The Gray Goose: Classy Comfort in Southport

Sarah Green

I've always enjoyed getting GOOSED. Now, I can get goosed whenever I want to and it won't even make my husband jealous. In fact, I'm sure he'll enjoy getting GOOSED too at THE GRAY GOOSE, a tasty new lunch and dinner spot in Southport. The menu is classy, interesting and full of simple creative dishes, prepared with skill by executive chef Tom Carney (previously of Spazzi in Fairfield.) The restaurant, which formerly housed The Wine Knot, is situated in a charming, 100 year old building, creating an idyllic spot for restaurant developer Kevin McHugh, (previous co-owner of Little Pub in Ridgefield, Match, and the Loft Martini Bar in Sono) and his business partner, Tommy Febbraio. With fresh and inviting decor, McHugh and Febbraio have utilized reclaimed materials to create old wood floors, exposed beams and stone fire places (inside and out) and added modern lighting to juxtapose and to induce a crisp new feel.

If this isn't enough to get you in the front door, THE GRAY GOOSE is also a darn good value. We couldn't find anything over $20.00 on the lunch OR dinner menu. Now I know why this GOOSE is always stuffed...with people. Though I know for a fact that this joint has a jumping bar scene at night, we went for lunch to sample the fare. 

As usual, we completely under-ordered (hah!). First from the "Little Plates" and up through the "Main Plates" without a minute to catch our breaths, we plumped up like fois gras. 

The general consensus was that if a menu offers LOBSTER MACARONI we were compelled to try it. And were we glad we did - Decadently delicious! The macaroni was cooked to perfection, bathed in a gentle coating of white truffle cream and laced with tasty Manchego cheese. To top if off, a panko crumb coating provided a nice crunchy contrast to the surrounding tiny chunks of delectable lobster. Could have died and gone to heaven right then and there. The TEMPURA BATTERED GARDEN ASPARAGUS beckoned but we felt that we needed to move on to the Grilled Flatbread Salads. There was so much more to sample.

We chose THE GRAY GOOSE COBB which was very tasty but without surprise. The usual suspects were present and accounted for with fresh, ripe tomatoes, avocado, and crumbled gorgonzola over a bed of greens and a generous portion of double smoked bacon. The balsamic dressing was tangy and refreshing. This salad was solid but leaning toward the ordinary, despite the unexpected wafer thin flatbread hiding under the greens. Why we didn't order the CRACKLING CALAMARI SALAD (with endive, toasted cashew, and diced banana) or the MYKONOS (with marinated tomatoes, tabouli, grape leaves and so much more) I'll never know. I think we were still on a food high from the LOBSTER MACARONI. Next time we will...and there WILL be many "next times." Onward CTbites soldiers.  

What came next? Why the CHARRED VEGETABLE GYRO, of course. Lavash bread formed a soft blanket that kept the grilled eggplant and roasted tomatoes toasty and warm. Zucchini, roasted garlic and sweet red onion were also present at this party, along with a goat cheese and hummus spread providing the perfect "yang" to the veggie "yin." There was peace in our tummies and the world was good.

But we weren't done. We couldn't get our minds off that haunting LOBSTER MACARONI but were WAY too embarrassed to order more. After all, the Southport Fitness and Racquet Club was right next door and many of the club's clientele were watching...But we just had to have more lobster. We were in luck. Another spectacular lobster dish was ours for the sampling. The MAINE LOBSTER CLUB (seen above) had arrived. Buttermilk toast was the servant that carried the royal chunks of lobster on its back. Tarragon, avocado and bacon added a smoky yet sweet dimension while the arugula contributed a nice peppery flavor. The MAINE LOBSTER "CLUB" - I want a lifetime membership there! 

So many choices, so little time. Next visit I will surely try the AHI TUNA TACO with its black and white sesame crusted tuna, mint salsa, grilled pineapple and wasabi-lemon yogurt. Stop drooling, you're ruining the mouse pad!

The GRAY GOOSE has it all - charm, low prices, a convenient location and incredibly good food. If you're looking for a great place to grab lunch or dinner or if you just need a place for drinks at one of Fairfield county's latest hot spots, fly on over to THE GRAY GOOSE. Come on, take a gander!

THE GRAY GOOSE - 246 Old Post Road - Southport. Open Seven Days a Week. Call for reservations at (203)  203 292 8779

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