Just a Sip: A Quickie On Can Tiin


We’ll be getting our slurp on here a bunch more times.
Downtown Bridgeport, as the kids say, is on the up and up, even if it’s happening ever so slowly. Can Tiin, is part of that revitalization and they’re already getting some good buzz.

This noodle bar mixes Vietnamese and French flavors (though other cultures will likely be reflected too) and puts a creative spin on the average bahn mis, buns, and bowls.

At the helm of its kitchen is the group’s culinary director, Chef Brian Reilly, and he’s putting out some good grub on a daily basis. Like I mentioned already though, these are no ordinary noodles, in fact, the actual section on the menu is titled “Modern Noodles,” and I like that.

When you go, you’ll surely find something for you, but I tend to go the route of noodles with some type of meat, preferably beef, pork, or chicken, but on this night I was all about the Poached Chicken (lemongrass, lime, peanuts, scallion, udon noodles).

I always opt to add a poached egg if it’s not already included. It just adds a little richness. Eggs on everything, ftw!

 

 

Smoked Rare Brisket (Crispy Shallot, Scallion, Roasted Garlic Sauce, Rice Noodles)
When the piping hot bowl came out, I didn’t really care if I scorched my tongue (I didn’t) on a very chilly night so I dove right in and tried the noodles as they were. Right away I noticed the lime and lemongrass notes, the delicate chicken that didn’t chalk up in my mouth, and a textural element from the crushed up peanuts. The bowl was already a win and then I started experimenting with the herbs and hot sauces that come out with all brothy dishes. Of course, I always go for the hottest sauce a place offers just out of pure curiosity. I don’t know what Chef Reilly calls his hottest sauce but it caught me off-guard in a good way, so touché, chef.

Also worth getting at Can Tiin are the steamed buns. The pork belly buns are always a winner for me no matter which quality noodle bar I visit and these are right on par with all those places due to sweet and spicy elements and very tender pork. Next time I’ll opt for the fried chicken and the hamburger buns so I can attempt to pick a favorite, if that’s even possible.

Speaking of a next time, I plan on not only trying more buns, but a few things from every section so I can give a fuller write-up. Unlike other noodle bars, Can Tiin has salads and main dishes aside from noodles where the fusion of Vietnamese/French or the reverse of that is played with even more and you’ll see other Eastern fusions too, so this one quick visit just made me excited for more.

A final (few) notes about the drinks…

Smoke & Bitters

 

Keepin it classic with a Bee’s Knees (Barr Hill Gin, Lemon, Orange Blossom Honey)

 

Protagonist

Definitely drink here. When we visited we were joined by Jeff Marron, who created the cocktail menu during Can Tiin’s early stages, and we know a few of his creations and his takes on the classics are still on the menu. Even though Jeff has moved on to Arizona to fulfill his lifelong goal as a rooster farmer (that’s a joke, btw, sort of), we have faith that Can Tiin’s bar program will still be pretty damn solid. Hopefully they’ll keep drinks like the strong/smoky and appropriately named Smoke & Bitters (Meteoro Mezcal, Averna, Nonino, Punt E Mes, Xocolatl Bitters) and my personal favorite on the cocktail menu, the Protagonist (Dickel Rye, Maple, Angostura, Smoked Cinnamon Glass), where the cinnamon really came through. Of course I’d always get noodles but I could come here just to drink too, and that’s important.

We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Can Tiin and we’re thrilled that a new and noteworthy noodle bar has arrived on the CT food scene. One thing’s for certain, you now have a reason to go to Downtown Bridgeport.

Can Tiin
269 Fairfield Avenue,
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 540-5002
Twitter: @CanTiinBport
Instagram: @cantiinbport

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