Refining the Craft of American Comfort Food @ Craft 260 in Fairfield, CT

9 Jun
The whole restaurant speaks to the word CRAFT, even the decor

The whole restaurant speaks to the word CRAFT, even the decor

Craft 260 has been on our to-eat list since it opened on February 13 of this year, but sometimes we’re bad bloggers and get too lazy to haul our asses up to Fairfield. It’s not that we don’t love Fairfield…we do.  In fact, it use to be our old stomping grounds. It’s just that we get sidetracked by all the nomworthy places in between here and there…like food blogger A.D.D. But, our good friends Kevin and Aly recently moved up that way, so we knew it was about time…

We weren’t sure where exactly Craft 260 was, but quickly figured out it was in that little shopping center/strip mall with Michael Gennaro’s Steakhouse, Giove’s Pizza Kitchen (No Name Pizza all day!), and a vodka bar that’s coming soon. An odd location for sure, but we weren’t going to let that deter us.

The entrance takes you right into a very small, but busy bar filled with people.  We weren’t able to get reservations, so we took our chances only to find out it would be a 40 minute wait. We don’t normally mind a wait for a new hotspot so long as we can chill at the bar, but as we said, the bar was small and there was really no room to even stand around without being in everyone’s way. When the host sensed our frustration, he informed us he told us 40 minutes as a worse case scenario, but really it should be faster. And faster it was, as we landed a seat in just 15 minutes.

While we were waiting, Tomer Raviv, co-owner along side Kosta Proskinitopoulos and Chef Vincent Mascaro (formerly of Tomato & Basil Cafe), invited Kristien to try his very own drink, Ring of Fire. He must have read Kristien’s mind, because it was made of everything she loves in a drink: Jalapeño infused tequila, pineapple juice, cilantro, agave, lime, and a cayenne spiced rim. It’s not on the menu, but it’s totally worth asking for because it was delish!

It wasn’t long before we were all diving into the menu. Craft 260 refers to their food as American comfort food, and you can see why with popular items such as candied bacon, nachos, Brussels sprouts (their biggest seller, no surprise),  burgers, pizzas, mac & cheese, shrimp and grits (which are Tomer’s favorite), S’Mores, Ice Cream Sandwiches, and so on. In fact the menu was pretty large with over 6 choices in each category: Taste & Share (appetizers), Greens (salads), Hand Held (sandwiches), Sides, and Meals (entrees & specials) and Dessert. Not to mention their fairly comprehensive (and well-priced) beer, bourbon, scotch, wine, and cocktail list. OK, let’s get into it…

Drinks

We all had a lot of drinks. So many that we sort of lost track… which means it was a real good night, right? Here are a few we actually remember…

Eliot Ness:  Jefferson’s Small Batch Bourbon, ginger syrup, and Brother’s bitters:  This was a very nicely balanced bourbon drink, with the bourbon flavor coming through without being overpowering. The ginger syrup packed a nice punch as well. A really nice drink.

GreenEyes: Beefeater Gin, lime, basil and splash of soda. A refreshing, but simple, twist on the good ‘ole gin & tonic. The basil added a nice herbaceous flavor and the soda (instead of tonic) made it light instead of sweet. This drink is so easy going down, it could be dangerous.

And, because we treat all adult beverages equally, we also had a Gandhi-bot, a Southern Tier Nitro Milk Stout, Shiner Bock, and, well, lots of other brews. 

Food

Buckle up, because we chowed down…

Yup, big enough for a meal for most, app for us

Yup, big enough for a meal for most, app for us

Craft Nachos: crispy tortillas, slow smoked pulled chicken thighs, marinated tomatoes, roasted garlic, black beans, IPA Vermont white cheddar sauce, chimichurri, and green onions. As you can tell, these aren’t your normal nachos. Not only were they HUGE, piled high with ample amounts of all the toppings, but they were smokey and full of well-balanced flavor. We could’ve done with less chips, but overall we were happy with this unique twist to an American favorite.  

Kevin aka Carp gives this dish a thumbs up!

Kevin aka Carp gives this dish a thumbs up!

Fresh Handmade Burrata:  smoked tomato relish, herb infused EVOO, kalamata olives, and garlic bread.  The burrata was rich and creamy (AKA heavenly) as good buratta should be. We felt, though, that the olives were a bit too overwhelming with the delicate flavors of the burrata, so it’s good that it came on the side.

