Tag Archives: South Norwalk

Chef David Soto brings Latin food with a unique twist to Norwalk with Aji 10

3 Mar
Executive Chef and owner David Soto and Sous Chef Erick Omar Soto

Executive Chef and owner David Soto and Sous Chef Erick Omar Soto. Photo from Aji 10’s Facebook.

Even though we’re both Italian, if we had to narrow down our favorite cuisine it would undoubtedly be Latin American. Whether it’s ceviche, lomo saltado, rope vieja, mofongo, arepas, tacos, and so on, we just can’t get enough. So you can only imagine how much we’re drooling here as we fantasize about the menu at Aji 10, a brand new Latin restaurant at the border of SoNo and East Norwalk, located at 10 Wall Street.

Photo from Cristiano Dos Santos

Photo from Cristiano Dos Santos

Opened just a few weeks ago on January 23, the former sous chef at Paloma and Executive Chef at Baang and Splash, Chef David Soto, has created a killer menu that features Latin American foods and Nikkei, a popular fusion cuisine of Japanese and Peruvian you can’t find anywhere in Fairfield County. Not only that, but Aji 10 also brings the first-ever (that we can think of) Pisco bar to the SoNo dining scene, which features the much-loved spirit in Peru and Chile. So, what’s Chef Soto’s story, what makes him an awesome addition to SoNo, and what are some of the best dishes to order off the menu? Take a look . . . Continue reading

Rebirth of the Cool: Adam Patrick Takes Over + Reinvents Drink Program @ Match in SoNo

13 Mar

Adam Patrick Walrus Carpenter

On a recent trip to Colorado we hit up a speakeasy called Williams & Graham on the advice of our buddy, Charles Guerrero.  The drinks were awesome and the bartenders were amazing, mixing, shaking, cutting, peeling, straining, and pouring like pros.  Fast forward to a few weeks later when we finally made our way to Walrus + Carpenter in Black Rock and got to see Adam Patrick “behind the stick.”  Not only were his drinks impressively delicious, but he had those same skills that the bartenders who amazed us in Denver had.  One of the moves that got us hyped up was shaking the cocktail in one hand then stirring a drink with the other hand.  We both argued if we could actually do that, trying to pat our heads and rub our stomachs…we couldn’t even do that, but he made it seem easy as breathing.  

Match SoNo LogoWe talk about him with you today because Adam Patrick was chosen by Chef Matt Storch of Match to create a brand new drink program as the Bar Manager.  And, it’s pretty easy to see why Chef Storch would choose him to help bring about the new iteration of his landmark Match in the heart of SoNo.  He’s got drive, he’s got heart, he’s got mad skills, he’s got some sass, and he’s got some serious smarts.  Case in point:  his blog *just add alcohol that takes you through how to make cocktails, the origins of drinks, bar philosophy, and more.  

So, let’s dig a little deeper into the world of Adam Patrick, his role as Bar Manager at the soon-to-reopen Match, some hints about the changes to come at Match, and his evolution in the restaurant and service industry…

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Chef Kardos brings New England + New Orleans together with NOLA in SoNo

9 Sep

NOLA.  While this word might conjure up images of New Orleans, Chef Dan Kardos and the owners from Southport Brewing Company had more than just New Orleans in mind when they put together the concept for NOLA Oyster Bar.  Think East Coast shoreline cuisine, and all you love about New England, mixed up with inspiration from the creole stylings of good ‘ole New Orleans. Based on this eclectic mix, it should be no surprise the menu is heavily focused on seafood, which is great because Chef Kardos happens to be straight from Fairfield County’s own seafood mecca, The Whelk.

We live on seafood in the summer, so you best believe we were excited to hit up this new restaurant with some of our favorite friends, Mike and Kelley (with two e’s, get it right). Being majorly early, like early bird special, eat with the blue-hairs early, we sat down at the bar for some pregaming.  Although they had a nice beer selection, we decided to start with some cocktails.  Kristien, Mike, and Kelley all started with Leenie’s Lemonade, a cocktail with Hangar 1 Maine blueberry vodka, fresh muddled mint, lemon, and simple sugar.  The lemon flavor hit first, but then you got nice notes of blueberry and mint.  Awesome and refreshing, not overly tart or sweet.  Dan had to be different and tried the French Quarter, made with rye whiskey, cardamaro, and old-fashioned bitters.  This has a classic kind of flavor and is a great choice if you love rye.  Because we were the first people at the bar for the day, the manager treated us to his soon-to-be-famous (by the time we write this it should already be famous) oyster shooters.  You’ll find this on the happy hour menu, but it just might show up on the regular cocktail menu soon too.  This shot is similar in flavor to a Bloody Mary with some kick and an oyster waiting for you on the bottom.  Very refreshing and a nice way to usher in our meal.

