The South Norwalk, Ct. (SoNo) scene is known for its dining, shops and galleries. Along Washington Street which is the epicenter of the SoNo revival is an interesting spot that is quite different from the rest of its neighbors. Johnny Utah’s is a new bar and restaurant featuring barbeque, fun drinks, a mechanical bull, country music and even line dancing on the weekends.
The menu features an affordable barbeque and southwestern inspired menu. Amazing burgers (10 oz)start as low as $5.00, alluring cocktails, unique chicken wings, and over the top milk shakes are some of the items that will draw your attention to this fun dining experience.
Starters: try the Philly Egg rolls with shaved Philly steak onions and cheese served with Johnny’s Barbeque sauce. It was crispy and full of flavor. We followed that up with Pickle Chips, which are lightly battered and fried and served with a chipotle mayo on the side. It is an interesting combo of flavor and texture.
We also tried a sampler of chicken wings, a staple in many bars today. There are several types available and we sampled the BBQ, a very hot and spicy sriracha, and the unusual peanut butter and jelly wings served with fluff as a dipping sauce. The wings were crispy and not soaked with grease and were quite tasty.
Main: Burgers are a mainstay here and the big 10 oz beef patty served on a brioche bun is both large and filling. Prices start at a bargain price of $5 for a naked burger and then go up as you add toppings. To build your own burger you have the choice of adding an assortment of cheeses, onions, mushroom, peppers, fried egg, and much more. Fries are extra. We sampled a burger with swiss and a slice of fresh avocado which was delish. Ribs are also a favorite on the menu and despite the lack of an on site smoker the ribs were soft and tender. They are available in 1/4 ,1/2,3/4 and full racks.
Cocktails: along with the regular assortment of beer there are some interesting cocktails. Try the Johnny Utah, a blend of Bacardi rum, coconut rum, Captain Morgan spiced rum with pineapple and cranberry juice. This drink was sweet, tropical and quite potent without being overpowering. For the real adventurous try the signature “bull bowl”. The Buckin’ Berry is a real crowd pleaser as it served in a huge oversized cocktail glass with Smirnoff vodka, sourberry lemon vodka, homemade lemonade, blueberry vodka and blue curacao. The drink is then garnished with a popsicle! As the bartender pours the drink you watch it bubble and steam rises from the glass! It is very sweet and served with 4 straws for you and your friends to enjoy.
Dessert: Johnny Utah’s offers some amazing milk shakes to cool down the barbeque and hot wings you may have eaten. There are several to choose from and we shared the decadent chocolate milkshake with a huge brownie on top.
The interior is composed of dark wood, and two rooms with two full bars, a small elevated stage, tables for dining, and of course the mechanical bull ring. If you are going to dine, they are open for lunch and we dined at 6pm and the restaurant was lightly occupied. I understand later in the evening Johnny Utah’s draws quite a crowd looking to enjoy the cocktails, line dancing and music. A fun place to sample a southwestern cuisine and atmosphere not usually found in our area.
80 Washington St Norwalk Ct. 203 299 0711
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