The warmest thanks to our loyal customers for sharing local,
delicious farm-to-table meals at Dressing Room Restaurant
After eight great years and hundreds of thousands of delicious, local and sustainable farm-direct meals, Dressing Room Restaurant has closed. Founded by internationally renowned chef Michel Nischan and the late actor Paul Newman in 2006, the restaurant was Fairfield County’s first farm-to-table restaurant.
We thank our customers who shared our passion and genuine interest in supporting regional growers and responsible farming methods. As a result of their loyal support, and the resulting successful 8-year run of the restaurant, there are now nearly a dozen farm-to-table restaurants gracing discerning Fairfield County palates while supporting Connecticut agriculture.
Dressing Room Restaurant received numerous awards and accolades in the local and national food press, including one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 95 New Restaurants in the World” (2006) and recognition for “The Best Burger in America” by Steve Raichlen, USA Today (2010). This is a testimony to meals made with the best locally grown, artisanal and organic foods. Yet, it reflects only one of Michel Nischan’s many talents.
Lori and I want to thank our talented staff and their families, whose selfless dedication to our cause made the vision a reality. Nearly every team member was with us from the very beginning, and each nurtured their guests with a sense of genuine hospitality not seen in many restaurants today.
Good Food for All
Nischan’s belief that good food should be available to everyone, regardless of income, led to the creation of Wholesome Wave (www.wholesomewave.org). Founded in 2007, Wholesome Wave is a national non-profit organization that helps underserved urban and rural communities gain more affordable access to healthy, locally grown foods while supporting the small and mid-sized American farmers.
Wholesome Wave offers a variety of programs, including the Double Value Coupon Program, which doubles the value of Food Stamps when spent at farmer markets on locally grown fruits and vegetables. They have also designed a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program to help Doctors and Primary Care Providers provide the resources so at-risk patients have the financial resources allowing them to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. Their Investment Program helps farmers and community members gain access to financing and equity for food businesses that provide affordable access to local foods. Wholesome Wave has been successfully operating in 28 states, including Connecticut.
“When Paul and I founded the Restaurant, we wanted to change in the way people thought about food. We believed that all people should be able to put the same ripe tomato on their family’s table, regardless of their income.” – Michel Nischan
Nischan also founded the Westport Farmers’ Market (www.westportfarmersmarket.com). The market allows Connecticut farmers and food producers to bring fresh foods to consumers, offering healthy choices while supporting sustainable, local food systems and celebrating true sense of place.
“Supporting local farmers’ markets, wherever you live, makes good sense. It’s a great way to feed your family well while supporting local farmers and producers. There is no better, more delicious way to create true local living economies.” – Michel Nischan
Advocating for the Common Good
Nischan recently expanded his foray into the world of cause by co-founding the Chefs Action Network, brainchild of Eric Kessler, a James Beard Foundation Trustee (www.jamesbeard.org). The national network will support chefs devoted to cause by providing them the tools, training, and networking support to help them become effective advocates.
The Next Chapter
“Lori and I will always hold Dressing Room Restaurant dear in our hearts. Our talented culinary and service team made it one of the most amazing restaurants ever to grace Connecticut. We operated as a family unit, bonded together by a strong set of core values and love of good food. With a more deeply dedicated focus on Wholesome Wave to provide fresh food to underserved communities, I am proud that more people will have access to amazing meals. We encourage you to support farm-to-table restaurants, farmers’ markets, and healthier food choices. After all, it’s all about food. Good, pure, affordable, wholesome, delicious, local food. For everyone!” – Michel Nischan