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Even More Variety at SoNo Restaurant Week(s) from June 3-16

24 May

We’re digging the new graphic, aren’t you?  And, with the new graphic for SoNo Restaurant Week 2013 comes new restaurants and more chances to get your prix fixe deals from Monday (6/3) to Sunday (Father’s Day, 6/16).  Again, one of the best things about restaurant weeks is how they let you try out new spots that you’ve been meaning to try.  For updates on restaurant week menus, make sure you check back with ConnecticutRestaurantWeek.com.  And, if you have any questions about the restaurants, let us know.

Well, here we go…

$9.99 Lunch:  The Brewhouse, Coromandel, Donovan’s, O’Neill’s, Papaya Thai

$14.99 Lunch:  Chocopologie, Estia, The Ginger Man, Mama’s Boy, Strada 18

$19.99 Dinner (offer not valid on 6/8 and 6/15):  The Brewhouse, Donovan’s, O’Neill’s, Papaya Thai

$29.99 Dinner:  Bacchus, Barcelona, Chocopologie, Coromandel, Estia, The Ginger Man, Mama’s Boy, Match, Nola, The Spread, Strada 18

 

Barcelona hosts Memorial Day BBQ and pig roasts all summer long

15 May

Memorial Day and BBQs…they are inseparable like peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, Lewis and Clark, Ren & Stimpy, bread and butter, and even pasta and sauce.  Perhaps they go so well together because BBQ’n brings family and friends together outside for good times, good fun, and good eats?  In essence, the grill unites people and connects us through our basic needs of friendship and food.

But, what do you do if you don’t have a grill or just want to go out and celebrate?  Easy…you head over to Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant in Fairfield on 5/27 from 1-9 pm.  For just $20 or $10 for kids (that’s a nice deal, btw) you’ll get a BBQ buffet that consists of sliders, kebabs, ribs, grilled veggies, salads, and their famous suckling pig.  For the beer lover, they’ll also have tastings from one of our favorite local breweries, Captain Lawrence.  They’ll have face painting for the kids (or that cool hipster) from 1:30-4:30, they’ll have outdoor games (cornhole please!), and they will even have a lemonade/popsicle/ice cream stand.  And, what’s a BBQ without live music?  Barcelona will have Rick Reyes & The Pasonfino Social Club playing from 2-6 while you chat, chew, and chill.

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Inventive, Rich + Flavorful Dishes at The Spread Get the Heart of SoNo Pumping

23 Jan

When Chef Arik Bensimon left his cushy job as Executive Chef at Napa & Company in Stamford, he didn’t really have a set plan in place.  “I didn’t know where I was going to end up,″ he told us in an interview.  Many might think he was crazy to leave a job like that, but a chef with raw talent needs to explore, needs to branch out, and needs to make his own mark on the culinary world. After all, no risk, no reward! After leaving Napa, Arik was fortunate enough to have met Andrey Cortes, Chris Hickey, Shawn Longyear, and Christopher Rasile and they instantly clicked.  It’s like it was a match made in…well…culinary heaven. And from that bond, The Spread was born.

We asked Arik about what was his inspiration for the menu at The Spread, and he shared, “Thanksgiving, doing things family style, bringing people together.  I want people to interact with each other, share, talk, and enjoy.  It brings about better conversation, opens up people a lot more.  I’d love for people to go out, order half the menu, and share it with their friends.  People can just order entrees, too, if they don’t feel like sharing.  There is some adventurous food, but also some nice classics that all people can appreciate.″  You can see, then, how Sean’s idea of naming their new restaurant The Spread jives well with the spread on the table and family style eating.  Also of note is Arik’s commitment to using locally sourced ingredients and cheese for the menu.

