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The Spinning Wheel Moves In A New Direction



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The Spinning Wheel Moves In A New Direction

The Spinning Wheel Inn on Route 58 in Redding began as an inn and tavern in 1742, and the original beams, flooring and fireplaces are still evidennt, although guest rooms were converted into more dining space in 1924 and a complete renovation was carried out in 1990-1991.

This popular spot is, however, undergoing some changes to meet today’s dining and entertainment demands. Stephanie Weirsman was named general manager last fall and Nicola Maggioni joined the staff as executive chef in April.

According to Ms Weirsman, “We recognize the need to change and implement new and neat things, so we are taking the perspective as if we are opening a new restaurant, but have the advantage of retaining the things for which we are best known and remain popular.

“Most people think of The Spinning Wheel primarily as a wedding or banquet facility or know it for our annual Christmas shows,” she continued, “but we are a functioning restaurant and we want the public to think of us as a dining destination as well.”

The tavern restaurant seats approximately 60 patrons in a high ceiled and beamed room. There is a central waiting area with an original large fireplace and a small bar area that was created in the 199­0-91 renovation — it features the end of a keg tap sticking out of the wall — which leads to a private dining room for up to 14 and into the banquet area, which features a second fireplace and can accommodate up to 200. The Spinning Wheel also has an outdoor area that seats 60 and overlooks beautiful gardens and a gazebo — a scene featured in many wedding photos.

Ms Weirsman and Chef Maggioni created an entirely new menu — while retaining and tweaking the popular New England classic favorites — using good, fresh ingredients and emphasizing healthy Mediterranean flavors. A new Sunday brunch and brunch setup is also being offered. It includes omelette, carving, and pancake stations, three kinds of eggs benedict, and fresh pastries. Brunch is $22 for adults, $10 for children ages 5–10, and free for children 4 and under.

“So far, the public response has been great,” Ms Weirsman reports.

Most popular of the new appetizers are the grilled shrimp and calamari on lemongrass skewers with tamarind BBQ glaze, served with salad bouquet, $13, and the rustic vegetable tartlet, comprised of Portobello mushrooms, Bermuda onion, roasted tomatoes, and bleu cheese, served with cannellini bean veloute, $10.

Among the new entrees, the seared Mediterranean bass topped with cherry tomato and rosemary sauce, served over cannellini bean veloute, $21, and the seared salmon filet served over wilted spinach, topped with white wine, capers, and raisin emulsion, and dusted with pistachio cheese, $18, have found particular favor.

The New England Classics “served at the Spinning Wheel since 1932” — including crab cakes, $12, seafood pie, $17, and pork Aspetuck, $19 — are still on the menu, is the traditional New England combo supper of clam and corn chowder, chicken pot pie, and apple pie for $20.

The complete menu is available on the restaurant’s website, SpinningWheelInn-CT.com.

For those seeking something a little different on Friday evenings, The Spinning Wheel recently inaugurated Friday Finale, featuring live music for listening or dancing and a selection of coffee, desserts, and specialty cocktails from 8:30 till 11:30. Patrons can indulge in do-it-yourself S’mores, $6, seven “regular” desserts from bittersweet chocolate mousse layers with chocolate cake and apricot puree served with a Napoleon of blackberry cabernet sorbet and strudel dough to a chef’s choice cheese plate with herb biscuit and date puree to cappuccino mousse cake, $7 to $9, or tableside flambé for two — choice of bananas foster or crepes suzette — $15.

The Spinning Wheel, 107 Black Rock Turnpike (near Joel Barlow High School), Redding, is open for dinner Wednesday and Thursday, 4:30 to 9; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10, and Sunday, 4 to 7, and for Sunday brunch from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Friday Finale is from 8:30 to 11:30. For information or reservations, 203-938-2511 or SpinningWheelInn-CT.com.

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