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Darien CT update/Scena & rumors..

Scena:
Ate at Scena the other night. Enjoyable addition to town. Food was very good, though portions were a bit on the sparse side. Had the seafood chowder (don't remember the name used, but it was a shellfish dish in a tomato based broth with risotto (a few grains of risotto, anyway...I had more lobster than rice in the bowl). Service was very friendly, but not the most responsive...had to go with multiple requests to get items like bread, mixed up drink orders and one entree (although to be fair, the entree was a special request). The pizzas sound good, and are cooked in a wood-burning oven, so will have to go back and try them. Off to a good start.

Rumors:
A bit of buzz around town about a certain red headed, orange croc-ed Falstaffian chef looking at space in town, in maybe the brick building on the corner of the Post Road, opposite the train station, by the trestle. Also, by the looks of it, significant construction going on out back. Who knows....but hearing it from a number of sources. Personally, i find it hard to believe Darien would be a viable destination, given the scale of most of the other restaurants in the portfolio, but who knows... stay tuned.

Also, and this is confirmed, but I can't reveal who just yet, a certain locally appreciated (and hound appreciated as well) small restaurateur is looking to open up a larger place in Darien, shutting down their current operation in another nearby city. Partially dependent on a vacancy opening up in a location in town, which a certain national operator currently has, but might want to get out of if the lease can be broken. It can be, if all the pieces fall into place.

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  1. ohh very good gossip indeed! this is like foodie blind items!

    my guess is harvest supper in new canaan on the last piece, but i could be completely off

    i did hear about MB opening something in Darien as well...I hope it rings true, the place will be a gold mine especially because of Dariens weak restaurant portfolio..

    1. dear santa,

      all I want for christmas this year is for MB to open a restaurant in Darien! i have been a very good chowhounder and have not eaten at icky McD's or BK or KFC at all.

      (but if that happens, they really need to sort out the traffic situation at that intersection... there is always a backlog of cars on US Post Road because there is no room to get past when more than 2 cars are waiting to turn left onto Route 136)

      2 Replies
      1. re: SeoulQueen

        By MB are we talking Mario Batali? Sorry for my ignorance!

        1. re: wreckers00

          The "red haired, orange croc-ed Falstaffian" description would certainly apply...

      2. From prior post:
        "Also, and this is confirmed, but I can't reveal who just yet, a certain locally appreciated (and hound appreciated as well) small restaurateur is looking to open up a larger place in Darien, shutting down their current operation in another nearby city. Partially dependent on a vacancy opening up in a location in town, which a certain national operator currently has, but might want to get out of if the lease can be broken. It can be, if all the pieces fall into place."

        OK, Phase 1 has been implemented....Cosi has left the building...

        Awaiting Phase 2...

        16 Replies
        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

          female owner in neighboring town denied they are moving.

          1. re: jfood

            Haven't gotten further scoop, jfood. What neighboring town are you referring to? Rumor I heard corroborates a female owner, but not NC-based.

            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

              CBM, this would have been an NC based female who denied.

              1. re: jfood

                Ah..ok.

                The rumor I heard is not someone you'd expect. Unfortunately, the Darien landlord, a friend of mine, swore me to secrecy because she doesn't want to burn any bridges, if the deal doesn't come thru. I'll have to wait til the decisions are finalized.

                1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                  Assume it's not Napa's Mary Schaffer....esp. because their space is perfect and they're actually expanding their Stamford footprint with the new Italian in Bennet's old space. You do have our curiosity piqued, Chef.

                  1. re: louuuuu

                    These are the facts as jfood knows them.

                    Bar Rosso in the old Bennett space is in full build mode with Chef Dan Kardos working full time on the menu. It will have a 50 ft bar, Italian Tapas style menu, housemade pastas & mozzy, a 250 label wine bar focused on Italy w a few from California.

                    You guys will have to report back on the actual review.

