2nd Annual OmNomys Celebrates 2012′s Best Food in Fairfield County

30 Dec

Logo for 2011 OmNomys

Last year we brought you the 1st Annual OmNomys:  awards that celebrated the Best in Food in Fairfield County.  Well, we couldn’t just let another year go by without giving out a new set of awards, could we?  No, we can’t.  That’s why we’re writing this post. But first, a quick refresher course on the OmNomys:

We only select restaurants that we’ve been to in 2012, so it’s important to remember that the restaurants here are not necessarily the best EVER, but the best we had in 2012.

• If you don’t like this list, that’s cool…whatevs.  It’s just our favorites of 2012.  You’re welcome to create your own or comment below and let your love of local restaurants show.

Best Ambiance: Dolce Cubano, Stamford

Sleek and sexy red leather (like Zaza) can be found throughout Dolce Cubano, one of Stamford’s newest hot spots.  Combine that with a chill bar (inside and outside) and waterside dining and you’ve got the perfect spot to hit up. Don’t forget the fireplace, either.  

Best Asian:  Bambou Asian Tapas & Bar, Greenwich

We don’t typically eat much Asian and have cut back on our sushi intake for 2012.  That being said, we’ve had some decent sushi, but a recent meal at Bambou was quite impressive.  The sushi rolls were very creative, especially a roll that featured goat cheese, mango, and salmon wrapped in a crispy spring roll.  Also, the steamed veggie dumplings were some of the best that we’ve had with nice chunks of fresh vegetables wrapped up in a thin layer of rice paper.  And, the desserts (which isn’t typical for an Asian restaurant) were fantastic.

Best BBQ Sides:  Bar Q, Stamford

We love the concept behind Bar Q, owned by Bob LeRose of Bobby Q’s in Westport:  tapas style bbq.  Well, along with a bbq menu to sample in small doses, you can get some great sides and fixins’ to go with your meat.  Some of our favorites are the chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, fiesta cornbread, hush puppies, baked jalapeno poppers, and mac & cheese.  Although we were torn about our first visit, each visit thereafter seems to get better.

Best BBQ Meat:  Dinosaur Bar-b-que, Stamford

Although Dinosaur Bar-b-que is a newcomer to Connecticut, they’ve been pumping out awesome bbq for years at their other locations.  The pulled pork is tender and juicy, the brisket is smoky with that perfect pink smoke ring, and the ribs are juicy and delicate, coming off the bone with a slight tug. And their chicken wings, well… see that section below. 

Best Beer Selection:  The Ginger Man, Norwalk

With more than 50 beers on tap, The Ginger Man in the heart of SoNo is a great place to hit up.  When you’re there, check out their creative specials, different each night and be sure to also try their monthly beer dinners.

Best Brunch: Terrain, Westport

Opened just this year, Terrain has created a buzz for itself most likely due to its farm fresh ingredients and Chef Wolfson’s attention to detail.  The food here is great and their cornbread, served with yummy melted butter, is not to be missed. Come by for brunch in warmer weather and enjoy dining in the beautiful and tranquil outdoor patio.  

Best Burger, Fries, and Milkshakes:  Station Eats, Stamford

Station Eats opened their second shop this year in downtown Stamford and it’s quickly become people’s favorite burger joint.  We can proudly say, though, we knew of their awesomeness back in the New Canaan days.  Whether you’re getting a custom-made burger or hot dog, the station fries, or checking out their burger and shake of the month, you’ll have a great meal.  At the Stamford location you can also try their adult milkshakes and a new variety of sandwiches, too.  Oh, and for your veg-heads, the rumor is that they have the best veggie burger in town.

Best BYOB: Basso Cafe, Norwalk

This is the best restaurant that nobody has seem to have heard of (unless you follow our blog, of course).  Located in an inconspicuous location in Norwalk, Basso Cafe delivers excellent and creative Mediterranean food with a Venezuelan twist, made from local ingredients.

