by Casey Donahue
Estia’s American features artwork such as paintings of Gibson Beach by Jim Gingerich and an American flag sculpture by Ross Watts.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Estia’s American

DARIEN, Conn. – Estia’s American, the newest restaurant in Darien, has a menu that truly takes after its name. Like America, its food is a vibrant mix of cultures, blending classics with original creations to produce something unique.

Many of the breakfast dishes feature a Mexican twist, while also offering old favorites such as blueberry pancakes. For lunch, there are sandwiches, salads with chicken chili for an extra kick, as well as omelets and tacos. Dinner offers pastas, seafood or meat and potatoes.

Owner Colin Ambrose opened the restaurant for breakfast and lunch last week and said it will be open for dinner starting in May. A former Darien resident who lives on Long Island, Ambrose returns to town after running two successful restaurants in Amagansett and Sag Harbor, N.Y.

Along the way, Ambrose said he developed relationships with his customers, which can be seen in the new Darien location. Old friends who have been dining at his restaurants for years created several pieces of art on the walls. One prominent piece is a large American flag created by artist Ross Watts. There are also several paintings of Gibson Beach in South Hampton by artist Jim Gingerich.

“It’s very important to me to support the community that has supported me for so many years,” Ambrose said.

Estia’s American will use as many fresh and healthy ingredients as possible. Using ingredients from local sources is important to Ambrose. As Estia’s reputation grows and becomes more established, Ambrose is hoping to use more locally sourced materials.

Those who are vegetarians or on cleansing diets won’t be left in the cold. A juice bar will offer berry and fruit smoothies, an all-green concoction called the Equinizer, and plenty of juices made from ingredients such as apples, lemons, pears, beets and ginger.

Ambrose also plans themed nights early in the week. Monday will be a burger night, with such offerings as steak burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers and lamb burgers. Taco Tuesdays will feature traditional and unique choices including duck, roasted pork or lobster. There will also be half-price margaritas. On Wednesdays, Estia will specialize in shellfish dishes.

The Daily Darien: New Darien Eatery Embraces Local and Original Menu