                    1. re: jfood

                      Bar Rosso website (also still under construction) http://www.barrossoct.com/

                      Expected opening November 2010

                      1. re: gillyweed

                        wow...glad jfood's info was correct.

          2. re: ChefBoyAreMe

            Phase 2 (new operation) to be in place in Dec. Deal is done. Can't confirm which restaurant yet, or the theme, as the details for the closing of the current location need to be worked out, but it is happening quickly.

            In the immortal words of Darien's own newspaper curmudgeon Walter J Casey..."stay tuned"

            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

              OK so there are 2 new burger places and 2 new Italian places in the 95-corridor, and with this...did we successfully draw the full house or do we need to bluff the other players.

              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                According to Lunch Break Chronicles, ChefBoys mystery lady is Myrna in Stamford who is moving her Med to Cosi's spot in Darien. In her old place on East Main a second taco place from Casa Villa.

                Myrna's has the best baklava in Ct. to my buds. And belly dancing.

                -----
                Casa Villa Restaurant
                182 W Main St, Stamford, CT 06902

                1. re: louuuuu

                  There's a sign in the window of the former Darien Cosi for Cafe D'Azur: http://www.cafedazur.com/

                  1. re: After Words

                    That's Mryna's new place. She's closing her Stamford location, and opening a more formal place in Darien in that location

                    1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                      Wasn't a more formal Myrnas her notion in Greenwich last year? Didn't she build it, but nobody came?

                      Will miss her downscale in Stamford, .and wonder if Darien is ready for French-Lebanese fusion at a "Cafe d'azur". This feels about five years too late, but sincerely wish her success. She's cooks good food.

                      1. re: louuuuu

                        Yeah, she flopped in Greenwich a year or 2 ago, but in an admittedly tough location, off the avenue.

                        Hopefully in Darien she'll do better, and will bring to bear some learning from the Greenwich experience. I heard she's going to make a play for the lunch crowd, rather than going for just dinner. I also hope she's got a good wine bar and small plates, to encourage "grazing" and trial that can help build a local following.

                        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                          what's interesting is that she just expanded the Stamford location. We have been big fans of her for several years and eat there periodically. If I have one critisism is wine offerings. there should be more lebanese options in wine and beer as well as some others from the region. the domestic bottles are pretty average fare at the usual mark ups. I hope she does well in Darien and will visit that location

            2. red haired, orange croc-ed, okay....But what the heck is falstaffian? He likes cheap beer?!!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                Definition of FALSTAFF
                : a fat, convivial, roguish character in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV

                Fal·staff·i·an
                 /fɔlˈstæfiən/ Show Spelled[fawl-staf-ee-uhn] Show IPA
                –adjective
                of, pertaining to, or having the qualities of Falstaff, esp. his robust, bawdy humor, good-natured rascality, and brazen braggadocio: Falstaffian wit.

                World English Dictionary
                Falstaffian (fɔːlˈstɑːfɪən) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

                — adj
                jovial, plump, and dissolute

                1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                  Oh! Why didn't you say so! I don't know many big words

                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                    Back on this board after a reasonable hiatus to find much activity in Darien...wow...although shouldn't be too surprised. Increasingly younger, still affluent, demographic in the town these days means eventually restaurateurs are going to take notice. About time too!

                    Also, the batali rumors have been percolating for more than a year now...last year it was his partner bastianich who had been scoping out the town for quite a while. He was always in and out of the town's excellent coffee shop "espresso neat"...

                2. so was reading some articles on Darien news and came across one written in Sept 2010 where it talks about property owner DeLeo starting construction on a new restaurant space at the corner of Post Rd and Center St for a 4,800sq ft Italian restaurant. He won't disclose who the tenants are but I am assuming that if it's an Italian restaurant, this is where the potential MB restaurant will be? This is not the same site as where Cosi was located so does that mean 2 new restaurants? In addition to BSF and Scena? It would be great news for Darien.