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Good Eats in Fairfield County (CT)?

I'm moving to Stamford (from nyc) in a few months and I'm looking for places to get food at that won't make me miss the city too much. :)

I am willing to drive up to an hour in either direction so feel free to recommend any places in Fairfield county (along the water preferable) that are good.

I'm particularly looking for recommendations for:

New American (something along the lines of Little Owl/Market Table)

Mexican (authentic tacos - not some taco bell crap :) )

Vietnamese (A good place for Pho would be awesome!)

Thai

Spanish/Cuban/Puerto Rican

Japanese (I like Blue Ribbon in the city)

Indian

Oh and if there are any gluten free stores or restaurants anywhere I'd love to know!

Thanks!

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  1. hmmm....not missing the city is going to be really hard, but here are some of our favorites:

    make sure you don't miss The Schoolhouse at Cannondale in Wilton
    http://www.schoolhouseatcannondale.com/

    Harvest Supper in New Canaan
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/nyr...

    Bedford Post Inn in Bedford
    http://bedfordpostinn.com/

    I don't eat Indian, but people love Thali in New Canaan
    http://www.thali.com/home.html

    You didn't ask for Italian, but we like Aloi in New Canaan and Strada 18 in Norwalk.
    www.strada18.com

    Hope this helps, can't wait to read the rest of the responses, there are some great FF county posters.

    1. Colony Grill for pizza in Stamford. It is NOT NY pizza, it's Stamford pizza and most of us are very proud and love it. Nothing else served there but pizza.
      http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv...

      You will need to travel up north to New Haven and try their pizza as well if you're a pizza lover.

      Duo has the freshest best sushi in Stamford. Entrees considered euro-asian and very good as well. Matsuri in Darien is good too.
      http://www.duoeurojapanese.com/

      The Schoolhouse is an excellent restaurant.
      There is also an excellent new american in Stamford located below the Marriott hotel. We are not allowed to speak of it on this board. Chef's name is Bill Taibe and perhaps a quick google search will dircet you to it. Chef Taibe deserves all the credit as he is quite talented.

      Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk is a board favorite for "Latin" flavors and was recently on DD&D on Food Network.
      http://www.valencialuncheria.com/dinn...

      Osetra in Norwalk is really good for creative seafood.
      http://www.osetrasono.com/menu_dinner...

      1. Let's just give you the picks up here:

        Sushi - Duo in Stm
        Mexican - Big Yellow Truck in Stm on West Main. Yes it is a truck, it is yellow and it has the best Mexican up here. That should reming you of NYC
        Viet - forget it....none
        Thai...Ibid
        Spanish - Wait for Adamclyde to answer, he is the maestro of that cuisine up here
        Japanese - Let's go Asian fusion and go to New Canaan and Chings Table
        Indian - Thali in New Canaan

        Others - Pizza, go to Coloby and BTW there are many pizza places up here that blow everything but Johns on Bleeker in its heyday to shame.
        French - Bonne Nuit in New Canaan
        Chinese - Wasabi Chi in SONO
        On the Water - FISH in Portchester, Rowayton Seafood in Roawayton. not on the water seafood - Elm Street Seafood in Greenwich
        Burgers - Well you are in luck because burgers, shakes and fries in greenwich is better than anything, yes anything, in nyc
        Hot Dogs - Super Duper Weenie - exit 24 of 95 in Fairfield

        Give us more info and we will help.

        Welcome to the 'hood.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          jfood: Going to Kent besides the great pastry spot you already turned me to , where to eat a great late big lunch? Thanks for this weekend.

          1. re: nbermas

            out of jfood's zip code. sorry

            1. re: nbermas

              If your going to Kent try Doc's its good food the service varies from good to fair. Try the soup or the mussles. For Desert you must go to Belgique Pâtisserie & Chocolatier, it is pricy but wonderful don't just try the chocolate try the fruit gellies they are amazing.