The portion here is nicely sized and helps you to savor each bite...

The portion here is nicely sized and helps you to savor each bite…

Crispy Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps: slow cooked crispy pork belly, shishito peppers, shaved red onions, fresh ginger, pickled red cabbage & hoisin.  The pork belly is nice and crispy, complemented by the Asian flavors like ginger, pickled cabbage and hoisin to give it a kick.  It also seemed to have a warm, hint of clove to round it out. Very nicely done.

Brussels Sprouts at Craft 260 in Fairfield CT

Sprouts on the menu? OmNomCT must order!

Brussel Sprouts: beer-soaked sprouts, local apples, apple wood smoked bacon, goat cheese, toasted pecans, a warm bacon/dijon vinaigrette, and a bourbon ketchup on the side. This was a very good dish. The sprouts were crispy as they should be, and the sweet apple and tart and creamy goat cheese balanced out the bitterness of the sprouts perfectly.  The bourbon ketchup on the side scared us at first, but actually added a good tomato flavor and butteriness when we dipped a sprout in.

Crispy pork belly on a burger?  Sign us up!

Crispy pork belly on a burger? Sign us up!

Craft 260 Burger: 8 oz. fresh ground short rib blend, fire grilled, 8 hour caramelized onions, smoked tomatoes, crispy pork belly, IPA Vermont cheddar sauce, roasted garlic aioli on a toasted brioche bun (from our friends at Wave Hill).  The burger was juicy and nicely packed.  It was a pretty thick patty which is maybe why it was cooked a bit uneven with some parts rare and some parts medium rare.  The patty itself might have needed a bit of salt and pepper, but the rest of the burger overall was packed with flavor from the IPA VT Cheddar (not overpowering, mild) and the smoky and savory pork belly. Oh, and the hand-cut fries on the side were nice and crispy, thick, and served with just the right amount of salt and pepper.  Excellent.

It's the cheeziest

It’s the cheeziest

Baked Mac & Cheese: Orecchietti pasta, gouda, sharp cheddar, mascarpone, buttered crumbs, and candied bacon (which you can leave off if you want to go meatless). The mac & cheese was super creamy with a fantastic mix of well-balanced cheeses. The crispy breadcrumbs and chunks of candied bacon on top rounded out the dish. A nice, reliable, classic mac & cheese!

Branzino:  This fish is difficult to pass up when we see it on the menu, so when we saw it as a special, Kristien jumped all over it.  Not literally, that’d be weird.  The branzino was served whole, skin and all.  When you took a fork into the fish, bits of the fish spiraled up onto the fork.  The branzino was moist, full of flavor, and cooked just right…something that lots of restaurants can’t seem to get right.  On the side was a refreshing and light salad that featured butter beans, arugula, and tomatoes.  This provided a nice contrast and made the fish seem even lighter.

Smoked Chicken Sandwich at Craft 260 in Fairfield, CT

Expert strategy from Carp: load up on apps, get a “smaller” sandwich to finish up the meal

Smoked Chicken Sandwich: slow smoked pulled chicken, sliced apples, gouda, baby spinach, cranberry jam & honey stone ground mustard aioli, all on a panini-pressed ciabatta. Our friend Kevin ordered this bad boy. The chicken was cooked slowly on their smoker in the back, making it nice and juicy. The bread was big and hearty enough to hold all that delicious flavor from the jam and aioli to balance it all out. The cheesy gratin on the side was excellent too and didn’t last long in Kevin’s capable hands.

Craft Fries:  Handcut, tossed with lemon & herb infused garlic, truffle oil, shaved pecorino:  Need we say anything more about these fries? They were nice and crispy and full of flavor from all the delicious toppings. What more could you want really?  Well, we suppose two orders of Craft Fries…that would do it.

Final Thoughts

After such a huge and delicious feast, and a whole lotta adult beverages, we were pleasantly surprised by the bill. We’ve paid at least 20% more for a meal of this quality elsewhere. If you can get past the weekend wait times, and the small area to actually wait in, then you absolutely need to hit up Craft 260 soon. With a creative menu that was well executed, nicely crafted cocktails, a good selection of hand-selected and truly craft beers, liquors and wine, and friendly service, all at a fair price for a nice night out, you really can’t go wrong.

