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.
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.
MacDuff's Public House slings classic pub fare from across the Atlantic amidst the merriment of TV-sports spectatorship and occasional live musical performances. An exposed oven beckons diners to marvel as chefs prepare their meals, and introduces recently thawed cavemen to the wonders of controlled fire. As regulars converse over pints within eye-shot of exposed brick walls, dark woods, and a glistening full bar, servers ferry British favorites, such as fish ’n’ chips and shepherds pie, as well as all-American classics including barbecue-pulled-pork sandwiches and prime Hereford beef burgers with house-made french fries.
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.
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.
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.
Mill Creek Tavern’s nautically themed dining room excites the eyes with model ships, wood crackling in a stone fireplace, and the restaurant’s logo of crossed canoe paddles. Meanwhile, the aroma of freshly caught seafood and juicy steaks on the grill signals the feast to come, much like the smell of cigar smoke signals a spritz of Winston Churchill cologne. A part of the Mim’s family of restaurants, Mill Creek Tavern has been a Bayville staple for more than a quarter century. One of the tavern’s owners is always onsite holding the entrees to a consistently lofty standard, inspiring a rave review from Joanne Starkey of The New York Times, who recommended “the fall-from-the-bones-tender baby-back ribs, a perfectly grilled fillet of lemon sole, and a rousing rendition of chicken scarpariello with meat on the bone and lots of garlic, sausage, and potatoes.”