Tag Archives: Merlin Verrier

Primarily Underwhelmed @ Primary Food + Drink by Graham Elliot – Greenwich, CT

30 Jan
Escape Route (L) and Road to Manhattan Cocktails

Escape Route (L) and Road to Manhattan Cocktails

Update:  CT News has just reported that Primary Food & Drink is now permanently closed.  There was no reason given why.  

Our fascination with new and shiny things starts at a young age.  Like Ralphie going for the elusive Red Ryder BB Gun, or when we were kids we had to have that new, cool thing like the Easy Bake Oven or an RC Monster Truck.  Well, some things never change:  we still can’t help ourselves…but now, instead of toys, it’s new, fancy restaurants.

This time around, the new, fancy restaurant was Primary Food & Drink by Chef Graham Elliot, owner of Graham Elliot Bistro and  the now-closed Graham Elliot in Chicago, and judge on MasterChef.  As we shared with you back in December, Elliot took over Thataway Cafe in Greenwich and gave the culinary reins to his long time Director of Operations, Executive Chef Merlin Verrier.  Needless to say, we loved the idea behind Primary:  creative culinary spins on classic American dishes.

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Chef Merlin Verrier Dishes about Primary Food & Drink Opening in Greenwich, CT

5 Dec
Primary Food & Drink is almost ready to go!

Primary Food & Drink is almost ready to go!

Update:  Primary Food & Drink is open and here is our review:  Primarily Underwhelming.

As Primary Food & Drink in Greenwich nears opening day, we wanted to dig a little deeper than we got with our original post.  What would the interior be like, what’s been challenging about opening, and what are some of the dishes that Executive Chef Merlin Verrier is excited about making?    We must admit that we got a little help from Merlin with these questions via phone, though.

The interior of Primary Food & Drink, from their @PrimarybyGraham

Starting off, the decor is described by Merlin as Mid-century with a timeless feel.  “It’s something that’s never been done in the area.  We’re not trying to be trendy, we’re just being us.”  Part of that Mid-century charm comes from custom pieces (a stunning chandelier and banquettes) that were created just for the restaurant and acted as the muse (as Chef Verrier calls it) for the decor.  There is enough room for 95 people in two openly connected rooms.  The space can be divided by a curtain, too, creating a private room that can seat 45.  Also, at the bar 36 people can sit and enjoy drinks and the full Primary Food & Drink menu.

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Michelin-Starred Graham Elliot Opening Primary Food & Drink in Greenwich, Connecticut

3 Oct

Update:  Primary Food & Drink is open and here is our review:  Primarily Underwhelming.

We were reading The Greenwich Time over the summer and heard there were rumors that Joe Bastianich was opening up a spot in Greenwich.  Well, that made sense because he has lots of places in NYC and he has Tarry Lodge in nearby Port Chester.  While that rumor wasn’t true, they did say that a very famous celebrity chef from Chicago would be opening a restaurant at 409 Greenwich Avenue where Thataway Cafe used to be.  Immediately, we did our research and we were convinced it would be Graham Elliot…and our hunch was right.

Yes, the MasterChef judge and the owner of two Chicago restaurants:  Graham Elliot Bistro and Graham Elliot that has received two Michelin stars.  The name of his new restaurant in Greenwich is Primary Food & Drink, which highlights his exquisitely simple take on food and his commitment to keeping things at the highest possible quality.  Elliot will be serving Modern American food, rooted in the seasons and local food.

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