Rainbow Gardens Restaurant and Bar in Milford, Connecticut is not only home to artistically vibrant American cuisine, but could be the model for sustainable restaurants. Owners John and Heather Profetto, established their lively and charming restaurant in the early 1990s with a vision to celebrate life.
Behind many of their decisions comes a consideration for the Earth, from using energy efficient light bulbs, toilet paper made of recycled materials to reprogramming their walk-in coolers to conserve energy. Whenever possible they use local and organic vegetables and when the Hazlet organic farmers of New Jersey cruise their truck through Connecticut, Rainbow Gardens buys the lot.
Atop the beautiful Victorian home of Rainbow, is a storybook rooftop garden and two bee hives. Heather Profetto said that her motivation to keep bees is because she recognizes the need for more pollinators. Bees are so critical in the growth of our fruits and vegetables and many people forget their vital role. Thankfully, Heather Profetto does not forget, also keeping two bee hives at her personal home.
Whenever she can chef and owner Heather Profetto designs meals that include the garnishes, herbs and multitude of vegetables they grow on the premises of Rainbow, such as tomatoes, brussel sprouts, arugula, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, beans, micro-greens and pumpkins. In February, Heather and her sister make maple syrup for the restaurant for their chicken and waffle dishes. The idea of farm to table has been a major inspiration in cuisine design and in the gardens that surround their restaurant.
Rainbows commitment to recycling goes above and beyond and all the staff participate in sorting the myriad of glass bottles, plastic containers and metal cans that accumulate daily in a busy restaurant. Rainbow staff members take the recycling to the dump each week and the Profettos pay extra to have their cardboard recycled from their dumpster.
Owner Heather Profetto said that if there could be a Milford town recycling program for restaurants, restaurants would be more likely to recycle. Heather said it’s a lot of extra work for them, but the Profettos feel that this is their space on the earth, where they can make a difference.
Not only does Rainbow Gardens recycle your typical items, but they also donate their fryolator oil to a local Milford man who converted his Mercedes into a car that runs on vegetable oil. Twenty to Forty gallons per week are reused rather than dumped into a landfill. Vegetable and fruit scraps used in food prep are collected for composting and Heather Profetto is on the lookout for a pig farmer who would take table scraps.
The Profettos are always thinking about more ways to be green. When you eat at a restaurant like Rainbow Gardens, you are in a way becoming a part of the movement of sustainability and on top it, you get to ingest high vibe food in a dreamy Victorian. With hope all restaurants turn their heads toward the Green commitment the Profettos have made, and with hope, all customers demand it.