July 4, 2022

There’s a New Cafe in Old Lyme

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme has recently opened Café Flo, a new addition to its cultural offerings.  The seasonal summer café serves locally sourced fare from River Tavern in Chester Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. through Sept. 19.

Jonathan Rapp, chef and owner of River Tavern provides the culinary expertise for the café.  “River Tavern is the perfect partner for this project, “states Jeff Andersen, director of the Museum.  “Jonathan uses only the freshest ingredients available from local farmers and purveyors for his delicious and inventive dishes.”  Since the meals are prepared based on what is in season, the menu changes daily.
Items such as spinach salad with croutons and Caesar dressing; Arugula, strawberries, feta, walnuts and coriander vinaigrette; spiced chickpea with marinated chicken, cucumber, golden raisin, yogurt and mint; lobster salad roll with homemade potato chips are all featured on the menu regularly. 

Prices range from $6 to $16 and include family-friendly items like PB&J made with homemade jam and fresh peanut butter.
Café Flo is located at the Museum in the John and Dyanne Rafal Landscape Center (pictured above) with seating available in and around the center, including the historic garden.  Diners may also choose to use one of the available picnic blankets and baskets and enjoy their meal near the Lieutenant River.  

“I can’t think of a lovelier setting for lunch, this is one of the most beautiful spots in Connecticut, said Jonathan Rapp.  Adding, “The café will add to the many charms of this exciting museum and help make the Florence Griswold Museum the place to be this summer.”

The addition of Café Flo is just one way the Florence Griswold Museum promotes local farmers and food purveyors.  For the past 13 years the Museum has organized Market En Plein Air for the annual Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, held the last Saturday in July.  Fashioned after French outdoor markets, local vendors are invited to sell their products from the lawn of the Museum. It has become one of the highly anticipated events of the summer.

Café Flo is also an example of how the Museum continually looks for creative ways to work with local artisans and businesses.  For example the café tables were designed by housewright Erik Block of Hadlyme using reclaimed wood salvaged from a Connecticut mill.  The 2010 season of Café Flo is sponsored by The Cooley Gallery of Old Lyme.

Located on an 11-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism.  In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, a landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, at exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm.  Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 students, and free to children 12 and under.
For more information, visit the Museum’s web site at www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.