Chef Stephen Maronian and Chef Lisa Maronian are the husband and wife chef-duo behind Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, an award-winning bakery in Greenwich, CT. Lisa and Steve met at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Lisa majored in pastry while Steve majored in savory. They are master chefs who have worked at the finest hotels, restaurants, caterers and private clubs. Steve is also a Private Chef and Chef Instructor at Norwalk Community College’s Culinary Program. Steve and Lisa took time off their busy schedule to chat with Suburbs 101. Here are their recommendations for the best restaurants in Fairfield County (Westport, New Canaan, Stamford, Greenwich) and best restaurants in New York City.
Eat Where the Chefs Eat is a column where local Chefs and food industry insiders share their favorite restaurants in the New York metro area. Learn where your favorite chefs go when they aren’t in their own kitchens!
What Type of Dining Experience Do You Look For In Restaurants?
No matter the style of restaurant, we expect the restaurant to deliver the same level of dining experience and they should excel in the following factors: cleanliness, organization (attitude, service, reservation experience), attention to detail, consistency & quality. I often tell my culinary students at Norwalk Community College that I expect the same level of dining experience at McDonald’s as I do at 3 Michelin Starred Restaurants like Per Se. At McDonald’s french fries needs to be hot and seasoned correctly, sandwiches served hot and the Coke perfectly formulated. The same criteria apply to Per Se. We once had a dining experience at Per Se that was not favorable due to the service attitude. The experience left us with a bad feeling. All our favorite restaurants in Fairfield County and New York City excel in the dining experience.
Best Restaurants in Fairfield County
What are your Favorite Restaurants in Fairfield County?
We have several go-to restaurants in Fairfield County. Our all-time favorite Fairfield County restaurants are Columbus Park Trattoria in Stamford, South End in New Canaan, Kawa Ni in Westport, Da Pietros in Westport and Duoro in Greenwich.
Columbus Park Trattoria at 205 Main Street, Stamford, CT (203) 967-9191
Columbus Park Trattoria is one of our favorite restaurants in Stamford. The hot and cold antipasti is a must at Columbus Park Trattoria. The Parmigiano Reggiano alone will make you weep! For dinner, you can’t go wrong with any of their fish specials and pork cutlet with hot peppers. Their homemade pasta dishes are all awesome. If you are looking for traditional Italian made fresh with modern techniques, then Columbus Park Trattoria is a must-visit. It is always dee-lish!
South End at 36 Pine Street, New Canaan, CT (203) 966-5200
South End is one of our top restaurants in Fairfield County. We always look forward to the homemade bread paired with the most amazing soft butter. We love the “not juiced” kale & avocado salad. The Nona’s meatballs and Salmon with heirloom tomato are our go-to dishes and have ordered multiple times. We love the entire menu. They truly have a great passion for food!
Kawa Ni at 19A Bridge Square, Westport, CT (203) 557-8775
Kawa Ni in Westport is one of our favorite restaurants in Fairfield County. The dining experience is fun, we love that many dishes are shared. Once again, we love everything on the menu. But some of the dishes that we keep coming back to are the Pork Dumplings, Hamachi Nigiri, Spicy Kai Udon, Fried Chicken Wings and Pork Belly Banh Mi. The restaurant is a brilliant concept delivered with expertly prepared dishes that taste better than the originals!
Da Pietro’s at 36 Riverside, Avenue, Westport, CT (203) 454-1213
Da Pietro’s is another favorite restaurant in Westport. The housemade ravioli is a must-try. We love attending their special events featuring seasonal ingredients from truffle night to venison game night! You will receive lots of love from the service to the preparation of the menu selections.
Douro at 253 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT (203) 869-7622
Duoro is one of our favorite restaurants in Fairfield County. They recently relocated to their Greenwich Avenue location, although we have not been to the new location, we can’t wait to check out the new space. Our favorite menu items are the Spicy tuna, Douro Salad, Tuna Tacos and Hanger Steak (served with a sunnyside up egg). Duoro is a wonderful Portuguese restaurant in Fairfield County where you will find food and wine at its finest.
Can You Recommend Restaurants for Cheap Eats in Fairfield County?
Our Favorite Cheap Eats Restaurants in Fairfield County are Shake Shack and Colony Grill.
Shake Shack at 1340 Post Road, Darien, CT (203) 614-1411 (multiple locations in Fairfield and Westchester Counties)
We love having a Shake Shack in Fairfield County. We usually go to their Darien location. You can’t beat amazing burgers paired with a pinot noir or local pale ale!
Colony Grill at 172 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford, CT (203) 359-2184 (multiple locations in Fairfield and Westchester Counties)
Colony Grill is definitely one of our favorite restaurants in Fairfield County for Cheap Eats. We usually go to their Stamford location. Hot stinger and sausage pizza is Steve’s favorite while Lisa loves the plain cheese pizza.
Can You Recommend a Restaurant for Special Occasions in Fairfield County?
Thomas Henkelmann Restaurant at the Homestead Inn 420 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT (203) 869-7500
Our favorite restaurant for Special Occasions in Fairfield County is Thomas Henkelmann at the Homestead Inn in Greenwich. We love the beautiful Belle Haven location. The dishes are classically prepared. And they have a great wine selection.
Can You Recommend Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Fairfield County?
Amore Cucina and Bar at 921 Hope Street, Stamford, CT (203) 357-1066
Our favorite kid-friendly restaurant in Fairfield County is Amore in Stamford. We go there for classic Italian food that kids love. Their pizza, meatballs and chicken parmesan are our go-to dishes.
Can you recommend a restaurant in Fairfield County for Date Night?
Match Burger Lobster at 580 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT (203) 557-8800
Match Burger Lobster is our favorite Date Night restaurant in Fairfield County. We love the fun menu plus they have a great selection of beer & wine.
What are the best restaurants in New York City?
We love eating out in New York City, we can write a book about it! Our favorite restaurants in New York City are Le Bernadin, Union Square Café, Eleven Madison Park, Sushi of Gari, Quality Italian, Gotham Bar & Grill, Jean-Georges, Marea, Ai Fiori and many more! All of these restaurants have tremendous menus and we rarely duplicate orders…we love mixing it up!
Le Bernadin at 155 W. 51st Street, New York, NY (212) 554-1515
Union Square Cafe at 101 E. 19th Street, New York, NY (212) 243-4020
Eleven Madison Park at 11 Madison Avenue, New York, NY (212) 889-0905
Sushi of Gari at 402 E. 78th Street, New York, NY (212) 517-5340
Quality Italian Steakhouse at 57 W. 57th Street, New York, NY (212) 390-1111
Gotham Bar and Grill at 12 E. 12th Street, New York, NY (212) 620-4020
Jean-Georges at 1 Central Park West, New York, NY (212) 299-3900
Marea at 240 Central Park South, New York, NY (212) 582-5100
Ai Fiori at The Langham 400 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY (212) 613-8660
Tell Me More About Sweet Lisa’s
Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes is a bakery specializing in hand-crafted cakes, cookies and cupcakes. Lisa started it 25 years ago, we started in downtown Greenwich and now operate Sweet Lisa’s from a converted house in Cos Cob, CT. We have a talented team that will work with the customer to brainstorm designs and create edible masterpieces. As a result, our elaborate cakes often take center stage at parties and events. We use only the best ingredients, we source local eggs, dairy fresh cream, sweetest butter and fresh raspberries or strawberries. We will never cut corners on quality! We have received many prestigious awards and have made many television and magazine appearances. As a result our customers come back time and again.
Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes at 3 Field Road, Cos Cob, CT (203) 869-9545
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