l’escale Restaurant Bar, located at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor in Greenwich, Connecticut has the feel and the taste of the South of France. Executive Chef Frederic Kieffer, Chef de Cuisine Miguel Mercado, and Chef Patissiere Wendy Laurent are the culinary dream team in this attractive and charming restaurant where the focus is on Provençal and Mediterranean cuisine, and the service and the ambience make for a memorable dining experience.
The ambience is stunning, yet comfortable and inviting. During the colder months, the magnificent fireplace, large enough to stand inside, adds warmth and charm with its glowing logs, and white wood chairs flank tables that are double draped with ivory linens, and dressed with yellow daisies in bottles and votive candles in glass holders. Stone walls, whimsical curlicue metal and glass hanging lamps, interesting art, and low music complete the appealing ambience.
l'escale Restaurant Bar
A wall of French doors dressed with ceiling to floor window treatments, open onto the terrace overlooking the harbor, where there is al fresco dining during the warmer months. In the center of the room, there is a long table lined with candles in bottles luxuriously covered with melting wax that creates an ever-changing artistic tableau.
The lounge menu features interesting in-house infused cocktails created by Michael Kolesar and David Fletcher, and cinematic inspired cocktails from film noir with catchy names and tasty ingredients that tempt the palate. As the classic 1942 film Casablanca featuring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Claude Rains is one of our favorites, we had to try this cocktail made with Slow and Low Rye, Benedictine, Maple Fennel, and Crème Brûlée on the night that we dined there in late March 2014.
Cocktails by the Fireplace
We also liked the cocktail, Notorious, named for the 1946 film starring Gary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains, made with Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Lemon, Pineapple, Angostura Bitters, and Chili Flakes, and the cocktail, Gold Finger, named for the 1964 James Bond film starring Sean Connery, made with Pyrat Rum, Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, Lime, and Cinnamon.
To pair with our cocktails, the chef sent us a lovely amuse-bouche of cauliflower soup presented in a shot glass and sprinkled with pistachios and pistachio oil, followed by a second greeting of white and green asparagus presented on an Asian spoon and drizzled with herb oil.
Amuse-Bouche - Cauliflower Soup
For appetizers (“Pour Commencer”), there was a delectable offering of chowder, salads, as well as inspired delicacies from the land and the sea. We selected the Tuna Tartare, which was a generous amount of chunky tuna placed over a mound of avocado, with yogurt, radish, and capers, and garnished with micro greens that was an admirable way to start our evening. The restaurant has an excellent wine menu, and the sommelier paired the tuna with La Follette North Coast 2012, Pinot Noir, 13.9% alcohol, from the North Coast, Mendocino County, California, which had ripe fruit and medium tannins on the palate to complement the tuna.
We also enjoyed the House Smoked Salmon and Caviar Duo, accompanied by watercress, a quenelle of horseradish cream, and Melba toast. Salmon and caviar, salty, briny, with a delicious pop on the palate was lovely with the tang and the spice of the horseradish cream, and slight bitterness of the watercress. For the salmon, the sommelier paired Chauvenet-Chopin, 2009, Pinot Noir, 13% alcohol, from Côte de Nuits-Villages, France. It was interesting to compare the styles of these two Pinot Noirs from the “new” and the “old” world and how differently they paired with the two courses.
House Smoked Salmon and Caviar Duo
For Entrées (Les Plats), the menu featured a rich offering of pasta, as well as land and sea dishes to tempt our palates. For one of our entrees, we selected the Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Carolina rice grits and wilted dandelion, which was gorgeous. If it tasted any fresher, we would have needed to eat it on the boat. For the lobster, the sommelier paired Deux Montille, Soeur Frere 2012, Chardonnay, from Burgundy, France, which was rich and delicious, a meld of cream and buttery notes.
Butter Poached Maine Lobster
For our other entrée, we had the Berkshire Pork Chop, which was also well executed, beautifully tender and paired with minted primavera vegetables, rosemary smashed fingerlings, and grape-verjus sauce, with a side of hen of the woods mushrooms. This was a delectable pairing of sweet and savory, and for this course, the sommelier paired Siesta en el Tahuantinsuyu 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.8% alcohol, from Ernesto Catena Vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina, that was aged for 14 months in French and American oak barrels, that was intense, complex, and elegant.
Berkshire Pork Chop
Desserts from Pastry Chef Wendy Laurent maintained the high standard of the restaurant with an excellent assortment of sweets on the menu. For one of our desserts, we selected comfort food at its best, an Apple Raspberry Cobbler served warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream and garnished with mint leaves.
Apple Raspberry Cobbler
We also indulged in the Black & White Chocolate Soufflé with pistachio sauce, which was sweet perfection. Light and fluffy, with a gorgeous puffy crown, it almost seemed a shame to dip a spoon into it so that we could pour the pistachio sauce on it.
Black & White Chocolate Soufflé
We lingered after our dinner with a digestif of La Fleur d’Or, 2010, Sauternes, savoring our experience at l’escale Restaurant Bar and fondly remembered many similar evenings spent in Provence. We cannot wait to return to the restaurant in the summer so that we can dine al fresco on the terrace and enjoy the harbor view.
The restaurant serves Breakfast daily from 7:00 am until 10:00 am, Lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, Sunday Brunch from 11:30 am until 3:00 pm, and Dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 pm until 10:00 pm, and on Friday and Saturday from 5:30 pm until 11:00 pm. The Lounge/Bar serves food daily from 11:30 am until 11:00 pm.
Chef Frederic Kieffer
l’escale Restaurant Bar has a sister restaurant, the Artisan Restaurant, Tavern & Garden located at the Delamar Southport, in Southport, Connecticut. Read about Artisan Restaurant, Tavern & Garden in the Restaurants section.
Read Chefs’ Recipes for an interview with Chef Frederic Kieffer and who graciously shares his recipe for Artisan Pot Roast from The Artisan Restaurant.
Read about the Delamar Greenwich Harbor and the Delamar Southport in the Hotels and Resorts section.
l’escale Restaurant Bar
(Located at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor)
500 Steamboat Road
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
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