Taste of Fairfield

above: Crowd-pleasers at Boca Oyster Bar – photo by Go Nation

Let’s go on a food adventure—Fairfield has a world of options. Maybe jetting over to Malibu for street-style tacos or dipping down to the French Quarter for a smoldering pot of jambalaya. Get packing—or, better yet, don’t: All the cross-country and global flavors you crave can be scooped up right here in Fairfield.

NEW ENGLAND
Its name suggests Boca Raton in well-heeled, coastal-loving Florida, but Boca Oyster Bar (bocaoysterbar.com) at Steelpointe Harbor feels like a second home in New England. The menu features regional essentials, including fried clams, seaside ceviche and fresh lobster topped with clarified butter; but makes waves with rule-breakers, like Diver Sea Scallops, pan seared with a soy ginger glaze served over vegetable lo-mein, and panko-crusted lobster mac-n-cheese pops.

NEW YORK
You don’t have to go to SoHo to spy a celebrity. Find one at The Chelsea (thechelseaff.com) in downtown Fairfield. Last year, Chef Eric Filitto battled it out with three other chefs to win the “Breakfast Battle” on the Food Network show Chopped. Brunch anyone? The Chelsea Scramble, with caramelized onions, crispy bacon and cheese topped with fried onion and a side of home fries, is a four-star hotshot.

NEW ORLEANS
Trip out your tastebuds at The Sinclair Bar + Kitchen (thesinclairct.com), located in the heart of the Brick Walk Shopping Center. The menu New England staples with a Southern comfort food accent; these are flavorable twists. Its “Mussels in a Pot” menu offers six types of sauces, such as San Marzano in a tomato–cherry pepper broth and New Orleans–style Creole chipotle with Cajun trinity (onions, bell peppers and celery) and roasted corn. For a voodoo-like spell, try the chicken and sausage gumbo, served on a bed of rice with okra, Cajun trinity, andouille sausage and chicken in a dark roux sauce. It’s not called “Fat Tuesday” for nothing—grab your friends and go feast on good food.

Mussells in a rich broth at The Chelsea – Photo by Winter Caplanson

HAWAII
Grab Maui vibes with The Cheesy Hawaiian at Flipside Burgers & Bar (flipsiderestaurant.com). It’s made with pepper Jack, BBQ pulled pork, bacon, grilled pineapple and BBQ sauce. This place specializes in burger adventures, with a menu that offers a dozen options. Consider the Chip & Dip Burger: Swiss cheese, caramelized onion, homemade potato chips and French onion dip. Of course, you can also customize your burger—let your creative side take flight.

FRANCE
For a farm-to-table experience a la the French countryside, book a table at Artisan (artisansouthport.com). This innovative, upscale restaurant offers fine cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients and plated like a work of art. Consider the pig croquettes with celeriac mousseline and blueberries. This is the elegant, Parisian getaway you’ve been dreaming of, hold the jet lag.

CALIFORNIA
Inhale tacos, exhale negativity. Get a taste of that West Coast beach life at the new Malibu Taco (malibutaco.com). Boasting cool takes on trendy streetfare, this is not your average taco joint. While the Baja fish taco and pork carnitas tacos are standards, Malibu reimagines your favorite folded food, like the Nashville hot chicken taco with slaw, roasted corn, creamy chipotle and cherry peppers or the black-eyed pea falafel taco topped with Greek-style tzatziki and a citrus twist. Flavor. You can also order several types of guacamole, stone-oven quesadillas, salads, and bowls, appetizers and entrees. The bright interior decked out with flamingos and palm trees further enhances your sensory trip. Sip on your margarita; you deserve it.

ITALY
Thin-style, brick-oven pizza, fresh pastas and classic dishes at Pizzeria Molto (pizzeriamolto.com) proves there’s nothing cooler than old-school-made-cool Italian food. The interior of the restaurant is an homage to a 1950s New York City borough, complete with vintage Italian movies playing on screens above the forty-foot marble bar and a kitchen stocked with mozzarella, tapas, more than a dozen bottled wines served half-priced on Monday nights and a wealth of choices fit for the Medicis. Mop up the last bite of sauce, but leave room for cocktails and desserts.

LAYOVER:
neighborhood joint got everything you need right here? cool. meet up with friends at little pub (littlepub.com) to split a plate of nachos, fish ’n’ chips or pickle wings. this local tavern is brimming with the cozy, big-sweater-and-a-hearty-pint energy we all crave now.

left: A next-level carbonara, a staple at The Sinclair, paired with a stuffed avocado dish – Photo by Katelyn Racanelli;  right: Crispy fries top this stacked burger at Flipside Burgers & Bar – Photo by stephanie McCool
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