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Entries in Greenwich (71)


Chef Arik Bensimon Returns at Cafe 47 in Greenwich

Many of us felt a sense of loss when Le Farm closed and Chef Arik Bensimon decided to pursue his other passion and create beautiful wood bowls. His brilliance in the kitchen, combining ingredients and textures as only great chefs can do, would be missed. Quietly and with no fanfare, Chef Arik has re-entered the Fairfield County food scene, at a small café in The Perfect Provenance in Greenwich, where his latest venture again proves his culinary talents in an environment dedicated to luxury and charity. When we spoke to him after the meal we asked him about this intimate space versus some of the larger restaurants he has worked in. He stated that he wanted this size, a place to serve the foods from his past.

The Perfect Provenance is the brainchild of Greenwich resident Lisa Lori, whose personal mission is to ensure every child can smile. All three of her sons were born with a rare condition, one of the prevented them from smiling. Numerous surgeries eventually corrected each and now Lori’s Three Little Bears project donates a percentage of the proceeds from T-shirts and bags to Operation Smile. These products are featured throughout the Perfect Provenance and have raised over $1 million to Operation Smile. The store is a perfect place for luxurious products and cuisine.

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10 Questions with Ian Vest, Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich

Chef Ian Vest of Greenwich's Back 40 Kitchen began his career as a busboy at thirteen years old. Since his teens, he has worked in top kitchens including Daniel Boulud's Manhattan hotspot, DBGB, where he served as Executive Chef. Ian's culinary ethos always begins by considering source—a fitting parallel for the refined farmhouse feel of Back 40 Kitchen in Greenwich, which gets much of its produce from its own farm in Washington, Connecticut. 

Get to know Connecticut's newest culinary transplant, his recent late night cravings, his chef mentor, and why making it rain truffles is not always a good thing.

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Citarella Greenwich - Fresh from the Dock to your Table

“I’ll meet you at the front gate at 5am.”

This email, which I received from Joe Gurrera, the owner of Citarella, required setting the alarm for 3:30am, grabbing two cups of coffee and driving the hour to the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx. Visiting the new Fulton Fish Market was something I have always wanted to do, mingle with the best purveyors of the freshest and best selection of fish, just hours before it arrives at stores and restaurants in preparation for the day’s fare.

The history of Citarella dates to 1912, when a small fish shop opened in Manhattan. Over seventy years later, in 1983, Joe Gurrera purchased the shop and Citarella was born. Joe’s passion for fish started when he was a small boy venturing, in the dead of the night, to the original Fulton Fish Market. It was during these nightly excursions that he educated himself on the various fish and, more importantly, how to choose the best of the best.

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Burger Report: Chef Geoff Lazlo's Burger at Mill Street Bar + Table

Mill Street Bar and Table opened in the Byram neighborhood in Greenwich last October, the brainchild of Executive Chef Geoff Lazlo in partnership with Bill and Leslie King, who head up the organic-centric Back 40 Group. Many in Connecticut know of his work with Bill Taibe at The Whelk in Westport, but his roots with organic gardening and cooking with the finest bounty of the season goes back to his love of gardening and his introduction to the use of these ingredients with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, and Dan Barber at Stone Barns.

While the Executive Chef at The Whelk, his burger received my “Best of…” in 2013 and with his newest adventure firmly established in the Fairfield County culinary landscape it was time to see if his newest creation was as great…IT WAS!

Chef Lazlo’s latest rendition is the “8OZ PASTURED BEEF BURGER,” described on the menu to include house-made mustard, aioli, Cheddar cheese, served on a potato-brioche, and served with hand-cut fries.

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Zakarian's "Ugly Burger" at The National in Greenwich is a Beautiful Thing

There is a new King of the Hill of hamburgers in Greenwich.

Since celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian opened The National several months ago at the lower end of Greenwich Avenue, I have received numerous emails telling me about its burger. On a sunny day I ventured to Greenwich, grabbed a table and ordered “THE NATIONAL UGLY BURGER” which includes Cabot Cheddar cheese, crispy Shallots, Ntl Sauce, and served with malt vinegar chips. I ordered it medium-rare.

The burger arrived and it was served on a wooden cutting board, with a pickle speared through the top of the bun. The melted cheese was oozing around the edges, dripping towards the serving board. The sautéed shallots were peeking from under the cheese, partnered with the edges of a single lettuce leaf. If the taste was as good as the presentation, this would be a great burger. The burger was accompanied by the chips that were vertically arranged in a separate metal vase.


