Green & Tonic Opens Second Location In Greenwich with foods that find their power in both taste and healing.
As a California native who has spent the last 17 years living in Connecticut, I know health food in its many forms. I also know junk food disguised as health food. I’ve eaten my share of overpriced twigs and sprouts on tiny plates, overcooked veggies flavored with too much salt and oil, “natural” juices loaded with sugar and calories, and ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. In other words, you can’t fool me, baby. But when I walked into Green & Tonic after it opened its second location in Greenwich, my doubts quickly vanished. This place walks the walk on healthy food. Oh, and it tastes good too.
Co-owner Jeffrey Pandolfino, a Johnson & Wales graduate with vast experience in the restaurant business, who ran his own operation for many years and also spent time at Pret A Manger, was motivated to serve healthy, organic food for another reason – he knew the healing power of food.
In 2008, he faced the grim reality of weighing 215 pounds, was on Lipitor, and pre-diabetic. Aware that he needed to make a change, Pandolfino started studying the industry and incorporated juicing, cleansing, and raw foods into his lifestyle.
As a result, he lost 40-50 pounds, quit Lipitor, and became passionate about organics, so much so that he became convinced this was how he should be spending his time.
Founded in 2010 Green & Tonic is the brainchild of a several friends – two chefs, a nutritionist, a fitness expert, personal train, a businessman and a mom – all who wanted to create an authentic, wholesome, full and healthy life.
Together with his wife Cai, Pandolfino sought to offer “delicious, healthy, plant-based options to a wide range of people - from those who are focused on getting healthy, whether its losing weight, healing from sickness, or simply looking for more energy, vitality and endurance.” They first implemented the concept with home delivery until opening their first store at 1098 Post Road in Darien in March 2012 and then opened their first full service restaurant at 7 Strickland Rd in Cos Cob. They opened their second location at 85 Railroad Ave in Greenwich after much success of their other locations.
Their cold pressed juices and foods are all organic, and locally sourced - from this summer's crop of vegetables and fruit from Back 40 Farm, and from the Armstrong Court Community Garden in Greenwich.
For lunch I started off with a “fire and ice” spicy lemonade with green tea that awakened my senses (and cleared my sinuses) and was very refreshing. I then tried their “build your own salad” with unique ingredients like kale hummus, spicy cashew salad, goji berries, puffed quinoa, and mixed mushrooms that was hearty and full of flavor and color. The real kicker was the “functional dressing” which tasted slightly sweet and nutty, and is sure to be a hit, especially after I discovered what the heck it was. Sold in small bottles in their refrigerator, this golden sauce contains vital oils with plenty of Omega 3, probiotics and immune-enhancing herbs and spices. You can also use it as a marinade to wake up anything, from fish to tofu, as dip for raw veggies, or instead of mayo in a sandwich or wrap.
Their other menu with raw, vegan and gluten-free items includes homemade bars and energy squares, soups, custom smoothies, and coconut yogurt with quinoa and acai, black rice and green superfood – a little something different for your breakfast. From curried almond wraps to a spicy market salad, the menu makes eating healthy interesting while keeping it real. The oils are of the highest quality, there is no salt or butter used, and nothing is fried. It’s amazing to discover what can be done with simple nuts, grains and greens. Even the dessert is unique but simple – like the cacao avocado mousse, with its fluffy, creamy texture and deep chocolate flavor.
The décor is clean and fresh with raw wood tables and green seats. They also have a busy take-out and delivery throughout Fairfield County for the lunch crowd as well as for new moms and those who wish to do their various juice cleanses. Co-owner Cai adds, “Our products are perfect for people on the go, or who want access to healthy options for take away, or stock up the refrigerator at home/work. We are helping consumers get plants to the center of their plate." They will also be hosting Healthy Happy Hours on Thursday evenings, covering a range of topics focused on nutrition.
The Railroad Ave store will be open 7 AM-7PM Monday to Friday, and 9AM-9PM Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit greenandtonic.com or call 203-622-1479.
Green & Tonic
1098 Boston Post Road, Darien, CT 203.656.1036
7 Strickland Road, Cos Cob, CT 203.869.1376
About the author:
Cathy Siroka is the publisher of a local parenting newsletter and website called Macaroni Kid (Westport.macaronikid.com) and is currently writing a children’s book for those with food sensitivities. When she’s not running after her two young boys, she welcomes your feedback and ideas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Westport.macaronikid.com.