I feel like there are a lot of craft beer bars in Fairfield County now. You have your larger tap places like Ginger Man & Cask Republic, there are clubbier bars that have a good amount of selections, restaurants that have their fair share too, and then there are the Local Kitchen locations in Fairfield and SoNo and also in Fairfield, Craft 260. The last two are sort of in a category of their own. They both focus on craft beer, they don’t have an extraordinary draft selection but they do get some great ones in on a rotating basis, and both have the food that matches up with good, American craft beer.
Now that the explanation is out of the way, what and where am I talking about here? Well, I’ve done Local already and loved it, Craft 260, you’re up!
A visit to Craft 260 was something I have been meaning to do for a while and it came to light when a small group of like-minded food people suggested it as our first meet up of sorts where we could all try a new restaurant, do our photo/review thing, and hang out.
When my GPS brought me to Craft 260 I was sort of shocked that it was in a small strip mall. You know that thing some of us have where even though we know a business is on a main road, we don’t know where it is exactly? That’s me. I’m one of those. I suspected it would be further north on Fairfield Ave. but either way, my first impression was a good one. Craft 260 looked the part; it wasn’t too stuffy, had this nice industrial feel, and proper boozy quotes from famous people by a ragged wooden Betsy Ross variant American flag, and just past that, a big chalkboard with all the draft beers listed. Hell. Yes.
The beer selection at 260 includes brews from all over the U.S. and they have 10-11 listed and update the menu regularly since the taps rotate. You can also find plenty of cans and bottles to choose from. For the scotch & bourbon folks, let’s just say they’ve got you covered. Yes, there’s wine too, and a handful of signature cocktails to choose from. I passed on the beer this time since I had a large beer festival to attend the day after and typically I’m not a during-the-week, day drinker.
As far as the food at Craft 260 is concerned, we ordered a lot of it.
|The colorful pork belly lettuce wraps|
|I didn’t mess with the tuna tartare. I wasn’t feeling “fishy” with a burger on deck.|
One of my favorite starters was the handmade burrata with smoked tomato relish, Kalamata olives and crispy grilled garlic bread. This was one of the items we kept on the table because we kept going back to it and tried piling the bread with many different combos; with olives, without, just tomatoes, the creamy mozzarella with tomatoes and without. This is a must order if you’re a burrata fan. I’d like it with a whole loaf of grilled bread. Another “sort of” star were the pork belly lettuce wraps (shishito peppers, red onions, ginger, pickled red cabbage, hoisin sauce). The pork belly itself was a perfect crispy/pork fatty but the ratio of vegetation to meat was off. More pork, less veg , and it’s a winner.
From the “Greens” section of the menu we all were unanimous on the Brussels sprouts; charred with fresh apples, bacon, gorgonzola, and toasted pecans, served with a warm bacon and Dijon vinaigrette. Brussels are a “thing” right now but these were different in a good way. It had sweet elements combined with some fattiness from the bacon and cheese and a tangy sauce still made me think about it a few days later. Possibly one of the better sprouts dishes I’ve had around here.
|Margherita flatbread; Roasted red & yellow tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, grilled red onions, fresh basil, oregano & parmesan.|
|Pot pie; Pulled smoked chicken, roasted mushrooms, fresh herbs & vegetables baked under cheddar puff pastry.|
|Mac & cheese with Orecchietti pasta, gouda, sharp cheddar, mascarpone, buttered crumbs, candied bacon.|
The main dishes I got to sample were the baked mac & cheese with candied bacon, which I ultimately liked but would have liked a thicker, gooier cheese sauce; and the chicken pot pie was possibly too hot to eat on a steamy summer day but I did enjoy the savory bite I had. The Margherita flatbread looked crazy good but my excuse for not pigging out on all this stuff was to save room for the burger I ordered.
The Craft 260 Burger consists of a short rib meat blend, eight hour caramelized onions, smoked tomatoes, crispy pork belly, IPA Vermont cheddar sauce, roasted garlic aioli on a Wave Hill Breads brioche bun. This burger gets points for toppings and I loved the sweetness from the onions and tomatoes and how can you go wrong with pork belly on a burger? It lost points for me with the cheddar sauce. I don’t know what it was; it just didn’t work for my taste buds. The bun, however, held up to all the toppings and obligatory burger juices. The only other knock on the burger was that it was more medium well than the medium rare I requested. I came to grips that the Craft 260 Burger was just OK, my expectations were probably too high anyway, but I think many of you will enjoy it.
While we did have a bunch of food, I still want to get around to trying more of the larger dishes and many of the snacks on Craft 260’s menu. I’ll be curious to see their evolution when the weather changes and if they change up the menu according to the seasons. I’ll also watch out for their beer menu and tap takeovers and I’ll be sure to actually drink next time.
260 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
|We picked at a delicious bread pudding but we were all so full at this point!|