The Best Express Lunches

Photograph: © shironosov/istockphoto

Sole, New Canaan

105 Elm Street; (203) 972-8887

One of the best express lunches around ($17), served M-F 12-2:30pm, and Saturday from 12-3pm. The menu changes seasonally. Enjoy one of the following from each appetizers and entrée section:

Appetizers: Puree of Butternut squash, Mixed Baby Greens or Caesar Salad, or a Goat Cheese Blintz.

Entrees: Penne Bolognese, Pomodoro or Vodka; Egg White Frittata, pizza Margherita, Chicken Milanese, P.E.I. Curry Mussels, Chicken Chopped Salad, or Portuguese fish fritters.

Gates, New Canaan

10 Forest Street; (203) 966-8666

This local favorite doesn’t have an Express Menu per se, but they’re known for their speedy service (everything will be at your table in 20 minutes top). Entrees ring in around $11 each.

Choose of these quick and popular lunch items next time you’re in a rush:

Chop Chop Verona Salad (chopped romaine, grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, tomato, onion and blue cheese, tossed in a mustard vinaigrette).

Pear and Arugula Salad: grilled chicken, roasted walnuts, blue cheese, sliced oranges and candied onions, tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

The Bellagio Sandwich: sliced chicken, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and basil/mayonnaise on brick oven toast (their #1 seller!).

The Gates Burger (veggie and turkey burgers available, too): Avocado, bacon and jalapeno jack cheese on a brioche bun.

Chef Luis, New Canaan

129 Elm St; (203) 972-5847

Their $16 Pre-fixed lunch, available Monday through Friday from 11:30-4:30pm, is a delicious, quick pick-me-up.

Choose one from each section:

A soup, Simple or Caesar salad

One of the following five entrees: Fish & Chips, Carne Asada, Cashman’s pasta, Vegetarian Frittata or a Salmon Burger.

Coffee, tea or dessert

Coromandel, Darien

25 Old Kings Highway North; (203) 662-1213

Their Lunch Buffet is only $12.45 and is available Monday through Friday. You get a big bang for your buck here, and you can choose from items such as chicken curry, beef curry, grilled chicken curry, mixed vegetables, spinach, tomato onion salad, spring mix salad, and Indian cole slaw. Naan bread comes with every meal, and the appetizer selections change daily.

Little Thai Kitchen, Darien

4 West Avenue; (203) 662-0038

This little Darien gem serves their express lunch Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm. The price is $9.95 and will arrive at your table within 15 minutes.

Choose one appetizer and one entrée from the sections below. All meals come with jasmine rice, except where indicated:

Appetizers: Vegetable Woon Sen Soup, Chicken Tom Yum Soup, Thai Salad, Vegetable Spring Roll, Minced Chicken, Steamed Chicken Dumplings

Entrees: Select either Chicken/Beef/Vegetable/Tofu or Shrimp and add to: Pad Thai (no rice), Drunken Noodles (no rice), Cashew Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Basil Sauce, Red or Green Curry or Thai Fried Rice (no rice).

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