Finally, after months of waiting, we got ourselves a reservation and headed into SoNo.  When we walked in, we were nostalgic for Havana that used to be there and where we went on our first date.  Inside, though, things were so different, so modern (yet rustic), so much bigger, and so much more lively.  The tables were full, the bar was full, everywhere was full.  Our waiter later told us that this was one of the busiest nights he’d ever seen.  Hand it to us to go on that night, huh?  That being said, we did have to wait a while past our reservation, but passed the time away by sipping some mixed drinks from the bar.  Kristien had the Tico Juice which was exotic, had just the right amount of sweetness and fruitiness, but needed a little more liquor.  Dan had The Tea Bag (Kristien felt awkward asking for this at the bar) which was also good that didn’t get overpowered because of the tea infused bulleit bourbon…a very nice balance. 

When the time came to order, as is usually the case with us, we couldn’t decide on what to eat because each dish looked creative, exquisite, and exciting.  We decided, though, to go with a few small plates and have two bigger plates for our own enjoyment.  Moroccan carrots, lardo & figs, little neck clams, marinated beets, veal confit, griddled pork belly, and apple crisp…yeah, we were hungry but couldn’t come close to eating all of the 36 parts (not including dessert) of this menu.  Let’s go through our meal together and show you some of the dishes that you’ll need to try when you visit.

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A feast worthy of the god it’s named for. Bacchus- South Norwalk, CT

12 Jun

Rigatoni D'Angelo, or "of the angel" and it was, oh it was.

Let’s just get this out there first. Whatever you heard about Bacchus from years past, before their reopening a few months ago, just leave that all behind. The new Bacchus is totally different, and totally heavenly! What makes it so heavenly you ask? Well, we shall tell you, our cherished Omnomivores.

First, the service. Our waiter. Chris, was BY FAR the best waiter we’ve had in years. Incredibly friendly, incredibly attentive, and extremely knowledgeable. From providing wine suggestions, to describing every dish he put on our table, he was fantastic! Plus, another bonus we love, the owner, Arnie D’Angelo, comes around to every table (more than once even) to make sure everyone is happy.

Second, the open kitchen. We love when restaurants do this! I know not everyone appreciates it as much as we do, but being super foodies, we are mesmerized. And luckily, we were seated right next to the window. The rest of the ambiance was nice too. Nothing crazy amazing, but clean, cozy and softly lit, just like we like it.

Third, and most of all, the food! Oh, the food! Because we seriously ate a lot, I mean a whole lot, and shared everything, I’m going to make it easy for you:

First course – a bonus amuse bouche: their homemade meatballs. Ok, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, seriously, but this meatball is the closest meatball I’ve had to my Nana’s BEST EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD meatball. Now, I’m not saying it was AS good, but it was the closest I’ve ever had. A delicious blend of veal and pork that gave it a perfect, hearty texture, real breadcrumbs (not the crap you buy already crushed up), basil, oregano, and a decent helping of garlic to give it a nice spice. YUM!

Second course – another bonus free dish: Caponata and bread. Danny and I enjoyed a nice helping of hearty Italian bread dipped in a harmonious blend of fresh olive oil, basil, eggplant (duh), caramelized onions, and yellow and green peppers. Very good.

Third course: Tuna Tartar. While I am a bit baffled at the Asian twist they put on this dish in an Italian restaurant, it was very good. Fresh chunks of tuna with almonds and avocado bathed in a mixture of sesame oil, lemon, and soy sauce over fried wontons, drizzled with an aioli. It really was a nice balance of all the flavors, light and fresh and quite tasty. My only complaint is they were just a bit heavy on the aioli for me, but most places seem to do this.

Fourth course: The HOLY CRAP we could seriously eat a vat of this is Rigatoni D’Angelo. WOW, wow, wow. Perfectly cooked pasta, al dente, combined with a fantastic tomato sauce with a hint of cream, peas, basil, garlic and incredibly creamy ricotta. Yeah, this dish is the owner’s baby and I can see why. It will rock your world.

Fifth course (What? You thought we were done? Psh!): Veal Milanese. I am very picky when it comes to this dish. If you over-bread the veal, it’s an automatic #FAIL. If you don’t have enough oil or lemon and it’s dry, #FAIL. This one, however, passed all of the above with flying colors! Add plenty of fresh cherry peppers, tomatoes and arugula on the side and this was one of the best Veal Milanese we’ve had in the area other than it just being oh so slightly overcooked in thinner spots.

For the final, sixth course we had dessert. The dessert menu was kind of disappointing as we were expecting a ton of tasty Italian treats, but got only a couple. We ordered the Tiramisu drenched in mascarpone and espresso and it was quite good.

