Seafood Suggestions

My favorite seafood dishes at Fairfield County restaurants



I'm a huge seafood fan and I have yet to find any sort of ocean fare that I haven't enjoyed. Whether it is fish, shrimp, octopus or anything else that knows how to swim, I will probably order it at a restaurant. Here are a few seafood dishes from around Fairfield County that I particularly enjoy. Also, if you've had a great seafood dish that you want to share, tweet them to me - I would love to give it a try!
(@CallanMathis)

The Schoolhouse at Cannondale

34 Cannon Rd, Wilton; (203) 834-9816

The Schoolhouse at Cannondale is situated comfortably next to the Cannondale train station in Wilton and is, as one would suspect, an actual historic schoolhouse. The environment is cozy and warm, and in the summer diners are able to sit outside while overlooking the Norwalk River. All of the employees are accommodating and welcoming (which is no wonder, considering they won Best Service for Best of the Gold Coast) and the amazing food perfectly accompanies the wonderful service. I normally either order (depending on which one is available that day) arctic char or bronzini, which are both excellent. The last time I went, the arctic char was being served with quinoa, squash and a fresh pea puree. It was the perfect meal for a warm, summer day.

Schoolhouse at Cannondale in Wilton CT

Schoolhouse at Cannondale - Wilton CT

Schoolhouse at Cannondale - Wilton CT
Bronzini! Also yum.

 

South End at the Station

36 Pine St, New Canaan; 203-966-5200

I've tried a few fish dishes at South End at the Station, and it's honestly a little difficult deciding which one I liked the best. So for your viewing purposes I posted three (you can thank me later, or better yet when you are diving into one of these three fish dishes). Voted the Best New Restaurant in New Canaan, South End at the Station often has three staple fish dishes, and sometimes a fish special on their menu.

South End at the Station - New Canaan CT

I tried the Montauk Skate Wing on my most recent jaunt to South End and, oh my goodness, it was so good. It came with braised lentils, caramelized fennel, arugula and an orange-sherry vinaigrette. The fish was succulent and perfectly cooked, and the orange-sherry vinaigrette was well complimented by the richness of the braised lentils.

South End at the Station - New Canaan CT

You won't go wrong with the salmon at South End. The clean taste of the chilled asparagus, radish and pine nut salad and lemony goat yogurt and dill dressing is perfectly complimented by the robustness and warmth of the salmon. Plus the skin always has a perfect sear, which keeps the salmon moist and tender.

South End at the Station

I loved the freshness of this halibut dish. It is served with different accompaniments based on the season (when I had it last it was served with peas, mushrooms, asparagus and leeks - probably more of a spring combination) and it is currently being served with peas, sour cream onions, romaine, red veined sorrel and crispy ham. I will definitely have to go back to try the new halibut combination!

 

Tarry Lodge

30 Charles St, Westport; 203-571-1038

This octopus dish (along with others) definitely validates Tarry Lodge's win for Italian Food for Best of the Gold Coast. When I eat at Tarry Lodge I normally order the gorgonzola salad as a starter, but on this today I decided to switch it up a little. The octopus comes with charred peppers, lemon confit and squid ink and it absolutely tender and flavorful.

Tarry Lodge Octopus - Westport CT

 

The Inn at Pound Ridge

258 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge; 914-764-1400

Ok, so it technically isn't in Fairfield County- but Pound Ridge is close enough to drive for a great meal, especially when you are eating at the Inn at Pound Ridge. I visited the restaurant for my birthday, which was a solidly wonderful decision. I started with the cracking calamari, which was perfectly crispy and well complimented with a Yuzu dipping sauce. For my entree I had the Roasted Hake, which came with broccoli, and a grated ginger dressing with chervil and mint. The fish was perfectly cooked and tender and I loved the Asian inspired sauce that accompanied the dish. The fresh herbs were able to finish the dish with a wonderful freshness and brightness.

The Inn at Pound Ridge - Pound Ridge NY

 

Basso Cafe

124 New Canaan Ave, Norwalk; 203-354-6566

Well, you know how I feel about Basso Cafe (so good), and I realized that on my last post I forgot to mention the lobster salad! How clumsy of me. Actually, let me weave a quick tale for you about the lobster salad, which I'm sure will express to you just how lovely it is. My aunt and uncle from Dallas came to visit us and we brought them to Basso Cafe for lunch. My aunt ordered the lobster salad and loved it so much that she still talks about how good it was. Yes - to this very day! And she tried it over a year ago! Also, it would be remiss of me not to mention the Tuna and Mango Sashimi Salad, which would be a perfectly refreshing dish for a warm summer day - or any day, really.

Basso Cafe - Norwalk CT

Basso Cafe - Norwalk CT

 

If you're ever in NYC...

31 Cornelia St, New York; 212-645-2189

Po Restaurant New York City

Part of the reason why I love Pó is the location. It is a small restaurant settled comfortably in Greenwich Village in walking distance from Washington Square Park. I almost always order the grilled salmon with squash caponata and balsamic glaze; it is filling, delicious and perfect for any season. On the off chance that they don't have the salmon (which they didn't last time, it was looking to be a sad day), I will order the Frittata del Giorno (which was actually also delicious and turned the sad day into a happy day)


Avra Estiatorio

141 E 48th St, New York; 212-759-8550

Avra Estiatorio is a wonderful Greek restaurant in walking distance from Grand Central Station. They have amazingly fresh fish, and during the summer there is outdoor seating available, which is perfect on a sunny day in New York.

Avra New York City

Much like Tarry Lodge, the octopus at Avra is a little bit insane. The octopus is sushi quality and served with onions, red wine vinegar and capers. It is so unbelievably
fresh and tender that you won't want to share with anyone else. Honestly, probably not even one single forkful. But try your best.

Avra New York City

A wonderful and fresh arugula salad with tender grilled jumbo shrimp

Avra New York City

Oh my word, this was some of the best tuna I've ever had. Seared perfectly with a rare center.


CraftBar

900 Broadway, New York; 212-461-4300

I had the pleasure of going to Tom Colicchio's CraftBar on a relatively cold day for brunch. (sidebar - actually, it was raining on what would have been a normally manageable walk from Grand Central and I decided to exercise my intelligence by walking. Note to self - even if you have an umbrella - which I did, don't voluntarily walk 25 minutes in the rain) Once I dried off from my excursion from Grand Central, I was eased back into a sense of comfort and contentment by the perfectly cooked dourade, which was served with brussels sprouts and apples. Because I went when it was cold, the accompaniments were matched  with the cool weather. Currently the fish is  being served with shaved market vegetable and baby mustard greens salad, lemon puree and aged balsamic, which sounds just about perfect for the summer.

CraftBar Restaurant New York City


For the commuters!

Famished and looking for a quick snack on your commute back to good ol' Connecticut? Swing by Pescatore inside the Grand Central Market for one of these delectable seafood spring rolls. I'm particularly fond of the lobster roll. And the shrimp. Well, the salmon too. Oh, forget it, I just like them all.

Grand Central Market New York City