Crew 280, Greenwich CT

Crew 280 Menu

Where everybody knows your name

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Some people spend lifetime on the hunt for a good local pub. Brett and I have been lucky enough to have found two since our time here in the Port Chester, NY / Greenwich, CT area. The first was a spot called the Greenwich Lobster House, or better known to locals as “GLH.” It was here where we spent a great deal of time listening to live music, enjoying some baked clams and above all else, meeting some of the people we now call our best friends. GLH was a special time and will always have a special place in our hearts. After all, it’s where Brett broke his bones, as they say, as a guitarist and singer. It was a really sad day when GLH closed its doors. We spent the next few years (in denial that GLH was closed) and bounced around spot to spot but nothing felt right. We missed walking into a place and seeing familiar faces and having a place to go when you didn’t want to be at home, but you didn’t want to be anywhere else either. We missed having a Local.

Owner Chris Geideman
Owner Chris Geideman

Then one day, we found ourselves at Crew 280 and all was suddenly right in our world again. That was many years ago now and we been fortunate enough to expand our friendship circle to include so many new and wonderful people that we have met at Crew. But it’s not just about the people at Crew, it’s about the food, drinks and exceptional customer service too.

Crew 280 is best described as an American Bistro. This to mean its a bit like a gastro pub but with European influence. Different from most restaurants, the menu is not broken up into traditional starters and entrees, but rather most menu items come with the option of small or large portions. I really enjoy this concept because it allows you to order in line with your appetite level. (Or so you have an excuse to order two small things so you don’t need to decide on one large thing!)

[mk_blockquote font_family=”none”]Crew is where you go for good food and good vibes.[/mk_blockquote]

Crew’s menu is offers everything from upscale pub grub such as grilled buffalo wings with homemade gorgonzola sauce and truffle fries to Chicken Milanese and a Fish Du Jour. Everything is delicious! I bounce around the menu often but my current go-to favorites are the Wings with a Wedge salad. Oh, but the Shrimp and Grits are oh so good! It’s actually really hard to decide what my favorite dish is at Crew. My only complaint about Crew’s menu is that it is light on vegetarian options outside of salad and I personally really enjoy vegetables of all kinds.

Crew doesn’t just stop at great food and friendly people, but it is one of the only spots in the local area with Live Acoustic Music. What for it…Live acoustic music that actually starts at a normal time! Good food & Good vibes makes Crew 280 the ultimate local find in Greenwich, CT.

I recommend Crew for those who enjoy an upscale gastro pub environment, live acoustic music and well made cocktail. Before you know it, everyone will know your name.

Recommended for:

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  • Delicious Food: All the food here is very good with a rustic, yet refined approach behind it.   
  • Live Music: Live acoustic music can often be found on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during dinner hours.
  • Customer Service: No one will make you feel more welcome than the owner and the rest of the Crew staff.

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Not recommended for:

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  • Vegetarians: Although the chef is happy to accommodate requests for vegetarians, the menu is light on vegetables.    

[/mk_custom_list][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” url=”https://crew280.com/index.htm” target=”_blank” align=”center” bg_color=”#e69b10″ btn_hover_bg=”#4c4c4c”]Visit Crew’s Website[/mk_button]

Barcelona, Stamford CT

Where Feast & Merriment abounds

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apas is my favorite style of eating. Small plates of deliciousness of all kinds intended to share- what could be better? On any given Sunday, you can find me at Barcelona in Stamford, CT with a bottle of Rioja and surrounded by cured meats, cheeses and tapas. And I will stay there all-day-long.

barcelona-wineI actually love Barcelona on any day or night of the week, but Sundays is my personal favorite because their wine list is 50%. What makes this deal even sweeter is that Barcelona has the best wine list of any restaurant in the area. At most other restaurants the problem is which wine to choose because they are all mediocre and highly overpriced, even at 50% off! Here, the problem I run into is which one not to choose. The wine at Barcelona is well curated and it does not go unnoticed.

Okay, enough about wine. Lets talk about the food. The menu has a few consistent items that you can always count on like the manchego and jamon croquettes and the meatballs, but they change the menu frequently with the seasons and this keeps it interesting for us regulars. The food here has never disappointed me and I’ve eaten here well over 30 times.

Barcelona is a great place to go with friends, on a date or even by yourself if you are like me and like to saddle up to the bar. It’s also a fantastic spot for Sunday brunch with unequivocally the best Bloody Mary bar in town.  (Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday.)

I recommend Barcelona for anyone who enjoys great Mediterranean inspired tapas food, mainly with origins from Spain, excellent wines and sherry’s, and a lively, yet rustic, ambiance. The only downside to Barcelona is the same as everywhere in Stamford- the parking isn’t great, but if you take an Uber your night just got better with door to door service!

