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Good place for first date in Wspt/Nwlk/Wilton area?

You probably won't get into Match without a reservation...they book up way in advance. Not sure about the other 2, but Sono is pretty hopping on a saturday night. Good luck!

Good place for first date in Wspt/Nwlk/Wilton area?

Match can be loud...but Acqua in Westport is the loudest! We go there for lunch because we enjoy the food but at dinnertime it is painfully loud.

Good place for first date in Wspt/Nwlk/Wilton area?

Paci in Southport is a wonderful Italian restaurant, although it might be too pricey for you.It's very easy off of exit 19 on 95. We love everything about the Schoolhouse so you should definitely give that a try in the future. We've had 3 sub par meals at the Dressing Room and I think it's more about the concept and Paul Newman than the food. Barcelona is fun for tapas and you could go either to the Fairfield or South Norwalk location. They have a great variety and it's fun to just pick a bunch of tapas and share...might be a good topic of conversation for a first date! We also love Match in Norwalk, but it can be very loud and frenetic. We also like Wasabi Chi in Norwalk, also for the small plates and sharing.

Stamford Town Center - New Chains Open

We drove by the new mall expansion on our way to Market Restaurant on saturday night. All of the chain restaurants are outside in a horseshoe shape with a driveway and valet parking in the middle. They all looked like enormous spaces and it was a bit scary! The "7 signs of the apocalypse" comment hit the nail on the head!!

Market Restaurant Stamford

We went to Market last night for the first time and were very pleased with the experience. It is very pretty, the tables are spaced nicely and it seems as though they have done a lot for the acoustics, so even though it was packed, the noise level was fine. The other thing we noted was that the lighting was at a level so that you could actually see your food...I hate places that turn the lights down so low you can't see the person across from you, let alone what is on your plate!
The menu had about 10 apps, 10 entrees, only one special, but that is to be expected in a 3 week old restaurant. As we were deciding what to order we saw other plates coming out of the kitchen and everything looked great. We were happy to see that the portion sizes were not overly huge like at Match. The presentations were much more refined but still playful.
For apps, we had the "school of tuna" which was a large square plate with 4 small square plates on top, each with a 2 bite presentation of tuna, all different and all delicious. There was a block of tuna with a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil, a wonton crisp with sesame oil scented tuna tartare, a small risotto ball with a slice of tuna draped over it and a thin wafer with seared tuna, salsa and a little guac. The tartare was my favorite. We also had the calarmari and polpo, a square plate with fried calamari on one side and braised octopus on the other. They each had different sauces drizzled over them and the lightness of the fried calamari was incredible. Our last app was the "fish and chips", 3 tempura sea scallops with some frizzled veggies...also very tasty.
For our entrees we had the swordfish with tapenade and fregula in a puttanesca type broth, the slow and low chicken with mashed potatoes (this was our least favorite...tasty but nothing special) and the peking duck with "fried rice" risotto. The duck came already wrapped in the pancake with hoisin to dip in and the risotto was served in a little bowl. I have to say that the risotto was the best thing all night...it tasted like fried rice...but had the texture of risotto. It was chock full of bok choy, shiitakes, egg, scallion, etc. Yum.
For dessert we had the mini ice cream cones which were very cute and tasty, about 6 different kinds of ice cream and sorbet with different sprinkles. We also had the brownie sundae which was covered with a delicious cherry sauce. It was nice that none of the desserts had to be preordered like at Match.
The place was packed, they were turning people away at the door. It had a very nice vibe, relaxed but much more refined than Match. We will definitely be going back, but will also keep going to Match! Looking forward to hearing others experiences.

Wild Oats in Westport now WF

I've never been a Wild Oats fan, but have also never been to a Whole Foods. What will be different?

Does anyone know if Alga Marina is still in SONO?

If it is the place across from the Maritime Center, it is gone. Goccia is now in it's place, same chef/owner as Aloi in New Canaan. Haven't been but heard it's good.

Market - Stamford

We are going this saturday as well and looking forward to it. We were at Match this past weekend and spoke to the hostess about Market. She said they are doing well, very busy (almost too busy). The menu sounds very interesting, although chef Storch does have a tendency to overdo many dishes with too many ingredients. I'm hoping for a lighter touch at Market. We have been long time Match customers and do love many many things they do there. That being said, the last couple of times we've been there, it seems as though there has been a dropoff in the dish preparation/quality. I'm hoping they are just stretched a little too thin with the new opening and that everything will go back to normal soon! Looking forward to eating at Market and hearing everyone else's experiences!

Liana's Trattoria in Fairfield

We went once a couple of years ago...mediocre Italian at best. Liana used to make some of the desserts at Paci in Southport (which we love), so we thought we'd try her place out...nothing special, I wouldn't go back.