            2. re: jfood

              Super Duper Weenie is the spot, definitely go there.

            3. New American: Harvest Supper in New Canaan
              Mexican: Los Cabos in Norwalk
              Vietnamese: Thang Long in Danbury
              Thai: Galangal in Stamford
              Spanish: Meigas in Norwalk
              Venezuelan Beach Food: Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk
              Japanese: Kazu and Wasabi Chi in South Norwalk and Matsuri in Darien
              Indian: Coromandel in Darien
              Bagels: Quaker Ridge Bagels & Bialys in New Rochelle, NY
              Burger: Burgers, Shakes, & Fries in Greenwich
              Italian: Columbus Park and Mona Lisa in Stamford, Pasquale's in Norwalk
              Diner: City Limits Diner in Stamford, Post Road Diner in Norwalk
              Steakhouse: Capital Grille in Stamford
              Sports Bar: Bobby Valentine's in Stamford, Tavern on 7 in Norwalk
              Pizza: Colony Grill & Remo's in Stamford, Letizia's in Norwalk, Joe's in New Canaan (though you will not find the same level of pizza quality here as in your former home).

              5 Replies
              1. re: CTburgerlover

                As far as pizza is concerned, skip Letizia's in Norwalk. I live 5 minutes away in Wilton and have been going there for years; it used to be very good up until two years ago, when the quality started to slip. The pizza there now is very watery compared to what it used to be. I still go back every couple of months, hoping something has changed, but it hasn’t – very average on most visits (by CT standards). Colony Grill in Stamford is very good - a tavern style pizza, which is very thin, yet sturdy, but still pliant. I would suggest topping it with their "hot oil" (i.e. spicy), which adds some flavor into an otherwise bland crust and average quality cheese. Also, if you want toppings, definitely ask for the pepperoni or sausage, which are great and made right across the street at DeYulio's Sausage Co.

                I would suggest traveling to New Haven to try Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s, or Modern Apizza. New Haven has many other high quality pizzerias, but the aforementioned are considered “the big three.” All three are great, but I am partial to Pepe’s, which is the best pizza I have ever tasted. Better than John’s or Lombardi’s in NYC (although those are the only two big NYC pizzeria’s I have been to). Pepe’s also has a branch in Fairfield, near the Bridgeport line.

                As far as Remo’s or Joe’s, I cannot attest to either, only saying that I haven’t heard very much about either, which leads me to believe they are nothing special, but maybe my assumption is wrong.

                1. re: JBarry713

                  New Haven pizza is severely overrated, IMO.

                  You must do your research as far as Joe's and Remo's go, both are discussed on this board every time local pizza places come up.

                  To say Letizia's has gone downhill is not accurate. The pizza is the same as the first time I tried it 10+ years ago.

                  1. re: CTburgerlover

                    Sorry CTburgerlover, but Letizia's has gone downhill. I'm not saying it's terrible, just not what it used to be. I've noticed this on my last 15-20 trips. Some of the problems are with construction (too much sauce, turns he middle of the pie flaccid - on plain cheese mind you ), I've noticed other problems in the components and taste (I feel the they have changed their sauce, very bland; the cheese is missing the vibrant orange oil that seperates from it when cooked). Maybe they have a better pie man on shift when you go, but the ingredients should be the same, no matter when you have had Letizia's recently.

                  2. re: JBarry713

                    Jfood is a huuuuuge fan of Joes in New Canaan. And he highly recommends the baconand tomato. Jfood was extremely lucky when he was first married and worked 75-100 hours per week. MIL had boat east of New Haven and jfood lived in NJ. On their way home they would bring pizza from Sallys every weekend. Absolutely perfect. Two years ago he tried Pepes in Fairfield and would not return, so to each their own.

                    So to your ears about hearing nothing about Joes, let jfood place a great seal of approval in your ears for Joes. Please try it. It is fantastic. Only Colony is in their league around here. And just below Colony and Joes is Strada 18 and Fat Cat in Norwalk.

