May 9, 2012
10:25 AM
Café Connecticut

Word of Mouth: The Mad Gourmet, Guilford

 

If I had any talent for odes, I’d write one to The Mad Gourmet’s Spicy Cubana sandwich. You should be glad I don’t, so I can cut to the chase and simply note that it’s a fabulous mélange of ingredients I don’t usually eat: roast pork shoulder, imported shaved ham, melted Swiss cheese, dill pickles and spicy black-bean chipotle mustard (where can I get a jar?) for a somewhat pricey $9.25. But that’s the point of the word “gourmet”—which too many cafés routinely attach to their names these days—to provide hungry customers some out-of-their-ordinary delicious fare. Being “mad” (as in madcap, I’d warrant), this place offers flights of fancy like the Banh Mi sandwich, composed of Vietnamese ground pork, pickled daikon slaw, cilantro, pâté and sriracha mayo on a baguette, and the Fair Street personal thin-crust pizza, a white pie with mozzarella and Fontina cheeses, sautéed wild mushrooms and white-truffle oil. Even familiar salads like grilled chicken Caesar have unusual twists; according to chef/co-owner Nick Stewart, Mad Gourmet built its rep on its “almost famous” tarragon chicken salad (with red grapes and slivered almonds) back when it was a catering service called Mirepoix. Though the owners now call it a “bistro to go,” it retains its catering bona fides, preparing an extensive list of hors d’oeuvres, entrées, sides and desserts—all house-made and/or locally sourced, including vegan and gluten-free options—to serve at home. When you go, try one of the all-natural sodas on hand: I heartily recommend  Vignette Wine Country’s nonalcoholic pinot noir. 33 Water St., Guilford, (203) 689-5414 (themadgourmet.com). Open daily 11-7.       

Word of Mouth: The Mad Gourmet, Guilford

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