Special occasion dinner recs in Fairfield County?

Wasabi Chi in Sono is a great spot. The sushi is very good, but the other "small plates" are even better...Tuna Millenium, Wasabi Calamari, Tuna Tartare, dumplings, etc. We also like the sushi at Matsu in Westport, although the atmosphere isn't great.

Westport dining

We do go down to Sono all the time. We love Match, Wasabi Chi and Barcelona. Now that the chef from Relish is at Napa in Stamford we go there a lot as well. I was just wondering what others experiences at the Dressing Room and Zest were.

Tengda vs. Kazu, Norwalk CT

I just posted about Wasabi Chi on another link. For sushi we love Matsu Sushi in Westport http://www.matsusushimenu.com/. They have an incredible selection of maki rolls and the sushi is very well made and fresh. They also don't slather the sushi in wasabi paste like so many other places. The only thing is their appetizers are pretty boring, which is why when we go to Wasabi Chi we load up on all the little plates.

Japanese in SONO, CT

We love Wasabi Chi, have been there many times. We always order small plates and share with everyone. The Tuna Millenium is our favorite dish, but we also love the pork dumplings, miso cod, soba noodles with crispy sea bass and plum sauce, wasabi calamari...I could go on. We never order the sushi because the other dishes are so unique to this area and we can get good sushi at so many other places. I do see many other tables ordering the sushi and it does look good, I highly recommend Wasabi Chi!

Schoolhouse at Cannondale - Wilton, CT

I also was very shocked to see the review this morning. It was the blandest description of a restaurant I've seen in a while. You got absolutely no sense of the food or the talent in the kitchen. Everytime we've been back the food gets better and better and the menu gets more interesting. The last time we were there I had the risotto with shrimp and tomatoes for my entree and it was amazing. The shrimp were cooked perfectly, the risotto was not too dense and the flavor from the tomatoes was incredible. Unbelievable that the reviewer would give them such a lackluster "good".

Dressing Room Restaurant

It's not...we've eaten there a couple of times and had bad experiences both times. Most other reviews I've read here were also negative.

Zest and the One-Shrimp shrimp wrap

It is owned by the same people as Da Pietro's. I posted a long time ago about our experience at Zest, but didn't get much response. We've been there twice, once for dinner, once for breakfast...and will not go back. Ever. The food was terrible, the service was bizarre. I mean how can you screw up breakfast? At dinner, every entree came with the same blob of spinach and mashed potatoes. The menu said one thing and the actual ingredients that came to the table were different. I think we noticed that black beans are different from cannelini beans! Too bad, we were finally optimistic that Westport would get a decent restaurant!

Schoolhouse at Cannondale - Wilton, CT

We've been to the Schoolhouse about 4 times now...and every time it gets better than the last. They do change the menu every week so even though it is small, you can go back often. My only complaint is on the appetizer choices. Every time we've been the 5 choices are always: cheese plate; oysters; salad; soup; and then some kind of pasta or gnocchi. I personally don't like oysters and find a cheese plate a bit heavy to start, so if the other choices don't grab me, it's tough to pick. Also, since it's usually me, my husband and daughter, we sometimes have trouble picking 3 different things (because you know you can't get the same thing!!) That being said, everything we've had has been great. Last time my daughter had the corn and clam chowder which was just perfect. The lobster ravioli was our least favorite entree....nice chunks of lobster with tender pasta, but the "pinot noir sauce" was a bit watery and there wasn't much of it. My daughter got the "pig 3 ways" which was delicious and so big she took it home and had it again the next day! My husbands duck was absolutely delicious, as was the foie gras and poached peach and pear it came with. On other visits we've had the filet of beef with potato puree...unbelievably rich and delicious. The chef always comes out to chat and seems very nice and relaxed. One time there was candied bacon on one of the desserts and he and my husband had a nice chuckle over the "bacon makes it better" motto! This place is definitely on our short list!

Wasabi Chi in South Norwalk

We've eaten there a bunch of times and love it. We don't ever get the sushi or the entrees, but share all the little plates and omakase items. We love the Tuna Millenium, also our favorite...the tuna pizza, tuna tartare with tempura chips are our other favorite tuna dishes. We always get some steamed pork dumplings, the miso cod and sometimes the lobster martini which is chunks of lobster in a wasabi mayo with bean sprouts, avocado, asparagus and caviar. The wasabi calamari is great, as is the soba noodles with crispy sea bass...my only complaint is they never put enough plum sauce on it! The sushi is good, but you can get that anywhere and the other items are pretty unique, so we stick with those...and always go with a few other people so you can try more things!