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Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee (The Old Ada’s Variety Store) Opens in Riverside, Greenwich

Occupying the old Riverside post office, Ada’s Variety Store was a local favorite. For many generations Ada was lovingly referred to as the old lady who sold penny candy to neighborhood kids; she was a pillar of the community. She has since passed away, but her legacy lives on. Her family remains involved with the little store’s brand new future, keeping her memory alive for many more generations to come.

The shop, now called Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee, is located near the Riverside train station and has been newly renovated by Ada’s nieces and nephews. With the help of friend and local interior designer, Katie Watson, the new Ada’s Kitchen + Coffee has been transformed into a bright, inviting space, melding the old with the new.

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Eastend Opens in Greenwich Serving Modernized American Cuisine

Eastend is the latest addition to Z Hospitality’s expanding portfolio of quality restaurants in Fairfield and Westchester Counties, joining Sole, Mediterraneo, Terra, Aqua and Aurora. Located at the bottom of Greenwich Avenue in the space formerly occupied by Primary Restaurant, it recently opened, 25 years to the week after Mediterraneo up the avenue.

Overseeing the menu is Executive Chef Albert DeAngelis. Chef Albert joined Z Hospitality Group as Executive Chef in 1989 and has been the creative vision behind the group’s Mediterranean-style bistros. Joining him in the kitchen is Chef Matt McNerny, a graduate of the CIA and formerly the chef du cuisine at Aurora in Rye and Sole in New Canaan.

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The National Opens in Greenwich: A Conversation with Chef, Restaurateur, & TV Host Geoffrey Zakarian

The National, the newest restaurant from celebrated chef, restaurateur, TV host, author, and philanthropist Geoffrey Zakarian, is now open in the heart of downtown Greenwich, at 376 Greenwich Avenue.

We were invited to sit down with the chef just 24 hours after he opened the doors to the public. Sitting in a corner banquette, our candid conversation spanned his 30-year career, including his love for Greenwich, formative culinary influences, and his advice for aspiring chefs.

The National feels like an extension of Zakarian himself. They both exude a studied yet casual New York elegance, are utterly charming, and yet quite approachable. A former Greenwich resident, it is no surprise he chose to open the restaurant within this community he knows so well. The modern american bistro feels at home on the Avenue and inside, boasts the welcoming charm of a neighborhood café with a seasonal menu positioned to please.

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Mill Street Bar & Table Opens in Greenwich: Celebrating The American Bounty

The dream began in a sandbox…..where five year old Geoff Lazlo planted his first garden.

Since then, he has tended, harvested, and cooked with the likes of Alice Waters at Chez Panisse,  Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, Dan Barber at Stone Barns, and Bill Taibe at The Whelk.    

 “What a pedigree!” we said to Lazlo, now the Managing Partner and Executive Chef of the newly opened Mill Street Table and Bar in Greenwich.  “Your takeaway?”  

"That a seasonal cook has to react like a top athlete," he told us.  “Fresh ingredients are in constant motion.  Early asparagus is very different than late asparagus, so you're always adjusting to a fast, ever changing game." 

Geoff's garden isn't Madison Square, but his own herb and vegetable plots at Greenwich Community Gardens, and, of course, Back 40 Farm.  That’s the family acreage in Washington Depot run by his partners at Mill Street, Bill and Leslie King, who head up the organic-centric Back 40 Group.  

What Lazlo doesn't pick from there, he sources locally: whether it be oysters farmed off the Greenwich shore, milk, cream and butter churned at Arethusa Dairy Farm in Litchfield, even Byram River Rum, distilled down the road in Post Chester.  Mill Street represents the fulfilment of Geoff’s dream to establish his own place, an “American Restaurant,” celebrating family, community and local bounty.  

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Land, Farm, and Sea: A First Impression of Mill Street Bar & Table Now Open in Greenwich

Now open in the Byram neighborhood of Greenwich, Mill Street Bar & Table celebrates American seasonal fine dining in one of Connecticut’s most elegant tavern-inspired settings. Executive Chef and Managing Partner of Mill Street is Greenwich native Geoff Lazlo (whom we know and love from The Whelk and leFarm) along with partner Bill & Lesley King.

Under Geoff's leadership, the Mill Street menu is comprised of rustic yet sophisticated dishes (whole roasted proteins such as chicken and trout, a beautifully appointed oyster bar, homey pasta dishes, inventive flatbreads...) that embrace the bounty of land, farm, and sea, featuring among other purveyors, Mill Street’s own Back 40 Farm in Washington, CT.

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