About the Restaurant
Good Food & Good Company. At the Fife ‘n Drum, all our menus change seasonally. Our Daily Specials are designed around what is available seasonally. When it is possible, we use produce from local and nearby farms. Specialties of the House are prepared at table-side and include Caesar Salad for Two, Filet Mignon au Poivre and Roast Half Duck Flambé. Vegetarian dishes are on all our menus, as well as vegan and gluten free. If you have a special dietary request, just ask and we will do everything we can to accommodate your needs. All of our menu items are available for Take Out. If you are running late, just give us a call and we will have it ready for you when you arrive. Also, remember to ask about our daily Lunch & Dinner Specials.
DINING AT THE FIFE ‘n DRUM
The menus and specials are constantly changing to reflect the seasons using local farms to provide ingredients whenever possible. Specialties of the House are prepared at table-side and include Caesar Salad for Two, Filet Mignon au Poivre and Roast Half Duck Flambe. Fresh fish, pasta and poultry round out the lunch and dinner menus. We offer at least one vegetarian dish every day, and with proper notification we can accommodate your need for vegan, gluten free or heart healthy dishes for you and your guests. All of our menu items are available for Take Out – just call ahead to have your order ready when you arrive…..and make sure to ask about our daily Lunch & Dinner Specials.
LIVE MUSIC AT THE FIFE
Piano, guitar, saxophone, vocals. Utilizing a talented roster of regional musicians from George Potts to singer Wanda Houston to pianist Roger Young (to name but a few) and sometimes spontaneous performances by Broadway performers, the Fife follows the musical tradition established by Dolph Traymon 45 years ago. A beloved pianist and composer, Dolph was famous for playing every night at the Fife until he was 97. LEARN MORE
For our Live Music Schedule, go HERE
THE DAVID ARMSTRONG ROOM
Upon entering the Fife ‘n Drum, the David Armstrong Room will be on your left. The David Armstrong Room offers a dining experience that is casual by day, and dramatic by night. With its high ceilings, large fireplace, brick and wood paneled decor, this room is used for lunch and dinner each day. During the cooler months, the table next to the Fireplace, is the most sought-after seat. On the walls are the prints of the late local artist, David Armstrong. These marvelous prints are a tribute to Kent: several are favorite local spots of the artist in and around town: “Numeral Rock” and “Preservation” while the portraits are of people whom the artist grew up with, “The Old Man,” his father Bill Armstrong, a legendary master at Kent School, “Eric Sloane” weatherman, fellow artist and collector of Americana, and Bart Segar, the heir to the 200 acre dairy farm located on Segar Mountain now known as Rte 341.
THE ERIC SLOANE ROOM
When you arrive at the Fife, the Eric Sloane Room is located just to the right. The elegant ambiance of the room is the more formal side of the Fife ‘n Drum, the original Main Dining Room. The walls are decorated with signed Artists’ Proofs by the late New England artist, Eric Sloane. The beamed low ceiling dining room, a construction style typical of the early 1900’s, is now used mostly for private parties, meetings and holiday dinners. In addition, Small Weddings, Private Parties, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Conferences, Private Luncheons and Dinners are usually accommodated in this room.
THE GLASS ROOM
The Glass Room was built in 2003 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Fife ‘n Drum. As you walk through the David Armstrong Room, it is located on the south side of the building. With its high ceiling and large glass windows, this dining room is a wonderful addition for lunch, dinner, or small private parties. The fireplace in the winter makes it cozy and warm.
FIFE 'n DRUM HISTORY
In the early 1970’s the town of Kent, Connecticut was the very model of a sleepy New England village. There was one traffic light and, as they say, the sidewalks used to get rolled up after 6 pm. By Connecticut law, women were not allowed to sit at a bar.
The towns large general store and lumber yard, N. M. Watson & Co., was still a fixture on the west side of Route 7, right across from an old hotel called the Golden Falcon Inn. Families still lived in most of the older Victorian and Colonial houses on Main Street, and it was still politely observed that it took at least 25 years of residency in Kent before a newcomer could stop being referred to as no longer”an out-of-towner.”
Imagine, if you will, a 50 year old Italian pianist from New York entering into this scene with an eye toward turning the tiny Kent Restaurant into a fine dining establishment – complete with a Croatian Maitre d’ and a custom built piano bar. As Dolph Traymon’s former employer, Peggy Lee, said “Dolph, you’ve lost your mind!” With all of this, the Fife ‘n Drum Restaurant first opened its doors for business on January 20, 1973. The first paying customer was Mr. Eugene Bull, Kent’s Postmaster, and a member of the family who first built the local covered bridge, Bulls Bridge, south of town.
Pretty soon the Fife started receiving regular mentions on the radio in New York. Pegeen and Ed Fitzgerald, who had a show on WOR-AM and were old friends of Dolph’s and his wife Audrey, kept talking about their “little cabin in Kent, Connecticut” and how their listeners should drive up and “go see my friend Dolph” for lunch. Additionally, a number of celebrity-studded dinners hosted by another longtime friend, famed artist and writer Eric Sloane, helped cement the Fife ‘n Drum’s reputation as the place to eat in Kent.
Now in its fourth decade of operation (now 45), the Fife ‘n Drum is known as the local place where customers from near and far can rub elbows with one another.
Dolph still plays the piano, and the menu still offers its famous Duck Flambé, Filet au Poivre and Caesar Salad for Two prepared tableside, but now they are alongside more innovative items. Over the years, a Gift Shop and a comfortable Inn for overnight guests have been added to the business. And, like the Fife, the town of Kent has also grown. In addition to the three boarding schools here in town, Kent has become a seasonal destination spot for weekend visitors, outdoor enthusiasts and art lovers.
N. M. Watson & Co may be long gone, but at least women can now sit at the bar…and in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, the village still has only one traffic light.