The Spread: Part Two: The Review

Right before SoNo’s hottest new hangout opened, I brought you a preview of The Spread (See Here). A week after they opened, I rolled out with a few guests so try the food and soak up the atmosphere I heard so much about during that initial interview. All that “talk” did not disappoint.

On a busy Friday night, my party of three stepped into a bustling, busy, dining room and bar. Honestly, even though I am familiar with The Spread’s owners, I was nervous I might not get a table! With any new restaurant, you expect it to be busy and with a hip, trendy place like this you know people will come out. 
Very cool vintage plates!

And another!
We did manage to get one of maybe two open tables and right away we were all about that drink menu, especially because The Spread is owned by a group of guys familiar with the restaurant biz and who know quite a bit about bartending. You kind of have to order a drink if that’s the case. With my affinity for iced tea I went with the Tea Bag. The tea infused bourbon, bitters, and lemon juice reminded me of an Arnold Palmer, only a lot stronger and a lot better. This is my new mixed drink of choice. I recommend one of their creative cocktails but The Spread also has a decent wine selection and enough craft beer (kept ice cold!) to keep you satisfied. 
The Tea Bag

Thirsty yet?

It’s 5 p.m. somewhere.
While you could just go to The Spread to kick it at the bar, watch the game, or bob your head on nights when a DJ is in the house, you really should order something from the kitchen. With Chef Arik Bensimon, formerly of Napa & Co. running the service, chances are you will like, no, you’ll love your meal or shared table plates with your group.
Some of those table plates include marinated olives with citrus zest and rosemary, duck terrine with fruit chutney, foie gras torchon with griddled bread, and beef tongue with arugula, truffle, and bruschetta. I badly wanted to try the beef tongue but my guests objected (wimps), so we decided to share a meat course and went with the griddled pork belly with lentils and ham hocks. The beef tongue would have been great, I’m sure of it, but the pork belly was a godsend. This was easily the best pork belly I’ve had anywhere with its crispness. Being of half Puerto Rican heritage, it reminded me of our pernil, only better. The only problem I had was sharing it! Next time, it’s all mine.  
The pork belly was so good we wiped the plate with a piece of bread.
For the main course I wanted something light but tasty and the brick chicken with Anson Mills polenta (from South Carolina) and a side of leaf lettuce salad proved to be a good choice. The chicken was moist and tender and the sides left me full but I felt good about myself after. I almost never order chicken but I would jump at the chance to order this dish again. 
The brick chicken in all its juicy glory.

Could go for one of these burgers right now!
Some of the larger plates, that you could share unless you’re ME, are seared squid, octopus tandoori, harissa mussels, wild mushroom and Gruyere gnocchi, hanger steak, char grilled quail, and more. One more dish I managed try was the burger that my guests ordered. The Spread’s burger is juicy grass fed beef, with cheddar, and spicy aioli with a side of fries. I predict a burger and a few beers at the bar in my future.
The last course my guests and I managed to share was dessert, only this time I was OK with it since I got to try three different sweet treats; Doris Etta’s blueberry buckle, chocolate cream with hazelnut cookies for dipping, and an awesome vanilla crème brûlée. Stay for dessert. Just sayin. 
Not sure which I liked more. This blueberry buckle…

Or playing with my food and dipping these hazelnut biscuits in the chocolate cream…

Aw heck! I’m partial to the crème brûlée.

We managed to share, as you can see.
Besides the food, which is mostly made with local ingredients, there is plenty to love about The Spread. It’s cool enough to bring your friends to, classy enough to take the family out to dinner, and come on, with those huge bar and great cocktails you have to make this your new go-to night spot.
I look forward to spending many nights dining or hanging out and having a few drinks at downtown’s latest addition. I’ll see you at The Spread!
The Spread
70 North Main Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854
(203) 939-1111

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