An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Mar 10, 2014
08:43 AM
The Connecticut Table

Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar: Top Notch French in Stamford

Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar: Top Notch French in Stamford

CTbites

Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar in Stamford.

It’s the corner where downtown Stamford’s sidewalk café scene began; Bedford and Spring streets. Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar has the best location in downtown Stamford, in a quaint stone building a few steps from the Art Deco Avon Theatre (Date night recommendation: an independent film and Barrique’s bistro food).

In summer, Barrique’s large, wood doors fold open on both sides of the corner. For 14 years, it was Chez Jean-Pierre, and under new ownership since June, Barrique’s dining room has lost the humorous Renoir-esque mural of Jean-Pierre and his friends in favor of a subdued white and gray palette -- white-washed brick walls, café chairs, wrought iron chandeliers, and bare, dark wood tables. It’s a casual, relaxing atmosphere.  And there’s a new bar room at the back of the restaurant, a cozy spot where jazz is played Wednesday evenings.

Executive chef/co-owner Louis Barresi’s menu mostly focuses on France, with Italian, Spanish, Latin, Asian and Latin influences. Barresi is a co-owner of Doppio Artisan Pizza in Greenwich, New York City and Long Island. Manager and partner Danny Silver is the sommelier. Barrique means “barrel” in French, and if you have questions about the 41 wines served by the glass, ask him. He’s the former sommelier at A Voce in New York City.

Here are excerpts of what CTbites had to say about some of the dishes.

Belgian endive salad (left) was sliced into ribbons and tossed in a slightly sweet balsamic vinaigrette. The bitter and sweet flavors were boosted by juicy, sweet pear. Toasted pine nuts nestled in the leaves. Deep-fried goat cheese croquettes, crisp and rich, made a meal of it. And though it’s not French or Mediterranean, Barrique’s Kale Caesar, made with tender baby kale, is one of the best kale salads I’ve had anywhere.
Roasted organic chicken (right) was plump, moist and well seasoned. Beneath the breast, with wing attached, was the flavorful thigh. Wilted baby arugula and cherry tomatoes in balsamic dressing, under the chicken, received extra flavor from the chicken juices, as did the roasted fingerling potatoes.
Steak Frites was a thick strip steak, served off-the-bone. It was cooked exactly as ordered, and the sear gave way to tender, pink flesh. The meat was napped with peppercorn sauce, rich and buttery with a touch of truffle flavor. The tempting, sea-salt and herb-flecked frites came with it.
See the full story at CTbites online.
Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar: Top Notch French in Stamford

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