Acclaimed chefs bring local food to Darien with Estia’s American restaurant

27 Mar

Update:  Estia’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Check out our review.

Chef Colin Ambrose was a locavore before people even had created that word.  His café, Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor (Long Island), features Ambrose’s own fruits and veggies from his restaurant garden and whatever other goodies he can get his hands on from local farmers.  Now, I’m a Long Island boy, born and raised, so you’d be surprised how beautiful it is when you go further east.  Farms, vineyards, dairies…it’s amazing out there, almost like another world. Kristien LOVES it out there!

Estia’s American, soon to be open in Darien…

So, why do you need to know about Chef Colin Ambrose?  He has chosen Darien as the place to launch a new version of his Long Island hit that will be called Estia’s American.  You’ll find Estia’s American in the Brick Walk section of Darien.  Here, you can expect Colin to continue his love of using sustainable foods and local foods whenever possible.  Along with Colin, you’ll find Carissa Waechter, a culinary arts graduate from The Art Institute of NYC.  She has worked with some of the best in the industry, too.  She was head pastry chef at David Burke, Beacon NYC, and Donatella Restaurant.  She also worked with Chef Daniel Boulud (Top Zagat Rated Daniel), but took things in a new direction after that.  She went out east into Amagansett on Long Island (that’s near The Hamptons) to operate the Amagansett Farmers’ Market.  Around that time she co-founded the Amagansett Food Institute and began to make her own baked goods named Carissa’s Breads, made with local ingredients and wheat that she milled herself.  Milled herself.  That’s devotion (and perfection), people.


That devotion and love that went into Carissa’s baked goodies, will definitely flow over into the food here.  While they are sticking with some of the favorites from Estia’s on Long Island, they are also tossing in new flavors for some excitement.  This will be the kind of spot where you can get a cup ‘o joe, take your pick of goodness from the juice bar, and get a great breakfast that leaves you happy and content.  Don’t you love that feeling after a good breakfast?  Ah, it’s like the whole day is bright with promise.  While Kristien is excited about the Forest omelet with Portobello mushroom and goat cheese, I’m pining over the Cajun omelet that has andouille, tomato, onions, and peppers.  They will also have pancakes, french toast, breakfast platters, breakfast bowls, house made granola, and too many more options to even write about here.  Give the breakfast menu a gander?


Here are some of the stand outs to us from the menu that we will gladly try:

Red Flannel Hash:  Chorizo, Potato, Peppers, Onions & Two Eggs (One of Kristien’s favorites)

Over Under Frittata: Arugula, Bacon, Mozzarella & Sweet Potato

 Lance’s Trance: Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Roasted Corn & Jack Cheese on Whole Grain Toast
Local Egg “Albondigas” Diablo:  Chorizo, Arugula & Carrots

It looks like lots of what you can get at breakfast will be available for lunch, too, so that’s pretty nice.


Things change up a lot after 5, though.  The quaint Estia’s American turns into a smooth and comfy restaurant complete with big boy drinks.  There will be lots of American beer, liquor, and wine…and we’re also excited about the cocktails that the chefs will mix in.  Here’s some of the food that we’re dying to try:

Local, Free Range Pork Tamale with Chili Sauce & Sweet Corn

Turtle Rolls:  Flour Tortilla with Black Bean Puree, Avocado & Napa Cabbage

Roasted Beets with Grilled Goat Cheese & Fresh Greens

Hanger Steak Azteca* with Guajillo Potatoes & Spinach

Oh…and can you say Paella?  Andouille, chicken, shrimp, local fresh, and Little Neck clams.  So need and want.

So when can you start indulging in all this yumminess?

Estia’s American is now open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Address:  1020 Post Road, Brick Walkway

                   Darien, CT

Phone:  (203) 202-7051


Estia's American on Urbanspoon

5 Responses to “Acclaimed chefs bring local food to Darien with Estia’s American restaurant”

  1. Mark Mullaney June 9, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Both chefs have a wealth of experiences. Their menus are exquisite and looks very appealing.


    • Dan Del Ferraro June 9, 2012 at 7:04 am #

      That’s nice Mark, thanks for sharing. :) We’ve got to head back there for some more food. :)


  2. maggie May 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Carissa Waechter is a flake, and the Amagansett Food Institute failed last year.



  1. Breakfast From The Farm to Our Hungry Bellies | Estia's American - April 1, 2013

    […] few weeks ago we told you about Colin Ambrose and Carissa Waechter starting up Estia’s American in Darien, an offshoot of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, NY.  One of the best parts about Estia’s […]


  2. Breakfast from the farm to our hungry bellies at Estia’s American in Darien, CT « OmNomCT - May 3, 2012

    […] few weeks ago we told you about Colin Ambrose and Carissa Waechter starting up Estia’s American in Darien, an offshoot of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, NY.  One of the best parts about […]


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