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Duo: New Stamford Restaurant

I made a great discovery Monday: Duo, the new Euro-Japanese restaurant by the owners of Plateau, has great food at reasonable prices.
Duo is right next to Plateau on Bank Street- if you are a fan of Plateau's tasty yet cheap (at a nice place, entrees under 20 $ sounds cheap to me) Vietnamese/Thai food, you may have noticed they were renovating. Duo's brand new space is sleek, the ceiling is high, and the chop sticks are silver. Less practical than bamboo, but pretty.
Duo's theme: each dish done in two ways. The menu offers regular sushi, elaborate special rolls, and entrees that are- European? I don't know, but they looked good- they reminded me of Match in Norwalk. I got the Buddha roll- very big, 10 or 12 pieces. The whole roll had mushrooms, but half had them raw with other veggies, and the other half had them sauteed with portobello tempura on top and a delicious sauce.
The appetizers are also done two ways. We had the seaweed salad; half was spicy, half sweetish. This place would be a great place for a first date- the food is so much fun to talk about, and I believe all entrees are under 30 $.
My favorite part: the two kitchens, both of which are highly visible. The sushi bar is up front and the hot kitchen is in the back. Many dishes, even my simple Buddha roll, used both kitchens, and it's fun to watch the chefs and cooks interact.
I'm out of town for three weeks, but happy eating to you all!

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  1. Future website: www.duoeurojapanese.com

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    Duo Euro-Japanese
    25 Bank St, Stamford, CT 06901

    1. It is fabulous. We went tonight before Camera Club. I was so impressed with the meal.

      We will definitely be back.

      I had the Land and Sea, and my husband had Two for Tuna, and Moonstone sake.

      It was great!

      1. Oh, my, gosh. I just had lunch here - this place is fabulous. Love the idea of "duo" apps & entrees, plus all the sushi. Very Manhattan chic decor. I think this is going to be the next hot ticket in town. Had the duo tuna entree - one was tuna sashimi sliced over sesame rice, the other was a little tuna napoleon pizza topped on some guacamole. Everything was fresh & delicious. The staff was very friendly. And they DO have wooden chopsticks - you just have to ask for them ;)
        A great addition for Stamford.

        1. I have to agree. Went for a lovely dinner last night and thoroughly enjoyed the creative preparation of a variety of sushi & sashimi. Freshest and tastiest fish in the Stamford area by far. And though not cheap, a good value for great food!

          1. Went last night, was great. Special rolls where amazing! Nice surprise in stamford in regards to sushi and atmosphere

            1 Reply
            1. re: nkmontero

              Yes, it really is very good. I've already gone twice for lunch and going back a 3rd time for dinner tomorrow!!

            2. My girlfriend and I convinced another couple to go to duo tonight after reading the above, and we walked out and very dissatisfied with the service.
              Our waiter valiantly tried to do his best but there were serious problems w/ the kitchen as we waited 15 minutes for our appetizers to come out, at which point only the edemame came out. 10 minutes later the other three appetizers came out which I thought was unacceptable since the dining room was definitely not full. (We got there at 8 on a friday)
              I got the Tuna appetizer which was actually very good. The Tuna Tartar was excellent with a very distinctly sweet sauce and the little tuna pizza was also excellent. The avocado under the pizza was a great touch and this appetizer ended up being the highlight of the dinner. It was a shame since the delay in serving us at the same time made the experience very awkward.

              Another full 15 minutes went by until our main courses came out. We all got sushi and were pretty happy with it. There were some very unique combos and I ordered the land and sea roll which is a beef/shrimp roll and shrimp tempura /eel roll. It was 16 dollars, and wasn't as good as a similar "special" roll at Watermoon or Toyo (They are only 12 at Toyo! :) ) My girlfriend got some toro rolls which really tasted great.

              They bring out three sauces: Soy, Spicy Mayo, and Wasabi Soy which was a nice touch but really nothing that you couldn't simply ask for at a sushi restaurant. The waiter must have noticed our growing dissatisfaction (our sushi rolls also did not all come out at the same time) and brought me a sauce that he thought would complement my roll, which was a very gracious touch.

              The bill for 4 came out to 160 with 5 alcoholic drinks.. This is inline with what we usually pay going out for Sushi/Fusion but we all agreed that Watermoon was a much better overall experience. The "duo" theme seemed interesting and I would like to try some more of the entrees and appetizers as I think Sushi is not the strong suit. Unfortunately I don't think I will return as the service would have made it impossible to enjoy even the best tasting food.

              10 Replies
              1. re: mrgaga

                Do you recall they only opened 3 weeks ago? Give 'em a break. You seem to have enjoyed the food. They will work the service kinks out.

                I went last night as well and was pleased across the board -- had wonderful service.

                Sorry to hear you did not.

