Above: Del Frisco’s Grille
There are a number of reasons to love Del Frisco’s Grille, one of Stamford’s newer restaurants. Begin with its location, smack in the heart of downtown. Add to that a great vibe, comfy seating, its “Meat Up” menu with catchy food categories, and the coconut cream pie—hold that thought for later—to name a few.
What’s also striking is the acoustics and the ambiance. As you walk in, you register inviting music and the murmur of happy chatter—the place draws a high-energy crowd—but it does not overwhelm, and once seated you can speak in level tones. We love, love, love this because all too often the din in other dining establishments compels us to shout just to be heard. The décor, too, is calming—an inviting bar, dark wood tones, soft lighting that flatters, comfortable leather banquettes, a semi-industrial ceiling and barn-board wood panels that we suspect are key to the softening acoustics. With an ample view of the buzz on Broad and Bedford, you feel part of the action.
Now, onto the food, beginning with “Food to Fight Over,” which tops the menu. We commend the chef who developed Cheesesteak Eggrolls; s/he took Philadelphia’s favorite beef-and-cheese classic, neatly stuffed it into the crispiest egg roll, and set it on a plate with a perfect blend of sweet-and-spicy chili sauce. Get an order for everyone at the table; you won’t want to share. The Ahi Tacos are also spot-on, crispy and stuffed with a zesty lime-scented tuna tartare that is paired with a spicy citrus mayo that provides just the right amount of tempered kick. Asian Street Tacos—barbecue pork served with cooling pickled daikon and carrots—is another must-try. (For lunch, you’ll find the same pork mixture served as a Banh Mi.) The only disappointment was the Roasted Corn Bisque, which simply needed more corn.
It’s here you’ll also find Del Frisco’s four flatbread offerings—Roasted Tomato, Wild Mushroom, Sausage and Pepperoni, and Spicy Meatball—any of which could be a meal. Same goes for the “Big Greens” salads. The table shared the Kale & Brussels Sprouts; yes, kale is hot now, but when mixed with roasted almonds, dried cranberries and oranges, shaved Manchego and a tangy Creole mustard vinaigrette, it really is special.
A word about meat: Del Frisco’s is a chain, and many know its sister restaurants, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and Sullivan’s Steakhouse. So if beef is your protein of choice, you can’t go wrong here. The cheeseburgers feature two double patties with lettuce, tomato, red onion and “Sloppy Sauce.” And the “Signature Steaks”—filet mignon, New York strip and rib eye—are all made to order, and served with a choice of hand-mashed potatoes, Sea Salt & Parmesan Frites, Loaded Potato Cakes or shallot-buttered green beans.
New York Strip
Simply Roasted Chicken
Non-meat eaters take heart, however. There are other offerings, including the Bay of Fundy Salmon offered with chilled Brussels sprouts quinoa salad. We tried the Simply Roasted Chicken, something you will find hard to resist. This version is moist and finger-lickin’ flavorful, bathed in a jus that blends nicely with the mashed potatoes and crunchy asparagus also on the plate.
We skipped the sides but couldn’t help eyeing the Truffled Mac & Cheese. It will definitely be on the list for the next visit. And bring the whole family; although there is no printed children’s menu, there are plenty of offerings your server can recommend.
You must leave room for dessert, especially the coconut cream pie, one of the best desserts we’ve ever tasted. At its base is a vanilla wafer crust, topped with coconut custard, a mound of coconut-scented whipped cream, and a garnish of coconut flakes and shaved white chocolate. Sweet-tooth heaven. As is the oh-so-gooey warm chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and the light butterscotch pudding in a jar, which is coated with a thick layer of soft, salted caramel.
We ate entirely too much, but it was worth every calorie.
Coconut Cream Pie
DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE
101 Broad St.,
Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.;
Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.;
Sunday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.