AND of course, we washed this all down with a bottle of Villa Bella Ripasso Valpolicella. A nice, smooth red popping with dark berry and plum flavors and a kick of spice. It was very versatile, pairing well with just about all our dishes.

So as you can see, read, and drool over, Bacchus really is worth coming out to try, and try again. Plus, they have this awesome event that has been celebrated by Italian-American families every Sunday without fail called Sunday Gravy. A feast of rigatoni, beef and pork braciole, sausage, meatballs, salad and a carafe of wine for only $25 for adults, $14 for kids every Sunday from noon to 6PM. We SOOOOO have to go back for that!

Noms: 4

Cost: $$$

Bacchus 
120 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854-3007
Phone: (203) 956-6220
http://www.bacchussono.com/ 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002287523045 

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Ending the year on a high note! Red Lulu Cocina & Tequila Bar, South Norwalk (SoNo)

1 Jan

Kristien and I OmNoming it up at Red Lulu

When we were thinking about some great places to OmNom it up for New Year’s Eve, we couldn’t stop going back to our amazing experience at Red Lulu.  With a place that cool, we thought it HAS to be a scene on the craziest night of the year, right? So Kristien called up Red Lulu and was told the chef would be creating some new items for a very special menu, that there would be three seatings, one at 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00, and that they would have confetti and a champagne toast at midnight.  We decided we couldn’t miss out on what was sure to be a fantastic night so we made reservations for us, and our friend, Paul Mueller, author of Abigail and Blueboy, for 8:00PM

To begin, we were led to the most awesome seat in the house:  the head of the beautiful mirrored, cross table just below the brick wall where they were projecting NYC’s Time Square live.  Paul freaked when the granita came out smoking and popped a picture just like we did.  Some things never grow old! :) Our waitress, Emma, brought us our margaritas (HAD to have the Red Lulu and Diablo again) and prepared us for an awesome meal.  Some of the major highlights of the night:

Paul, Emma, and I

1)  The chef’s new guacamole!  It was mixed with thick chunks of smoked bacon… yeah bacon, need we say more?  I just hope this stays on their regular menu. If not, I’m sorry that I just told you about it without hope of you ever achieving oneness through this dish.

2)  The carne asada, once again, was amazing.  It was done up differently when I ordered it last time, so I didn’t feel as guilty for ordering the same darn thing.  There were some nicely grilled onions on the side, with a beautiful strip of beef that was cut into slices and accompanied with some tortillas for wrapping.  A spicy red sauce was there that added great flavor and heat to the dish.  By itself, the beef was amazing, but adding in the red sauce made it great.  Also, throw in some more guacamole and roasted jalapenos, and it’s perfect.  Well, I guess if there was bacon in this guac, too! :)

3)  The service!  It was spot on yesterday.  We were seated right at 8:00 and were well taken care of by the attentive waitstaff and by Emma.  The time we spent at Red Lulu seemed to just drift by as they helped us to celebrate.  Waiters, waitresses, and staff were clad in NYE necklaces and hats, were throwing balloons around, were cranking noise makers, and getting everybody excited.

4)  Both the pulled pork and rib eye tacos.  The meat, in both tacos, was cooked very nicely.  The pulled pork, in particular, was of the kind of quality that you’d find at a stellar BBQ joint.  The pork was just so moist and delicate, that it just seemed to melt away.  Served up with some salsa verde, the pulled pork tacos were a great starter.

My New Year's Eve Cotton Candy Goatee

5)  Last of all, we all shared  a dessert platter.  There was a tequila cupcake with a scoop of butter on top–I ate a big chunk of it with the cupcake thinking it was ice cream.  Nope, it wasn’t, ewwww.  It was butter!  Damn, that was smart of me, but we all got a big laugh out of it.  Also, there were fried banana cheesecake bites that Kristien just loved.   The other two desserts:  a bread pudding (we think… at this point we had quite a few margaritas) and a brownie cake were also very good.  We were even given an extra complimentary dessert platter and some champagne to wash it all down. SWEET!

Red Lulu continues to kick some major culo!  The place was packed, with three dinner seatings and a crowded bar, yet the food came out hot, and the service was superior.  I just wonder when we’ll be back again…maybe next Saturday?

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A sensory explosion. Red Lulu Cocina & Tequila Bar, Norwalk (SoNo)

19 Dec

Calling Red Lulu Cocina & Tequila Bar a sensory explosion is an understatement. In fact, as soon as you walk into their mammoth doors you’re hit with the first two sensory explosions: sight and sound. Ok, not just hit, but more like “You got knocked the f@$k out” like Smokey says to Teebo in Friday. Let’s take them one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed with the awesomeness.

