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New Restaurants..Fairfield, County.

I keep reading this Board, and everything seems to be about Rhode Island or way up North in CT. Has anyone enjoyed any good "NEW" restaurants in the area? Any type of of food, doesn't matter. I just want recommendations for something new locally. Thanks!

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  1. How new is new by your definition? Mid 2013 – today?
    We don’t have that high restaurant turn over in this area in my opinion.
    New Canaan always has new things happening, but I don’t get to that area often. Check CT Bites for that.

    2 new-ish places I have eaten at and like are
    Char (Byram)
    Mama’s Boy (South Norwalk)
    Also Harvest (Greenwich) opened in April

    New places I have not eaten at yet:
    Cast Republic (Stamford)
    Primary Food and Drink (Greenwich)

    2 Replies
    1. re: InderB

      Good to finally see some lower FFC action on this board. Like one of the posters said, there is so little traction that, as a Greenwich resident, I end up reading the NYS board for Westchester recommendations more than this board. In any event, here a few local restaurants we have dined at recently:

      Primary Food and Drink (Gwich) - was really excited for this one but it was a huge mess. Food and service disappointing and prices sky high.

      Mama's Boy (SoNo)- Only went once when it first opened and enjoyed my shrimp & grits and fried green tomato salad. Need to go back.

      Nola (SoNo) - Had a couple excellent meals here but just learned it's closing for a few months to remodel (or whatever that means). Bummer.

      LeFarm/The Whelk (Westport)- Neither is particularly new but I think they're the best restaurants in FFC so I try to get back as often as I can.

      Mecha Noodle Bar (Fairfield) - Really, really good spot for ramen and more. Their mushroom dumplings are to die for.

      South End (NC) - Just okay restaurant. Not worth the price or the effort unless you were nearby and needed a decent standby.

      Estia's (Darien) - Also not so new but a favorite, particularly for lunch and breakfast. Delicious, fresh food with a Mexican bent. Warm, friendly atmosphere.

      Harvest (Gwich) - I went once with friends and my husband went once with friends and we both had awful meals. The Gwich curse continues.

      Finally, this one is not in FFC but nearby - check out Fortina in Armonk. A lot has been said about it on the NYS board (including by me). Excellent restaurant and one of the few spots around that we can bring our toddler to and still have a rockstar meal.

      1. re: mla19

        Yes, almost like the good old days of Tri State before the gerrymandering.

        Agree with Mia's recs to the letter. Espesh Fortinia, with its wood fired ovens finishing meats and firing exceptional pizzas. Of course it's not in Southern New England. But far closer to Fairfield Cty than Cape Cod.

        Looking forward to Aaron Sanchez's new place replacing the Beer Garden in Stamford's Harbor Point. Harlan Social nearby doesn't get the love it deserves.

        Matt Storch is shuttering Match in SONO for awhile. Look for its rebrith next fall.

        The failure of Boca in Stamford portends the demise of small plates in SW Connecticut.


    2. We had a couple of enjoyable meals at Aladin, near Stew Leonard's. My wife doesn't love Indian food, but she likes it because they have some excellent kebabs to go with a variety of well-executed Indian dishes. The ambiance is quite pleasant as well.

      I ate in Locali in New Canaan recently. When I saw the wood burning pizza oven I had high hopes for high quality artisinal pizzas. Sadly, I was disappointed. Our 3 pizzas were all kind of limp - either they were undercooked or the dough was overworked (or both). The meatball appetizer was very good, and a salad was unmemorable.

      My wife ate with some friends at Boca in Stamford and was disappointed. I can't be more specific because I wasn't there.

      One new place that my son turned me onto is Royal Guard in Norwalk (via a branch in Danbury). It's English fish and chips alongside Indian/Pakistani food. But this is counter service, not a full restaurant.

      We have been pleased with our local favorites though - including Boulevard 18, Elm, Valencia Luncheria, Bodega Taco, Pontos Taverna, Fiesta Limena, and Los Molcajetes.

