Beloved Hamptons Sustainable Chef brings Estia’s to Darien

CTbites Team

For two decades, former Darien restaurateur Colin Ambrose has been at the forefront of the sustainable food movement, originally in Amaganset, and now in Sag Harbor, Long Island with his popular café, Estia’s Little Kitchen. Here, the practice of growing his own fruits and vegetables on the restaurant’s property, and obtaining the rest of the ingredients from local farmers whenever possible, was never a gimmick. It was simply how he chose to source his food in order to maintain the high standards he set for the restaurant.

The second incarnation of Ambrose’s beloved restaurant concept is coming to Darien in the form of Estia’s American, a charming café that will offer breakfast, lunch and a juice bar, then transform itself into an urbane restaurant and bar for dinner service. Located in the newly developed brick walk section of a busy downtown, Estia’s American intends on filling a niche in the culinary landscape with its simple, clean, vibrant foods, big flavors, and genuine hospitality. With a nod to sustainable foods, local sourcing whenever possible, and old style butchery, Estia’s is sure to raise the bar of the local dining scene.

The menu for Etsia’s American takes its cues from the tried and true favorites of the original Estia’s in Sag Harbor. The breakfast menu will include: the Cajun omelet with andouille, tomato, onion and peppers; buttermilk pancakes with banana, blueberry, or apple; Big Al’s Burrito with toasted flour tortilla rolled with egg whites, veggie burger, mixed vegetables and jack cheese; house made granola; and hearty breakfast bowls such as the spinach and mushroom hash with organic brown rice and two eggs. 

Lunch specialties run the gamut from crab cakes with vida slaw and lemon to a grilled shrimp quesadilla with, cilantro, pepper and jack cheese, and the 8-grain BLT with avocado and cole slaw to “PRD’s” sliced steak sandwich with arugula, blue cheese, and grilled onion. Estia’s famous “A’s Pop Breakfast Bowl” consists of chicken, organic red quinoa, egg whites veggies and avocado. Salads are seasonal and fresh, with lots of textural and flavor contrasts. “Mary Ellen’s Salad” is a healthful mélange of avocado, beets, garbanzo beans, spinach and feta, and the chili chicken taco salad with greens, beans, corn, corn chips and sour cream is a customer favorite. There are always chalkboard specials, tacos of every kind, and soups for the soul.

Dining between 5:30-6:30 PM brings with it a $28 three course prix fixe option that includes items directly off the menu. Enjoy any type of burger you want on Sundays including beef, lamb, turkey, veggie, even tuna. Go Mexican on Taco Tuesday or shellfishing on Wednesdays. 

After 5 pm the petit space morphs into a cozy restaurant and intimate bar. American made beer, spirits and wine varietals make up the beverage program. Creative cocktails are chef centric and even the bottled water is filtered / carbonated in-house. The global dinner menu has an exceptional fondness for Mexican cuisine as seen with the local, free range pork tamale with chili sauce and sweet corn, the Mexican sweet corn soup with tortilla strips and touch of sour cream, and the mole lamb shank with fall greens and sweet potato puree. Other menu items include: paella; chicken Bolognese and lobster pot pies.

Estia’s American is set to open for Breakfast and Lunch the week of April 9 and for Dinner by early May.

1020 Post Road, Brick Walkway

Darien, CT