Actually it’s just for 2014. Sorry, Kanye.
We’ve wanted to compile a list of our favorite restaurants in the area for a while now. You all deserve a year end shout-out in our first ever “BEST OF” list. Plus, everyone else does it. So to follow the lead of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, “Why not us?”
Restaurants we love, here’s to you!
Best American – SOUTH END
When in New Canaan you have to dine at South End. The seasonal menu showcases fresh seafood dishes, modern takes on classics, homemade pasta, very worthy cocktails, and the meatballs, oh yes, the meatballs. Brunch can be had at a reasonable-for-New Canaan rate but what we’re dying to get there for is the Burger & Bordeaux special on Monday night for around $20. We’re coming soon…
Best Italian – BAR SUGO
As a blogger I don’t get to frequent places over and over again but Bar Sugo is one of the few that I go to as much as possible. Chef/Owner Pat Pascarella get points for creativity and taste and I can always count on him sending out something that at first has me like, “Wut?” but then I’m all like, “OMG, that was da bomb!” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that’s what a good chef is. Best pasta dishes around here and no doubt the best meatballs.
Best Asian – KAWA NI
The ramen at Kawa Ni is creativity and harmony in a bowl. It’s easily the best ramen in Fairfield County and I haven’t found one in Connecticut that’s close. They even have a gong that signals you to down a Jeff Marron created Sake Bomb if you dare to go that route. Advice: Get a Sake Bomb, then get another.
Best Latin – RINCON TAQUERIA
The choice for most would be Valencia but we’re all about this tiny taco shoptucked into a plaza across from Kohl’s in Norwalk. The tacos are legit, the burritos are the size of a newborn baby, and pretty much the entire menu is on point and affordable. If you go, try the tres leches cakeor at least get it to-go 😛
Best Burger – MATCH/THE SPREAD
One is dipped in a cheese sauce and is topped with crispy chopped bacon and onion jam. The other is made with Kobe beef and is pretty much no frills but the add ons of bacon and pickled jalapenos take it to the next level. Asking us to choose one is like asking us to choose one twin baby over the other in a favorite child contest. Luckily none of us have kids. Picking between Matt Storch’s burger or Carlos Baez’s burger is a hard enough decision.
Best Sandwiches – JAX & CO.
Slices of meat piled high, nothing wrong with that. Jax & Co.could also be a solid pick for most creative. Along with their own original sandwiches and sides, they pay tribute to other local restaurants by naming sandwiches in their honor. We can’t wait to make our way around to eating every single one.
Best New Restaurant – KAWA NI
It’s new and you already read about it under Best Asian. It was the obvious choice 😉
Most Creative – BAILEY’S BACKYARD
Chef Forrest Pasternack is doing cool things with the menu at Bailey’s Backyard by keeping it seasonal and using some molecular gastronomy tricks. An example? A s’mores dessert that incorporates a bit of applewood smoke released at your table to ignite your senses. This year’s three visitshave not disappointed at all.
Best Cocktails – MATCH
When Match 2.0 launched and Adam Patrick took control of the cocktail program, he revitalized the SoNo mainstay’s bar. The cocktails range from classic to creative and they’re really boozy too. Yo, AP, we miss you, bro! *pounds chest, flashes a peace sign*
Best for Craft Beer – THE GINGER MAN
With 52 beers on tap that are ever-changing, you could easily have a different beer every week for an entire year. With two Fairfield County locations to choose from (Norwalk and Greenwich), you’re never too far away from a good time. And their beer dinners always bring a crowd. This choice was an easy one for us.
Best Brunch – WASHINGTON PRIME
Brunch was a tough category but Washington Prime’s all-you-can-eat variety is the way brunch should be. It features a carving station and a raw bar and that’s enough for most people, but there’s also all types of breakfast foods, pastries, yogurt, omelets, fresh fruit and more. We think it’s perfect for group outings that involve pigging out.
Best Pizza – FORTINA
Technically Fortina is outside of Fairfield County…For now. Soon they’ll be bringing their talents, and The Luigi Bianco, to Stamford’s Harbor Point section. Not only are all their pizzas to die for but the rest of their menu is too. They may want to ban me from the Stamford location now to prevent me from eating so much pizzathat I’ll turn into a slice of pizza.
Best BBQ – WALRUS + CARPENTER
Walrus + Carpenterisn’t your plain old BBQ where the meat is saturated in sauce, the BBQ here is different in a good way. Maple bourbon baby backs, garlic + pepper spare ribs, we could keep going but that would induce drooling. They also have the best fried chicken in the area and beyond. It’s a meat lover’s paradise and a great place for craft beer and cocktails too.
Old School Nostalgic Pick – WESTFAIR FISH & CHIPS
The fish and chips placethat ruined all other places of its kind for us. The cod is fresh, flaky, and induces salivation from every bite. And once the craving hits, it can’t be denied. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll know what we mean. Oh, and have your order with malt vinegar. You can thank us later.
Food Truck – VANCHETTA
When I caught up to Vanchetta over the summer, I fell in love with their porchetta sandwich. This mobile rotisserie on wheels managed to do something really difficult, they constructed the perfect sandwich with elements of salty, creamy, crunchy, cheesy, and a vinegary tart. I want to try some of their other sandwiches but for now this one has my heart.
Place We Want to Try the Most – THE INN at POUND RIDGE by JEAN-GEORGES
Top Three Overall (no descriptions necessary)
- The Spread
- Valencia Luncheria
Because you all deserve the acclaim, here’s a little something because ain’t nobody dope as you.