Restaurants in Darien

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The New York Times praised Tengda's Milford location—one of eight in a small regional chain—as "perfect for young-at-heart couples and groups," with a high-energy atmosphere bubbling around cuisine it called "very good." The chefs draw gustatory inspiration from China, Japan, and Thailand as they create their expansive menus of Pan-Asian fare, which include fiery stir-fries, grilled meats, and sushi and provide reading material for shy diners throughout a full meal. Moody red and yellow lights dapple sleek black tables and booths, and might occasionally catch knife-flipping and drink-slinging theatrics behind the sushi and cocktail bars.

25 Old Kings Hwy N
Darien,
CT
US

Little Thai Kitchen's chefs decorate porcelain canvasses with a menu of marinated Thai edibles presented in harlequin medleys beneath sprays of decorative bamboo. Stone and dark-cherry walls sprawl behind symphonies of silverware that clink gently like a robot with a rock in its shoe. Sticky sweet rice, veggies, and a variety of meats and seafood bask alongside spicy curries, including a green-chili concoction that the New York Times called "fierce and delicate at the same time." Frosted glass and brushed-steel lights spill warm light onto diners as they chat amid pastoral accents and artwork with Eastern influences.

4 West Ave
Darien,
CT
US

Backstreet Restaurant is a family-owned-and-operated establishment that offers classic, upscale American fare with a dash of international flair in a lively atmosphere. Yankee dinner diners can savor New York sirloin steak ($27) while globe-trotting carnivores can opt for a New Zealand rack of lamb encrusted with dijon and breadcrumbs ($27). Lunchtime hunger-havers may prefer to ensnare a crabwich—a louisiana crab cake on a sandwich ($11)—or tuck in a grilled or blackened salmon on a leafy bed of house salad ($16, dinner variation $22). Classic lunch salads, soups, pastas, and burgers are available alongside Italian- and California-omelette options for those in need of an edible eye-opener ($9). A full bar regularly churns out beers on tap for pre-, peri-, or postprandial potation.

22 Center St
Darien,
CT
US

Everything from barbecue beans to sweet thai chili sauce smothers the all-beef, gluten-free hot dogs at Franks & Frites. The eatery's cooks grill 13 varieties in total, plus a handful of "stray dogs" such as italian sausages, bratwursts, and the Great Dane, a 1-pound frank with as many toppings as your heart desires. Frites-wise, the culinary team sticks to the classic Belgian preparation: cutting potatoes by hand before double-frying them until a crispy exterior gives way to a fluffy interior. Fries are served in a paper cone and come paired with a choice of dipping sauce, including curry, blue cheese, and pesto mayo. Besides the restaurant's namesake, Franks & Frites' cooks flip burgers like the Wall Street, a medley of gorgonzola cheese, bacon, and an optional stack of sautéed $100 bills.

380 Heights Rd.
Darien,
CT
US

Trains are known to be the everyman's mode of transport. At the locomotive-themed eatery The Third Rail, the kitchen straddles the line between familiar tavern and upscale gastropub cuisine. They serve Black Angus burgers and pulled pork sandwiches alongside sautéed calves liver and duck confit. Brunch specials such as coconut shrimp with housemade apricot sauce save diners from having to cook, so they can spend their Sunday mornings the traditional way: training parrots to sing Pachelbel's "Canon."

22 Center Street
Darien,
CT
US

The center of a table topped in gleaming granite is not the usual place you’d find a bubbling cauldron. At Melting Pot, these cauldrons don't bubble with evil spells or dirty laundry, but with molten blends of cheese and lager.

The menu allows diners to create a decadent multi-course meal highlighted by fondue. First, they choose the cheese, then after a salad and entree comes what some call the real main course: chocolate fondue. Milk chocolate swirls with peanut butter, caramel, or marshmallow cream, waiting to engulf chunks of fruit and pound cake. Diners can also just enjoy cheese or chocolate fondue with a glass of wine without partaking in the full experience.

Amber lights suspended above warm wood tables make Melting Pot an apt choice for a romantic dinner or a celebratory evening out.

14 Grove St
Darien,
CT
US