The Dressing Room, Westport

Interesting to see all of your responses. We went again about a week ago...hadn't been since my original post back in March...and sad to say it was as disappointing as the first time. It was a tuesday, the place was half empty...and they sat us in the back room with one other filled table while the outdoor patio and inside front section was hopping with people. It was a bit strange, especially since they had one waitress covering both spots and she clearly couldn't handle both sections. The apps were pretty good. We had the gazpacho which was very tasty, the fried clams which were okay and I had a special codcake with a fruit salsa...good, but my first bite came with a large piece of fish bone which is an immediate turnoff. For entrees we had the pig 3 way which was not great, the chicken which was bland and I had the farro which was pretty much a debacle...it was supposed to be with chanterelles, radishes and a stuffed zucchini blossom. It came with corn, squash, zucchini, radishes and the blossom. Not a chanterelle in sight which is the reason I ordered it, Beyond that, the farro itself was overseasoned and the vegetables were mushy. It seemed as though they just took whatever was left over from the day before and threw it in. The service was strange with one waitress calling us "family" every time she came over...as in "how is everything family?" Okay the first time but by the 5th or 6th it was becoming embarassing. Maybe it was the same one with the condescending tone that Chefmo had?! Then there was the busgirl who just planted herself against the wall watching us eat the entire time!
Very disappointing and we will definitely not be going back, especially when places like the Schoolhouse at Cannondale are so close and delicious!

My Michy's Review.

We went to Michy's last night and were somewhat underwhelmed. We were a bit unsure of how much to order and in retrospect would have ordered differently. We started with the tuna tiradito, which as sprmario said was good but nothing special. We also had a 1/2 order of the white gazpacho and the conch "escargot style". We enjoyed the gazpacho, the conch was literally 2 bites of the fish in a classic butter parsley sauce...I wouldn't have ordered it, but my husband wanted to try it. I wish we had tried the beet salad or truffled polenta. For entrees, my daughter got the short ribs which were excellent yet ordinary, my husband had the fettucine carbonara, wasn't much of an innovative riff on it, just seemed like carbonara. I had the miso glazed cod over bok choy and diced unagi. Very good, but again, nothing special. My daughter had the baked alaska, excellent as reported here, and we shared the apple/pear tarte tatin in a caramel thyme sauce which was even better. All in all, it was average, Chispa the night before was better and Table 8 way better.

Mar 24, 2007
kbfood in Florida

Chispa last night

We went to Chispa's last night and we loved it. Based on your recommendations, I had been deciding between Ortanique, Cacao and Ola, and decided on Chispa. We ordered a bunch of apps/tapas instead of entrees. We started off with the Octopus, which was the best octopus I've ever had. It was braised and served with capers, lime juice in a buttery sauce, it tasted like "octopus piccata", and was incredibly tender. Next we had tha serrano jamon, olive and cheese, which in retrospect we would have skipped because it was ordinary. Then came the tuna tartare, with crisp crackers, marinated in a sweet soy, the tuna was so fresh and delicious. Then we had the shrimp with tostones, some avocado and shredded queso. After that, the flatbread with figs, sofrito, caramelized onions and blue cheese which was the best of it all. It was so big we ended up taking half of it home and just snacked on it! We also had the salt cod baccaloitos with an orange aiolo and the goat cheese rellenos which were over a pepper puree. Both of those were good, but not as great as the others. For dessert, my daughter had a selection of ice creams, coconut, coffee and dulche de leche and H had the "ice cream sandwich" which was crisp chocolate cookies with strawberry and vanilla ice creams that were so good, he said it was the best dessert he's had in a long time!
Other than it being ridiculously dark inside (the waiter had to give me his penlight so I could read the menu), the service was good, the food was great, wish we lived here!!
Michy's tonight....

Mar 23, 2007
kbfood in Florida

River Oyster Bar/Table 8 Reports (long)

It was one of those menus where there were about 6 apps I was deciding between because everything sounded so good! The one thing I have to say is that Table 8 was the strangest architectural layout I've seen in a while. They gave us 3 options when we got there...outside/outside, inside/outside, or inside/inside....the first was out on the deck on Ocean Drive, the second was this hangar-like nightclubby room that ran the length of the entire block, open on both ends so the wind was whipping through (and it was very very dark in there and most of the tables were couches with coffee tables which are very awkward to eat at). We chose inside/inside which was again a little odd in its configuration, but nice tables, well lit, etc. And I am still thinking about how good the food was!

