Opening a restaurant takes guts. Developing a compelling concept, finding the right chef and training a strong team is no small feat. Mary Schaffer and her husband Charles Morgan, owners of Stamford's Napa & Co, make all of this look easy. As they celebrate their 5 year anniversary, Napa continues to stay true to the guiding principles under which it was founded: "a celebration of the bounty of our land...wine country cuisine made from organic, farm-fresh ingredients and artisan products at their seasonal peak." They were innovators in the farm-to-table movement before it was trendy to talk about it, and 5 years later, under the leadership of Chef Arik Bensimon, Napa & Co's kitchen is serving some of the best tasting food in Fairfield County. The secret ingredient to their success? Here's what Napa has to say:
"We have an amazing team. Everyone from the front of the house and the back of the house always pulls together; we all work really well as a whole. We are constantly evolving our food and wine program, always seeking out and researching new ingredients and techniques, but keeping it as organic as possible...not just the ingredients but the way they are presented. I love being in this kitchen. Every day brings something different."--Chef Arik Bensimon
"We plan to continue to evolve our wine and food to keep our customers/friends always finding something creative, innovative, and fresh ideas to always remain new and exciting in the minds of our culinary supporters." --Owner, Mary Schaffer
Napa & Co's 350 bottle wine list is crafted with care by Mary Schaffer, and pairs nicely with a menu that changes almost daily, giving Chef Arik the flexibility to be creative and optimize seasonal ingredients as they come to market. (On my last visit, he had sourced eggs from his Aunt's farm in New York)
It's pretty easy to get inspired and be creative when working with great ingredients...potatoes that were dug that morning for example..when put in front of you, the possibilities are endless. --Chef Arik Bensimon
And how to best consume Napa & Co's menu? Chef Arik's has made this simple with a focus on small plates, (although heartier entrees are also available), allowing diners to experience an array of dishes and flavors in a single meal.
Napa & Co. hosts wine classes for all levels of connoisseurship with regular wine dinners and events drawing those interested in exploring the Napa wine cellar.
Happy Birthday Napa & Co. We look forward to your continued evolution and growth over the next five years.