      1. Bocca in Stamford has already shut. They are switching the theme to F-I-S-H opening in a few weeks.
        Also Aladin is good, I forgot about that one.

        1. There was a protest exodus from Ch after they eliminated the Tri-State board (Jfood, for example) of posters who covered down county very well.

          I live up county (Trumbull) and find that our eating takes us more into New Haven County than Norwalk, Stamford,Greenwich. I really try to avoid driving closer to NYC than Westport if I can avoid it.

          Newest restaurant here in Trumbull is Parker's a very good BUT expensive steakhouse ($150 per couple is the norm). No advertising, no sign visible from the street (White Plains Rd) but it is packed and has excellent food and service. They are taking business that used to go to Joseph's in Bridgeport (from those suburbanites who don't feel comfortable/safe in Bridgeport at night).

          Also new is 111 in the Rte 11 shopping center with the gym, Chips and Pet Valu. I haven't been, but my 25 yo loves it, owned by the same operator as Pub 25 in Newtown. BUT terrible lack of parking keeping patrons away. The gym needed at least another 75 parking spaces and is killing the other businesses.

          10 Replies
          1. re: bagelman01

            So happy the OP brought up the question of Fairfield Co!
            I'm always trawling for veg friendly restos, especially in Greenwich.

            Jfood has his own blog http://jfoodeats.com/tag/jfood

            as well as a presence on CTBites http://www.ctbites.com

            I have always been a fan of Jeff's posts.

            1. re: bagelman01

              Bagelfriend, I know you had inquired about The Bridge House in Milford. I think you'll find other options to your liking even if you don't like meatloaf or burgers, though I haven't been there since the old posts you mentioned back in 2009. I do also think OUTSTANDING was a big word for that particular place, but remember liking more than one meal there, too. If memory serves, they do some kinda prix fixe thing at dinner that might make it worth your while.

              P.S. My ESP is working overtime today. ;)

              1. re: kattyeyes

                Hey Kattyeyes, Did you ever make it to the "Old Ash Creek Saloon" in Norwalk? You were going to check out the BBQ Brisket & report back..... I believe it's called the The Old Mill.. or something like that! Same phone #. Keep us posted!

                1. re: temilove

                  I didn't. I don't find myself down that way very often anymore, but thanks for the nudge. :) Tho' if/when I do get down there, my #1 desire is usually an arepa at Valencia Luncheria...and a tasty beverage at Chocopologie.

                2. re: kattyeyes

                  Thanks Katty...........
                  It's wife's request. They seem busy when we drive by, but all reviews I find are very out of date. Brother lives in Milford, but neither he or his neighbors have been.

                  I guess we'll give it a try in a few weeks.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    I sort of wish Jen-Jen would show back up and update us. :)

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Ask and you shall receive- although I haven't been to Bridge House in a while(moved to Westport)... they have gone through several chefs since their "outstanding" days. The last few times I went there, we got an assortment of small plates to share- our faves are the duck spring rolls, tiny tuna tacos, and mac and cheese. They took their best (IMHO) dish off the menu- the seared diver scallops over risotto- and replaced it with a much inferior scallop offering.

                      I did have a very good meal recently at the new Redfish Grill in Orange - not Fairfield County, but still. I really prefer my salmon cooked mid- rare, and that is one of the few places that willingly accommodated my request.

                      Will try to force myself out of lurkdom more often :)

                      1. re: JenJeninCT

                        Thank you................
                        we ate at Redfish Saturday night, wife loved the salmon. I had scrod and was happy. That's saying a lot because I am not a fish eater,

                        I'll let wife know about your opinion of Bridge House, thanks

                        You are missed

                        1. re: JenJeninCT

                          Please do--miss your "voice" here! See you sooner next time? :)

                3. I was reading CT magazine in my doctor's office yesteray and it had a list of Best Restaurants. The best new restaurant in CT was The Spread in Norwalk.