Recommended for:

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  • Bloody Mary Bar: You won’t find a better one around.
  • Sunday Wine Down: 50% off bottles all day on Sunday.
  • The Food: The food is fantastic.

[/mk_custom_list][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” url=”https://www.barcelonawinebar.com/location/stamford/” target=”_blank” align=”center” bg_color=”#e69b10″ btn_hover_bg=”#4c4c4c” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ffffff”]Visit Barcelona’s Website[/mk_button]

Crisfield’s Prime Meats, Rye NY

Meat matters

I have so much I want to say about why we should all be buying our meat from independently owned, professional butcher shops and not run of the mill, “B” grade grocery stores. But I’ll save my soap box speech for another post. But it relates to why I recommend Crisfield’s Prime Meats as one of Westchester’s best local butcher shops.

Family owned and operated for as long as I have been a Sound Shore resident, the meat here speaks for itself. They specialize in high quality meats and they butcher them expertly. John, the owner, is always happy to talk to you about recommendations on cuts or how to cook something. It’s not uncommon for me to walk in to buy a simple chicken and getting side tracked and walking out with something totally unplanned like Heritage pork chops or a crown roast.

One of my absolute favorite things at Crisfield’s are the house blended “Super Burgers.” After having one of these, it’s actually hard to have another burger anywhere. They don’t always have them so call first to ask.

Crisfield’s also has a good selection of speciality sandwiches and house made foods. Among my favorite prepared food item is their fresh baked ham. It is SO good. I’ll go ahead and say it’s the best ham I have ever had. Sometimes, I don’t even bother with a sandwich- I just order a few slices and it doesn’t even make it home. So good.

Conveniently, they also have your necessary produce, sauces and other supplies you need to pull off a delicious meat focused meal. And if they don’t have something you need to round out your meal, you can always pop over to June & Ho, just across the street, to get what you need. Doesn’t get better than that!

Although I believe there is nothing better than supporting family owned and operated local business, what makes Cristfield’s stand out is the thing I care about most- commitment to quality and customer service.

Recommended for:

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  • All things Meat: Everything from fresh chicken breasts to speciality cuts that are hard to find
  • The Super Burger: Just trust me on this one
  • House cooked Ham: I don’t know how they do it, but they make the very best ham.

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Not recommended for:

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  • A Bargain: You have to pay a premium to shop at Cristfield’s.

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Visit Crisfield’s at:

61 Purchase Street
Rye, NY 10580

June & Ho, Rye NY

My Second Home!

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spend more time than I care to admit at June & Ho. The obsession started back in 2005 when I was living in downtown Rye, NY and could walk there. They have known me by name ever since and the obsession is still going strong in 2018. The place hasn’t changed in the least since the first time I walked through the doors. But that should tell you something- they have a good thing going.

June and Ho specializes in speciality sandwiches, homemade soups, and high quality, pre-made foods. The homemade dishes line almost the full length of the store offering everything from Beef Bourguignon to Edamame Salad and everything in between. Although I cook most of my food from scratch, I definitely take advantage of the prepared foods by June & Ho when I am in a pinch or on the run.

I shop here at a minimum once a week and my basket is typically full of fresh produce, fresh herbs, a container of ratatouille from behind the counter, fresh made English muffins, a few containers of soup, and whatever else looks good that day. They also serve great coffee, and I rarely leave without ordering one.

Above all else, what I love the most about June & Ho is that I can walk into this one place and get everything I need to turn around a simple, or a special occassion meal, in one stop. Yes, I pay for the convenience. But I’m okay with it because I know I can trust the food that I am buying and I am glad to be supporting a local small business that consistently delivers on quality. It’s hard to find any place that delivers as consistently as June & Ho.

Recommended for:

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  • Fresh Produce & Herbs: The produce here is always fresh and the herbs are well packaged.
  • Fresh Fish: June & Ho has an impressive selection of fresh fish.
  • Prepared Foods: Great for homemade style foods when you can’t cook yourself.
  • Speciality Items: You can find delicious treats from all over the world that you can’t find in a traditional food store.  Everything from a selection of caviar and truffles to sauces and dips.
  • Fresh baked bread and bakery items: Baked on premises, you can pick up a fresh baguette and a homemade dessert.

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Visit June & Ho at:

70 Purchase Street
Rye, NY 10580

Fjord Fisheries, Cos Cob CT

Premium Responsibly Sourced Seafood

With an impressive amount of locations available, my favorite is still the Cos Cob location. Conveniently located next to Fairfield Cheese shop and Fleishers Craft Butcher, you can get everything you need to make an incredible meal.

