After three decades as a chef and owner, Peter Hamme has a clear idea of what he wants a restaurant to represent.
“It should be a place where people don’t just go to eat but they go to celebrate,” said Hamme. “And it should also have an impact on the local community.”
Those are the guiding principles at Stone’s Throw, which opened last June at the picturesque site of the former Lake House Bar and Grille on Route 34 in Seymour, overlooking the Housatonic River. Hamme, his wife, Tara, and her sister, Jennifer Recker, Shelton residents, are co-owners of the restaurant, which (unlike the Lake House) is open year-round.
Hamme, a winner of the American Culinary Institute’s Award of Culinary Excellence, said the restaurant’s name carries symbolism on several levels. “We’re a stone’s throw from all these great towns around us, but we’re also a stone’s throw away from all these great farms and food sources.”
Hamme is relying on local providers for many of the ingredients used in the restaurant’s farm-to-table, eclectic American cuisine. The current dinner menu reflects the diversity, including entrees ranging from French Fisherman’s Stew — a mix of Thimble Island clams, PEI mussels, diver scallops, fresh fish, and shrimp — to roasted center-cut pork chop and grilled hanger steak.
“I think we are filling a niche,” said Hamme, who purchased the Lake House after a 14-year run as chef/owner of the renowned Stone House Restaurant in Guilford. “Nobody in the area is really doing what I do. It’s farm to table, but we want it to be fun and creative, and that goes for the drinks as well.”
Among the special events at Stone’s Throw are wine dinners, served once every six weeks, and chef’s tables.
“We limit the chef’s tables to 10 people maximum, and I go to market the day before and make a menu from what is fresh,” said Hamme. “There are five courses and wine is paired with each course. I also talk to the guests between courses, so it’s an interactive, back-and-forth meal and conversation.”
In addition to offering high-end food at non-astronomical prices, Hamme says another goal for Stone’s Throw is to become a vital part of Seymour and the surrounding area.
“There’s a real sense of community here,” said Hamme. “We want the restaurant to be a place where people enjoy their food and drinks but also feel comfortable. We are not going for a white tablecloth, stuffy atmosphere.”
To fulfill that aim, Stone’s Throw has several weekly events, including karaoke and $5 martinis on Thursday nights, weekday happy hours, customer appreciation Fridays, live music on weekend nights, and jazz brunches on Sunday afternoons.
Beyond the menu, Hamme said that the local focus extends to another area: Charities.
“Every month, we are donating 5% of sales on Tuesdays to a local charity,” said Hamme. “We believe that being part of a community means giving back to that community.”
For more information, visit stonesthrowct.com or call 203-308-2662.