                    1. re: jfood

                      I'll have to give Joe's a try Jfood, thanks for the tip. If you think it is in Colony's league, and better than Fat Cat and Strada (I've been to each of the two once - both are solid), then it should be good.

                      I would say to give Fairfield Pepe's another try, but I went last Thursday night, and while still good, it was missing that Pepe's greatness that I am used to. First of my four trips to Fairfield where I have been (relatively) disappointed. Next Pepe's trip will be to New Haven.

                2. Just one woman's opinion... I'd take Shiki over Duo any day for sushi. Shiki is a mostly hibachi restaurant that's a hidden gem when it comes to sushi. I wasn't impressed with Duo at all when I went there. The food was ok and the service was atrocious.

                  Welcome to the 'hood! Search this board for Stamford and you will find some hidden gems.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wookiedoodle

                    forgot to say... Shiki is on Hope Street, near United Housewrecking and next to Grade A supermarket

                  2. You've got some great replies so far. I'll try and add a few.

                    For Vietnamese, as people have mentioned, there's nothing (literally) around here. Though if your 1-hour circumference is your guide, you can be back in NYC in easily an hour. :) Now, there are a few places in Northern Jersey. Judging by CTBurgerLover's post, Danbury might be your closest non NYC vietnamese place. But, from Stamford, Queens is a much easier trek than Danbury.

                    As for Mexican food, jfood is right. If you want the real deal in terms of tacos, huaraches, sopes, tostadas, etc., then go to the El Charrito Taco Truck in Stamford. You'll see a lot of posts about them recently on this board. They are parked all day every day on Richmond Hill Ave., across from Sachs Plumbing in Stamford. Other places that aren't as good include Casa Villa in Stamford, and a hodgepodge of little places in Norwalk. If you don't care about sitting down in a restaurant, just stick to El Charrito. (if you decide you want slightly less authentic than El Charrito, but stll more authentic than Taco Bell, Ole Mole is a middle ground kind of place... Americanized, but not the worst in the world and IMHO light years ahead of places like Los Cabos in Norwalk). But if I want good authentic tacos and want it in a sit down restaurant, I go to Tortilleria Los Gemelos in Port Chester.

                    Puerto Rican... the only place I know of anywhere around is Julie's Restaurant in Norwalk CT at 2 Fort Point Rd. As for Cuban... I don't really know of anything close, though there was a recent discussion of a great Cubano sandwich in Pelham/New Rochelle. A good 30 minutes from Stamford in good traffic.

                    If you want a Roosevelt Avenue-like Latin-food cornucopia experience, head to Port Chester, just 10 minutes from Stamford. Within walking distance of the PC train station there's Peruvian, Colombian, Ecuadoran, Salvadoran, Mexican, Brazilian, Guatemalan, Bolivian, Argentine, Uruguayan, etc., etc. You'll find a million threads on latin in Port Chester if you searched this board.

                    There is also some pretty good Latin closer to home too. For Colombian, I like La Sorpresa in Norwalk. In Stamford, Mi Terruno is decent, though it's been many years. I like Antojitos Chapines for Guatemalan in Stamford too. Next door is a new-ish Peruvian place called Omar Restaurant that was pretty good the one time I went there too. Brasitas in Stamford offers pan-Latin food done quite well in a lively ambiance. It's considerably more expensive than the holes in the wall I've been mentioning though.

                    As for Indian, I've heard very good things about Tawa in Stamford. Considering I live a mile from there you'd think I have more experience. But alas, I still haven't gone. But it's high on my list.

                    Spanish... Barcelona is always a favorite. There are a few - Norwalk, Greenwich and soon to be Stamford.

