The expanding number of New Canaan restaurants continues with the announcement of the newest addition, South End, which will open prior to Labor Day on Pine Street next to New Canaan Wine Merchants and feature the culinary creations of Chef Nicholas Martschenko. He is joined at South End by his business partner Keith Siskind, the former General Manager of Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, who will oversee the front of the house.
Chef Martschenko and Siskind are currently redesigning the interior at South End to create a much lighter feel and greater sense of relaxation. They are both excited about expanding New Canaan’s restaurant footprint and feel the name South End aptly describes the location of their restaurant. In discussing how South End will fit into the burgeoning New Canaan restaurant scene, Chef Martschenko stated he wanted to deliver a “home-style feel” with “great, comfortable service and a knowledgeable staff.” Siskind describes his front of the house philosophy as “anticipating the requirements of the customer and then deliver in an unobtrusive manner.”
Chef Martschenko’s love of cooking originated as a child while helping his grandmother in his upstate New York home; and his admiration clearly shows with the inclusion of his grandmother’s “Nana’s Meatballs stuffed with pork, veal and ricotta” on the opening menu. His formal education commenced at the Culinary Institute of America with his skills and philosophy initially honed with legendary chef and James Beard award winner Chef Melissa Kelly. They were further refined while working at other restaurants that focused on local, fresh ingredients including the positions of Executive Sous Chef in the iconic Gramercy Tavern kitchen and Executive Chef at I Trulli. Chef Martschenko relocated to the suburbs and joined Solaia restaurant in Greenwich as its Executive Chef, where he received a rare “Excellent” rating by the NY Times. For the last three years Chef Martschenko was the Executive Chef at Winged Foot Country Club.
The menu at South End will continue to emphasize Chef Martschenko’s focus on local sources. He will purchase ingredients, when available, from the numerous relationships he maintains with local vendors. The anticipated opening menu will present a large and eclectic variety of ingredients from local greens to Wagyu flat iron steaks. The appetizers are divided into three categories, “Ruffage,” “From the Sea” and “From the Range” and will include a roasted baby beet salad with beet chip carpaccio and tarragon vinaigrette; chilled pea soup with Peaky Toe crab and crispy polenta; prosciutto wrapped figs stuffed with blue cheese, blistered grapes and saba; and grilled baby octopus with caponata, fennel and lemon vinaigrette. The entrees will include a wide selection of pastas, fish, poultry, beef and pork. Of particular note are the peppermint tea rubbed duck breast with rhubarb chutney, shelled peas and shoots; wild halibut with a fricassee of wild mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, fava beans and asparagus vinaigrette and veal cannelloni stuffed with spinach, sheep’s milk ricotta, and a Sicilian pistachio sauce. The menu will also include more straightforward entrees including a roasted Amish chicken, grilled chicken paillard and a spaghetti arrabiata with calamari.
Stay tuned for a “Behind the Scenes” look as opening day approaches.