I won’t lie- it’s not cheap! But if you want premium, responsibly sourced fish, look no further.

Recommended for:

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  • Oysters: I head to Fjord when I am in the market for oysters. They have the widest selection around and are always fresh.
  • Lobster Rolls: When you need to have a lobster roll, you need to have one. They offer them warm with drawn butter or cold with mayo. You also get a choice of 2 sides. (I never make it past my car- I dig right in sitting in my driver’s seat!): 
  • Sushi: The sushi here speaks for itself. Walk in an take a look and you won’t be able to resist. It doesn’t get much fresher than this.

[/mk_custom_list][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” url=”http://www.fjordfishmarket.com/home” target=”_blank” align=”center” bg_color=”#e69b10″ btn_hover_bg=”#4c4c4c”]Visit Fjord’s website [/mk_button]

Terra Ristorante, Greenwich CT

Carpaccio from Terra Restaurant, Greenwich CT
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t’s not just the food that has made Terra a favorite for me. (Although it’s a huge factor.) It’s the food combined with the exceptional service and the relaxing atmosphere. We love to sit out on the patio in the summer and watch the passers by stroll down Greenwich Avenue or inside in the winter months where the smell of the roasting chicken in the brick oven tantalizes your taste buds. I forget about time when we are there and we can just sit back, relax and enjoy. All these things combines makes Terra a top choice for us when dining out.

The menu offers something for everyone but I do have some favorite dishes. First up, the item I crave the most- Carpaccio of Beef with Arugula, Parmesan, Mushrooms and Truffle Vinaigrette. This dish is impossible for me not to order when we dine at Terra. It has ruined my ability to order carpaccio from anywhere else. Thats it. That’s all I have to say. Its amazing.

On a a cold afternoon, nothing beats the fresh Tomato Soup. It’s like sipping on silk. I make a pretty good tomato soup myself, (if I do say so myself!) but since I started eating Terra’s tomato soup, I don’t even bother to make my own anymore.

Carpaccio from Terra Restaurant, Greenwich CT
The Beef Carpaccio from Terra is superior to anywhere else

If you not in the mood for a traditional entree and would prefer something lighter, Terra has great personal pizzas.  They are thin crust and wood fired right behind the bar. My favorite is crumbled sausage and hot cherry peppers and yes- they are hot!

However, if you are in the mood to dine on a full entrees, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. But I do have two personal favorite dishes. The Veal Chop Milanese and the Roast Chicken. Terra does Veal Chop Milanese ‘right.’ If you are a veal lover like myself, you will know what I mean by this. It’s served on the bone, pounded paper thin, breaded, fried and served with lemon. It’s simple and stunning. We order this more than any other entree. But I can’t let it take away from how much I love the Wood Oven Roasted Amish Chicken. Its juicy, crispy, seasoned to perfection- it’s everything roasted chicken should be and never is. I can smell it as I write this and will inevitably crave it until I get to have it again.

I recommend Terra to anyone who is looking to have a nice night out and enjoys high quality food. So next time you are ‘on the Ave,’ as we locals say, don’t let Terra pass you by!

Recommended for:

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  • Upscale Food: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Good for Couples: (not great for large groups.)
  • Patio in Summer: It’s not very big, but if you can snag a table during summer it’s a plus.
  • Customer Service: Exceptional
  • Location: Doesn’t get much better than being on Greenwich Avenue

[/mk_custom_list][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” url=”http://www.zhospitalitygroup.com/terra/” target=”_blank” align=”center”]Visit Terra’s Website[/mk_button]

Best Curry Sauce

Sukhi's Classic Indian Curry Sauce

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rarely find sauces or mixes or anything packaged to be very good. But Sukhi’s Classic Indian Curry Sauce was a find that blew my tastebuds away. It is delicious and easy, and contains not a single ingredient that I can’t pronounce! I buy it at Whole Foods and serve the curry over jasmine rice. It is AS good, if not better, than anything I have had at an Indian restaurant.

cookbooks

Ina Garten is my hero in the kitchen and all of her ‘Barefoot Contessa’ recipe books are, in my opinion, flawless. I often give them as gifts and mark off my favorite recipes!

Ina Garten tests her recipes over and over. Then, she sits and watches other people follow the recipes and if she notices that one of her instructions wasn’t clear, she re-writes the recipe. I think that is truly caring about her fans and going the extra step to ensure that the recipes she is suppling to us will come out perfect. In addition, every recipe has a picture and I am inspired by the photographs so, Thank you Ina!

  • Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
  • Barefoot Contessa at Home
  • Barefoot in Paris
  • Barefoot Contessa Family Style
  • Barefoot Contessa Parties!
  • The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
  • Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?

La Panetiere, Rye NY

La Panetiere, Rye NY

A culinary experience fit for a special occassion

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a Panetiere is simply amazing. It is not for everyone and it is definitely more suited for special occasions and splurging. Although, I am sure they have a fair share of loyal patrons who have the luxury of visiting more often than just on a special occasion. For the rest of, we’ll have to wait for a special anniversary, or perhaps a raise. But if you enjoy food as much as I do, it will be worth it.

Visiting La Panetiere is more like visiting a home. Well, perhaps more like visiting a beautiful, country side mansion. The experience begins when you first arrive and a polite valet is there to take your keys from you and escort you to the front door. You’ll walk under gently lit grape vines and into the main entryway where the hostess will greet you quietly.

There are several rooms that you could be seated in, however regardless of which room or on what floor you are seated in, you will immediately feel transported to the French countryside. Traditional wooden hutches and artwork line the walls, and tables are surrounded by chairs with with wooden armchairs to make you so comfortable that you’ll be forced to surrender to the evening.  The tables are set beautifully with traditional french patterned plates and settings.

After being seated, a lovely French server asked if we’d like a glass of champagne to start.  Having not looked at the dink menu yet, we didn’t know what we would be getting, but the champagne they served us was dry, full of bubbles, and simply a delightful way to start our evening at La Panetiere.  Having enjoyed the champagne so much, I had a second glass, whereas Brett opted to go with a Bordeaux that led him to quote, “I have never tasted a wine that good.” That’s a bold statement.

The menu is unwaveringly French and not suited for picky eaters. Thankfully, this is not a problem for me. It lends itself to the seasons, leaning heavily on game in winter months and vegetables and poultry in the summer months.  I began my culinary experience at La Panetiere with poached oysters with leeks, which simply melted in my mouth, and had the most delicate flavor I have ever experienced. If someone didn’t know how to ‘taste’ I don’t believe they would have liked them – that is how delicate they were. But I LOVED them. Brett began his meal with the smoked salmon and it was mind altering. I didn’t know smoked salmon could taste like this. It was silky, savory, salty and just a tad sweet. It was so, so, so good and I wish I could have stolen his plate for myself and ordered another one to go.

In between courses, we were asked if would like to order a soufflé for dessert because they are made to order and take some time to prepare and bake. Having not had diner yet, we were unsure if we would want dessert. So they said to us, “Then you wait and see, and if you want one after your meal, you enjoy staying with us for a while more while it bakes.” I was in no rush for my time at La Panetiere to end, so this sounded like a wonderful option and made me feel that they were not rushing us in any kind of way.

For dinner, I ordered the duck, served med-rare which was the only way they will serve it. I actually asked for a medium cook on the duck and our server just shook his head and denied me, so I said, “okay, med- rare it is!” Like my oysters, the duck was delicate and wonderful! The meat was incredibly tender and cooked to perfection. I understood immediately why the chef would only serve the duck at one temperature, which was the right temperature for this meat to reach perfection.  Brett ordered the Veal Shank for his main course. The flavors of the veal were much more bold than the duck and was again, cooked to perfection. While the meat certainly fell off the bone, it still somehow maintained its integrity. This is difficult to achieve. Every bite of this meal was remarkably satisfying.

We couldn’t resist the appeal of the that soufflé and so we decided to go for it. We were offered a choice between Chocolate and Grand Marnier. We went big with the Grand Marnier. The first bite left us speechless and e found ourselves staring into each other’s eyes with a look that screamed “O.M.G. are you tasing this?” at each other. It was so light, and so full of the most incredible flavor, that we literally couldn’t find words. We just sat in silence, eyes wide, mouths full and shaking our heads in disbelief at how good this was. I dare say, it was one of the best things I ever ate. I remain speechless over this soufflé.

I love when a place has the opportunity to transport you to somewhere else, even if just for a few short hours. It creates a whole experience beyond just dining. La Panetiere transported me to the countryside of France without having to leave my neighboring village. Here you can enjoy a quiet, slow meal, where no detail goes unturned, and quality is never compromised.

After this first meal, I had the wonderful opportunity to return to La Panetiere for other special occasions and never once has it disappointed. In fact, I have come to fall in love with it more and more with each return visit.

Recommended for:

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  • Special Occasions:  Worthy of a celebration
  • Romantic Dinner: Perfect for two
  • Refined Palates: Taster’s delight

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