Stamford's Harbor Point is starting to give the appearance of a boomtown. The peninsula, jutting into the flat expanse of the Sound, now seemingly holds more high rise buildings than the city's downtown, and they're steadily filling with residents, retailers, and restaurants. Amidst this ever present change stands one constant: Sign Of The Whale. At 16 months old, and with the little-lamented demise of the beer garden at the current site of Paloma, the Whale stands in the amusing position of being the Point's most venerable institution. In keeping with the theme around them that nothing is quite good enough as it exists, Sign of The Whale has hired a new chef, and launched a new menu.
Entries in Seafood (64)
There’s a new Latin pulse beating on West Park Place in Stamford and it goes by the name ACUARIO (Aquarium, in Spanish.) Funky, warm and charming, the new Peruvian jaunt is the latest culinary jewel from the treasure box of Saida and Nicolas Oshiro, who opened the original ACUARIO in Port Chester in the 1980s. This new ACUARIO is in the worthy hands of Oshiro offspring, Eduardo, and his wife, Beth, and they know what’s cookin’. We’ve dined at ACUARIO twice and each time the restaurant has been packed, with many patrons speaking Spanish - ALWAYS a good sign.
After a great deal of anticipation, the newest restaurant to grace The Inn at Longshore, Pearl, opened its doors last Monday. The restaurant’s cosmopolitan appearance isn’t what one might expect in a seaside community. There are coastal elements of course, repurposed bleached wood lines the wall behind the bar which also houses a recycled glass countertop that’s very much reminiscent of sea glass. But Pearl will never be mistaken for a casual seasonal, seaside eatery; it’s much too stylish for such. The atmosphere perfectly reflects the personality of the town, sophisticated without being overly formal. Beyond the clean lines of the interior lies the magnificent view of the Long Island Sound. If you’re lucky enough to be there at sunset be prepared to have your breath taken away.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Michael Hazen on a quiet Thursday afternoon. If his name rings a bell, the innovative chef launched the concept for the Bartaco restaurants. At Pearl he sets out to create a menu that is inspirational and reflective of today’s lifestyle, clean and simple with a modern approach. He offers food that is familiar while pushing the envelope just slightly to offer an element of surprise. Chef stressed the importance offering items that are local and seasonal.
It’s no secret that oysters are a catalyst for romance. Ordering from the raw bar is adventurous, yet sexy: the perfect start for a date. With its proximity to Long Island Sound, 618 miles of coastline, and bustling culinary scene, Connecticut is the perfect place to dine on fresh seafood.
Here are 25 CT restaurants in the state that serve up delicious oysters.
After 3 successful years in South Norwalk, the team from The Spread has just announced that they have signed a lease in the SoNo Ironworks complex. In early 2016 an exciting new restaurant concept will be coming to CT diners. The name is El Segundo and the idea is simple. Spread owners Christpher Hickey, Christopher Rasile, Andrey Cortes, and Shawn Longyear alongside Chef Carlos Baez have created a menu that features street food from around the globe that everyone loves to eat: tacos, arepas, ceviche, Asian bao, light salads and a little comfort food thrown in for good measure. The setting is casual and fun, with a price point that will make diners in South Norwalk smile. And the bar? Let’s just say these guys know a thing or two about bartending.
Directly across from Harlan Publick, El Segundo is poised to deliver a uniquely fun dining experience to Fairfield County. The restaurant features an open kitchen with bar seating, allowing diners to watch Chef Carlos as he re-creates dishes from his childhood, including his father’s recipe for Tacos Al Pastor. Large windows make this space light and airy and garage doors will open up to the Ironworks courtyard in the warmer months.
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.
Boothbay Lobster Company is opening its first bricks and mortar location at Harbor Point in Stamford in the upcoming months. To give the community a taste of what to expect from super-fresh Maine lobster, the company is periodically parking its Boothbay Lobster Company truck 100 yards down the street from the restaurant, serving two types of Lobster Rolls, a BLC sandwich, Lobster Mac & Cheese, plus a few non-lobster items. On a beautiful afternoon CTbites visited the truck to sample the newest addition to the Harbor Point neighborhood. As I approached the truck I noticed a sign stating that the lobster were caught the previous day…this was an ultra-fresh product.
Last week I accepted an invitation to experience the newly opened Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House which recently opened in Port Chester just over the Greenwich border. Located in the beautifully restored Willet House Building which has been redesigned and transformed into a bright contemporary restaurant with a wealth of historic nautical charm. The bar area, vibrant, energetic and spacious has a modern yet traditional feel. An impressive raw bar sits at the center, welcoming patrons as they settle in ready to place their drink orders. Two televisions sit on the opposite side of the bar so that sports enthusiasts can cheer on their favorite teams. The dining room, despite its grand and impressive size, is warm and welcoming. The antique hay lifts and wood beams retain the space’s history. Handsome black and white photographs of fishermen at sea capture authentic coastal life. The elegant yet rustic lighting casts a warm glow off the brick. The restaurant isn’t quiet; a lively energy permeates the air.
Welcome to the end of July, summer’s center point. The perfect time for our annual quest to find the best of Connecticut's official pleasure of summer: warm, buttery lobster rolls.
At the suggestion of readers, chefs, CTBites staff and a food critic or two, we've added an array of food trucks, pounds, shacks, and even a high end restaurant to our previous portfolio (see 2014 edition here).
So take a ride up the balmy Connecticut coastline. We start in the southwest and head northeast, as CTBites forages the best warm lobster rolls in America.
It’s official. The Boothbay Lobster Company will be opening its first restaurant in early 2016 at Harbor Point in Stamford. In fact, owner David Galin had just finished hanging up the announcement sign in the window of the new location, when we asked about his plans.
Since Boothbay is Lobster Haven in Maine, our first question had to be, “Connecticut Lobster Roll or New England Lobster Roll?”
“Both,” Galin said, grinning. “And either way, we’ll serve tail, knuckle and claw meat in a really good bun.”
The restaurant concept is so fresh that Galin and his somewhat silent business partner are still refining the details, but “fresh” is the operant theme: seafood plucked directly from the cold waters of Maine immediately trucked to Harbor Point.
When the concept is further embellished, Galin promised to give CTBites readers a very early preview.
This we can leak.