                1. re: amanda3571

                  Amanda, it is important that people give all types of feedback so others can have a broad range of opinions to read... that is the whole point of this messageboard right? I will not go to Duo again since I feel that Watermoon (in Rye) has superior food and sushi at a better price point. However, there are some elements of the menu at Duo that are very fun and tasty.

                  1. re: mrgaga

                    Yes, indeed you are correct.

                    I will have to give Watermoon in Rye a try next time I'm up that way. Thanks for the reco.

                    In regards to Duo & in IMHO, I just find it a bit preemptive to write off a place on only their 2nd or 3rd time of Friday night service. That's just my opinion though. And again, sorry to hear you had such disastrous service.

                2. re: mrgaga

                  This place sounds great, Dad works in downtown Stamford, I may have to convince him to meet me for lunch or dinner!

                  **mrgaga by "Another full 15 minutes went by until our main courses came out"
                  can you clarify for me... Do you mean 15 min after you were finished eating your apps? or after the apps were served?
                  I only ask because I enjoy leisurely meals and the timeline you give doesn't sound bad at all to me, but if on the slow side may not be best for lunch if my Dad has to get back to work in a timely fashion.

                  1. re: SweetPea914

                    SweetPea, Yes it was 15 minutes after our appetizers were finished that one of our entrees was served. Another came out in a few minutes, and one of us had to wait even longer to get his own entree. We didn't wait for all the food to get there to start eating after the debacle w/ the appetizers and I already finished my entree by the time my friend was served. The waiter definitely noticed this and was being extra nice to make up for it. I can't imagine this is always how the service is so I totally recommend you meet your dad there! Definitely get the tuna duo appetizer thing! :)

                    1. re: mrgaga

                      Thanks for clarifying, it does sound like you got bad service. Hopefully they can work out any kinks in the near future. Thanks also for the Watermoon comparisons. I go to their other, newer restaurant in Bronxville called Wild Ginger and have been meaning to try Watermnoon as well.

                  2. re: mrgaga

                    I'm inclined to agree.

                    I am a bit of a reverse snob, admittedly, but I think that this is the sort of place that Stamford diners will take to their hearts by default, simply because there is so little else to recommend itself in this town.

                    I would hardly call $160 for four people, even with the necessary alcohol, "reasonable."

                    I grew up in this town, and it has always played "me, too" when it comes to character and class.

                    I recently returned, and it seems not to have changed a great deal.

                    1. re: dinerfan

                      The stamford restaurant is anything but "there is so little else to recommend itself in this town." The number of high quality restaurants is staggering compared to many years ago and lower summer street is a hot bed of "gotta tries".

                      The OP ate 5 apps, entrees (appears to be rolls) and 5 drinks for $160 on a friday night. That's a steal in jfood book. But interesting is the OP had great things to say on the food but did not like the prices and timing.

                      Jfood had a great eating experience at Duo although the language barrier was an issue with the server (others have mentioned this as well) but the food is excellent, the presentations beautiful, and the prices in line with a high end STM restaurant, which Duo is.

                      Jfood thinks everyone would be interested on your experiences at the restauarant. Might be nice to post.

                      TIA

                      1. re: jfood

                        I agree with jfood. A $40/pp price point is extremely reasonable.

                        1. re: Fairfield.Foody

                          Perhaps I've been away too long.

                          But I've been told that you know you're getting old when you can't afford to eat anymore.

                          I can certainly afford that, but I guess it's not my style, either in decor, ambiance or cuisine.

                          But to be fair, I walked in and scoped the place out before deciding against it.

                          I may have to try the food, so I can bitch from a position of strength, if nothing else.

                  3. Hello fellow Duo eaters!
                    The first place I went after my 3 week trip was Duo. I tried the Sweet and Spicy roll (or something like that.) A bit heavy; Buddha roll is more my speed. Next time, I'm going to break away from sushi and try the carrot or chicken entree.
                    MY KEY POINT: Fantastic chocolate dessert w/ strawberry sorbet. It had a molten chocolate cake, a round of hazelnut mousse, a madeleine w/strawberry frosting, and a curl of strawberry sorbet. It only cost 9 bucks and was beautiful, delicious, and the perfect portion for two. However, next time, I'll get my own, and I won't share it. Duo is so new they don't have a dessert menu, so just ask.
                    SERVICE: Mr. Gaga: just wondering, what day and time were you there? We hit Duo last night, Saturday, at 6, and service was fine. Out food was out very fast, even thought the place was getting busy with quite the upscale crowd.
                    Amanda3517, thank you for the chopstick tip!
                    stamfordtalk.blogspot.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Stamford Talk

                      Went to Duo tonight and finished the evening with the molten chocolate cake w/ hazelnut mousse and strawberry sorbet. Delicious. Just wanted to note that the price has gone up to $11.
                      We had a 6:30 reservation and were one of 2 or 3 tables, but by the time we finished dinner the restaurant was packed.

