ON20 has received plenty of accolades this summer, including a hat tip from OpenTable readers as one of the country's best scenic restaurants and a Connecticut Magazine Best New Chef honor for executive chef Jeffrey Lizotte.
Next year, the restaurant atop the 20th floor of the Hartford Steam Building just may add beverage honors to its spoils. ON20 has recently welcomed Brent Bushong II, formerly of Millwrights in Simsbury, to help revamp its wine and cocktail offerings.
"Chef Lizotte and I have talked a lot about our mutual philosophies and such, and it just made sense for us to work together," Bushong said. "There's so much potential with the talent in the building already."
Bushong, who led intriguing efforts with spirits and organized weekly wine tasting sessions for guests in Millwrights' first year of business, says he envisions a craft beverage program that complements what Lizotte is doing in the kitchen, he said.
"The changes he's made since Chef [Noel] Jones left, that should be reflected...seasonal cocktails, fresh ingredients. If he's got tarragon [on] the menu, then I'm going to have tarragon in the cocktails."
Seasonal, local ingredients are reflected in ON20's new $30 prix-fixe lunch menu, launched this week in honor of CT Farm-to-Chef Week and continuing through the fall. Diners can choose from starters of a dumpling with Swiss chard and spinach, ricotta salata, sweet potato fondue and a walnut vinaigrette; or salad of roasted beet and radish remoulade, yogurt and horseradish.
Main course options include eggplant miso parmesan with grilled tomato sauce, olive crumb and sweet basil; confit of pork shoulder with fingerling potatoes, mustard greens and roasted grapes; or oven broiled fluke with shaved summer squash and sun-dried tomato.
Dessert choices are a mosaic of compressed melon with Piment d’Espelette sorbet and lemon verbena puree or butter and sugar corn creme caramel with white chocolate and brioche streusel.
ON20 is at 400 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford. 860-722-5161, ontwenty.com.