                  The Spread, Norwalk
                  Walrus + Carpenter, Bridgeport
                  Heirloom Food Co.,Danielson (not in FC)
                  Bar Sugo in Norwalk is a year or two old and a persnal favorite.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: zackly

                    Problem is all those 'Best' restaurants (Doctors, Lawyers) etc. in CT Mag are paid advertizers..........

                    This doesn't mean they aren't good, but non-advertizers are never considered when making the lists

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Yeah Bagleman01, I hear you. I'm a big cigar smoker and love wine buti n the two largest publications, Cigar Aficionado & Wine Spectator, glowing reviews and two page advertisements seem to go hand in hand, not surprisingly . That why I tend to look @ user reviews like Yelp and TripAdvisor although like an Olympic diving judge I throw out the first few and the most critical because they are probably family, friends and competitors.

                  2. Someone just told me about a new place in Westport, CT. I believe it's called the little barn? ( Where Barnes & Nobles is on the Post Road ). Has anyone been there yet for Dinner/Lunch ... & if yes, what did you get?! How was it?

                    21 Replies
                    1. re: temilove

                      Sadly, it's in the space formerly occupied by Hot Dog mecca Swanky Franks. I haven't been to The Barn but the owners have good restaurant pedigrees including Sono's excellent Match but I bet I can easily find 25 similar restaurants in Westport that come and go like musical chairs but where's a guy to get a great hot dog in Westport now that Swanky's has closed? I thought the new world order was about diversity?

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          Swanky's Westport location closed. The original Norwalk location is still thriving.

                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                            Both Westport and Newtown bit the dust...........

                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                Not a fan of Super Duper. Went once and found no reason to return. In this area Botsford Drive In seems to be the best

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Botsford, like in Seymour? Tell me more

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                    Botsford is a neighborhood in southern Newtown on Route twenty-five

                                  2. re: bagelman01

                                    Duchess serves great hot dogs too.They grill them which I like better than deep fried. Many locations in SW CT. Same hot dogs as Swanky Franks and Rawley's (Fairfield) and many other famous hot dog joints throughout the state,
                                    Hummel Brothers Natural Casing Beef & Pork Hot Dogs

                                    1. re: zackly

                                      HA! I noticed a Duchess "good dog" billboard on my way home from NYC yesterday. Struck me funny as our coolest and best childhood dog (white Shepherd) was also Duchess. :)

                                      I love a grilled (hot) dog myself--not sure what deep frying a dog does, besides nothing for me personally. Maybe if it were a beer-battered dog it would bark up the right tree for me. I drive by one in Wallingford from time to time. What else is noteworthy at Duchess? Good fries or onion rings?

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        I like Duchess fries, dogs, meh. They closed in Hamden...Is the Wallingford store still there? I believe Monroe is still around

                                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                          I drive by Duchess in Wallyworld on my way to Neil's Donuts. I thought zackly was saying they serve Hummels...and you like Hummels. Do you just not like a grilled dog?

                                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                            Walingford is still open.

                                            Monroe is open, but lousy
                                            Milford and Shelton seem to be the best IMHO

                                            Although a regional chain, the individual franchisees (some own 2 or 3) cook far differently. For example, soups in Monroe are tasteless (yellow water being passed off as chicken soup) while Milford's are wonderful.

                                            Portion size and price varies as well and different bakeries are used for the sandwich rolls.
                                            They all use the Hummel hot dog. I'm a New Haven native and Hummel's were never my choice.

                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                              Interesting. I thought all you New Haven boys were Hummel fans. I like Hummel just fine, but given a choice in the supermarket, would grab Mucke's.

                                              And damn you all, now I have such a craving for a chili dog. :D

                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                In the house we never used anything but an all beef kosher hot dog.

                                                Growing up, it was Roessler's Yellow Tag at Jimmie's Savin Rock.

                                                Really not fond of Hummel's (though I like the family-nice people).

