oysters which are a vital part of Connecticut's commercial shellfish industry. In this lower 12 mile section of the river are tidal wetlands and salt marshes which provide important habitat for plants, birds, shellfish, finfish and other aquatic life. The Housatonic River enters Long Island Sound at Milford Point…..

An aerial view of Bulls Bridge, south of Kent, from the Housatonic Valley Association's website

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hit the Connecticut Wine Trail

ABC News: Wine from Connecticut? Yes indeed. Touring Connecticut's farm wineries is a great weekend excursion, right along with apple-picking and pumpkin patches. Most vineyards harvest their grapes this time of the year and host special events along with regular wine tastings and tours.

Connecticut currently boasts about 30 farm wineries across the state -- from Hopkins Vineyard in Litchfield County to Cassidy Hill in Coventry. The number has almost doubled since 2007. Haight-Brown in Litchfield opened in 1975 and is one of the state's oldest vineyards. New additions include estate-bottling boutique Northwinds in Watertown, and Saltwater Farm Vineyard -- which has a WWII-vintage airport hangar -- in Stonington.

…Connecticut's agriculture department has an entire lab dedicated to grape production. From these experimentation stations, the scientists work with several farms, suggesting what grapes would grow best in their regions.

Several farms have also staved off this year's early frost. Many producers reported an early yet plentiful harvest within their microclimates. Smith said Taylor Brooke Winery in Windham County, located at a high elevation, wasn't affected by the early snow….

Wine grapes, shot by Fir0002, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Two Connecticut schools recognized by EPA for green power purchases

CT Environmental News: Two schools in Connecticut are among the nation’s 10 top performers when it comes to buying green power. Greenwich Academy in Greenwich and Hotchkiss School in Lakeville were both recognized this week as part of EPA’s Green Power Partnership.

For the first time, EPA’s Green Power Partnership released a list of the largest green power purchasers among primary and secondary schools. The Green Power Partnership’s top 20 K-12 schools are buying nearly 113 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power a year, equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) that would be produced from the electricity use of more than 11,000 average American homes.

“These schools should be proud of their accomplishments and we are proud to have them as partners,” said Ira Leighton, action regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “As educational institutions, they have shown that they care about the environment at the same time they are teaching students about environmental responsibility and setting a standard for the rest of us to follow.”

…The Hotchkiss School, an independent boarding secondary school, buys about 2 million kwhs or 22 percent of its electricity through green power, all of which comes from wind power. In addition, the school recently competed in the Green Cup Challenge, an annual competition among independent schools with a goal of reducing energy consumption on campus.

“We are pleased to have received this recognition,” said Joshua Hahn, assistant head of the school and director of environmental initiatives. “Purchasing green power is an important component of helping Hotchkiss to become more sustainable, but it is just one part of our energy management strategies. We also work to curtail our energy through efficient technology and behavioral changes, attempt to use renewable energy resources when possible, and offset our carbon footprint in ways that are intentionally connected to our curriculum and to the lives of Hotchkiss students.”….

The main building at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, shot by Adrien Delessert, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

New dining spot in Millerton

From Rural Intelligence, a new restaurant in the neighborhood: Who would dare open a white tablecloth restaurant in this economy? A young couple like chef Tim Cocheo, 31, and his wife, Taryn, 30, who were half the team behind the now-shuttered Bottle Tree Grocery in Ancram, which had a cult-like following for its $49 prix fixe dinners on Friday and Saturday nights and its decadent Sunday brunch. Now, the Cocheos have opened No. 9 Restaurant and given the dining room at Millerton’s Simmon’s Way Village Inn a Cinderella makeover.

From the street (the address is Main Street, but the entrance is on Century Boulevard), the restaurant gives off a golden glow that fills you with optimism. When you walk in the door, you are not disappointed: the dining room feels like a warm embrace—mustard walls with wainscoting painted a Proven├žal green, brass sconces with silk shades that cast a flattering light, a large, homey patterned carpet (donated by Joan Osofsky of Hammertown Barn), and a state-of-the-art sound system playing the kind of music that makes you feel like you’re at a really swell dinner party. And in a way you are: Cocheo—who cooked in New York at the late, great La Caravelle and Wallse and then at Wheatleigh in Lenox, MA, before moving to the Bottle Tree—is a serious chef....