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jfFood and other CT chowhounds - your special places in CT besides Napa?

l
laylag Sep 25, 2007 12:26 PM

hey jfood - you're generally a good source on Fairfield County. I posted re: anniversary dinner - romantic but under $200 - for this weekend and had very light response. I'm calling you out for some help with the CT possibilities - as far east as Norwalk I'd say. Mr. Layla and I are wine drinkers but may bring one of our own special bottles and do corkage which should never be more than $25. Any thoughts on a romantic environment with great food btwn $100 and $150 and where we might actually be able to score a reservation w/such short notice - our bad I know.

Thanks,
Layla

  1. l
    laylag Oct 1, 2007 10:46 AM

    Hey all - just wanted to say thanks. Ended up staying close to home and finally trying Nessa which although not as romantic as my initial intention, was very enjoyable. With our corkage fee we stayed just under $150. Full review can be found in the link to the Westchester Italian thread.

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/430235

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Willd definitely be trying many of them in the future including L'Escale, Schoolhouse at Canondale and North Star.

    1 Reply
    1. re: laylag
      k
      KarenNYC Oct 2, 2007 05:19 PM

      so glad you liked Nessa - it is one of my faves and we try to get there frequently.

    2. steve h. Sep 26, 2007 05:30 PM

      thomas henkelmann in greenwich serves up tasty fare in a romantic environment. he will definitely scrape your price point but call ahead and see what happens. you never know.

      1. l
        laylag Sep 26, 2007 08:02 AM

        Wow everyone - thanks for all the input thus far and jfood your brief absence is totally forgivable. As for Steve H's questions, in my original post asking for recs in Westchester and FFld (we live in Mamaroneck/Rye) I did mention some of the places we'd considered that were either booked or a bit over what we wanted to spend and that wanted to go somewhere new but didn't feel like heading to the city so here's the deal. We like inventive, creative food and...

        Been to La Panetiere - enjoyed very much for more traditional French although a little too staid in the atmosphere dept.
        Been to X - really good all around
        Blue Hill - never been - booked
        Plates - never been - booked
        X20 - never been - booked
        Xaviers - never been only 6p seating - a little too early

        Nessa - have a tentative reservation for earlier in the evening so won't be too noisy although we know it's not super romantic but we did honeymoon in Italy so may induce romantic reminiscence.

        We're thinking about Schoolhouse at Canondale - don't know if we can get a table

        Read about Meigas in Norwalk elsewhere and seems really interesting but can't get a sense of atmosphere from the website - anyone have any thoughts on the place?

        I'll have to explore these Pound Ridge suggestions too. Btw, where is Pound Ridge? Only lived up here a couple of years - will have to mapquest.

        Adamclyde - I had read your anniversary thread (had actually posted something there too) but nothing was "jumping out" at me as being the place we should go. Perhaps it's just the nine year doldrums - sort of emotionally waiting for the bigger event next year. We have a sitter for our seven year old and fingers are crossed there'll be no surprises and we'll have to switch to a happening mac and cheese emporium at the last minute.

        3 Replies
        1. re: laylag
          SweetPea914 Sep 26, 2007 10:06 AM

          Hi Layla,
          I thought you also lived in NY and that Westchester locations would work for you too. Pound Ridge is North West of you, it is just West of the Stamford/New Cannan, CT border.
          http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?...

          1. re: laylag
            ChefBoyAreMe Sep 26, 2007 10:13 AM

            I haven't eaten at Meigas in a few years; the food was excellent, but I'll defer to more recent diners on that. As far as a space goes, the resto was roughly divided in half.

            The part you enter first, which has/had the bar area is the nicer half. A bit more clubby and atmospheric. The second room I recall being a bit sparse and bland, more along the lines of a nice hotel dining room---acceptable, but not noteworthy.

            1. re: laylag
              e
              Elizzie Sep 27, 2007 08:54 AM

              We recently went to Blue Hill without a reservation and ate at the bar. Amazing, very welcoming, lovely -- and did I mention that we had no reservation?