                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                  Hot dogs are like they say about race horses "different horses .for different courses".I like a beef & pork natural casing dog like a Hummel or Boar's Head, grilled. They are too bland for dirty water pushcarts. Kosher & kosher style dogs, (HN, Nathans, Sabrett, Best Provisions) are too spicy (for me) grilled because I find them too smoky & garlicky although they are my choice for pushcart because sitting in the water leaches some of that "taste" away.RIP Roessler's Yellow Tag, the hot dog of my youth.

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    Me too! Only Kosher Franks will Do! Home or Out! So if we are local... Golds Deli, in Westport, CT. has them! YUMMY!!!!

                                                  2. re: kattyeyes

                                                    Never heard of Mucke's hear in lower Fairfield County but I'm always looking for great hot dogs. I searched and saw they were sold in Sept. 2012 and their web site http://www.muckes.com/ is "coming soon" which frequently means they are out of business. Are they still being produced? If so where can you buy them? Thanks!

                                                    1. re: zackly

                                                      I used to be able to get them at the deli counter at Stop & Shop. I'll have to keep an eye out next time I go. I wanna say Grote & Weigel bought them? OK, yes. And the recipes have stayed the same per this article. Let you know if/when I find them.

                                              2. re: kattyeyes

                                                Duchess onion rings are excellent. Fries are good too. They have a great deal on breakfast sandwiches 2 for $3.33 that has been running for years. I get it on one kaiser roll because I don't want all that bread. They serve above average fast food coffee (Green Mountain).

                                2. I tried to dine at the little barn a few weeks back and it was packed. A very small place. We ended up at the Spotted Horse which is also a late 2012 - 2013 opening and enjoyed.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: InderB

                                    The Spotted Horse owners are involved with The Little Barn.

                                    1. re: zackly

                                      OKAY, OKAY..... We tried to restaurants this weekend. First off, The Little Barn. We definitely had a 15 min. wait..The bar area is large and crowded, but a nice crowd w/ EXCELLENT bartenders and friendly people. ( couples & singles ) When we were seated, the dining room does look like a barn..good job! It is a bit on the loud side, I think people are still "checking" it out, and try it. The specials all looked great as they were coming out, which made our decision tough. I ordered the French Onion Soup which I must say, was the best I ever had. It was such a good size..I decided to go w/the wedge salad. So fresh and robust. Perfect Blue cheese, Crispy Bacon,Sweet baby tomatoes chucks of perfection! My husband ordered ordered the special which was a Shrimp & Scallop grilled w/caramelized onions..in a brandy type sauce. (very light) choice of garlicky mashed potatoes, fries, sweet potato fries, rice, whatever, and vegs.( or salad ). We were so full, we couldn't do desert! Bottom line, Okay, it's LOUD, but it's new...it will calm down. Food is great for a casual, cool dinner. ( I wouldn't bring young kids...they seemed annoyed by the noise! ).

                                      1. re: zackly

                                        Second place we tried we tried was ADOBA, on Blackrock tnpk, in Fairfield. I would not recommend this place for Mexican food. This is like Moe's. I heard through friends it was really good...NOT! SUPER salty, salty chips, bland guacamole, and they got our entire order wrong we called in ( it was very simple) and in-convenient...since we live on the other side of town! Not a do again for us ... no thanks! You've been warned!

                                        1. re: temilove

                                          I believe you are referring to Qdoba Mexican Grill, not Adoba. It is an mediocre national chain that also has a location in Norwalk.

                                          1. re: westie

                                            Thanks for correcting me!! It was still bad food!

                                    2. Ruuthai in Bridgeport has amazing, authentic Thai food at reasonable prices. They have been open for a few months now-have not been there in. Person but get delivery at least twice a week. It's THAT good.

                                      Had a great brunch at Walrus and Carpenter in the old "new" ash creek location

                                      Second the previous suggestion of Mecha noodle bar in Fairfield. Also really liked Baro in fairfield for upscale Mexican.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Ima Foodie

                                        Just went to Baro this past weekend for a nice outdoor lunch and discovered it is closed already. Places tucked down the back of the Brickwalk don't seem to get the traffic as those directly on the post road.