                    Thai... I haven't tried Galangal, which CTBurger recommends. I've always liked Kit's Thai Kitchen as a great little suburban Thai place. Not Queens good (i.e., Srip, Zaab, etc.). But suburban good. And, even good compared to most neighborhood places on the UES and UWS. Very recent experiences have been mixed though. I still recommend it, just with an asterisk. I like it better than Little Thai Kitchen, which can be found in both Greenwich and Norwalk. But LTK is still good too.

                    Now I'm hungry so I think I'll stop.

                    1. Add

                      Eos -- for Greek. A shade this side of Astoria tastewise, but lots closer.

                      Corimandel on Summer in Stamford -- sib of same in Darien

                      g/r/a/n/d -- before it becomes a club at 10 pm -- great apps and manhattan decor. Tuna pizza is scrumptous, and mac and cheese.

                      Must stop: Stew Leonards in Norwalk. You're not in Manhattan, anymore. 180 from Citerella or Fairway, but a unique Ct. experience. Great values in dairy and meats... and if you have kids, fun animatronics. Good homemade chips and lob rolls. Just follow the yellow brick road through this one way aisle supermarket.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: louuuuu

                        Don't forget to add that we do have a Fairway on its way! Set to open in South End of Stamford early next year.

                      2. And let's not forget the best little Italian Deli in Stamford...Giovannis on North St. Go south on Summer and make a right at Planet Pizza (the place is only good as a landmark) and just up ahead on your left is a little corner deli. The guys make red gravy hot oven grinders, or as they call them up here "wedges", but they are also know as hero sandwiches elsewhere.

                        1. oh my goodness! Thank you for all of the responses! This list will keep me busy for a while I think. :)

                          I'm sad about the viet food. I really love Pho and I eat Vietnamese at least once a week. I didn't think about going to Queens, but now that someone mentioned it I think I'll add that to my radar since it's really not that terribly far away. Danbury might be a bit of a stretch I think, but I'll keep it on my list.

                          I've seen the posts about the Taco truck. I can't wait to try it! :)

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: Syphrite

                            I believe Pho Mekong on the Post Rd. in Westport has some Vietnamese, some Thai. Ask them about their menu before you make the trip.

                            1. re: Syphrite

                              Depending on where you live in Stamford, Danbury is only about 35 minutes away. It's not so different from going to Queens.

                              Welcome to the 'hood!

                              1. re: Syphrite

                                Pho Saigon on Wood Avenue in Bridgeport. Also down the block from the restaurant there is a small Vietnamese market called Southern Variety Market. A few blocks away there is also a Cambodian market.

                                1. re: JohnnyCT

                                  Thanks JohnnyCT. A Cambodian Market... that's awesome. Do they sell any prepared foods there? How is the Pho and Pho Saigon?

                                  1. re: adamclyde

                                    The Pho is good.

                                    There are two Cambodian markets in the neighborhood and neither one serves prepared food.

                                    Pursap Market - 215 Maplewood Avenue

                                    Oriental Market - Coleman Street

                                    To the original poster: if you are looking for restaurants under an hour drive from Stamford you should include New Haven. Do a search and you will find there are lots of great places in the Elm City. Yale puts on lots of events open to the public. It makes a nice evening to feed your mind and then feed your stomach.

                                    1. re: JohnnyCT

                                      Thanks Johnny! I love my pho and it's nice to know I can get my fix. Good to know Danbury isn't too far either.

                                      Also, I'm glad there is a viet market as I like to make pad thai and tom kha gai (yes I know its thai) at home from time to time. =D

                                    2. re: adamclyde

                                      Went to the Yellow truck again and boy it was good and they will be making soups in 2 weeks, a bean soup and a tripe soup. The bean I can try the tripe not so sure. Do thye make gucamole there if not where do they make some right in front of you or make it so fresh you can tell. I love it when it is chunky an fresh with lime juice so where can I find it? Thanks

                                      1. re: nbermas

                                        I am not an expert on Thai cusine by any means but I must say that I had a very tasty and well-presented lunch today at Thai Basil on Railroad Ave across from the movie theater in greenwich. Service was attentive too.