                    2. My boyfriend and I decided to make an impromptu visit to Duo last night (we were actually on our way to Bank Street, but this caught our eye) where we sat at the bar and had a quick meal. A co-owner, Jim, greeted us at the door and explained the concept of two incarnations of the same ingredient as he sat us at the bar. He then proceeded to verbalize the cocktail menu in its entirety, which seemed to me like he was just trying to keep us there, as if engaging us would solidify our commitment to eating there. We were actually on the fence about staying because we had other plans, and having told him this, he just kept talking to us so we wouldn't leave. Well, it worked, we were hooked in and before we knew it sipping away at a sweet sake cosmopolitan which had no kick to it at all. I was disappointed because I was expecting a drink with a lot more heft to kick off my Saturday night, and instead got a white cranberry juice and sake dud. Tasty and refreshing, but not to be likened to a liquor bomb like a cosmo.

                      Now... the food. Because of Jim's over-enthusiasm about everything we ordered ("The duck?! The Duck is the BEST!!! Excellent choice on the Land & Sea, you're going to love it!!!) I was skeptical. The first dish that arrived was the Hamachi appetizer, two raw applications and one pan fried all on the same plate. The raw slices of hamachi stacked with thin slices of jalapano pepper in a yuzu sauce was so rich and buttery tasting, really beautiful, as was the pan fried hamachi with a mango salsa on top. The second raw application didn't work at all. It had a cloyingly sweet apple compote that was infised with anise perhpas, couldn't put my finger on it. Regardless, that stuff belongs baked in a pie, not on top of raw hamachi.

                      Then the duck arrived, and I have to just say that this dish alone is worth going to duo for. It perfectly achieves what the restaurant sets out to do, meld Japanese and European culinary styles. I have not a single negative thing to say about it, except that when we put the very clean plate to the side piled with our forks and knives the busser interrupted our conversation to ask, "Are you all done with this, can I take?"

                      The Land and Sea roll was also a success besides suffering from what I personally think is a reality of eating sushi with too many ingredients -flavors become lost. For example, the delicious eel on top of half of the roll completely blotted out the insides -which I can't even recall because the only bit I tasted of them was some crunchy tempura. The same, but the reverse, was true of the other half of the roll. The braised beef inside took over, and the shrimp on top was undetectable.

                      Overall, our meal was fantastic, and we'll be back for sure -which Jim was very pleased to hear in a desperate, almost relieved way (I'm sorry, I know I'm harping on how annoying he was to me, when he really was very nice, I just prefer not to be constantly asked for feedback throughout my entire meal. I think if you want to let your guests know the story behind your place, print it on the menu so they can read it at their leisure, not have it crammed all in before you even have a drink).

                      I also hear the desserts are stellar...

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: JdB

                        JdB, thank you for the info on the specific dishes- I find that very helpful so I can know what to expect of a certain selection next time I go. My friend loves duck so I'll give her the tip!
                        About the menu-pushing, that probably won't happen again, bc they'll know you're an old pro. And when they're busier, you won't get as much attention. I went on a Saturday and once the place started getting crowded, service became more what you'd expect. Still, I'd rather the owner and staff be attentive and appreciative rather than rude and dismissive...but I can see how you felt you kept being interrupted.
                        I went back last night (Thurs) and had that GREAT chocolate dessert with a glass of pinot noir. It was perfect.

                        1. re: Stamford Talk

                          What is the atmosphere like at Duo? Also, is there a good selection of sushi?

                          1. re: Stamford Talk

                            You're welcome ST! I totally agree about taking over-enthusiastic service over rude service any day of the week, and still feel bad about the gripe. I'm happy to hear the place is doing well.

                            On another note, have you tried Market yet? I'm dying to go, literally chomping at the bit, but have been away from Stamford the past two weekends.

                            1. re: JdB

                              I haven't tried Market, but it's at the top of my "place to go for a nice dinner" list. There's a thread on Market on the Tri-State board, but not much info on it yet. I am very curious...

                              ABOUT DUO: I'm thrilled that it just got a great review in the Times. I think it deserves it, and I'm happy to see nice people win! I'm going tonight and I can't wait to try the dishes Patricia Brooks mentioned.
                              Here is the Times link, I hope it works:
                              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/nyr...

                              ced9, I think Duo has a great atmosphere. The space is high and open, so you have the buzzing energy of the crowd but can still talk w/o straining. Tables are far apart (at least at the table for two we sit at on the left side) so you can have a romantic chat and/or argument w/o feeling like people can hear you! I think it would be both a nice place for a date and a fun dinner with friends.

                              1. re: Stamford Talk

                                I'm so happy they got a good review!! They deserve it!!