Craft 260

Noms: 3.75

Cost:  $$$

Address:  260 Post Road

Fairfield, CT

Phone:  (203) 955-1745

Hours:  Tues-Fri: 11:30 to Close

Sat: 12:30 to Close

Sun: 1:00 to Close

Monday:  Closed

Craft 260 on Urbanspoon

11 Responses to “Refining the Craft of American Comfort Food @ Craft 260 in Fairfield, CT”

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  1. Win 2 Tix 2 Craft 260 Cask Festival ft. 40+ Casks! | OmNomCT - May 23, 2016

    […] be much of a beer fest if there wasn’t food involved . . . and lucky for you that Craft 260 which we gave a 3.75 Nom rating to, will be catering the event! There will also be live music […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CT Food News, Vol. 33: Cheesetopia, Tastings, BYOB, Contests, Props, #CTbeer + More | OmNomCT - March 26, 2015

    […] It’s trivia night starting at 7:30 @ Craft 260 in Fairfield with our bud Nicole Edmonds. Plenty of great beer and food here, too, so stop on by! […]

    Like

  3. CT Cask Fest Tapping 36 Casks, 18 CT Breweries – Fairfield, CT | OmNomCT - March 23, 2015

    […] places that we love in Fairfield, Craft 260 and Harry’s Wine & Liquor, have teamed up to create a killer beer festival! Check out how […]

    Like

  4. CT Food News, Vol. 29: Brunch, Deals + Steals, Happy Hours + CT Brew News | OmNomCT - February 26, 2015

    […] want MORE burger deals? Sure! Each Monday at Craft 260 in Fairfield you get 50% off all craft beers and pay only $5 for a burger. That’s something […]

    Like

  5. Firefly Hollow Tap Takeover at Craft260 in Fairfield! | OmNomCT - February 20, 2015

    […] isn’t so easy or even finding their beer at a restaurant is nearly impossible. Nearly because Craft 260 in Fairfield is hosting a tap takeover with them on 2/27 with a mystery cask pouring out at 6. Here […]

    Like

  6. Craft 260 Hosts Two Roads Beer Dinner to Celebrate a Year of Noms | OmNomCT - February 13, 2015

    […] Craft 260 will be celebrating a year of making good food and serving killer beer on 2/16, starting at 6:30. Well, guess they are just overachievers because they put together a birthday dinner that features more beers than courses. Yeah, that’s pretty awesome. 7 brews from Two Roads, 5 courses to be paired with the Stratford-made beer. […]

    Like

  7. Black Hog Releases THC Bravo; Tap Takeover at Craft 260 in Fairfield | OmNomCT - November 19, 2014

    […] good local beer. And, you’ll also have a shot at trying it at one of our favorite new spots: Craft 260 in Fairfield. Just come by Wednesday, 11/26 and try ALL of these brews from Black […]

    Like

  8. Craft 260 to Host Beer Fest w/ 11 CTBreweries to Benefit Community Plates – Fairfield, CT | OmNomCT - October 20, 2014

    […] local CT breweries have come together for Craft 260‘s first ever Beer Fest. The beer begins flowing at 1 pm on Sunday, November 2 up until 4 pm […]

    Like

  9. CT Food News, Vol. 24: Brews, BBQ, Balls, Chili, Funghi, Farms + More | OmNomCT - October 9, 2014

    […] Craft 260 in Fairfield is hosting a Stone Brewing beer dinner at 6 pm.  Tickets are $90 with tax and tip […]

    Like

  10. CT Food News, Vol 18: Labor Day, Jerks, BBQ, Blues, Beer, Oysters, Deals + More… | OmNomCT - August 27, 2014

    […] Craft 260 in Fairfield is pretty serious about football.  So serious, in fact that they’ll be offering up happy hour food and drink specials during Monday night games all the way up until last call.  Great food and beer, football, and a good deal?  C’mon now! […]

    Like

  11. New Restaurants, Craft Cocktails, VIP Party @ 2nd Annual Food for All Fundraiser for Community Plates | OmNomCT - August 12, 2014

    […] Craft 260 – Fairfield […]

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