|“Respect the pig!” -Bar Sugo|
Bar Sugo has always been a tough review to get done. Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love this place, but what makes it tough to write about is the ever changing menu and main reason: I just want to do one of my favorite restaurants in Fairfield County some justice.
This is my best shot at it.
I first started “going to” Bar Sugo before it was even Bar Sugo. In fact, it used to be Streets of London Fish & Chips! It wasn’t the same owners or anything, just felt right to throw it back. This was at a time when the food scene around the city was not what it is now. Was there even such a thing as a “foodie” then? A few other restaurants tried their hand at the same location but when food became cool, Chef/Owner Pat Pascarella opened one of the coolest, most creative restaurants on Wall Street, a part of town that is slowly but surely rising up once again.
|The drink menu has creative cocktails (like this chipotle pineapple marg), a comparable wine selection, a handful of craft drafts and some craft cans & bottles.|
Chef Pat’s food is tough to nail down in a review since Bar Sugo’s menu changes quite a bit. I know personally that he’s always hitting up local farmers markets to see what’s good and is always coming up with fun, new dishes that taste great or he’s picking up a new ingredient to put a spin on an existing dish. I like to call the food here “creative Italian meets simplicity.”
|Meatballs! Comin atcha! This is the taster, one of each. Do it. It’s fun to TRY to pick a favorite.|
The menu does have a few mainstays, one being the meatballs, many different types of meatballs. Sugo’s balls are all good but if you’re asking me to pick a favorite or two…Mommy’s (beef meatball), Sugo’s (beef, veal, pork, sage), and a real standout and winner of the 2014 Meatball Challenge, Ox Hollow Farm Meatball w/melted gouda, red onion jam, truffle oil. Meatballs are on the comeback everywhere and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one elsewhere. The simple balls are good, the more creative ones take a dish that was once considered a peasant food and bring it up to a modern level.
|You can always expect pork at Bar Sugo.|
|Razor clam with a tomato broth. First time eating a razor clam, won’t be the last. And that broth though!|
Along with your balls you must order off the “Cichetti” or small plates section of the menu. Bar Sugo has a bunch of smalls that make eating here fun. I’ve even heard tables order “one of each” just to share. Sharing is fun and I recommend indulging in Sugo’s smalls. I won’t get too specific because these dishes change very often but I’ve never had a bad one. And you can always expect plenty of pork choices. (Bar Sugo’s motto is “Respect the pig!”) I tend to stick to ordering dishes I know I would like. Seems common for a lot of folks. Chef Pat though, he always makes sure I’m well fed and has sent out extra in the past, he obviously knows I have some Italian blood in me and I’ll just keep eating until it’s all gone. For me though, a serious tribute to a good chef is getting me, you or anyone to eat things that we would not normally order, maybe things we don’t even like, and that chef gets us to like those things.
|Another menu staple: Prosciutto wrapped truffle fries w/Parmesan and parsley. Not too much truffle oil, super addicting.|
|I wasn’t thrilled about diving into this sardine, but like I said, “Trust a good chef.” Really enjoyed it.|
|Perfectly cooked hanger steak, radish, fennel.|
|Cavatelli Bolognese, sage veloute, ricotta salata.|
|Closer cavatelli! OMG!|
In addition to smalls and meatballs, Bar Sugo has a good selection of cheese, some really creative brick oven pizzas, and a handful of handmade pasta dishes. My favorite of the pasta dishes is the cavatelli. How much do I like it? I order it every single time. The cavatelli is extremely light and creamy from the ricotta that is used to make it and it comes in a meaty Bolognese sauce that I always wipe up with a few pieces of bread.
|Wish appropriately sized portions, you’ll have JUST enough space left for a sweet treat. If you’re like me, you barely have room left because you order a lot and eat EVERYTHING.|
As far as desserts are concerned, also tough to brag about since they swap them out regularly, but you can expect budinos, panna cottas, and so on. One that I hope makes a return is the sweet/creamy/salty pineapple upside-down cheesecake with bacon!
So this review took a while to compile and many visits too. Along the way I introduced at least six people to Bar Sugo. They all loved it, you will too. My advice is to go in with an open mind and try something you may not normally indulge in. And by the way, Chef Pat, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, “You’re the man, homie.”
102 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT 06850