Cuisine: New American, Farm-to-table
Price: Snacks & Sides $4 to $6 | Greens $10 to $17 | Mains $15 - $29
Our Highlights: Bibb Salad, Pan seared halibut with shitake mushroom arancini, micro basil and black truffle; egg papardelle with roasted lamb ragout
Online: Official Website | Facebook
A thirteen year veteran of the Ridgefield dining scene, Bailey's Backyard owner Sal Bagliavio recently re-opened the beloved restaurant with a farm-to-table mission, a completely renovated space and a new and talented team in the kitchen led by Executive Chef Forrest Pasternack. Why the shift? "It was time for a change," said Sal Bagliavio. "Anyone can go out to eat, anywhere these days, I want to offer our guest a true dining experience based on organic, local ingredients."
The spring menu at the soft opening gave a promising peek at the seasonal creativity to come. Snacks and sides top the menu, offering a variety of small plates such as mable bacon pecans, local grits and roasted brussel sprouts. “Greens” and “Starts” are the showcase for local produce, such as the Connecticut Kale salad and a Bibb Salad. The latter was the highlight of my meal, a medley of textures, temperatures and flavors. Bibb lettuce, local blue cheese, bacon lardon, and parsley are the foundation for a crispy poached egg, an elegant take of a Scotch egg that is poached to perfection.
At one end of the “Mains” spectrum is a hearty Bailey’s burger, the “Greyledge Farm Beef Burger” which is adorned with a house-made pickle, herbed mayonnaise, and caramelized onion on a soft potato roll and shoestring fries. I didn't try this, but it's next on my list. At the other end is a pan-seared halibut prepared with shitake mushroom arancini, baby micro basil and black truffle. This was a special dish, with layers of flavors without being overpowered by the truffle.
The alternative to ordering a la carte is ordering a three ($27/$39 with wine) or four course ($38/$50 with wine) “Market Table” dinner, or the 7 course Chef’s Tasting ($65/$95 with wine).
Behind the execution of this menu is Executive Chef Forrest Pasternack, who was born and rasied in Western Connecticut. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Pasternack spent much of his career in New York City before making his way to Terra and Morello Bistro in Greenwich. Coming back to Ridgefield is like coming home for a chef who grew up in this town.
The location and the name may be the same, but the experience and menu has been entirely reimagined thanks to the vision of Bagliavo and his new Executive Chef Forrest Pasternack. "We are raising the standards in Ridgefield. A piece of Manhattan folded with the charm of New England," said Salvatore Bagliavio. Bailey's has its sights set high, and although it's early, if Bagliavio's track record is any indication, it will deliver.
Hours [as of May 2013]
Lunch, Tuesday - Saturday, 11:30 am to 3 pm | Dinner, Tuesday - Thursday, 5 to 9:30; Friday & Saturday, 5 to 10 pm | Sunday, 5 to 9 pm.
Bailey’s Backyard 23 Bailey Avenue Ridgefield, CT 6877 203.431.0796