            2. c
              corky Sep 26, 2007 06:45 AM

              check out the thread on duo in stamford...it sounds quite good

              2 Replies
              1. re: corky
                amanda3571 Sep 26, 2007 07:01 AM

                Duo IS amazing, but maybe not an anniversary spot.

                1. re: amanda3571
                  c
                  ced9 Nov 2, 2007 02:22 PM

                  I agree DUO was really wonderful. I am a big snob about the food in the area and this one is on my return to list!!

              2. f
                FoodieForAll Sep 26, 2007 06:42 AM

                Laylag, I agree with L'Escale and Schoolhouse at Cannondale, but also try Northstar in Pound Ridge. Great food (I think they just updated their menu) fun drink menu and very cozy and romantic. www.northstarny.com.

                5 Replies
                1. re: FoodieForAll
                  jfood Sep 26, 2007 01:11 PM

                  jfood would not fully agree that Northstar is romantic. very small, nice bar and maybe 10 tables. this location keeps changing hands and motifs and never seems to get a lot of traction.

                  http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: jfood
                    f
                    FoodieForAll Sep 27, 2007 10:46 AM

                    I believe the current owners have had the place since 1995 and yes, small/cozy, tomato, tomoto. But, the food is good and always consistent, at least when I have been there.

                    1. re: FoodieForAll
                      jfood Sep 27, 2007 07:24 PM

                      1995 through ~2001 it was a pizzeria called Moonstruck, pretty good pizza. then they converted to some name with a big horse in front, pretty good but mismanaged, then it switched to northstar. jfoods had a couple of raw chicken dishes before northstar and have not been there since renamed. but it's still a bar type place.

                      do you know how the food is? lots of ads in the local papers.

                      http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: jfood
                        f
                        FoodieForAll Sep 28, 2007 11:12 AM

                        The food is EXCELLENT!!! I don't think of it as a bar type place. A bar type place to me is Black Bear or Bobby Valentine's where most of the action revolves around the bar.

                        With that said, they do have a good bar scene and live music on Thursday nights, but the dining area has a great quaint country feel.

                        JFood, from reading some of your postings, I think you would be pleasantly surprised with Northstar. www.northstarny.com

                        1. re: FoodieForAll
                          jfood Sep 28, 2007 12:35 PM

                          thanks foodie, on the list

                2. k
                  KarenNYC Sep 25, 2007 08:26 PM

                  Layla,

                  hmmmm.... I do like Napa but think you can't go wrong at L'escale - the food is fab, wine is wonderful and the atmosphere is romantic, that said I also like Gaia but must disagree with JFood on Baang (fun but not romantic and while the food is good it is nothing truly exceptional), Rebecca's (the foo dis good but overpriced IMHO and the wait is insane) and I was unimpressed at Ocean 211 in Stamford. just giving my two cents so that you have some comparisions..... other than that I am looking forward to hearing what you pick and trying some of those other places mentioned here! if you are open to NY - but near to CT - try Nessa in Port Chester - it is great altho not that romantic.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: KarenNYC
                    jfood Sep 26, 2007 02:54 AM

                    maybe jfood likes baaang because it rminds him of China rill in NYC and that had a special place in the jfood's early marriage as a special place. jfood likes the food a lot and its more a fun energy 30's place than a special romantic place, but jfood really likes the food. probably last on the list with these choices.

                    1. re: jfood
                      k
                      KarenNYC Sep 27, 2007 04:09 PM

                      mmmm.... China Grill! love the place and have some history with it as well. I agree with you on Baang as fun with good food but didn't think it was what OP was looking for.... either way - I love hearing your recco's as we usually agree!

                    2. re: KarenNYC
                      c
                      ced9 Nov 8, 2007 10:48 AM

                      What are your suggestions aside from L'Escale and Gaia?

                    3. steve h. Sep 25, 2007 06:25 PM

                      is that $100-150 total or per person? lots of good places either way. just needed to know.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: steve h.
                        l
                        laylag Sep 26, 2007 07:46 AM

                        That's $100-$150 total. It's 9th anniversary only. Next year is another story when I hope we'll be celebrating somewhere in Europe.