                                  2. re: Syphrite

                                    it's a straight shot up route 7 to danbury, exit 5 to rte 37 north to Pho Vietnam. Excellent pho & worth the trip.

                                  3. I am from NYC and moved to CT looking for a great pizza place (I am extremely picky when it comes to good pizza) I found that Wilton Pizza in Wilton and Piccolo's Pizza in Ridgefield are really great! The pizza is never Greasy! Plus they have gluten free pasta.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: rkdancer

                                      Another vote for Thai Basil in Greenwich. Best Thai I've eaten in FFD...been 3 times in the last 2 months...knocks the sox off little thai kitchen and kit's thai place.

                                      1. re: Scotty100

                                        tarry lodge, at the bar (just over the greenwich line in port chester), has really good pizza. the place is a full-tilt batali restaurant. i sit at the marble bar at lunch time.

                                    2. No one's mentioned Bond Grill Hibachi & Asian Bistro (Norwalk) yet, so I'll throw it in for another option. It's on Westport Ave.--just down the street from Penzey's. Have had sushi there a couple of times for lunch and really enjoyed it. The tuna tower is excellent and beautifully presented. Also had exceptionally creamy lemongrass coconut chicken soup. Anyone else been?

                                      -----
                                      Bond Grill
                                      250 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851

                                      1. My Favorite Indian place is Bombay Restaurant in Danbury it is a haven of wonderful food hidden in a strip mall a little of the beaten path. http://ctbombayrestaurant.com/ Its been voted the best Indian food in Fairfield. My favorite appetizer is the Masala Dosa/Mysore dosa, a wonderful crepe filled with potatoes and spices but the sauce is to die for. Just thinking about it makes me hungry. As for Japanese take a ride to the House of Yoshida in bethel, my family and I have know the owner for years. http://www.house-of-yoshida.com/ He has brought his culinary experience from Japan to our area and has taught so many employees and customers about Japan’s food and culture. The fish is always fresh and the service is excellent.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: justduckie82

                                          Thanks for these two recommendations. I drive by both frequently and never stop. Now i will.

                                          1. re: justduckie82

                                            No one ever mentions Bonani in Norwalk. It is a total hole-in-the-wall off 123, but the naan bread amazingly better than anyone else's around. http://www.bonaninorwalk.com/

                                            For anything Asian (ex-Japanese), we drive to Flushing, Queens. My fav local fav sushi place is Kira in Greenwich. Best ramen is Santouka/Santoka inside Mitsuwa at Edgewater NJ but sometimes Kato-san opens his noodle cart behind the old Fjord fisheries. Heard this summer he's still in Japan so no noodles locally in 2010.

                                            Gluten free - try: http://www.fratellimarketct.com/glute...

                                          2. You didn't mention French, but I'll recommend a spot that is largely neglected on this board, Chez Jean-Pierre, a little bistro with a Latin flair (the manager's Brazillian) and excellent unpretentious fare.

                                            Additionally, lunch is very reasonable and the beautiful back room is open for dancing one night a week or so,

                                            A thoroughly enjoyable place, though not NYC, thankfully in this case.

                                            1. Also, Colony Pizza is a local favorite and has its diehard fans, but it not everybody's dish of tea.
                                              You can pick a pretty good fight here by even mildly critiquing the paucity of ingredients and the cheapness of the product.

                                              1. Are these recommendations still valid? Just moved to CT myself.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mosboa

                                                  welcome

                                                  lots of places here. jfood would guess 90% still accurate plus a few newbies. Give a little more detail and we're here to help.

                                                  ciao

                                                2. Not too familiar with the Stamford area, but I can recommend two places I've been to recently.
                                                  Nickolas Roberts in Norwalk fits your New American category. Unpretentious but satisfying.
                                                  Chings Table in New Canaan is crowded, but has pretty good Asian food.