Best Coffee: espresso NEAT, Darien and Greenwich

Using only the finest, purest, and most ethical coffees from around the world, espresso NEAT is where you go to get your caffeine fix.  Unlike many coffee shops, they check the quality of their coffee, ensuring the perfect cup.  Then, they grind it up and get it ready for you.  They also have lots of fun events throughout the year like cupping demos and Coffee 101 classes.  If you feel like staying around and chilling, check out their fresh salads, food from local bakeries, yumminess from Chocopologie, and lots more.  

Best Cupcakes:  Forever Sweet Bakery, Stamford

Where do we begin?  While they started of selling their goodies at the Stamford Town Center, they have shifted over to other exotic locations and can be found at a ton of different places.  Frances is always cooking up some great new, fun flavors.  Plus, they do custom cakes, too, if you’re in the party kind of mood.  Definitely check out their yummy and moist desserts.  

Best Delivery:  Nick’s Pizza, Stamford

This makes two years in a row for Nick’s Pizza.  They certainly earn it with their super quick delivery, always hot food, and great selection of Italian classics.  Our favorites are the antipasto (best in town), the baked cavatelli, the calamari fra diavolo, and the massive amounts of bread they give you.  Hello carbs, we’ve been missing you.  

Best Desserts:  Olio, Stamford

Two words for you…ricotta donuts.  These donuts remain lighter than air, but are probably the most moist donuts you’ll ever taste due to the ricotta.  While there, don’t forget the ribs, the scallops, and…well…everything on the menu.

Best Entertainment: Coalhouse Pizza, Stamford

Winning the second year in a row, it’s hard to think of a better place with more options.  Beer dinners, beer classes, bbq nights, flight nights, trivia night, game night, and more on top of their expansion that includes table shuffleboard, darts, and board games.  Add in some brews from their 52 taps and some great pizza and you’ve got your easy go-to spot.  

Best Farm-to-Table:  Bistro 7, Wilton

Opened just this year, Bistro 7 is serving up some great farm-to-table food in an unsuspecting location.  Chef Grossman offers fresh food from local markets and farms with spins on classic American dishes.  If you pay close attention to the flavors and the items on the menu, you can also see hints of his German roots coming through.  Desserts are killer here, too…check out the creme brûlée… best we’ve ever had.   Also, don’t forget the wicked good mac & cheese.  

Best Food Truck: Lobstercraft (mainly Norwalk)

Um, wow.  When we first broke the news about Lobstercraft we had no idea how mind-blowing the food would be.  Having tried nearly all the rolls on their menu, we can say they are all killer and are definitely nomworthy.  Where else can you go to get lobster that the owner (Captain Mike) caught himself?  We’re excited to try the other dishes that they’ve created like their lobster bisque.  

Best Hot Dog:  Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield

Can you really beat the freshly made condiments, the dogs, and the fries at Super Duper Weenie?  No, you can’t.  It remains an institution and a rite of passage for any person to reach full food maturity.  But, be warned…don’t you dare ask for ketchup on your hot dog or you will be sternly warned, if not kicked out of the joint.  

Best Ice Cream / Gelato:  Volta, Stamford

There’s always a great variety of classic gelato and creative flavors here at Volta.  It’s a hot spot in summer where you can sit outside or take your scoops to go while you walk around town.  Don’t forget to try the delicious crepes here, too.

Best Indian:  Tawa, Stamford

We’ve never been inside of Tawa, but we ordered delivery from them several times throughout the year.  The food always arrived hot (temperature wise and spice wise) and ready to eat.  The naan here is great as well as the selection of their classic curries such as korma, tikka masala, and vindaloo.  

Best Italian:  Morello Bistro, Greenwich

We’re pretty picky with our Italian food, so choosing our favorite for 2012 is equally as hard.  We have to say, though…we were impressed with the food and homemade pasta at Morello Bistro.  The garganelli bolognese is a must have dish here.  Don’t worry, while the style and beauty of the restaurant is amazing, you’re not paying typical Greenwich prices for your food.  