Mar 23, 2007
kbfood in Florida

River Oyster Bar/Table 8 Reports (long)

A few weeks ago I asked you all where to dine in Miami. We are here now and I have 2 restaurants to report on so far!
Our first night we went to the River Oyster Bar. It started out great, and unfortunately went downhill from there. The apps were all delicious...I had the seafood ceviche, nice chunks of calamari, scallops, shrimp, etc in a spicy, limey marinade with a few pieces of sweet potato. My husband had the jamon serrano on crostini with melting tomatoes and a parsley celeriac salad, delicious. My daughter had a caesar salad, tasty with white anchovies, shredded radish and a parmesan frico. We were all very happy at that point. And then we waited and waited for our entrees, seeing other tables get theirs and almost finish. Finally the waiter came over and said they were coming. They did arrive shortly thereafter, but unfortunately mine was smoking hot while the other two were lukewarm. We assumed that mine had either been ruined or they made the wrong dish and had to remake it while the other two sat there cooling down. My daughter had the braised short ribs over "mac & cheese" which was decadently delicious. My husband had the seafood mixed grill, tuna, scallops and shrimp with 3 different dipping sauces and a kimchee salad. It was so spicy hot that he started sweating halfway through, and he usually quite enjoys spice. I had the halibut with asian vegetables in a fermented black bean sauce. It was also very spicy, and just got boring after a while. At that point we declined dessert and left, disappointed that it had started out so good...but we still really enjoyed the apps!
Last night we went to Table 8 and it was fantastic from start to finish. I started getting worried about going after rereading some posts here about long waits, dark rooms, etc, so we were very pleasantly surprised. The service was friendly, knowledgeable and perfect in every way. They did try to push the 32 oz porterhouse steak, but I remembered reading about it here (and the $100 price tag!) and we declined. I started with the heirloom tomato salad (also recommended here) and it was absolutely delicious...fresh torn croutons, 4 different kinds of tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, arugula and burrata cheese with a balsamic vinegar. My H had a haricot vert salad with duck prosciutto, tangerine and hazelnuts. D had the sweet pea soup with truffled creme fraiche and ham hocks, all very good. For entrees, she had the grilled baby chicken over short rib hash and cipollini jus, I had the striped bass over pea puree, sweet corn, marinated tomatoes and parmesan aioli. It was the first night on the menu for the bass, and it was incredibly good. H had the australian lamb, with eggplant caponata, chick peas, yogurt and peppers and those incredible marinated tomatoes. Since everything was so good, we ventured on to dessert. D got "chocolate, chocolate, chocolate", 3 small presentations of different chocolate desserts and H got the "not so" strawberry shortcake, also very good. I shared and we all had a cappucino.
Thanks so much for the recommendations, never would have gone there without it! Tonight is Chispa, I'll report back in!

Mar 22, 2007
kbfood in Florida

Westport dining

I posted about a week ago in detail about our Dressing Room experience, but no one responded, so I figured it wasn't high on anyone's list! We didn't love it, but definitely want to go back and give it another try. I haven't spoken to anyone who's loved it either. Anyone else been there?

Best Restaurants - New Haven

Haven't eaten much there, but has anyone eaten at bespoke? The menu sounds interesting.

Westport dining

Taipan is still around...it's decent, but not worth a special trip. Same owners (and very similar menu) to Little Kitchen, which is right across the street. We went to Splash the other night, sister of Baang...it was good, but they changed their menu a bit and took off one of my favorites. But it is worth going there for the crackling calamari salad alone!

Westport dining

I've lived in Westport forever and I've always been amazed at the lack of good restaurants. Acqua is pretty good, but so loud that it's uncomfortable...we like going for lunch there instead. Matsu Sushi is good sushi, although their apps are a little boring. Sakura has good apps, but the sushi isn't as good as Matsu. Paci in Southport is very good Italian, but I don't understand why they don't change their menu that much. It's rare that you see something new on it, and we've been going there for 10 years, so you have to be in the right mood to go. Beyond that, there just isn't anyplace that I think is worth going to...mostly mediocre...I'd rather trek down to South Norwalk and have fun and variety!

Westport dining

I've posted a couple of times about Westport restaurants, namely the Dressing Room and Zest to hear what others have to say about them. On both counts I got zero responses. Has anyone eaten at these places? Am I doing something wrong in my posts? Just wondering...!!

Zest restaurant

So sorry. About 3 hours after I posted I realized I neglected to say the location. Zest is in Westport, the same owner/chef as Da Pietro's. Still would be interested in other opinions, sorry about the omission.

Zest restaurant

Has anyone eaten here? We went for dinner once and breakfast once and did not enjoy either experience. I thought the food was very mediocre, the same blob of spinach and mashed potatoes was served with every entree. Many dishes were not served as described on the menu and it seemed as though it was the first day for all the waitstaff. Would love to hear any other opinions.