Kashi: New seasonal menu compliments the sushi at this hip, modern Japanese restaurant in Stamford.

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We recently dined at Kashi a Japanese eatery and bar located in Downtown Stamford along Restaurant Row. Upon entering  Kashi Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant my impression was of a special and swanky environment.  Modern decor, soft muted purple lighting and a club like atmosphere blend to create  multi-sensory experience. Introduced to the city’s thriving restaurant scene in January of 2016, Kashi’s has crafted a space and menu that is both innovative and artistic in its approach to sushi and Japanese food.

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The Scorpion Bowl cocktail

The bar is creates a hip and modern environment in which to enjoy pre or post dinner cocktails. The list of special cocktails is quite impressive and innovative.  Old favorites can be found there such as the fun Scorpion Bowl which is always a fun cocktail to enjoy with others.

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Grilled Lobster

While the menu is filled with sushi and sashimi favorites, the new Seasonal Special Menu was the reason for our recent visit.  Interesting dishes abound including Grilled Lobster which is prepared with grilled seaweed and a chili sauce.   Seared Yellowtail Tuna  combines a pleasant presentation in a dark covered bowl  and includes seared yellowtail with yuzu, kosho gel and a yuzu dashi sauce.  Delicious.

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Yellowtail Tuna

The Double Wrap was another new and interesting dish with soy paper wraps filled with spicy lobster salad and topped with a mango salmon chili.  This was paired on the same plate with a fantastic cucumber wrap with spicy tuna inside.  The seasonal menu is sure to be a hit and help insert new flavors into the offerings at Kashi.

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Double Wrap

We also decided to sample some of the classic dishes and enjoyed the Thai Basil Chicken, which is prepared in a wok with mushroom, onion, carrot and a chili paste basil sauce.  Though not Japanese, this was a delicious dish.

For sushi fans, the Sushi and Sashimi for 1, is a great dish (and large enough to share).  A wonderful presentation over crushed ice with a light underneath the ice which includes sushi, sashimi and a spicy tuna roll.

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Sushi and Sashimi for 1

Kashi presents food that is only fresh and tasty, but does so in a visually interesting manner.  Add the upscale modern atmosphere that seemingly transports you from your average restaurant to a new exotic dining locale, and you have a winning combination.

Kashi

133 Summer Street, Stamford, CT

www.kashijapanese.com/kashistamford

 

 

Bar Zepoli: Classic Italian-American served dishes in an hip upscale atmosphere

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I was fortunate to visit Bar Zepoli  a restaurant in downtown Stamford Ct. which combines the comfort of Italian-American dishes but with a modern fine dining approach.  Each dish is hand crafted with the finest ingredients yet stays true to its Italian roots.

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Located in the Marriot Hotel on Broad Street at the corner of Summer Street in the heart of Stamford, Bar Zepoli has a warm yet decidedly upscale feel to its interior decor.   There are three separate spaces, the large two story main dining room and bar, the smaller cozy dining room,  and the upscale private dining room.  Walls are brick and floors are wood and the lighting is subdued.  There are design influences from a traditional Italian-American eatery mixed blended with a more modern urban design motif. You can enter from the street or through the hotel itself.

Our evening was a tasting  of many of the offerings available at Bar Zepoli.    We started with the traditional Nonna’s Meatballs, which was a house blend of beef and veal, and using an undisclosed family recipe, was served in a plum tomato sauce and topped with fresh ricotta and spears of Italian bread  A real comfort food and very hearty.  Eggplant Rollantini followed and was comprised of small rolls of very thin sliced eggplant cutlets that were filled with soft ricotta cheese and grana pardano which is  a hard cheese imported from the Po Valley of Italy.  Very soft and delicious.

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Nonna’s Meatballs

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Crab Cake

Crab Cake is another item on the small plates list and was a nice combo of fresh lump crab meat that was pan fried in butter and served with a Mediterranean remoulade of aioli, capers and clamata olives. I would have enjoyed this dish even more had it been fried in olive oil instead.  Still a very nice small plate to enjoy or share.

Risotto is always a favorite of ours and this dish was very satisfying.  The creamy Arborio risotto ( a rice from the Po Valley of Italy)  is cooked and served with a medley of seafood including shrimp, scallops, octopus, cod and calamari.  One of my favorite dishes of the evening. A classic Italian dish that was well executed.

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Seafood Risotto

The classic Chicken Scarpiello was also sampled as the free range bird was seared and roasted and served with a sauce of peppers, onions, sausage, white wine, and chicken broth and served over creamy polenta.   The blending of traditional Italian ingredients with the comfort of soft warm polenta made for a delicious dish.     Pastas also have a place on the menu and we sampled two including the Pasta al Forno (pasta baked in the oven) and was rigatoni, tossed with a bechamel sauce  ( a French sauce made from flour and milk) with salumi, grana padano cheese and olive oil.   A very nice dish combining both Italian and French culinary influences into a interesting  and tasty pasta offering.

Bar Zepoli offers a list of fine craft cocktails, and wines.   If you have room,  there is a nice selection of traditional Italian desserts on the menu.  Chef/owner Tony Greco has brought to Stamford a upscale and hip dining experience while paying homage to the classic Italian-American dishes we know and love.

Bar Zepoli

75 Broad Street  Stamford Ct.     tel. 203.353.3319

web >>https://www.barzepoli.com

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Viceroy Publik House: A hip English Ale House with Indian roots opens in Stamford

 

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A new restaurant, pub and music venue has joined the restaurant scene in downtown Stamford Ct.  Viceroy Publik House is a unique  new addition to Summer Street and offers a two level townhouse where you can discover the fusion of Indian and English cuisine along with the energy and vibe of an upscale English pub.

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The theme recalls the British Raj era of Colonial Rule over India from 1858 to 1947.  Decor features vintage photographs and maps on the walls in the intimate and more formal downstairs dining room.  Upstairs is the Tiger Room which creates a hip and more modern atmosphere with its modern prints (including one of the Beatles in India), curved banquettes , bar with wine cabinet that looks like an English Telephone booth . A British Triumph motorcycle serves as a backdrop for the stage area which hosts different musical artists.

 

There is a list of interesting and creative cocktails including House of Victoria and the Bengal Tiger (gin based),  and  Sun City, an interesting take on the Mule with Bourbon and Ginger Beer.  All are interesting combinations that will have you sampling more than one from the bar.

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The menu that we sampled was classic English Pub Fare, elevated to a finer level and filled with Indian influences.  The Spicy Vindaloo Wings were tasty but I must caution as the hot spice will linger on your lips!  The Bombay burger is made from spiced lamb and served on a toasted brioche roll with fried egg and mint aioli.  A more modern version of the burger not found in your average pub and an example of the innovative way in which the Chef has developed the menu.

The Faroe Island Salmon was excellent and was served with an orange soy ginger glaze that gave this British favorite a bit more flavor.  The pub standard of Fish and Chips was great with tender sustainable cod prepared in a Heineken beer batter and served with Viceroy curry ketchup.

Also on the menu are items such as the Lamb Madras with lamb served in a madras curry and coconut cream with  rice pilaf.   The Bisto Steak is another good choice  and fits well in the overall British pub theme.

Music promoter and Stamford restaurateur Eric Monte is your host and can be seen moving about the restaurant mingling with guests, or introducing the band as it begins it set in the Tiger Room upstairs.

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photo credit: Viceroy Publik House

The Viceroy is certainly a very unique and lively restaurant  experience for our area and is one you will want to check out.

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Viceroy Publik House

211 Summer Street Stamford Ct

web http://www.viceroystamford.com      tel.  (203) 658-8423

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