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 Stamford (144)
Many of the best restaurants are unassumingly tucked into the landscape without fanfare or grand decor. Such is Tawa, newly relocated in the Glenbrook section of Stamford, where the simple and modest decor takes a back seat to the food. Admittedly I am no expert on Indian Cuisine but have eaten it enough to formulate my own theories about which restaurants stand out from the crowd. Tawa is such a place.
Chef Kausik Roy describes his restaurant as one that that embraces tradition but appeals to a variety of tastes. His cooking is modern, yet classically timeless. "Tawa is a very different type of Indian restaurant, one that draws on a deep respect of food tradition and a love for breaking food rules that emerged in me when I was very young.”
There's a new roof top in town. Andrew Dominick of Food Dudes reports on Fortina's new Stamford "Pizza Surf Club."
Remember when Fortina Stamford opened and they were supposed to open that sick rooftop that overlooks the harbor, but then it never happened? We do too. And it hurt, bad. Dreams of eating pizza while overlooking the water at sunset while thinking about life were shattered… but WAIT!!!!! Something is happening and it’s happening soon!
The food will be different, and if you paid attention to their Instagram feed you may have noticed some eclectic items like hot dog tacos and stuff like bags of Doritos with jicama, carrots, cucumbers, candied peanuts, gummy bears, pickled pork skin, hot sauce, crema fresca, avocado, the obligatory Parmesan, sesame, and lime. That's a mouthful, and perfect drunk food. We've also heard whispers that they'll be whipping up fish sticks, Kobe beef corn dogs, and other super creative grub.That rooftop space will be Fortina Surf Club, basically a concept within (or on top of?) a concept, and it's going to be lit, homies. And with a name like "Surf Club," it's probably what you think it is...Tiki-style cocktails complete with little umbrellas? Yes.
The opening party at Pizza Surf Club goes down at Fortina Stamford (120 Washington Blvd.) on Sunday, April 17 at noon. Take note: Pizza Surf Club will be open daily from 12 p.m. - Close after this Sunday, weather permitting.
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.
What is the result of combining an incredible selection of local beers, a wide choice of meats and vegetables to join delicious Mozzarella and red sauce atop a great pizza crust, with an atmosphere that is simultaneously relaxed and exciting? Barrel House in Stamford.
Barrel House opened last December in the space that formerly housed Market and Patrizia's restaurants with a focus on pizza, burgers and and a vast array of local small brewed beers. The second restaurant by the owners of Cotto Wine Bar down the street, Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi, designed a very different atmosphere and menu. Silvy told CTbites, “We wanted people to come to Barrel House and enjoy pizza and burgers with friends.” From the moment you walk through the door, you know this will be a lively and fun-filled experience.
Last week, CTBites reported that Dolce in Stamford had been sold to Bohlsen Restaurant Group, the team behind Prime in Huntington, NY. Today CTBites can confirm that the space that once housed Dolce will soon be transformed into another location of the popular Long Island restaurant. I had the chance to speak with Michael Bohlsen for an inside peek at what’s to come.
Prime, billed as an “American Kitchen and Bar,” opened in 2006. The restaurant group operates seven other related locations, with an eighth set to debut in February. Stamford’s rendition of Prime will make nine. Bohlsen hopes that this newest installation will be open before Memorial Day.
“The Stamford location of Prime will be a little bit different, but the concept will be the same,” explains Bohlsen. He says that the restaurant’s menu includes steak, seafood, a raw bar, and sushi. 20 percent of the menu is seasonal, which allows them to maintain a level of consistency while still getting creative with fresh ingredients.
You know that little place, right around the corner? The one that serves just that dish you were craving? The one that serves food you just know comes from a parent or grandparent’s tried-and-true recipe? You know the place, your go-to joint, always reliable, where you don’t have to dress up and you don’t have to spend a fortune? Well, “La Esquina,” literally, “the corner,” is just THAT place, serving up authentic South American yummies with home-style flare and flavors that impress.
La Esquina Latin Grill, right on “the corner” at 50 Hamilton Avenue in Stamford, is a labor of love for the young and extremely talented co-owner and head chef, Robert Monegro. Chef Robert grew up in Stamford with his Guatemalan mother and Dominican father, both chefs. He decided that after learning all he could by growing up in the kitchen of his parents’ restaurant, Flamboyant in Stamford, he would put his own mark on the culinary map of Fairfield County. And he is doing just that.
The second Connecticut location for Bareburger, in Harbor Point, is due to open on December 21st, as the micro-chain-gone-global expands its Connecticut offerings.
Bareburger started in 2009…after receiving rave reviews preparing hamburgers in the kitchen of Sputnik, an underground music haunt in Brooklyn, Euripides Pelekanos founded Bareburger in an Astoria, Queens’ storefront. After bringing his winning formula to thirteen additional NYC locations, Bareburger launched its first location in Ridgefield in 2013 and is now ready to launch its second, Stamford, location.
In an exclusive interview with CTbites, Pelekanos explained his philosophy and vision as Bareburger first expanded from its single Astoria location into a global chain. “I want all of my products to be organic or as close to organic as possible. From the meat to the toppings to the salads, I want natural or organic; that is my personal preference; that is what I eat.”
Grazie a Dio. The long wait (and drive to Westchester) is over. Fortina is ready to rock in Stamford’s Harbor Point. Luigi Bianco Pizza, welcome to Connecticut!
Expecting to begin serving any day (as soon as they get their Certificate of Occupancy), partners John Nealon, Christian Petroni, and Rob Krauss invited CTBites to stop by for a sneak peek before the official opening.
Actually that debut won’t be so formal. Nothing soft. No Friends and Family. Not even a ribbon cutting. Just a sigh of relief. “When we open the doors, we’re open,” Nealon told us.
That’s because everything is set, the menu (almost identical to Armonk), the staff (many from Rye Brook and Armonk), the kitchen (the same wood fired ovens from Naples and charcoal grill from Spain) the playlist (specialized for Stamford’s millennials and empty nesters), and yes, hundreds of those familiar San Marzano cans just waiting to boost their pizza trays with a luscious Luigi Bianco. The whimsy is waiting.
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.