Upon graduating from the New York French Culinary Institute, Chef Pasquale Pascarella continued his education under two of contemporary Italian cuisine's most famous chefs: Mario Batali and Scott Conant. He learned well—today, Chef Pascarella serves up his own take on Italian cuisine at Bar Sugo, a critically acclaimed eatery known for its cozy atmosphere and classic food.
For edible evidence of Pascarella's Italian mastery, look no further than his meatballs prepared six ways—some with duck and foie gras, others with beef, melted gouda, and red onion jam. But those who do look further will discover brick-oven pizzas topped with pulled pork and 12-year-old balsamic, as well as house-made pastas such as mint tagliatelle with lamb ragu. That same tasteful touch is extended to the beverage selection, which encompasses wine, Italian beers, and cocktails made with liquors aged and awarded their diplomas in a barrel. But no matter what guests select from the menu, Bar Sugo's laid-back decor—featuring brick walls, a red-and-white checkered floor, and a copper-topped bar—invites them to sit back and savor every bite.
Wide, high-arched windows usher sunlight into a dining room anchored by brick columns and a brick fireplace. Behind the dark wood bar, bottles and taps spill craft beers whose names bedeck a chalkboard menu. Under a constellation of speakers suspended from the ceiling, diners chow down on slices of gourmet pizza. John Dough's signature is the fresh clam pizza, a white pie decorated with littleneck clams that the chef shucks to order after fishing them from olive oil seas. Classic margherita, chicken pesto, and sausage and hot oil pizzas also sail out of the restaurant's oven, while custom pies show off a customer's choice of toppings.
Chefs at Darien Social draw on their supplies of New England grown produce, farm raised meats, and local artisan products to craft their menu of American food. Entrees have included New York strip steaks with buttermilk onion rings, bone marrow, and creamed spinach and duck pizzas crowned with gruyere, duck confit, molasses, and squash crunch. To pair with rotating seasonal ingredients, the bartenders dispense a rotating selection of 31 different craft beers on draft and pour international wines.
Owners Deyong Liu and Hiro Nagata have installed eight individual hibachi grills throughout Tombo's interior, staffing each station with a skilled chef to give diners an up-close and entertaining view of meal preparation. Chicken, steak, seafood, and tofu sizzle atop each hibachi station and are paired with sautéed noodles, steamed white rice, and mixed vegetables for a complete and satisfying meal. Diners sip on sake, wine, beer, or Tiki Room cocktails as they chat with companions or belt out evening karaoke and can order a keepsake photo to commemorate the meal or confirm an alibi.
A Stamford native, Bobby Valentine made his way from All-State athlete to a professional ballplayer, manager, and analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. Ever the overachiever, he went into the restaurant business more than 30 years ago, and today his career serves as the inspiration at The Original Bobby V's Sports Bar location in Stamford, Connecticut. More than 100 menu items arrive on custom handmade tables in the form of nachos, wings, pastas, and 10 signature burgers. As the beer flows from the taps, high notes emerge from its imbibers on karaoke nights.
$15 for $30 worth of steak house fareGeorgetown Saloon Georgetown Saloon’s culinary wizards infuse steak house fare with inventive twists and eclectic ingredients, conjuring up a menu of burgers, ribs, and 16-ounce cowboy steaks, plus, crab cake BLTs and New Orleans–style shrimp. While gastronomic gurus serve up mouthwatering eats, Georgetown Saloon’s celebrated lineup of live music vibrates air particles to distract ears from begging mouths for french fries.