                                (Now if we can only get Patricia Brooks to go back to Schoolhouse and reassess...)

                                1. re: amanda3571

                                  This was the most cogent review jfood has read from PB in over a year but as usual could not understand how her verbiage dovetailed into the rating. Go figure.

                                  Jfood would ask her to add Savvy in NC as a please re-try list. No chance her verbiage lead to her rating of "excellent." Jfood agrees with the verbiage in both and disagrees with the ranking in both. Guess that's consistency of some sort.

                                2. re: Stamford Talk

                                  Same here, Market is next up on my list, now that I've tried Match for the first time last night (go easy on me, I just moved here in March, so I'm new to this dining scene).

                                  A few musings on what my boyfriend and I shared:

                                  Spelt Fried Calamari- Very fresh, if a teeny tiny bit soggy, but honestly, it was very good. I can say that truthfully because it was very spicy, and heat is just not friendly to my palate, yet I couldn't stop eating it.

                                  San Danielle Prosciutto with mozzarella di buffalo, roasted fig, grissini, and arugula: This was a special last night, of which I have one gripe and one minor suggestion. Gripe = the prosciutto was way too thickly sliced, which from a restaurateur's standpoint is wasteful and expensive, and from a diners standpoint it's just not pleasant to have to saw through your prosciutto, even if it is the coveted San Danielle variety. Minor suggestion = buffalo milk mozz. is no doubt delicious, but I'm afraid for this composition, which was sweet (roasted fig) and salty (proscuitto) the tangyness of the buffalo milk mozz. wasn't pleasant. I would substitute the fresh, hand-made cow's milk mozz. from Fratelli Market off High Ridge Rd. (heading North, make the left right before Mrs. Greens natural Market). It's simply the best I've had in CT.

                                  Carpetbaggers: These were spot on, another amazing pick from last night's specials menu. Oysters were deep-fried, and laid back into the shell on top of a truffled cream sauce, then topped with steak tartare. I know, I know, I was skeptical too. So much going on in one little shell, but I promise you, I tasted every single amazing taste experience seperately and equally -no big mishmosh of flavors. I got everything from the sea-scented oyster, to the fresh raw meat, without being klobbered by the truffle or the fry batter. Bravo Chef!

                                  Dessert: Passion Fruit Sorbet C+, Chocolate Gelato B, Banana Gelato A-.

                                  Well, that's my two cents, loking forward to Market!!

                          2. hmmmm... mixed reviews. we were thinking of going last night but went to Grand instead - it is next door and we found it to be very good. anwyay - once we make it there I'll add my 2 cents....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: KarenNYC

                              Tried Duo last night. Here are my initial thoughts.

                              Decor : very nice - NY trendy right down to the all stainlesss bathrooms and low level, heavy bass, background club music. A nice change from the tired decor of other local sushi places we've tried as of late. Everything in stainless is pretty, but I found the chopsticks to have terrible balance and difficult to use (and I've been using chopsticks since I was 3). As someone else pointed out - they have wooden ones and admit many people ask for them.

                              Service : fine - slightly unpolished, but very attentive and well-intentioned.

                              Alcohol : a good sake list, however be careful. I ordered a bottle from the list that was advertised as 500ml. I noticed 2 glasses in that it was only 300ml. When I pointed out to the waitress I ordered a 500ml, she said she would go check, returned and said unapologetically, ' thats a misprint, they are ALL 300 ml '(They advertise a variety at 300, 500 and 720 ml). Thats a BIG difference which essentially doubles the cost of your bottle and very misleading in my mind. (This showed up on the bill as 500ml as well).

                              Now the FOOD : Hamachi app was excellent sashimi style with ponzu and jalepeno, and pan seared with mango chutney) in fact, all the sushi and sashimi was very fresh and delicious. I ordered the sushi/sashimi plate which I'm usually skeptical about. It was fantastic - came with yellowtail, salmon, toro, superwhite tuna, fluke and california roll. The Bayou roll (tuna 2 ways) was ok, but not as interesting to me as it was cooked. Also had the Poporn Cursted duck and ravioli entree based on the rec here (maybe they meant the duck app) and it was good, but in my opinion nothing that would blow you away. It came with a few ravioli's and a breast with a popcorn crust and sweet glaze and a few veggies. The table next to us had the seabass and said it was excellent.

                              Dessert : Molten Chocolate Cake with Sorbet and Hazelnut Mousse. DELICIOUS!

                              All in all, a little pricey, but probably one of the best dining experiences I've had since moving to the suburbs. We will be back!

                            2. Sat at the bar, watched the sushi masters do their thing. Loved it! Can't wait to go back and try some different rolls and another sake. I was told they are planning to expand their sake selection over the next few months.

