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Oct 23, 2008 05:54 AM

Stamford Lunch: Barfood that's better than barfood

One of my continuing frustrations with Stamford and its restaurants, and there are many, is the fact that the city lacks both adequate moderately priced basic fare and interactive social environments.

I may have found an answer to both in Bradford's, a two story bar on Bedford Street that has a surprisingly gifted chef and a clientele that is eclectic, friendly and approachable. And, more importantly to me, the price is right, at least in the food department.

The first time I stopped in I had a wrap that was more than adequate, artfully prepared, and around $7 if memory serves. The place was quiet, relaxed, and the bartender/server was charming, friendly and engaging.

My second stop was a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich for five or six dollars with a plate full of excellent french fries (which I did not need, but ate, sadly).

I went to watch a football game on Sunday, and the crowd was predictably louder, but generally well behaved. I ate an adequate salad and some very nice garlic bread, which appeared quickly.

My last stop began in disappointment, but ended it complete satisfaction. I stopped in on a chilly day for a cocktail, noticed that they had New England Clam Chowder on the board and ordered away. What arrived was red, Manhattan chowder and the bartender/server apologised and started to take the dish away. I relented, even though it is not a favorite, and glad I am that I did. It was spectacular! Not like the stewed tomato melange one might expect, but a delicate, proportioned, perfectly seasoned bowl of clammy goodness!

I hope that they are able to keep this cook.

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  1. thanks for the update - this is really helpful. I'm not usually in town during lunch time, but when I am and want something near atlantic/bedford, I really don't know where to go. This is good to know about.

    i wonder how their burgers are (if they have them)? I really don't have a reliable reasonably priced burger place in Stamford. Maybe this place will fit that bill?

    1 Reply
    1. re: adamclyde

      Not a big beef guy, but they have a vegiburger and a turkeyburger I plan on trying. The grilled cheese and tomato were excellent, as I mentioned.

      I think the burgers are standard fare of $7.99 or so (and up, more than likely), but with a heaping dolop of fries. The menu is broad and deep, and the kitchen has to be tiny, so the guy knows what he's doing. Very laid back during lunch. Last time it was just me, two ladies at the end of the bar and the bartender who was, by the way, stunning and exceptionally nice.

    2. Tiernan's on Main (right next to Columbus Park Tratt) has a fabulous and reasonably priced burger menu at Lunch (and Dinner, too).. Check out the house specialty: half pound Burger on Italian Garlic Toast with Caramelized Onions, Tomato, Smoked Mozz & Worcestershire Aioli.

      Totally different atmosphere in the afternoon than the boistrous club Tiernan's becomes at night. Actually, a bit sleepy and easy going, probably not as brisk or convivial as Bradfords -- nor all the tv monitors. But then no distractions from a very good hamburger.


      2 Replies
      1. re: louuuuu

        I'll have to try Tiernan's, I usually stop at Bobby V's out of force of habit, and the food is uniformly not very good.

        When I was growing up in Stamford, the corner where Tiernan's is now was a little luncheonette called The Chef's Place, where they served a wicked breakfast, and there were always stories about the mysteries of Stamford flying across the counter. Very blue collar, very cheap, lots of fun.

        1. re: louuuuu

          Tiernan's also has good salads. And does (did?) a killer Irish Breakfast.

        2. Since Chowhound can't get the area of "Tristate" correct for Connecticut, and correctly refer to it as "Southwestern CT", I feel this is fair game.
          Delaney's Grille and Taproom in "Westville", a northwestern area of New Haven, CT, has some really good food. Great bar and eatery with better than average bar food and more elaborate food for dinner. Many beers. They have dart tournaments. Loud and quiet areas, meaning they have a diningroom, seperate from the two bars. Yearly chili cookoff. Best bar/pub in the area if you want food or fancy beers.

          1. I have enjoyed my salads at Bradford's, and I seem to recall they also have sweet potato fries!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Stamford Talk

              Bradford's is also one of the few places that you can get grilled calamari in Stamford. Most places just do the usual fried thing, and grilled can be difficult because it can go from tender to rubber if the cook's not paying attention.

            2. I totally agree - my husband and I frequently stop by Bradfords for a quality, inexpensive meal. The food is much better than you would think for a typical bar! I usually get the Queen Fluff wrap and the husband gets a Chicken Philly. Their burgers are solid, but not spectacular. Their fries are reliably good.