Where Do Local Chefs Eat Out? Chef/ Owner Stephen Lewandowski of Harlan Social, Harlan Publick & Harlan Haus

Jessica Ryan

We continue our series, "Where Do Local Chefs Eat Out," with Chef/ Owner Stephen Lewandowski, who owns Harlan Social, Harlan Publick, and the recently opened, Harlan Haus in Bridgeport. 

On the rare day or night you’re off from the restaurant where do you prefer to have dinner (If home what is your meal or food of choice)?

Tough question. I have 4 kids and when I do have that night off I like to hang with them and my wife so initially I would say we stay home and I will cook. My kids love chicken marsala so I tend to make this with penne pasta and an arugula salad. Simple but the kids love it. If we go out the kids really enjoy Sakura in Westport because of the hibachi. We have a good time and the staff is so friendly. We have been going there since we moved up here 5 years ago

When dining out, what is your favorite local restaurant? Why? Favorite dish?

I really like to go to Artisan in Southport. Any pasta there is great but I really enjoy the lamb gnocchi the best. The ambience is warm and the service is always spot on. I also enjoy the wine list because you can always find something different and interesting.

Do you have a favorite local bar or watering hole?

I like the Little pub in Fairfield. The staff is awesome.It has great comfort food in a very comfortable environment. Always something interesting on draft.

How about a secret hole in the wall or as of yet an undiscovered (by us) gem?

Trattoria A Vucchella in Bridgeport. Great Italian restaurant with all the classics. Simple setting and is always spot on.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the tristate area, excluding Connecticut?

This is tough because it really depends on where I am at but I have a strong connection to NYC since I worked there for 12 years. I was the chef at Tribeca grill and developed a strong friendship with the owner Drew Nieporent. We remain pretty close these days so whenever I am in NYC we tend to eat at his 2 Michelin star restaurant Batard. The chef Markus Glocker is Austrian and the menu at Batard always has staples from his upbringing. It is always a treat to see my good friend Drew and eat at such an amazing restaurant.

P.S., the wine list isn’t too bad either!