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New Canaan area restaurant for small anniversary party

c
carol26 Jan 23, 2011 11:02 AM

Would appreciate suggestions for a top-notch restaurant in New Canaan area for a 20-person party, with cocktail hour, outdoors in pretty setting. Seeking excellent food, lovely decor. Could be contemporary and stylish; historic is also fine, if in great condition. Thanks!

  1. t
    tonylazzeri Jan 24, 2011 03:36 PM

    I was looking for a nice alternative to one of my favorite places here, Barcelona, and settled on Cava last weekend based upon some favorable reviews.

    http://www.fairfieldweekly.com/dining/dining/the-original

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9503EEDC173BF933A05752C0A9639C8B63

    http://bedford.patch.com/articles/cav...

    I really enjoyed it, and was happy to find there are a few other places in this family's ownership. I look forward to trying them.

    -----
    Cava Restaurant
    1615 West St, Southington, CT 06489

    1 Reply
    1. re: tonylazzeri
      jfood Jan 24, 2011 05:31 PM

      The Fairfield weekly did a nice job and I agree and disagree with some of their conclusions. The NYT is from '05 and although Scott, the chef from then, is back in the kitchen, Nube the new chef has kicked it to another level. I am not a fan of the other.

      Back to the OP.

      If you are looking for more staid and the ability to have the youngsters wonder on the grass then Roger Sherman will fit the card more. Barcelona in SONO has the back area of the wine room that now has the patio and the STM location has the private room. Cava will be a part of the larger room.

      As far as the food, you cannot go wrong at any

    2. jfood Jan 23, 2011 12:24 PM

      In NC

      Outdoors for 20 limits you to Roger Sherman Inn. New owners last year. I have not been

      Restaurants:

      1 - Bistro Bonne Nuit - Excellent French and I would recommend if you have 20, reserve the left sideof the restaurant since seating 20 otherwise would be a night mare. They may make you rent the entire place.
      2 - Harvest Supper - They can handle 20 as a full dining room event. Owner is a wonderful lady who also owns places in NYC. The chef (Dan Kardos) left 6 months ago so make sure you ask who is now manning the kitchen. If she tells you Dan is still there, don't bother.

      The server staff at Sole have fallen from grace in the last six months, so I have placed that on DNR until that changes. Cava could be a very nice choice as well, Chef is a wonderful lady and her pastas are great. Aloi can also be a look-at but the chef seems to be focussing on her sister restaurant in Shelton.

      That is sort of the lay of the land. If you give some more info, like price and timing (little cold here for outside now) we can guide you here or in surrounding towns.

      -----
      Bistro Bonne Nuit
      12 Forest St, New Canaan, CT 06840

      Harvest Supper
      15 Elm St, New Canaan, CT 06840

      Aloi
      62 Main St Ste 4, New Canaan, CT 06840

      Roger Sherman Inn
      195 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, CT 06840

      Cava Restaurant
      1615 West St, Southington, CT 06489

      7 Replies
      1. re: jfood
        c
        carol26 Jan 23, 2011 04:03 PM

        Thanks so much! I would appreciate it if anyone has a report on food at the Roger Sherman; "the" guide (I don't know if it is OK to give the name) rates it only 22. Since this is a special occasion for us, price is not as important as the quality of the experience; it will be in the early fall and could be in a nearby town as well, preferably one easily reached from I-95. We are trying to get a place convenient to NY and CT residents.

        1. re: carol26
          jfood Jan 23, 2011 04:12 PM

          you should consider expanding into Wilton and Stamford for some great places as well.

          Could you give an idea if the party is for 20-somethings or 50-somethings, price per person, whether an extensive wine list is required, etc..

          1. re: jfood
            c
            carol26 Jan 24, 2011 12:48 PM

            There will be a wide range of people, some under three, others in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s; an extensive wine list is not required and, we will splurge for this occasion. Thanks again for all the spirited answers on this post!

          2. re: carol26
            l
            LW1 Jan 24, 2011 06:03 AM

            i have eaten at roger sherman a couple of times since the new owners took over and have been very pleased with the results. service is good and the new and improved menu is vastly improved. i think it would be a very nice place for a party as well and they let you design your own menu for a private party.

          3. re: jfood
            ChefBoyAreMe Jan 24, 2011 06:01 AM

            Wait....jfood talking up Cava, and talking down Harvest???

            Who are you, and what happened to the real jfood?

            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe
              jfood Jan 24, 2011 08:09 AM

              T'is still me, the ever-changing restaurant landscape of NC.

              There is a new chef, Nube (sister of owners), at Cava over the last 18-24 months, and she has taken the kitchen to an extremely positive position. Pastas are fantastic (all homemade) service has been a major uptick and it is now top 1-3 in NC, yes that good and we now have 3 places that serve A+ Bolognese.

              Dan Kardos from Harvest Supper left 6 months ago and i have not been since, so I am neither thumbs up nor thumbs down since the change.

              -----
              Harvest Supper
              15 Elm St, New Canaan, CT 06840

              Cava Restaurant
              1615 West St, Southington, CT 06489

              1. re: jfood
                ChefBoyAreMe Jan 24, 2011 12:56 PM

                I was not at Harvest before about 4-6 months ago, but I would say it is excellent, and one of my top places in FFC.

                Good news about Cava...I haven't been in years, and since reading your reviews awhile back about several misfires, and a statement to the effect of "I wouldn't go back for a free meal", I've had it on my no-go list.

                I'd also have to say that the OP might then do well to check our Scena in Darien, by the same owners. My experience thus far has been very good, they have a nice space, and given they are looking for outside space (I assume this celebration is happening in several months, not soon), they do have nice outside space in front and around the side towards the movie theater.

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