                              1. Stopped by tonight with the missus. Place was hopping at 8:00 on a Wednesday.

                                As for our order, the appetizers (rock shrimp and tuna) and entrees (duck and sea bass) were excellent. We really enjoyed the "Duo" concept and thought that the entree portions were nicely sized for the price.

                                We had a table by the back kitchen, which allowed us to observe that the restaurant has a real problem with pacing their plates. The hot kitchen was plating orders much more quickly than the sushi kitchen. We observed several times that appetizers sat under the heat lamps for nearly 10 minutes while waiting for a sushi appetizer from the front kitchen to be plated so that they could be delivered at the same time.

                                I know that the couple at the table next to us had several items in their order sent back due to problems in the delivery and preparation.

                                Service was definitely slow, but friendly.

                                I still cringe a little at spending $100 on a random meal for two, but I suppose I'll get used to it someday.

                                We'll go back, but there are other places in town I'd rather try first.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: Zobot

                                  Duo was busy last night because Market was full! We got a spot at the bar last night, but would have gone to Duo had Market not had room. Duo is my fantasy land ever since I had the pasta.
                                  I did wonder to myself, last time I was at Duo, how 3-4 sushi chefs could possibly keep up with the whole restaurant! If you feel like it, to me the kitchen conflict might be worth asking the restaurant about... I'm sure they'd appreciate feedback that helps the restaurant stay at the top of their game! I know they're going to tweak the menu soon, so this would be a good time for comments, I bet.

                                  1. re: Stamford Talk

                                    We are going to Duo soon. I asked in another thread if anyone has any recommendations as to what to order but I didn't hear anything back. Sounds like you have some experience there...what's good?

                                    1. re: sibeats

                                      The Tuna app is good...white tuna "pizza" with a sundried tomato aioli, and tuna tartare with sushi rice.

                                      Try the Pasta Duo Entree. My wife had the Sea Bass Entree that was also delicious.

                                      Their sushi is very good, though I prefer the tradiotional rolls as opposed to the specialty rolls. Maybe try a chef's tasting of sushi and sashimi.

                                      1. re: Sam__Spade

                                        The tuna pizza app is one of my favorite things there, and the pasta entree (green tea pasta, right?) was so buttery and good. The filet mignon entree is great too, but all meat. I also loved the Buddha roll, all veg. Chocolate dessert is a must. The Hitachino beers with the cute little owl on them are very good. The espresso one is crazy strong but would probably go well with dessert.

                                        1. re: Stamford Talk

                                          I agree on the chocolate desert. We had it with olive oil ice cream & it is outrageously good.

                                          1. re: amanda3571

                                            Agreed on the olive oil ice cream...first time I had ever tried that!

                                          2. re: Stamford Talk

                                            The tuna sounds great, I'll be sure to get that. Tell me more about the pasta entree...green tea? Sounds intriguing!

                                            1. re: sibeats

                                              About the pasta... I only got to eat part of it, because it was my sister's dish. She devoured the green tea tortellini half- I just called her and she doesn’t remember what they were filled with, but it must have been pretty good!
                                              I got her leftovers, an entire small bowl full of green tea noodles with little pieces of calamari in it. It was warm and rich but simple. I can only describe it as buttery- great texture, smooth taste…
                                              It’s so important to eat with people whose food you feel comfortable stealing.

                                              1. re: Stamford Talk

                                                We actually went there last month and I did order the pasta for my entree...I loved the noodles, they were amazing...my tortellini was a little dry and the pasta a bit thick (it was filled with crab), but everything else was great and we will be going back!

                                                1. re: sibeats

                                                  go for the sea bass next time. divine

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    We had that too! Although I have to say my favorite was the tuna appetizer. Next time we're going to try some of the sushi rolls as well.

                                                    1. re: sibeats

                                                      jfood had the tuna app and the sea bass entree, very memorable. plus it should be mentioned that the presentation is like a work of art. jfood wished he had a camera to post how beautiful the presentation.

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        Got the Sashimi, Sushi, and Spicy Tuna Roll combo for lunch yesterday (takeout). While I was waiting for the credit card to process, the bartender (Jason?) gave me a shot of hot sake on the house, perfect antidote for the weather. The food was great, nice combination of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and uni. The tuna rolls had an added crunch from something they rolled with the rice which worked very well. Nice little side of Thai Curry soup and a house salad. Duo seems to do it all very well.