                      2. SweetPea914 Sep 25, 2007 06:21 PM

                        BTW, what about Vuli at the top of the Stamford Marriot? I remember having a great dinner there (again years ago) very romantic atmosphere. Maybe some other more local CH'ers can weigh in?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: SweetPea914
                          Zobot Nov 13, 2007 04:43 PM

                          There is an article in today's Advocate that Vuli has closed. No more romantic revolutions above Stamford.

                          There is no new tenant at the moment...

                          1. re: Zobot
                            m
                            MommaJ Nov 13, 2007 09:22 PM

                            I had to laugh the article's statement that Stamford's "only" revolving restaurant had closed--as if most towns have multiple spots that twirl diners!

                            1. re: MommaJ
                              f
                              Foodie Fairfield Nov 14, 2007 09:31 AM

                              Haha.

                        2. jfood Sep 25, 2007 05:42 PM

                          jfood just brought me back in, hey a dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do. i yelled at him for being delinquent and i sat him down and gave him a good tongue lashing. So here's his list. BTW, M&M jfood can eat anywhere for this price point as they do not drink, so cannot give input on wine list. He apologized but on conference calls since 6am this morning.

                          Romantic with great food:
                          Greenwich - L'Escale, Hennemann's and Rebecca's
                          New Canaan - Bonne Nuit (ask for Roe and tell her its your anniversary)
                          Ridgewood - Bernards
                          Vista/South Salem - Le Chateau

                          Great food, a little less romantic
                          Greenwich - Gaia, Baang, Oyster House
                          Stamford - Ocean 211
                          New Canaan - Sole (very noisy), Aloi
                          Ridgefield - Elms
                          SONO - Ocean Drive (ask for upstairs in a booth), Rowayton Seafood, Barcelona

                          He would reco Schoolhouse because Amanda below has been a great source as well and if you give more info to adamclyde and steve h below they have also been super contributors.

                          Happy anniversary and hope you get a reso. :-))

                          please let us know.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: jfood
                            SweetPea914 Sep 25, 2007 06:13 PM

                            Normally I am totally on the same page with Jfood, but I don't think of baang as romantic (too noisy) and last time I ate there (about 2 months ago) I left feeling nauseous. It reaked of fried food and it may have been the fried spinach that made my stomach turn, but there were four of us and not half of it was eaten, so I couldn't have had THAT much of it :-)

                            I do however second Le Chateau, and have also been hearing good things about the new Emily Shaw's in Pound ridge, just didn't mention them since you were looking into FFD County. My Mom and Dad got engaged at the original Emily Shaw's and the new one seems to be tres romantique :-)
                            http://www.emilyshaws.com/
                            I was also going to mention Ocean Drive, but have not been there in a while so I initially didn't want to recommend in case they have gone downhill.

                            1. re: SweetPea914
                              jfood Sep 25, 2007 06:28 PM

                              baang is fun, not romantic. some may also think the same of barcelona, but if you get a table in the back room next to the wine fridge it's very nice, but inthe front roomis as noisy as baan.

                              sorry for the confusion.

                              thanks sweetpea

                          2. steve h. Sep 25, 2007 05:25 PM

                            jfood is out taking care of business.
                            in the good dog's absence, tell us about your food favorites and personal likes/dislikes. any restaurant favorites from your home turf only helps seal the deal.

                            1. adamclyde Sep 25, 2007 04:54 PM

                              hi there laylag. I went through this exercise about 2 months ago... looking for something probably a little more inexpensive than you are, but in the general vicinity (I was looking for around $75 total, but we don't drink so that helped). Some good responses, I thought: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/427154

                              We ended up needing to bring my 3 week old at the time, so didn't go to any that we'd planned on, but still had a nice enough meal.

                              1. amanda3571 Sep 25, 2007 12:53 PM

                                Laylag - I'm not jfood, but please try Schoolhouse at Cannondale in
                                Wilton - it's a great place!!

                                www.schoolhouseatcannondale.com

                                1. f
                                  Foodie Fairfield Sep 25, 2007 12:32 PM

                                  barcelona

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