Jul 13, 2012
06:35 AM
Café Connecticut

Here Comes The Chelsea!


The eagerly awaited new restaurant from Scott Beck, Kevin McHugh and Matt Storch officially opened yesterday in Fairfield. Named The Chelsea, it’s in the spot where the Greenhouse Grill used to be on Unquowa Place and, if the dishes we tried at a pre-opening dinner last Saturday are any indication, partners Scott Beck, Kevin McHugh and Matt Storch have another hit on their hands.

These guys have plenty of experience in the hit-restaurant department, of course—and it shows. Beck is a co-owner of Match in Sono and Tavern in Monroe; McHugh is behind The Grey Goose in Southport and recent phenom The Spotted Horse in Westport; and Storch is the very talented chef and co-owner of Match and now The Chelsea.

The menu, which is mostly small plates, has lots to like. Divided into “Apps," "Just Tossed,” "Sandwiched” and "More Substantial,” simply named items are not what they seem—and global influences abound. “Nachos” are made with short ribs and pulled pork, for example; “Calamari” comes with General Tso’s glaze, pea greens and Thai chili mayo; “Wings” are “brined, baked, fried, and splashed with tamarind 5-spice hoisin.”

It’s a super crowd-pleasing menu, all in all, and from what we could see, diners on Saturday night were very happy with what they ordered. We tried the Zucchini Hay, a huge dish of crinkly squash strands with black pepper and classic aioli; the awesome Oyster Bun—oysters, steak tartare, truffle cream and aioli—and a tasty burger with cheddar dip, sweet-sour onions, bacon bits and pickles. (We’d have preferred something other than a brioche bun—too sweet for our taste, but you can’t have everything.)

There are plenty of other enticements—fried chicken (dark meat, think of that!), poppers, charred hanger steak and a noodle bowl made with “hot smoked salmon, shroom broth, spiced tofu and cabbage. There’s also a banh mi on the sandwich roster, a Vietnamese specialty we’ve seen on three different menus lately.

So, stop in sometime soon and see for yourself. Order a Sloppy Joe—made with short rib and pomegranate ketchup—and a blueberry lemonade martini. Life is short!

The Chelsea, 12 Unquowa Pl., Fairfield, 203/254-8200, thechelseaff.com.

Here Comes The Chelsea!

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