A 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 American is their focus on fresh, local food from farms. You notice this almost immediately when you walk in and see a chalkboard listing where they get some of their food. Expect this to change with the season and especially as they make more connections with local farms, butchers, and shops. Very exciting!
We came during lunch time, but we had that “we need breakfast food badly” kind of feeling going on. The kitchen staff was able to work with us, so we could to satisfy our bellies with breakfast. Coming in, Kristien already knew what she wanted: The Red Flannel Hash. I struggled with my choice because everything looked so good, especially on the lunch menu. I decided, though, to stick with Robbie’s Gringo Hash.
We had two coffees that our waitress filled up whenever we were close to empty. Don’t you love that? I don’t think our coffee was ever empty. That’s how breakfast should be! Kristien also ordered a nice raspberry and mango cup of wake-you-up-fresh-goodness from the juice bar. They have daily specials in addition to the standard choices and you can even make your own combos.
Well, onto the food. Kristien had been salivating over the Red Flannel Hash ever since we found out about Estia’s American. It all goes back to a similar dish that changed her world in a little bistro up in the Berkshires. The dish served here has chorizo, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, corn, and two poached eggs. Carissa and Colin recommend having your egg poached and you’ll be so glad you followed their advice. The eggs were cooked perfectly and just oozed out all over the hash. Ahh, don’t you just love to dip into the yolk? As for the hash itself, there was lots going on, but it all worked well. Kristien said that perhaps she could’ve done without the sweet potatoes because it took away from the savoriness of the dish, but overall she really liked it. If you’re feeling a bit daring or want to try new combos of tastes, try the Mojo and Rosito sauces with your meal. The Rosito is a red sauce made with Guajillo pepper and onion and is a bit spicy. The Mojo is a green sauce with mint, parsley, garlic, jalapeno, and lime juice. It was bright, yummy, and seemed to have more of a kick than The Rosito.
I had a similar hash, though mine had more of a Mexican twist. Robbie’s Gringo Hash has red beans, rice, spicy chorizo, eggs, two eggs, avocado, and flour tortillas. Again, I went with the chefs and got my poached eggs. You can really see and taste the difference between store bought and local eggs. The eggs at Estia’s American seem brighter and more flavorful. The star of this dish, to me, was the chorizo. It was cooked nicely, getting the crispy skin on the outside. There was a nice gentle heat to it, too. Take advantage of the tortillas that come with this dish and make up your own little burritos. Overall, a good dish, but I would have liked a bit more spice and flavor to really make this dish knock it out of the park.
After all of this, we were treated to an awesome dessert of a lemon banana beignet. The beignet itself was crispy on the outside, while still doughy on the inside. Oh, but where was the inside? Carissa had hollowed it out and pumped in an amazing spiced banana puree. My favorite part of the dessert was actually the candied lemon. It was so sweet, so bright, and just broke away into bits when I chomped down. I had no problem eating my slice and the rest of Kristien’s, rind and all. Really, an awesome way to end the meal.
Although we went for breakfast, we’ll have to return for lunch, and then return for dinner when they begin service sometime around May. The food was fresh, prepared well, and our waitress worked hard to make sure we had a great breakfast. We even had a chance to meet the man himself, Colin. He was very nice and thankful for us coming out. In fact, he was talking to everybody in the restaurant. We love the theme of Estia’s American, we love the fun play on Mexican food, and we love the use of local ingredients. Now you can check out Estia’s American for dinner, too! Two green thumbs up!
Noms: We’re going to hold off on giving Estia’s a rating until we try dinner, but so far, we’re thinking maybe 3.75-ish.
Address: 1020 Post Road (in the back lot by 1020 Post)
Phone: (203) 202-7051