“Zen” On The Connecticut Shoreline
Sure, Chef Mark Shadle of Middletown, Connecticut has been to the White House and won all kinds of culinary awards, but home is where the heart is and he’s now settled in Branford, Connecticut at his new restaurant called G-Zen. G is for, well, “green” all about eco-conscious and “zen” state of mind of course, meaning “chill out already, you’re too uptight! ‘ So right there you know you’re blood pressure is going to drop, just by walking into the place, think of it as a mini vacation.
Mark and his wife, Ami Beach, have whipped up a menu that is amazingly fun to read. One of the dishes is called “Sufi Kiss,” how cute is that? It’s marinated artichoke and kalamata olives wrapped in filo served with smoked paprika aioli over organic field greens. Or how ’bout “Downward Dog Bean Burrito,” yep, a little Yoga stuff thrown into that name, you can just feel the zen. That dish includes, and get ready this is really yummy sounding, organic brown rice, spicy black beans, lettuce and shredded veggies, cheese with house made spicy cilantro salsa in a spinach whole grain wrap. Mark throws on his world famous sweet potato fries too. Everything, I mean everything is made by scratch, even their juicers are getting a real work out, they figure into their sangria, no canned anything here.
This restaurant reflects the Shadle’s true lifestyle. They live on a farm in Durham, Connecticut, I’ve been there. This couple is all about reuse, repurpose, sustainability, living green, they way we all should be as we think about the health of the planet.
The atmosphere at their place is really cozy, lots of candles lit, fun music and outside the the main dining area is a place called the Zen Den. It’s a small room which can fit about 16 for a more intimate gathering of friends. From that space you can see into the kitchen where Mark is making his culinary magic.
So there you have it a chill place with a chill couple hosting you, just dinners right now. I dare you to get your “Ohm” on here, the sooner the better in this rat race of a world.