When we first went to B.J. Ryan’s B•AN•C (BBQ and crabs) back in November 2011, we were excited for an awesome meal. The weather was beautiful so we sat outside under their awesome covered patio. When the food arrived, though, we were pretty disappointed. There were some highlights like the drink selections and the bacon wrapped dates, but the BBQ ribs, chicken, and risotto we had were way too dry and overcooked.
Then, a few months back, Kristien’s boss’s band, Ask Your Mom, was playing at B•AN•C, so we decided to give it another try. We asked Derek what to try and he (and some of his band mates) suggested the Lazy Bacon pork belly. Smart man that Derek is, because the pork belly was excellent, with a nice ratio of fat to meat. We also had some ribs that were cooked very nicely, charred on the outside, delicate on the inside, coming off the bone with a gentle tug…totally different than the ribs that we first had. And, of course, we ordered the bacon wrapped dates because they kicked butt last time. The mixed drinks were great too and, hey, it’s hard to beat live music at a BBQ joint. We were very happy to see such improvement.
Then, a few weeks ago Kristien needed some oysters−like she always does once the weather turns beautiful. We sat outside and checked out the menu again. They had a great variety of oysters, especially local ones. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about all the different types, where they were from, and even some of the tasting notes for them. While Kristien slurped up her fresh oysters in delight, Dan chowed down on some excellent fried pickles. What can you say about fried pickles other than they are awesome? But, they’re especially awesome here because there was just the right amount of breading, fried just to the perfect level of crispness.
As for our main meals, Dan didn’t want to spoil his upcoming dinner (psh, riiiiight), so he got The Healthy Elvis Sandwich special. Oh, but healthy… yeeeeaaaah, not so much. Start with peanut butter and bananas and add some thick, smoky bacon, then put it on healthy and nutritious whole wheat bread (ahhh, there’s the healthy part). Dan could have ordered beans, slaw, or fries but he went with the taters. Very nice crispness, good amount of salt…some nice fries. The whole sandwich experience was just so overwhelming it shut Dan up for a bit…partly because of the peanut butter, partly because it was just that damn good. Kristien ordered a lobster roll which came out on a grilled and buttered bun. The lobster itself was cooked pretty close to perfect, had the right amount of butter and a little lemon. It was definitely a nice meal for a warmer spring day. Kristien loooooves her seafood on a warm spring and summer day!
So, although we did first give B•AN•C 2.5 noms, we are moving up their rating to 3.5 Noms. Seems that second and third times are quite the charm. Just goes to show, sometimes first impressions aren’t always right.B•AN•C House Noms: 3.5 Cost: $$$ Address: 16 River Street Norwalk, CT 06850 Phone: (203) 838-2722 Site: http://www.bjryansbanchouse.com