Estia’s American brings real deal sustainable, locally sourced fare to Darien

Examiner:
 May 20, 2012
Valerie Albarda
BBQ Salmon

BBQ Salmon

When Chef and restaurateur Colin Ambrose opened the doors of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, Long Island some two decades ago, he blessed the people of the region with delicious locally sourced food. Now it appears he’s in the ‘blessing’ business once again.  Estia’s American made its debut in Darien, CT just over a month ago and from the looks of it, the town’s landscape has just experienced a fresh culinary facelift.

Ambrose was talking the talk and walking the walk of sustainability long before it was fashionable. For years, his Estia’s Little Kitchen rode on the substantial back of the bounty of its own garden as well as that of local farmers, giving it the reputation as the place to go for fresh, nutritious fare that was, above all, simply delicious. Now, with the incarnation of Estia’s American, Ambrose continues the tradition of wholesome, fresh and, yes, sustainable cuisine.

Estia’s American seats 45 and you’ll generally find those 45 spots, including the 6 seats at the bar, occupied. (There’s also a wonderful little outdoor patio that seats 25, in case you want to dine al fresco when the weather is agreeable). And it is no wonder with the delectable menus, which include breakfast, lunch  and, a new venture recently added to the Estia’s line-up, dinner.

And now for the food, from which there is plenty to choose.

The Turtle Rolls, which can be found on the lunch and dinner menus, are tortilla wraps made with avocado, napa cabbage and turtle beans—more commonly found in South America—and is a delectable all veggie bite infused with a touch of heat that creeps up on your taste buds, thanks to the Serrano chili.

The salmon selection off the lunch menu was a Salmon Wrap featuring Coho salmon from the Great Lakes. With an enticing blend of white bean puree, salsa mojo, tomatoes and arugula, the wrap was big on flavor and light on the tummy. For a latin swing, try the roast pork, cheese and pickle delight that is Pablo’s Cubano. It’s succulent and moist, and the bread is out of this world.

There’s an interesting array of items on the breakfast menu. The four Breakfast Bowls seem to be popular, with A’s Pop—filled with chicken, organic red quinoa, egg whites, vegetables and avocado—garnering thumbs up from many patrons.  However, a solid winner is the slightly fiery Red Flannel Hash. Looks can be deceiving as this bowl of cubed chorizo, potatoes, peppers, onions and two eggs prepared your way doesn’t appear to be as filling as it really is. Not just filling but satisfyingly so.

And speaking of food that fills your belly, you simply cannot go wrong with any one of the overstuffed breakfast platters such as Happy Jack’s Breakfast Burrito. This jumbo burrito is swollen with the goodness of andouille sausage, scrambled eggs, peppers, onions and cheese with a taste to match its colossal size. Served with a side of home fries, salsa, avocado and a vinegary-infused slaw.

People typically don’t indulge in sweet dessert treats post-breakfast, but perhaps they find themselves deserving after a hearty lunch and, most assuredly, after a relaxing dinner. Estia’s dessert selections are enough to make anyone start the meal off by satiating their sweet tooth. From a smooth and creamy lemon cheesecake topped with sliced blueberries and the butteriest graham cracker crust ever to cross a human’s lips to a comforting old-fashioned strawberry parfait to an inventive “Bullet Bourbon” tiramisu, these desserts are hard to miss and even more difficult to resist.

The most difficult part about going to Estia’s American is going to be making a decision about what to order. Between the three menus, there’s so much to choose from that trying to list them all here would be doing them an injustice. For dinner, you may want to consider the fixed price $28 three course meal from 5:00p to 6:30p (Mon-Sat). Take your time; peruse the menus carefully; choose wisely. The best advice is to dine with a group of people—that way you can dine from your plate and sample from others!

Estia’s American, 1020 Post Road, Darien  /  203-202-7051

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Estia’s American brings real deal sustainable, locally sourced fare to Darien