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Entries in Greenwich (74)


Brunching at The National in Greenwich

Christmas was in the air in Greenwich this past weekend as the town’s Annual Holiday Stroll offered something for everyone: a chance to meet Santa, a ride in a horse drawn carriage, and for me, the opportunity to try out The National’s Holiday Brunch. 

I had not yet been to Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s newest and his first restaurant in Greenwich. The celebrity chef has appeared on The Today ShowGood Morning America, and CBS Morning Show and has starred in many Food Network programs including Chopped, The Next Iron Chef and Cooks vs. Cons, the network’s newest show.  

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The Granola Bar: Healthy Eats & Coffee In Greenwich

As more and more souls climb aboard the health(ier) train, the opportunities to eat well while eating out are becoming more frequent and less far between. Thankfully, the days of eating out with kids only to have them relegated to greasy, questionable servings of chicken nuggets, trans-fat laden fries, and white bread-grilled cheese or wondering how to stomach another blah serving of pasta primavera if you are vegetarian are fast departing. Enter, The Granola Bar, aka TGB.

Having established a loyal and vibrant following in Westport over the past 3 years, the duo of Julie Mountain and Dana Noorily decided to branch out to Greenwich just four short months ago. Judging from the speed at which the dining area filled up on the day I visited, the enthusiasm is running at full-speed boogie. From making their own granola a few years ago to now running two thriving restaurants, its been a wild ride but not so wild that they have forgotten where the brakes are located; TGB only serves breakfast and lunch, along with copious amounts of snacks. No dinner. That is precisely so that these two women can make it home to their own families for dinner. Hello, balance. It’s nice to see you again.

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The National & Geoffrey Zakarian’s First Year in Greenwich + New Prix Fixe Lunch 

With its new, 3 course prix fixe lunch, The National offers a commodity not always found along “The Ave” in Greenwich: a real bargain.

CTBites was recently invited to sample the new lunch menu, and we’ll fill you in on that delicious deal in a moment. But first, we wondered how the restaurant has evolved since it opened a year ago. So we asked owner and celebrity chef, Geoffrey Zakarian.

"We are never on auto pilot," the restaurateur told us. "And we always listen to the needs and wants of the customers. One change that people are loving is that we put French Fries on the menu. We started with homemade chips, but the fries are a huge hit. Sometimes, it is just those small things that people embrace."

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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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