                                  2. Went to Duo twice over the the past two days and I was not impressed at all. On Friday I took my family there. We had the Rock Shrimp appetizers,duck, and the Jalapeno with Hamachi. I found the shrimp a little on the fishy side, I have had much better Rock shrimp. The only appetizer which I thought was ok was the Hamachi with Jalapeno but not great. We did some of the special rolls for dinner, I forget the names but one that mixes fresh water eel and salt water eel. I really do not believe this was anything different than the same eel that comes packaged that most average sushi places carry. We also had the roll with Foie gras which was not great either. Bill came to $170.00 for 3 people with no drinks and no dessert. On Monday I had to take a client to lunch so I figured I would give it one more chance and go more tradional, with Sashimi and Sushi. We ordered the Sushi and Sashimi Combo with a spicy tuna roll. The fish I found to be very low grade and the spicy tuna was horrible. The portions were tiny. The quality was nothing more than you would get at a local sushi joint if that. You cannot even put this place in the same sentence as Kotobuki in Stamford. The portions are much larger, the quality of the fish is light years ahead and its half the price. Its a great place to take date but if you want quality fish outside of NYC this is not the place.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: pors996

                                      Wow. Interesting take. I have had the opposite experience at Duo, but I do think that some of their special rolls such as the one you mentioned that is called River & Ocean go a bit overboard (no pun intended).

                                      What rolls would you recommend at Kotobuki? I'm curious to compare their best with Duo.

                                      1. re: Fairfield.Foody

                                        I am a long time fan Kotobuki, but usually only go there for lunch and enjoy the general box lunch of sushi - which I guess is nothing special except that it is always refreshing.
                                        I have also discovered, just down from Duo, Fin II, which I also like and feel it is in the same class as Kotobuki.

                                        1. re: Fairfield.Foody

                                          My wife is a big roll lover, the only roll that I like for the most part is spicy tuna, and shrimp tempura. What I have found at the Japanese places around Fairfield and Westchester, the spicy tuna is pre mixed to save time and it usually taste very cold and sometimes on the fishy side because it has been sitting there. The best rolls in my opinion have good balance of fish and rice. Some of the spicy tuna rolls I have had including the one at DUO are stuffed with fish with a tiny layer of rice and taste like you are eating mush. At most good sushi places including Kotobuki the spicy tuna is made to order with a great balance of fish and rice, I think it has to be one of my favorite spicy tuna's. In addition they make a great rainbow roll. We all know the key to having good sushi is that the place has good volume so the fish turns over fast. I can say that the first time I went to Duo it was fairly empty for a Friday night and when I went for lunch on Monday I was the only one there with my client. I might give it one more try but I would order one the entrees. I have tried a few other sushi places recently and will make a another post about those experiences. Also if you like spicy stuff order the Chicken Teriyaki at Kotobuki and ask for Maso's special spicy sauce.

                                          1. re: pors996

                                            Nothing against Kotobuki since jfood has been there half a dozen times over the last year for lunch. The sushi is very good and the staff makes you feel like part of the family. But the food at Duo is, as they say on Mad TV, a whole 'nother level.

                                            Where jfood would give Kotobuki a solid 8, Duo is a strong 9/10. Jfood would not turn either down by any stretch but if given the choice, jfood's going to Duo.

                                            The entrees at Duo are sublime and if you do return try the tuna and the sea bass. Outstanding.

                                            Maybe the perfect meal would be a couple of rolls at K, a nice leisurely walk to Duo and grab the tuna and sea bass. Now that's an afternoon.

                                            1. re: jfood

                                              Jfood, I have not tried the entrees at Duo but if we are talking strictly fish no comparision to Kotobuki. If Kotobuki is an 8 on the fish Duo is a 4. If you are a gourmet roll lover where the flavor of the rolls overpower the fish then I can see the appeal of Duo. Strictly fish Kotubuki by a wide margin. I also tried Tengda which I thought blew the fish away at Duo.

                                              1. re: pors996

                                                P

                                                Thanks. Jfood will have to try the sushi at Duo next time. It will be hard since the "real" entrees are so good.

                                      2. I am not feeling the Duo love, here. I went with my husband a few weeks ago after reading the raves here, and I just don't get it. We had the tuna appetizer, which I honestly thought was close to inedible. The tartare had a very strange, unappealing taste, and that "pizza" wasn't bad, but it was highly forgettable. Usually when my husband and I split an appetizer, we end up fighting over the last few morsels-- but this time neither of us really wanted to finish it.

                                        For entrees, I had the sea bass and my husband had the salmon. The sea bass was pretty good. The salmon was WAY overcooked and on the tasteless side. Service was friendly, but inept. There were a number of fairly major service glitches, but to their credit, at least they apologized profusely.

                                        Just to be sure, a few days later I was in the area and went back by myself for lunch. I ordered some sushi and one of the special rolls. The sushi was not great fish at all. I'll stick with Nanase in White Plains, which is far superior. The roll was gloppy and overdone. I'm more of a purist than a fancy roll lover when it comes to sushi anyway, but this roll was more about sauce and glop and novelty than fish.

                                        It's not that the food was horrible. It wasn't. But it just wasn't all that good, and there are plenty of other restaurants at this price point that I'd rather go to.

                                        1. I am guessing that this restaurant is experiencing a slow decline, based on how the opinions on this thread have progressed over time.

