Chef/Co-Owner Matt Storch says, The Chelsea has made “some really delicious additions to the menu this go around, we wanted to create a unique menu that makes us stand out as having some of the best and most diverse food in Fairfield." The Chef de Cuisine, Eric Felitto, has worked in The Chelsea kitchen almost since its inception, and has moved up the ranks to assume this new role. Felitto has a great background in Asian Cuisine, and this passion influenced many of new menu items such as the China Ribs & Vietnamese Chicken Soup. For lunch, we loved the bánh mì inspired Porchetta Sandwich, slow roasted crispy pork, on a soft roll. Eric has also worked closely with Chef Matt Storch to perfect some of the exciting new dishes you can see pictured above and described below.
Entries in Fairfield (92)
Hana Tokyo opened in Fairfield’s Brick Walk Plaza just a few weeks ago, and locals seem to be embracing the new restaurant with open arms. Owner Alan Wu recently relocated from Alexandria, Virginia to be closer to his family. Born and raised in China, he came to the US in his mid-20s and landed in New York City where he immersed himself in the world of gourmet sushi, learning everything possible about the trade. In 2002 he opened the original Hana Tokyo and after 13 successful years as the busiest Japanese restaurant in town, Wu and his restaurant now come to us. Wu prides himself on using only the freshest available ingredients, making everything in-house, and offering unparalleled service.
The new restaurant (which many will recognize as the former Tomba) has a contemporary, earthy feel. As one enters the restaurant, a large mural of a Japanese woman in a kimono, painted by renowned local artist, Suzanne Bellehumeur, greets you as you enter the facility and a small sushi bar constructed from reclaimed wood is to the right. Contemporary and traditional Japanese décor are combined to give the space a look that is modern yet traditional. The main dining area has 8 hibachi tables, a sushi bar, a lounge, plus 20 outside seats.
Barcelona in Fairfield has welcomed new executive chef Ian Kokkeler, with previous chef Helton DaSilva relocating south to man the restaurant groups second busiest restaurant in Atlanta.
Kokkeler hails from Austin, where he spent the last several years as executive chef as some of that city’s most well known restaurants including Uchi, Congress and the W Hotel in Austin He spent 7 years at Uchi, a Japanese restaurant, where plating and precision called upon his talents as an artist.
"I am artistic, and here at Barcelona we are rustic. I hope to blend these two with my plating style. As an artist, I like to paint and sculpt, and that translates well to cooking," said Kokkeler during our visit to Barcelona during his first full week on the job.
MY SLURPY SIGNATURE DISH
Ramen Shops in Japan are as plentiful as hamburger joints over here. Every street boasts a shop. Yet none are exactly alike, mainly because each is distinguished by the owner’s unique signature dish, his personal autograph. In that tradition, Tony Pham has created his own signature dish for Mecha Noodle Bar: a unique interpretation of traditional Miso Ramen. Here’s the story behind it.
Tony likes to play with contrasts. And not just the culinary kind.
Case in point. Before trying his signature dish, Miso Ramen, take a look overhead at his futuristic Mecha Noodle Bar. Dangling from the ceiling, an arsenal of over three hundred vertical 2x4’s seem to be aimed directly at every table in the room. Alien, threatening.
Now try Pham’s dramatic interpretation of a classical Ramen. No, don’t taste it, slurp it. Breath in its steamy aromatic bouquet. Savor the deep, contrasting flavors: mushrooms and miso redolent of the earth, noodles that invoke wheat fields, a succulent pork belly that also warms and welcomes, counterpointed by the lively spice and heat of scallion and chili oil. It’s Japanese comfort food,a perfect contrast after a playful scare.
Hearst Newspaper's Lunch Break Chronicles is where we often go to find hidden gems in Fairfield County. Brett Mickelson recently visited the latest pizza parlor with a familiar chef—Derek Furino, formerly of Behind the Net in Darien and John Dough's Pizza Bar in Norwalk has moved on to become a partner in Old School Pizzeria in Fairfield.
Here's the report from Brett:
There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.
Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below.
National Burger Month draws to a close.
What better way to celebrate the conclusion of an entire month of enjoying some incredible hamburgers than announcing the 2014 CTbites' winners of the Best Restaurant Burgers of Fairfield County. More burgers challenged last year’s winners and three were successful, Olio, Mama’s Boy and Bar Sugo.
For the second year in a row, the winner is:
The Whelk– 2014 Best Restaurant Burger in Fairfield County
1 - The Whelk (Westport) – The Whelk Burger combines a blend rich flavored meat, sweet pickles, cry baby Swiss cheese, two varieties of bacon, crisped onions and onion mayo on a brioche bun. The dry aged blend of short rib, brisket and chuck from Craft Saugatuck Butchery was fantastic. The cheese covered, thick patty sat atop two different varieties of bacon that added saltiness and smokiness, while slices of sweet pickles, a slice of frisée and the onion accented mayo brought additional flavors and textures. Sitting atop the plump patty was a handful of crisped onions.
May is National Burger Month and it’s that time of year again for CTbites to unveil its “Best Bar Burgers of Fairfield County.” The last twelve months brought us several suggestions to try and I tried many of these additional locations. The 2014 list included some outstanding bars and haunts that served delicious burgers, so good in fact that only one newcomer was as delicious. (See complete list below)
Not only was this an outstanding burger, but it earned my top spot as the Best Bar Burger in Fairfield County.
Bick’s Burgers & Fries – 2014 Best Bar Burger in Fairfield County
Five years ago Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo combined their love for cheese and their entrepreneurial spirit and created Fairfield Cheese Company, a bustling cheese shop located in a food loving Connecticut suburb. To celebrate five years of artisanal and farmstead cheese, charcuterie and fine foods, and their popular cheese school, Fairfield Cheese Company will mark their anniversary with a calendar of special events during the month of May. View the complete list of events below:
Have you heard the buzz? If you haven’t and you live in the Westport and Fairfield areas you’ll not only hear it but you’ll see it any day now! The Buzz is The Buzz Truck, the brainchild of Jessica and Alex Grutkowski. Sleek, hip and sharp, this handsomely renovated school bus will have tired moms and dads cheering with delight. But it’s not just for parents - this little black bus has something for everyone.
The idea was conceived about a year ago when Jessica Grutkowski wondered why there wasn’t an ice cream truck for grownups. Only her ice cream truck wasn’t going to sell ice cream, it was going to sell coffee. “I was waiting on line for my coffee,” she told me, “and there was this person in front of me placing this ridiculously long order. I knew I was going to be late in picking my kids up from school.” Her eyes kept darting to the clock as she debated whether to ditch the line or not. And that was when the idea of the coffee truck came to her. “I knew right away that it would be called the Buzz Truck.”