Best Latino: Valencia, Norwalk

Kristien and her co-workers clearly have a problem because they go to Valencia nearly every day.  Whether you’re trying the specials for that night, sampling arepas, or downing Chef Michael Young’s green vegetable sauce, Valencia is the clear winner.  

Best Drinks:  Dolce Cubano, Stamford

When we checked out Dolce Cubano a few weeks ago, we decided to ditch the beer and wine that we usually order and go with some of the drinks that one of the owners, Nick Racanelli Jr., raved about.  Well, we were blown away with mixed drinks like Spiced Cuba Libres, Wild Berry Mojitos, Blood Orange Margaritas, and Pyrat Passions.  When there, check out the fun plays on Italian food and Cuban-inspired dishes.

Best Pizza: Letizia’s, Norwalk

People certainly have strong opinions about what makes good pizza (Dan swears Long Island pizza is best, Kristien swears Utica pizza wins), but we have to say…we really enjoyed the pizza at Letizia’s.  The crust was thin (not too), crispy, and there was a nice sauce to cheese ratio going on.  Don’t forget they are a no fee BYOB restaurant, too.

Best Seafood:  The Whelk, Westport

When Chef Bill Taibe opened up The Whelk, he brought creative dishes with a local conscience to Westport.  Just grabbing the menu and thinking about what to order will take you on a journey through the sea.  With a great variety of small plates, medium plates, and large plates, you can make your own meal however you like.  Sea-to-table dining at its best.

Best Service: South End, New Canaan 

Not only is the ambience and farm to table fare impressive, the service is impeccable.  We dare you to finish your water without it being refilled first.  Waiters here are also very knowledgable about the menu and can offer your great advice about wine and beer pairings.  Oh yeah, and we’ll say it again…the food is seriously impressive such as the bacon wrapped dates.

Best Small Plates: Scena Wine Bar, Darien

People don’t usually think of Darien when it comes to excellent food that will leave you satisfied.  But, Scena breaks the mold with modern twists on classic Italian dishes served up in small plates so you can get a taste of many things.  Hint:  their handmade pillowy ricotta gnocchi (available as a small plate or entree) is to-die-for.  

Best Special Event:  Farm to table dinners at Holbrook Farm with Chef Bick, Bethel

Food doesn’t get much more farm to table when you’re eating on a farm.  Picture two giant tables spanning across Holbrook Farm on a beautiful sunny day, featuring a multi-coursed spread of fresh and delicious food.  Make sure that you get your tickets for these events because they quickly sell out.    

Best Wings:  Dinosaur Bar-b-que, Stamford

After we had these 4 hour smoked then grilled wings, we knew that other nearby wings just didn’t stand a chance.  There’s a beautiful smoke and char with the perfect amount of Dinosaur Bar-b-que’s very own sauce.  

Best OmNomivore (Facebook):  James Lacerenza

James is the man behind fundraisers to help those affected by Muscular Dystrophy (and has an official day in Stamford named after him) but is also a rabid OmNomivore.  Before we’ve even had a chance to leave a comment on a post, he’s already shared it with others or commented.  Thanks for being so awesome James.  

Best OmNomivore (Site):  whitemist

Another second year winner, our buddy whitemist often comments on his experiences at restaurants that we’ve reviewed, or offering words of encouragement if we had a bad dish.  Thanks for reading and making our blog a living conversation.  

Best OmNomivore (Twitter):  TapIntoCT

Kevin Mocci, who runs the blog TapIntoCT, is a huge supporter of our posts, tweets, and strangeness in general.  He often shares some great stuff that he’s found out or gives us suggestions on things to write about.   Thank you, Kevin, for being a good friend and a killer Tweeter.

And there you have it…the best we’ve tasted in Fairfield County for 2012.  Here’s to 2013 being another great, OmNomivorous year!

