The fast paced world in which we live is driven by trends, or rather social movements. Restaurants are no different, and the flavor of the week, pun completely intended, is farm to table dining, which is characterized as serving local food at restaurants through direct acquisition from the producer. The Civic Kitchen and Drink in Westborough, MA, defines itself as such a restaurant that strives to create an environment that becomes the focal point of the community and brings people together.
At Civic, the farm to table concept extends beyond the menu, which in and of itself is wholly satisfying and leaves you wanting more. It becomes apparent as soon as you walk into the restaurant that the staff share a vision to make the farm to table “trend” more of a lifestyle. This is truly the line of demarcation that separates this restaurant from the rest. Chef Rick Araujo aims to create delicious dishes using seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and producers. The seasonal menu allows diners to have a vastly different experience each time they go to the restaurant. General manager Sarah Lee can be found talking to customers about the local businesses that supply the restaurant with everything from wine, spirits and beer, to beef and pork, and desserts baked by neighboring partners. The dining experience is not just about the meal, but also educating patrons on the quality products sourced miles from the restaurant.
Learning about your food is one thing, but if it isn’t prepared properly, then there is no point using quality ingredients. The menu is not overwhelming, but it is designed to satisfy most palates, whether you are looking for fish, meat, or vegetarian options. Also, many of the items on the menu can be prepared gluten free. Our meal included the Charcuterie Selection, and Rhode Island Style Calamari as an appetizer. Although the Cheddar and Bacon Arancini, Chorizo Tacos, or Pork Belly Elect also stood out as desirable options. The main course included Scallops Rockefeller, which was a creative remake of the traditional Oysters Rockefeller. This sizable entree included tender broiled scallops topped spinach and toasted breadcrumbs, served with a side of roasted carrots. The other entree we ordered was the Grilled Pork Chop, served with a side of roasted cauliflower. The bone in chop was marinated, and cooked in a sous-vide style, lightly grilled to finish it off, and cooked to perfection and butter knife tender. Sides are also available to accompany your meal, and include classics such as Porcini Whipped Potatoes, or less traditional Local Creamy Polenta.
I would be remissed if I didn’t make an effort to explain how impressed I was with the drink selections, but also with the knowledge the bar staff showed while I was laboriously making my drink selection. I was offered samples of the beers on tap, allowing to order a beer I knew I would enjoy. The staff explained each sample, where it came from, and how the flavor profile would come through. Again, a testament to the staff and the time and effort they put into their craft.
Civic Kitchen and Drink is a unique dining experience, with a dedicated staff and a style that holds true to the farm to table ethos. The Civic’s vision is to bring the community together, and remaining true to their lifestyle roots has allowed them much success. There will be no shortage of people coming together and I encourage you to taste the lifestyle that is taking hold in Westborough at 121 West Main Street. Reservations are highly recommended, as seating is limited.