Mill Street Bar & Table highlights the innovative and high-caliber cuisine of Chef Ian Vest, a disciple of Daniel Boulud and former Executive Chef of DBGB NYC.
Chef Ian Vest started his hospitality career at age 13. His dedication and passion for good food and service grew as he worked at various restaurants in St. Louis and Dallas. At age 25, Ian was named Executive Chef of The Crossing, an acclaimed restaurant in St. Louis owned by chef and Daniel-alum Jim Fiala. After nearly two years as Executive Chef of The Crossing, Ian enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America's Advanced Career Experience (ACE) program in Hyde Park, NY, a program designed specifically for students with significant industry experience.
Upon graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in 2012, Ian was hired at Daniel, Daniel Boulud's three Michelin-starred namesake restaurant in New York City. His skill and growth as a chef blossomed under the supervision of Executive Chef Jean-François Bruel and Chef de Cuisine Eddy LeRoux. At age 30, Ian became Executive Chef of Boulud's DBGB Kitchen & Bar in Manhattan's Lower East Side. After commanding the fast-paced and high-quality kitchen at DBGB for two years, Ian decided to leave Manhattan, travel throughout Europe, and marry his now wife on the beach of San Sebastián, Spain.
In July 2016, Chef Ian Vest assumed the role of Executive Chef of Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich, CT. Ian and his team have brought the organic farm-to-table restaurant to a new and exciting level. In 2017, Ian was honored as "Most Innovative Chef" at the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival and Food & Wine Magazine named Back 40 Kitchen as the top farm-to-table restaurant in Connecticut.
In January 2018, Chef Ian Vest was promoted to Executive Chef of the Back 40 Farm Group, overseeing both Back 40 Kitchen and its sister restaurant, Mill Street Bar & Table. Ian looks forward to executing a new and highly-personal chef-driven menu at Mill Street Bar & Table.
Matthew Karaban, General Manager
Matt’s restaurant career started at the age of seventeen under the creative vision of Chef Carol Peck at Good News Café in Woodbury, CT. Called the ‘Alice Waters of the East Coast’ by the New York Times, Carol was known for using local, organic ingredients. It was there that Matt developed his love for elevated food and hospitality during his five year employment.
Matt’s journey then took him to Boston where he was part of the opening team at Via Matta, a James Beard award winning Italian concept by Chef Michael Schlow. Named one of the best new restaurants in the nation by Esquire Magazine, Via Matta’s regionally specific Italian cuisine inspired Matt to work his way up from back waiter to General Manager during his six tenure. After two years at the helm, Matt was moved within the company to their flagship restaurant, Radius- canonized as one of the best modern French restaurants in Boston.
As Matt began to grow his family, his next chapter brought him back to Connecticut to join the team at Elm, another one of the nation's best new by Esquire, in New Canaan. Matt then turned to one of the fastest growing restaurant groups in the country, Barcelona Wine Bar. Through trips to Spain, he honed his wine and food knowledge, while running one of the company’s top producing locations. His passion for local and organic fare finally lead him to Mill Street Bar & Table where he continues to hone his craft for excellence in Hospitality.
Lesley and Bill have been together since high school but never envisioned owning a farm or a restaurant. After long careers on Wall Street, they threw themselves wholeheartedly into the organic food movement and the local food scene, beginning with the development of an organic farm in Washington CT called the Back 40 Farm and moving quickly to the co-founding of the Old Greenwich Farmers Market. Their mutual commitment to chemical-free food for their families and their community along with a whole lot of entrepreneurial spirit helped carve the way for the Back 40 Farm Group which now co-owns the Back 40 Kitchen on Greenwich Avenue and a country store called the Back 40 Mercantile in Old Greenwich. Bill and Lesley are passionate supporters of the local and organic food movement and Bill now sits on the board of the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills NY.
Alexis Barbalinardo manages the team of the Back 40 Farm. She has trained on vegetable farms in California, as well as a dairy farm in New Jersey, culminating within the Apprentice Program at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in nearby Tarrytown, New York. Alexis works tirelessly in a 4-season rotation, constantly demonstrating her passion for good food and connecting people to our earth. Alexis’s favorite herb is lemon verbena and can debate the superiority of escarole over any vegetable all day long. Alexis is committed to growing the best tasting vegetables using the best organic growing practices available at Back 40.