24 Responses to “2nd Annual OmNomys Celebrates 2012′s Best Food in Fairfield County”

  1. SKY Mercede March 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    How can Forever Sweet Bakery enter
    The OmNomys Food Contest ?

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro March 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      In our zeal to create fun categories we forgot one of our favorite categories: cupcakes. Can you forgive us? Check the listings now! :)

      Like

  2. espressoNEAT February 6, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Reblogged this on NEAT.

    Like

  3. Dm January 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Tried nicks because of your recommendation, i must of ordered on a off day because it was not even in my top 10 of the best delivery places in stamford. i will have to give them another try.

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro January 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      That’s too bad Dm. What did you order? :(

      Like

      • Dm January 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

        we ordered a bunch of sandwiches and apps for football sunday. Maybe i need to try out a entree.

        Like

  4. espressoNEAT January 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Thanks so much for choosing NEAT for your annual awards! We’re honored to be on your list, and we’re pleased as punch that we get to work with such amazing coffees and serve them to so many wonderful customers (like you guys).

    Like

  5. Jessica @ Fit Talker January 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Loved reading this list!
    Finally tried Dinosaur BBQ on Friday and while we didn’t love it, we did really enjoy the wings.
    Definitely a great list of places to try, so thanks!
    Valencia for me is hit or miss and more frequently a miss, although I do love me a good breakfast arepa! I also was on a Letizia’s kick for a while, however since meeting my significant other (the best cook I’ve met to date), no pizza compares to his. He’d love to open a shop, so if you know of anyone just itching to invest… ;)
    Ever been to Le Petit Cafe?

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro January 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      We did hit up Dinosaur last week and were a bit disappointed with the brisket, though it’s normally good. Sorry to hear about Valencia being hit or miss. :( As for the pizza…when is he coming over to cook for us? Have you ever had pizza on the BBQ? So FREAKING good! :)

      Hmm, as for investors, we’ll keep our eyes and ears out.

      Le Petit Cafe…no, we haven’t been, but when we’re out in Branford we’ll definitely have to go. Looks like an awesome place. What do you like there? :)

      Like

      • Jessica @ Fit Talker January 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

        Le Petit supposedly changes the menu periodically but we had the most amazing chilean sea bass. Somehow they managed to serve it insanely hot yet cooked perfectly. Highly recommend it!
        As for the sig other’s pizza, we have a wood fired pizza oven and if/when he decides to try to open a shop, we had talked about doing a tasting for bloggers :)
        I know people love Valencia and I used to be one of those people, maybe my tastes just changed.
        I did love the atmosphere at Dinosaur though, so may have to give it another try.

        Like

        • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro January 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

          Well, a tasting for bloggers is very generous and thoughtful. We’ll eat up all the pizza and let you know what we liked :) Then, we’ll eat more, just to make sure we got everything. :P

          Like

  6. John December 31, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Should rename it Omnomy’s of Lower Fairfield County, it seems you missed up north.

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro December 31, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Yes, true, lower Fairfield County for sure. We say in our blog description that our blog focuses on lower Fairfield County overall. It’s only us two and we live in Greenwich so it’s hard for us to get up past Norwalk or Westport to dine out often, but we try to make a point of it from time to time. There are a lot of great restaurants in Northern Fairfield County we really want to review… we can add that to our resolutions for 2013. ;)

      Like

  7. talkavino December 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    Nice – very extensive list. Thank you for the great reference!

    Like

  8. Pappa Don't Preach December 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    I have to agree with you on Bambou! I’ve been twice and have loved each experience! I keep eying the PB&J roll and I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and get it next time. Their service is also superb!

    Keep rockin in the New Year!

    Like

    • Dan and Kristien Del Ferraro December 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      PB&J roll? You kidding? Hell yes! We’ve gotta get that next time…don’t know how we skipped over that one! :) You keep on rocking, too. RAWWWRRR!

      Like

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