I've always wondered where the chefs from our favorite local restaurants eat when they finally get some time away from their busy schedules. What are some of their favorite places, locally and beyond? This column is on ongoing feature. Past chefs featured have included: Chris Gonzalez of Hapa Food Truck, Cody Brown of Hoodoo BBQ, Matt Storch of Match & Nom Eez, & Christian Petroni of Fortina Pizza. This week we speak with Chef Dan Kardos of Liberty Tavern.
On the rare day or night you’re off from the restaurant where do you prefer to have dinner?( If home what is your meal or food of choice)?
On my nights off from work I really enjoy eating out. It's always fun to be on the other side of the service end of things. I eat out for almost every meal.
When dining out, what are you favorite local restaurants? Why?
I have a ton of local favorites in my area, some of them include:
All the Bill Taibe joints: The Whelk, Kawa Ni, Jesup Hall
I love them all for different reasons, but mostly because they all make me feel something. They all have personality. That's the most important thing to me when I'm out, and the food is great at all of these places. I don't really have a favorite dish anywhere, I order tons of stuff when I'm out. I like variety.
Do you have a favorite local bar or watering hole?
I'm a late night bar veteran. I have a ton of local watering holes, I'm certainly no stranger to the dive bar scene. The Windsock in Lordship is a classic. I find myself there on occasion. I've been haunting The Sitting Duck in Stratford for quite some time as well, it's hardly a dive bar, but it's definitely a blast for shots and beers. Lately I've been chilling at 4 Corner Billiards in Bridgeport to shoot a little pool. Oh, and shout out to Keeper's in Milford!!!
How about a secret hole in the wall or as of yet undiscovered (by us) gem?
My favorite secret hole in the wall is definitely Pickles Country Store & Deli in Milford. It's got tons of character and I love eating outside there in the summer.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the tristate area, excluding Connecticut?
My out of CT go-to spots are Casa Mono and Gottino in NYC, really simple food, laid back vibes, I just really like them both.