                                          I finally went to Duo on Saturday night and I was not impressed. Service has to be astoundingly bad for it to get under my skin. And yes, it was astoundingly bad.

                                          The food was good, not great. We made a beeline for g/r/a/n/d for dessert and drinks as soon as we paid the bill.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: wookiedoodle

                                            Base on you report, I was a little skeptica at firstl. But when I got there, I was pleasantly surprise by the warm welcome at the door.

                                            Everything was good. Service was good, food was good. But the dessert was GREAT!!!!! Especially the warm dark chocolate cake. Definitely worth another trip.

                                            Maybe you should give it another try. Maybe you will change your mind.

                                            1. re: jenlovefood

                                              Hmmm. Maybe. But there are so many other restaurants to try in the area. If I spend a big chunk of change on a Saturday night on dinner and a sitter and I am unimpressed, I am unlikely to go back for a second try.

                                          2. It took forever to get to Duo and even longer to post - I was there for restaurant week and in general didn't get the fusion thing as far as taste goes. They Started us off with a nice flavor with a good spice, but thin peanut soup and a good ( hard to go wrong) Seaweed salad. I figured to go with the fusion idea since I have not had that before. for an appetizer I had the mushroom rolls along with a turkey wrap(?) and I liked the mushrooms, but the turkey didn't do much for me. Then I had the breast of chicken for the main, which I though was beautifully presented and very flavorful. The desert was to die for - a mango custard. Now that I would have every day of the week, but the rest...I don't know. I guess I am more a traditionalist - I do like Plateau.
                                            PS. The service was outstanding!

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: PaulaT

                                              I was just there for dinner last night and they were introducing a new prif-fixe menu. For $25.08 you get a five-course dinner. Really cool and delicious. Too bad we can't use the free wine coupon with the prix-fixe, I guess for some other time then.

                                              PS. Very attractive servers.

                                              1. re: jenlovefood

                                                Finally got there pre-theatre Sat night. More than lived up to its reviews.

                                                Food is five stars, inventive, fun, and scrumptous. Best fusion in lower Ct. Usually dislike concept dining, but here "two ways" premise works well... it certainly adds to Stamford's growing rep as a dining destination. More on that below.

                                                Had tuna app which was fantastic (tho the tuna pizza at g/r/a/n/d an even rival) and the green tea pasta (wonderous). The molten chocolate desert as noted in this thread is unforgettable. Gooey yet etherial, if that is possible.

                                                The ambience and table settings very smart and 21st century. Itself a fusion of cultural looks ... a bit of Tokyo, Paris, and LA.

                                                Service, however, was amateur, nowhere near the sophistication of the menu or the decor. While friendly, the staff did not know the menu that well. Owner swept by rearranging the table after an awkward placement of the entries by the server. No language problem, as suggested by others.

                                                Left around 7:45. Place only a third filled. Hope it hasn't fallen victim to the economy or those chains -- which the Times Ct. section actually gave front page treatment to this weekend. And there's a Houlihans coming soon in the Target bldg.!

                                                Really important that diners support the locals... otherwise restaurant row and Main Street/Bank will become a ghost town. And we'll lose more Dunns and Ocean 211.

                                                1. re: louuuuu

                                                  Good to know the food is still good. We went a while ago and very much enjoyed it, although I did complain about the language barrier. Perhaps they have a new waitstaff without the language problem but not fully trained yet? I had the same two dishes you did and loved the tuna as well. We'll definitely go back upon hearing that the food quaiity is still up there!

                                                  1. re: sibeats

                                                    Your surmise about the new waitstaff probably correct. They were earnest, tho, and that scores some consolation points.

                                                    1. re: louuuuu

                                                      I have noticed some new faces at Duo so they definitely do have a newer wait staff. The food is still an A+ in my book and everything as fresh as can be. If you guys ever have issues with a language barrier, ask for Jimmy the MOD. He's as nice as they come and will solve any issue.

                                                      1. re: amanda3571

                                                        Yeah- Jimmy is awesome.
                                                        Louuu- I'm going this weekend and will get what you got. I've already had them once/twice/thrice and those are my favorites at Duo.

                                                        I do see the point about the language barrier. I myself don't mind that because language is my thing and I'm not embarrassed to say, "WHAT?" if I don't understand what someone says. I'll ask it three times- not rudely- but I hate pretending like I understand someone if I don't. I find that at Duo, if something is unclear, the waiter will go get someone else if they need to.

                                                        1. re: Stamford Talk

                                                          It should also be noted that Duo has one of the best happy hour deals in town. $3 bottled beer. $5 martinis. Cheap sake & wine by the glass, and an assortment of happy hour snacks (including mini sushi) all under $10.

                                                          I also got to try "white salmon" when I was there last night. Absolutely delish.

