Monday, September 22, 2014

Walrus + Carpenter Gastropub

A few of my coworkers and I attended a manufacturing training for one of the lines we rep.  Located in Milford, CT, Q-tran produces low voltage power supplies and transformers for our lighting application requirements.  We arrived on a Sunday evening and the VP of sales, Gean,  graciously invited us to dinner at Walrus + Carpenter in Black Rock, CT.  I had no idea where we were going so I didn't have time to do a Yelp preview on the venue.

Upon arrival, we were greeted to a sign with pig logo and as well as a silhouette of a pig on the side of the building.  My first impression was that it was one of those fancy "Farm to table" restaurants that served locally grown and produced foods, similar to Gibbet Hill.

Image via
We entered the restaurant and it had a rustic, trendy vibe. I felt like I was at a hipster eatery in Brooklyn, NYC.  We were seated in a corner "picnic-style" booth with one side being just a bench. I joked with the group and said I thought I was going to have a "Britney Spears" moment every time I had to get up.

The ambiance of the restaurant was a relaxed, chill-out kinda mood with dim lighting.  All that was missing was the hanging Edison pendant light bulbs with the displayed filaments.
Tap water was served out of a rustic glass bottle with a red bail lid and napkins were fun, kinda like red and white dish cloths used in the kitchen.  Servers were dressed casual in country plaid shirts.

Our host ordered a few apps to share.  He ordered a couple orders of fried blue cheese stuffed olives from the snacks menu.  When he attempted to order the smoked trout dip, the server advised that it was unavailable along with a few other dishes on the dinner menu.  We opted for the smoked chicken wings in lieu of the dip.

The stuffed olives were a guilty pleasure.  Being the foodie that I am, I've never had a fried olive ever! This was pretty amazing! It was reminiscent of a fried pickle from a Southern restaurant.  The stuffed blue cheese was rich and gooey and the outside batter of the olives was crispy.  I'm not quite sure what the dipping sauce was but it reminded me of a Greek Tzazki  yogurt based sauce.

Deep Fried Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives $6

On the menu, the wings were described as "smoked," Since we had someone in the group who was trying to eat clean, we wanted to confirm with the server because the wings looked fried and he confirmed that they were smoked, fried to a crisp and tossed in a honey sauce.  Although that person didn't have any wings, the rest of us did , and they were great.

Smoked Chicken wings with jalapeno and honey glaze $ 11
We ordered our dinner entrees and the two girls had to decide which one of them would give up their beef brisket since there was only one order left.  Three people out of our group went with the N.Y. Strip dish that was served with blue cheese scalloped potatoes and oyster mushroom gravy.  I asked my friend and she said it was great!

One of the other girls tried to order one of their smoked dishes and substitute the cornbread and coleslaw side offerings that came with the meal.  The server advised that it wasn't allowed and she was forced to get an additional side a la carte.

Originally, I, myself wanted a smoked pork dish with substituted sides but since the server said it couldn't be done, I ordered a handful of a la carte snacks and sides so the bill wouldn't rack up.  I went with the House Cured maple pork belly along with sides of mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts & bacon.

One strip of the pork belly was absolutely perfect; sweet & savory but the 2nd was mainly fat and I tried to cut around that.

House Cured Maple Pork Belly "Snack"  $7
The Mac and cheese was delicious; it was creamy, rich and had the right texture along with the pasta and cheese ratio.  You would think it's easy but many restaurants F*ck that shit up and it's either too milky, watery or chunky.  This one was great! I loved the contrasting texture from the crispy bread crumb topping.

Baked Mac and Cheese Side $ 7
The vegetable side dish was delicious and if I was out Atkins, I'd eat that shit everyday.

Brussels Sprouts with cranberry and bacon side dish $7
Overall, the meal itself was very delicious. I think I have to cut off a star for the limited availability of the published offerings and another 1/2 star for their awkward service (they gave us new app plates then took them away and they left our dirty silverware on the table then decided last minute to get us new ones..) I would definitely recommend their food.

Kudos to our gracious host, Q-tran, thanks for a great meal!

  1. Walrus + Carpenter
    Address: 2895 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605