When designing Toscana Greenwich, owner Paul W. Ardaji was meticulous in recreating the spirit of renaissance Florence. The walls are decked with vibrant paintings depicting the landmark era’s culture, and food is cooked in a wood-burning oven. Voted the Best Italian Restaurant of Greenwich 2012 by The Best of Fairfield County Living, the menu brims with Tuscan specialties and house originals alike, such as the house pizza topped with crème fraîche, smoked salmon, Italian caviar, and jalapeño. High-backed booths or elegantly appointed tables set the stage for dining on these delectables, and a vibrant ring of glowing red wine bottles-turned-light fixtures hang above the front of the restaurant to contrast the classic yellow light emanating from the dining area’s sconces and rustic saucer-like fixtures.
Chris Geideman’s resumé includes nearly every restaurant-industry job imaginable—cook, bartender, general manager, wine sales, bar manager, sous chef—and it’s a career that very easily could never have happened. He got into the industry accidentally, after agreeing to cover for a friend at his dishwashing post one night. A quarter-century later, Chris is the executive chef and owner of Crew, a comfort-food bistro with dishes that can be prepared as small plates or full entrees.
The dining room is simply adorned with white linens draped over tables and a mustard-colored booth that runs continuously around the room. But guests shouldn’t let that deceive them—as the New York Times noted, “the low-key atmosphere doesn’t telegraph how creative the menu is.” It’s fitting that a man with such flexible talents has created a menu that covers a lot of culinary ground. One dish might carry an international elegance—roast-chicken paillard with tomato-caper confit—and the next may have an American ease, such as the skillet burger with homemade kettle chips.
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.
Zen Bronze Healthy Tanning owner Donna Buscemi and her team darken epidermises using an organic, hypoallergenic tanning solution that's free of parabens, alcohol, and artificial fragrance. During consultations, the airbrush technicians customize this safe, sugar-based formula in accordance with the client's desired hue. Then, they manually apply the color in order to simulate a natural glow free of splotches.
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.
Candles placed upon the bar and tables at Bambou Asian Tapas & Bar cast a flickering glow on dishes that blend the spices of Chinese and Thai cuisine with the cool flavors of Japanese sushi. Behind the bar, chefs tie ribbons of seaweed around ocean-fresh salmon or chomp on morsels of wasabi before searing soy-glazed chicken with their newfound fire-breath. Wines, sakes, dessert liquors, and cocktails complement hot and cold tapas selections, and chopsticks duel for elegantly plated sushi rolls at the dining room’s intimate booths and tables.