Sight

Wow. No, wow doesn’t even sum it up. This place is freakin’ ridiculous. Dare I say the coolest looking restaurant in Fairfield County? Yes I dare. It starts with the rich, red, velvety, damask wall paper, then moves over to the gorgeous variety of antique/crystal/iron/goth chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, over to the swanky lounge and bar area bustling with trendy locals enjoying concoctions from their fabulous drink menu, along to the cross-shaped mirrored table in the middle of the restaurant next to a giant brick wall showcasing an eclectic variety of movies, ending with the plush, red, velvet seats nestled in cute little dining nooks for a little privacy among friends. Absolutely stunning… sexy even, rarrrr.

Sound

As busy as this place gets, you would expect it to be incredibly noisy. Luckily, the acoustics are excellent (must be all the velvety goodness soaking it up). Instead, all you really hear is fun and energetic music loudly (but not annoyingly) playing throughout the space.  And although we’ve not been to Red LuLu late at night or for a special party, I hear the musical entertainment can get quite intense!

But enough about all that, what about the foooood?! Here we move onto the two very interconnected senses:

Taste and Smell (with a twist of sight)

Once we were seated up on the wrought iron surrounded balcony overlooking the gorgeous cross table, we were greeted by our friendly waiter carrying a complimentary stainless steel bowl of steaming granita, to which he offered a splash of tequila to accompany it. Of course, we obliged! What a refreshing way to clear the palette for what was to be an amazing meal.

Then, we were presented with another complimentary dish of wonderfulness–a HUGE bowl of warm chips and a plethora of sauces and salsas for them to bathe in, including a spicy chipotle cream sauce, a fantastic spicy, sweet habanero mango sauce, an acidic and flavorful green tomatillo, and a nice, smokey roasted tomato salsa. And, to complement this variety of delish, we added one of their three guacamoles–the picante guacamole, with hell’s chile oil and fresh, hot green chiles. Not as spicy as we hoped, but still yummy! Yeah, and we totally couldn’t help ourselves from eating the entire bowl of chips with all of this! Oops.

Next up, drinks! What we thought was going to be an easy decision (margaritas, DUH), was anything but easy. With over 100 tequila choices (who the heck knew there were even over 100 tequilas on the market?), three sangria choices (including a rose, which you NEVER see), a wide variety of beers, and creative variations of margaritas, we weren’t sure where to start! We finally landed on the Red Lulu margarita for myself, an absolutely PERFECT mix of Sauza Hornitos, Patron Citronge, fresh lime, infused imperial cranberry cane syrup, and unsweetened crushed cranberry, and the Diablo for Danny, a harmonious blend of Lanazul Reposado, Luxardo Triplum, serrano chile, blood orange, and fresh pineapple, and strawberries.

Moving on, we have appetizers. As usual, stuck between about 10 different dishes, we picked the tres ceviches. As lovers of all things ceviche, how could we refuse a sampling of three different kids? Our absolute favorite of the three was the sangrita, a glorious combo of shrimp, scallops, tomato, fresh orange, hot sauce, and avocado. OMG. Second favorite was the traditional blend, consisting of grouper, fresh lime juice, serrano chile, and red onion. Very fresh and light. Although Danny thoroughly enjoyed the last one, called coco, the jury’s still out for me. The coco ceviche started with nice, fresh ahi tuna, drowning in coconut milk, a splash of fresh lime, cilantro leaves, and jalapeno. While I absolutely LOVE coconut, I feel like the coconut milk was just too heavy for a ceviche. It wasn’t bad by any means, but perhaps if they were lighter on the coconut milk and heavier on the lime, it would’ve been the perfect mix.

Now for course 2 (technically 4 if you count the granitas and chips, man we can eat), the main course! Danny had the carne asada, a grilled, marinated skirt steak (one of my faves) with flour tortillas, salsa roja, grilled red onions, and jalapenos. Holy hell, it was AMAZING (yes, of course I tasted it too)! The steak was perfectly cooked medium rare, which can be a challenge for thin skirt steak. The red onions were slightly spicy with just the perfect amount of vinegar to give it a nice, fresh acidity. And it even came with surprise, nicely seasoned french fries, like we needed that! Next time we go, I’m SO ordering that! And for me, I had the carne de vaca enchiladas from the appetizer menu, which was so huge it was anything but an appetizer. These unique and rich enchiladas consisted of slow-cooked short ribs, Negro Modello red chile sauce, and tobacco onions. While the ribs were cooked to perfection, soft, not tough or stringy at all, I would probably not get this dish again only because the Negro Modello sauce was just too rich, sweet, and overpowering for me. Though I think this is purely a taste thing, and no reflection of the quality of the dish… just look how amazing it looks in that picture. Puuurdy!

