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May 7, 2008 01:05 PM

New to Norwalk - What are the Must Haves?

Hi Everyone,

After 34 years in NYC, most recently in Jackson Heights which was an amazing food neighborhood, I've moved to Norwalk with my wife. We're both unabashed chowhounds, always looking for the next great meal. She hasn't lived in CT in almost 9 years, and I don't know of anything that's around. So I'm asking my fellow hounds, what's your favorites in Norwalk, Darien, Stamford, Rowayton etc? So far I really dug the burger at Rory's, enjoyed a great meal at River Cat Cafe, and have been treating Trader Joe's like my local corner bodega (I'm in there everyday after my train ride home). What are the places that you LOVE? That you get overwhelming, uncontrollable hankerings for. That you insist on taking visitors to?

We're pretty much open to anything except for offal (we've both tried, just not our thing). Also we'd like to keep it reasonable, but we're always up for an occasional splurge (We celebrated our anniversary by going to Lola and Lolita in Cleveland just for the hell of it, and because Michael Symon was a huge influence on me when I was in culinary school.) Looking forward to hearing from all of you, and deeply appreciate your help!


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    1. In South Norwalk, my favorites are Match (eclectic), Wasabi Chi (asian fusion), Barcelona (tapas) and Osetra which just opened a few weeks ago and is all small plates, mostly seafood and very delicious.
      Pastra Nostra, also in SoNo is very good, but I'm not a big fan of the ambiance, so for italian we go to Paci which is in Southport.
      In Wilton, the Schoolhouse at Cannondale is terrific and worth the splurge!
      Stamford has a ton of places, but we don't go there that often, so I'll leave it to the Stamford hounds (but we do like Market and Duo).

      1. Jfood checking in for service. Another Chower hits the 'hood. Welcome, welcome.

        SoNo –
        -Ocean Dr - OD is a good fish resto that is better in the summer when they get better fish and do a better job with it, plus the whole front of the resto is a big garage door that they open to the street. The Mahogany Sea Bass is to die for. Great Oysters
        -Harbor Lights - Over the bridge towards Westport and bend to the right is Harbor Lights. Sitting on the deck with some pretty good food is worth the trip.
        -Kazu – Very good sushi and Japanese dishes. Also has the NYC energy level.
        -Barcelona (also one in G'wich) - is a high-energy great Tapas food place, most close to a NY atmosphere.
        -Habana – Not so great Cuban food
        -Strada 18 – Very good pizza but they do nottake reservations and Jfood does not go out on a Saturday night to wait. Have been there for a good pizza lunch.
        -Pasta Nostra – Atmosphere is nothing to speak of, but the food is great. Reservations nneded and you have to call weeks in advance
        -Match – Most on the boards love this place. Jfood is not a bif fan
        -Caromandel - Sister to the place in Darien. Great Indian food.
        -Burger Bar – Very good burgers and fries.
        -SONO Bake Shop – around the corner behind Lillian August. Bring your treadmill with you because you will buy and eat everything.
        -Chocopologie – Could be the best chocolate bakery Jfood has ever been to. Plus the chocolates themselves are out of this world
        BTW – separate reviews from Jfood are posted on Kazu, Habana, Match if you do a search

        Rowayton - One of the best seafood resto is FFD county is in Rowayton, Rowayton Seafood. Some think it is part of Darien but its really Norwalk. Fish exceptionally fresh and excellently prepared

        Stamford – Lots of turnover recently. Just one to speak of.
        -Duo is a CH favorite and Jfood agrees. Separate review from Jfood in the search function.
        -Colony – Best pizza between NYC and New Haven

        New Canaan –
        -Bistro Bonne Nuit - Top 3 in FFD County
        -Sole - has a new chef and is turning out some killer dishes.
        -Ching's Table - the best Asian in the area but the staff treats you like fried dumplings. Try to get you in and out in 45 minutes.
        -Aloi - better in the summer when the doors are open and you can sit outside. Best veal bolognese you will ever eat. Chef trained by Luongo (“A Tuscan in the Kitchen”).
        -Thali - Excellent Indian cuisine. Always an argument whether Thali or Caromandel is better
        -Cherry Street East - has the best burger around. Just reopened after 18 month reconstruction after a fire.

        Hope this helps.

        There is a very active CH community in FFD county. Ask anything from sandwiches, to grocers, to restos and you will get lots of help and guidance. Any specific requests many here will be extremely helpful

        1. Man - a million thanks ya'll - can't wait to try EVERYTHING!

          1. Welcome to CT.

            There is a lot of good chow in Bridgeport:


            Taqueria La Michoacana - 1914 Main Street
            El Tenampa - Main Street


            Tuscany Ristorante - Madison ave

            West Indian:

            Mommies Patties - 2523 Main Street

            Lennox - Boston Ave
            Jam American Restaurant - Washington Ave


            Pantanal Restaurant - 215 FRANK ST

            Terra Brasilis - North AVe


            O'Manel - Main Street