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Jul 6, 2010 06:23 PM

Moving away. Need help prioritizing where to eat in FF county?

So, after a decade of living here in the Northeast, the fam and I are moving back to our homeland of southern CA in a month.

I've got, literally, hundreds of pages of food notes in a little moleskine notebook I carry with me everywhere with tips I've culled from here on Chowhound, from friends, taxi/limo drivers, random wanderings and other sources. It's a bit overwhelming and could probably use some help prioritizing.

One thing I'm trying to do is to finish up my deep dive on all things tacos in lower fairfield county before I go, though it seems fairly unlikely, sadly.

So, my question to you is, if you had only a few meals left here in FF county... where would you spend them eating? And to add to that, I'd just say, I guess I'd put a little more emphasis on those finds that are either a bit unexpected, or unique to this great part of the country.


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  1. Say it ain't so, Joe. Pretty soon it will be hard to get a poker game together with the Hounds of FFD. So today it reaches 104 degrees and you decide to move to SoCal? No fair buddy.

    Please type out your notes. We would love to have them.

    Let's see if we can get you some good choices before you head west. Insert hanging head.

    1. You will be missed, Adam. You've lit up these boards with intelligent, thoughtful, thorough, and kindhearted posts.

      Were it my last days here, I'd look for some of the seafood that LA seems to be sorely lacking (except in the Japanese retaurants). There the local lobsters are spiny, and the crabs dungeness not Blue Claw. So here's some seafood stops... none under the heading new find, alas).

      The Place -- Guilford. (in NH cty, but worth the trip) Wood fired lobster, clams, corn on the cob etc. grilled and devoured outside. Lots of room for your kids to roam and prices that won't break the bank. Screams Connecticut shoreline, you'll know you're not in SoCal
      Fjord Fisheries -- Cos Cob. The take home marlin dip with jalopena on a ritz cracker is one of the best taste treats on the planet, much less FFD cty.

      Ct Lobster roll -- hot and buttery claw meat on a bun (not cold NE lobster salad) from the Royaton Seafood Market (not the resto next door) or Knapp''s Landing in Straftord.

      Sweet Corn is in -- SoCal's doesn't compare -- and the best around IMHO is the young butter and sugar from Sandy's stand on River Road in Cos Cob. It's where the old Fjord Fisheries stood, right on the water.

      Crabcakes -- Elm Street Oyster Bar in Greenwich. Melt in your mouth and more crab than cake. Royaton also fries up a good CC.

      Chowder -- Westfair in Westport... either the Seafood or Clam. And the price is right. Their fried oysters are better than the fried bellies.

      None of these is unexpected... but you won't find their like in SoCal.

      Your leaving this board is as disheartening as the breakup of the old Tristate. .


      2 Replies
      1. re: louuuuu

        louuuuu... great thoughts. (and thanks to you and jfood for kind words!).

        And you are right... that new england/eastern seaboard seafood take is unique. I'm thinking maybe a Rowayton stop + crab cakes @ Elm Street Oyster (which I haven't been to in 7 years) + The Place in Guilford. Wood fired lobster sounds fantastic.

        1. re: adamclyde

          Hard to improve on louuuuu's recommendations. Deb and I spend a lot of time in California. We'll be looking forward to your posts.
          See you down the road.

      2. I've really enjoyed your posts, Adam! You single-handedly turned an entire county on to the wonders of El Charrito. Best wishes!

        If I were in your shoes, I'd probably do a couple last stops at some of the farm to table joints around - Schoolhouse (maybe for a special occasion meal for you & the wife -- it is a very special place), Napa, Harvest, a couple other places in Westport.

        ETA: I would also 2nd Lou's suggestion and get yourself some marlin dip and enjoy.

        1. Jfood would add one more item that is regional to FFD CTY, although not FFD County.

          You really should make a journey to New Haven, the Mecca of thin crust pizza, and spend an afternoon at Pepe's and dinner at Sally's.

          Pizaa with pineapple and artichokes that are local to SoCal just ain't the same.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jfood

            Good call on the NH pizza. Been to Pepe's. Enjoyed the clam pie. Rest was so so. But never been to Sally's. Definitely need to hit it up.

            BTW, so cal is slowly waking up to good pizza, thanks to folks like silverton and her mozza place with batali. Slowly.

          2. So sorry to see you go! Thank you for all the great recommendations on Mexican and Central+South American restaurants. They were really helpful and spot on (and I second jfood's request for your notes) :)

            As a fellow SoCal native, instead of specific restaurant suggestions, I'll list East coast dishes/ingredients that I've never really seen/severly lacking in quality out on the West Coast :
            oysters & clams - Wellfleet, PEI, quahogs etc
            lobster rolls
            chowder - be it Manhattan, RI or NE
            white clam pie from Frank Pepe's
            plus any craft beers from local breweries (if you are a beer drinker)

            Good luck! and wave at the Matterhorn for me as you drive past on the Golden State Fwy.