                                                          1. re: amanda3571

                                                            We went back to Duo this weekend and I have to say we were less than impressed. We did very much enjoy it our first time, but it just fell short this time. It seems as though the concept is getting lost on the plate, especially in the entree department. The apps were not as tasty as before. I was in love with the tuna app last time, got it again and it was just ehh. The pizza was totally covered in something gloppy, not even sure what but it tasted like artichoke puree. I had the duck entree and the ravioli part of it was terrible. Two tiny raviolis, the pasta was tough and tasteless and the filling seemed like it was just dry chopped duck meat, again without flavor. The chicken entree was good, but again, we couldn't discern what was different about the two pieces of chicken. Every dish came with the same sauteed veggies which I thought was a little strange for a restaurant with this concept.
                                                            Service was friendly but very amateurish. There were only 3 tables occupied and the entire sushi bar was empty the whole time we were there.
                                                            I really wanted to like it again, but if this was our first visit, we wouldn't return. Based on our first dinner, I will probably give it one more try, but I am disappointed that it's not holding up. It's weird, because their sister place next door was packed, so it's not the location...I wonder if the concept just throws people?

                                                            1. re: sibeats

                                                              I don't think it's the concept that's throwing people as much as the execution. At Duo's price points, people expect consistently good food and service. We had dinner at X20 last night and for roughly the same price as we paid for a bad dinner/awful service at Duo, each dish we had was very good to excellent, the service was attentive and the portions were satisfying. Duo gave us no reason to want to return.

                                            2. We haven't had a June comment yet, so I thought I'd jump in. My daughter and I tried Duo for the first time last night (Thursday). We arrived at about 8 without a reservation and got the last available table (bar was set for dining, but empty), so I guess business is decent enough. I won't bore anyone with a rehash of the menu except to say that the the sea bass was outstanding, my goat cheese appetizer only okay, and DD loved both her duck appetizer and pasta main. I found the presentations to be a bit precious for my taste--they're pretty enough, but I think upon a second or third visit, they would just get tedious. Sometimes it's tiresome to poke around an intricately constructed plate, trying to figure out what all the components are. I'm not a big eater, and usually end up grousing about overly large portions, but I found after finishing every morsel of my appetizer and entree that I was still hungry. No bread is served, and there was precious little carbohydrate on my plates (just a wispy potato crisp with the fish), and I think that was the problem--I'm not used to ultra low-carb eating. Plus the portions are on the small side.

                                              We each ordered the molten chocolate cake et al. for dessert, and here the whole thing got unbalanced--this dish is huge and very rich. There was easily twice as much food, in volume and size, on the dessert plate as on the entree plate. It was delicious (the sorbet was intriguingly flavored with pepper, which was a neat counterpoint to the rich chocolate and hazelnut creations), and since I love chocolate and had plenty of room left, I foolishly scarfed the whole thing, but then felt overstuffed and a wee bit queasy at the assault of sugar and fat. I'd recommend sharing that dessert.

                                              Service issues remain. Our waitress was lovely, but seemed overburdened. When almost 30 minutes passed after our appetizers were cleared, I finally was able to flag her down and inquire about our entrees. A look of panic spread over her face and she raced to kitchen, returning with massive apologies and an offer of free drinks until our food was ready "momentarily"--it took another 15 minutes. At this point I guessed that she had never put in our orders, which was confirmed in my mind when, as she brought the desserts, she said "One of them is on the house." (One? Why not both? We both had to wait.) It's one thing to forget to put in an order, another to so neglect a table that you don't even realize you haven't given guests their food. The other glitch, minor but odd, was the busboy who cleared our appetizers and asked if we wanted our checks. My only other quibble, and I guess it's a personal quirk, was the television mounted on the wall at the edge of the bar area that stared me in the face all night. It was set to MSNBC, the sound was off, the closed captioning wasn't on--what was the point?

                                              Tab with tax, including one glass of wine and one soft drink, and minus the charge for one dessert, was $98, a little high, but not terrible. I didn't see any prix fixe mentioned.
                                              I'd go back, but not for a while.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: MommaJ

                                                We went to Duo in early June and we have mixed impression about the place. Similar to others' experiences, our wait for the food was looong. We ordered mini-sushi for appetizer and it was fresh and delicious but it took about 30 minutes for us to get it. Since appetizers do take a VERY long time to be created, the restaurant should definitely consider serving something to customers upon their arrival ...a bread basket would be great. We agree with MommaJ that entrees while very good are small. We had order the Chilean bass and salmon dishes - both very good. However, if we hadn't order dessert (molten chocolate cake) we would have left the restaurant hungry. We did obtain one complimentary dessert even though we didn't complain about the time, which was nice of them to do.

                                                Our meal, including beer, drink, coffee, 1 appetizer, 1 dessert and 2 main dishes, came out to roughly $100.