Gates opened its doors thirty-five years ago and continues to offer an array of dishes that keep this “elder statesman” on New Canaan’s Restaurant Row bustling seven days a week. The entrance is guarded by ornate gates and once you enter you are immersed into a large, open dining area with walls adorned by murals by Janet Picard, paintings and large terra cotta planters. Wander to the left and you enter the bar with a long oak bar with 12 seats and several booths. Both areas are normally filled with locals partaking of a drink after work, families enjoying dinner and regulars having a good time with friends.
Entries in Burgers (76)
My ongoing Burger search continued into South Norwalk and Donovan’s Restaurant. Located on the corner of Washington and Water Streets, Donovan’s is an historic landmark, founded in 1889 by Jeremiah Donovan. Donovan was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, served in the Connecticut Senate as well as the United States House of Representatives, before returning to Norwalk as its Mayor. Rumors abound that a number of presidential candidates were seen "taking a break" while making their tours of New England.
When you enter the single dining room, you can understand why. It exudes a relaxed atmosphere with its wood walls, long bar with fifteen stools, a few low tables for a dozen guests, high-top tables for another two dozen and a round table tucked into the front corner. The walls are adorned with several TVs and a collection of vintage prizefighter pictures from former owner "Battling Bat Kunz." The restaurant and bar were restored in 1979 to its original Victorian style when SONO was a far cry from its currently vibrant scene.
A snowy night found guests piled into the close confines of 284 Tokeneke Rd. in Darien to sample offerings from the combined menus of Lobstercraft and Bounty food truck. The two outfits have come together to expand their catering services for private parties, weddings and both special events, and we have your first look.
"We thought the surf and turf idea between the best lobster and the best burger would make a great combo," Captain Mike Harden of Lobstercraft told CTBites. "We are working on bringing Bounty under the same roof so you can come to one place and get whatever you like."
The next stop on my unending burger quest found me sitting at a high top table in the rear of Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield. This modest two room restaurant is known for its creative cuisine with an unwavering Farm to Table attitude instilled in the entire menu by Executive Chef, Forrest Pasternack.
Many told me about the Cheddar and Ale Burger, and it was time I tried it for myself. The Burger is served with caramelized onions, cheddar & ale sauce on a brioche, with a side of shoestring potatoes.
Behind every great man is a great woman. And for Dagwood Bumstead, that woman is Blondie.
Bethel's Sycamore Drive-in Restaurant, founded in 1948 and famous for its summer cruise nights, homemade root beer, and thin French-style burgers, has introduced the new Blondie burger, a fitting companion for their popular Dagwood burger. And I believe it's about time, the cartoon is named after the blonde bombshell matriarch, afterall.
The 2015 “Dry Aged Beef Burger” prepared by Chef Anthony Kostelis begins with a 7-8 ounce patty topped with sweet pickles, Bella Bantam cheese, bacon and onion mayonnaise, all encased in a buttery brioche. The meat was deep and rich in flavor, perfectly seasoned and compressed slightly to maintain the grind of the meat. It was juicy in the middle of the burger but a little dry at the edges. The Bella Bantam cheese from Arethusa Farm was outstanding, melted atop the patty. It was mild with a slight nuttiness, a great complement to the burger. The bacon at The Whelk was one of the best I have tasted in years, with a incredible smokiness and also added a little crunchiness to the burger.
I am constantly asked when the subject turns to burgers... “Have you tried The Goose…have you tried The Goose…have you tried The Goose?” With all of that positive energy guiding me to downtown Darien and a plaque commemorating The Goose’s “2014 Best of...” greeting me as I approached the front door...my hopes were pretty high that The Goose's burger would knock my socks off.
I decided to grab one of the high top tables in the bar. The bar area had a fantastic vibe with its high top tables in front of a long wood bar that dominated the entire length of the room, behind the bar a full wall displaying a wide array of liquors, and TV’s airing ESPN, Sports World, Baseball World, all things wood and sports, a great pub feel.
The menu included two beef burgers; the basic BLACK ANGUS BURGER, where you can build your own combination, and THE GOOSE BURGER, which included bacon, blue cheese, crispy onions and horseradish cream (definitely a pub-creation).
In my continuous and unending search for great hamburgers in Fairfield County, I returned to SONO to sample Chef Dan Kardos’ latest version at LOCAL Kitchen and Beer Bar. Kardos is no stranger to my “Best of” list with previous version from both Harvest Supper in New Canaan and NOLA (at this same location) earning a spot. The interior of the restaurant has been transformed, with more woods and lights plus the rear room (never my favorite) was converted into a Bourbon Bar. The new décor gives a much hipper and fun feel.
Chef Dan’s latest version is named “THE LOCAL BURGER” and includes all natural, humanely raised beef, sautéed wild mushrooms, bacon, Swiss cheese, fronions and black pepper mayo, encased in a Wave Hill bun…served with French fries and a pickle.
The best of the wurst is almost here! Shake Shack’s 9th Annual Shacktoberfest is on tap from Friday, October 3rd through Sunday, October 12th.
As is the case every autumn, Shake Shack’s highly anticipated Oktoberfest-inspired festival celebrates good food, drinks and friends—the Shack way! Get ready for special-edition biers, bratwursts, burgers, and frozen custard treats at both Westport & New Haven locations.
Shacktoberfest is the only time of year to snag a commemorative Shake Shack Bier Stein for $10.00 (25 oz.). Filled to the brim with your choice of Brooklyn Brewery’s brisk, malty Oktoberfest beer or their very own ShackMeister Ale, the hefty glass stein is yours to keep and just $7.00 to refill throughout Shacktoberfest.
A good friend told me that the WC Burger served at Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport near the Fairfield border was the best burger in the area. Those are strong words from someone I trust so I drove one evening and grabbed an outside table.
The menu is divided into several categories and each reads like a who’s who of comfort food. I was pleasantly impressed when I saw that the chef gave top billing in the Large Plates section to “WC Burger + Fries - Smoked mayo, bacon, bourbon onions, cheddar.” It was a simple decision and I ordered the burger medium-rare.
The burger was served on a metal tray accompanied by fries and small mound of pickle slices. There was a crisp char on the exterior and the texture of the interior was soft. I sampled the meat; it was rich in flavor, reminiscent of grass fed, the medium grind was still loose and it was moist without being overly juicy. It was an excellent patty. The first topping I tasted was the Bourbon onions.