And last, but so very, very not least was dessert. Holy crap, where did we fit it? We indulged in the buenos noches, a warm, deep chocolate, espresso bread pudding (my favorite dessert of all time), topped with coffee ice cream, brown sugar caramel and hot fudge sauce. Oh wow, wow, wow, it was fantasical!

Then, just when you thought we were done, they bestow upon us the last of three complimentary dishes, a heaping serving of green apple cotton candy! How can you not fall absolutely in love with a place that ends every meal with a pile of sugary whimsy? You simply cannot, so at 4.25 noms, go here now, and go here often because it is more than a pleasure to all your senses.

Red Lulu Cocina and Tequila Bar
Noms: 4.25
Cost:  $$$

Address:  128 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone:  (203) 939 – 1600
Website: http://redlulumexican.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-Lulu-Cocina-Tequila-Bar/114553975261899?ref=ts

Note: Reservations not accepted for parties under 6. Usually a long wait after 7:00PM, so go early if you can’t wait 45 mins +

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The menu’s promising, but the food ain’t so rosy. Rouge Winebar, Norwalk (SoNo)

15 Dec

I think that the title says it all, but I feel that I have to defend myself here.  First of all, Rouge Winebar is a quiet and comfy place with beautiful brick walls and striking wooden floors.   They really set the tone when you enter as you see a lovely rack of wine bottles, inviting you in.  The bar is also impressive, especially the rouge light setting a halo around the liquor.  The menu, also, really impressed us.  Their philosophy is small plates and, look, we’re all for that.  It was really difficult to center in on just a few dishes, but we picked a select few that would awaken our tastebuds.

To start the party, we invited over a 2006 Marietta Zinfandel that was aged in French oak.  Quite a classy gal with a nice finish.  It’s no party with just one guest, so I asked the Greek Salad to join our table  He was smothered in a vinaigrette, and had some kalmata olives, cucumbers, red onion, peppers, and a dash of oregano.    The salad was good and certainly lived up to expectations.  Enough with the cheesy talk, let’s just get down to business.  We also ordered the Potato and Chorizo Croquette, covered in a garlic aioli.  Kristien wasn’t a fan, but I thought it was pretty good.  My main problem with the dish and many of the others here at Rouge is the lack of seasoning-or in some cases like the beef carpaccio, too much.  The croquettes could have definitely benefited from a bit more spice and kick.

The dish that I was most looking forward to was the Coffee Dusted NY Strip Steak that was draped over manchego mashed potatoes.  Top the steak with some demi glaze and put some sweet and sour onions on the side and you’ve got the golden ticket, right?  Well, sorta.  The steak was cooked perfectly at medium rare and had really beautiful grill marks.  What this dish gained in presentation it lost in taste.  The onions and mashed potatoes seemed to have more spice and flavor than the steak itself which disappointed me quite a bit.  It was still a good dish, but it wasn’t an amazing dish that you beg your dining partner to taste.

Finally, Kristien is a lobster risotto fiend, so when she saw that on the menu, she knew what she had to do.  Again, when it arrived, we were excited and we began to drool at the presentation.  The herbs, sauce, and parmagiano all combined to add a wonderful taste to this dish, but it couldn’t make the overcooked rice taste better.  I was having intense flashbacks to Gordon Ramsay yelling at budding chefs  on Hell’s Kitchen and blasting out, “You overcooked the risotto,” only I had no food or things to throw around.  

If you compared Rouge Winebar with Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant, I don’t think you’d really need to think twice.  Scena was just as nice on the inside, was around the same price, but the food was much better.  Plus, to boot, they are pretty close by each other, Scena being in Darien.  You can certainly have an okay meal at Rouge Winebar, but at that price you probably want an awesome or excellent one.

Noms:  2.75

Cost:  $$$

Rouge Winebar
Address:  88 Washington Street
Norwalk, CT 06854-3077
Phone:  (203) 354-4781
Site:  http://rougewinebar-ct.com/index.htm

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