By Andrew Dominick
235 Main Street
Stamford, CT 06902
Hours: Mon-Fri7 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sat 8am-7pm, Sun-Closed
With four Connecticut locations (Downtown Stamford, Fairfield, Hamilton Avenue in Greenwich, and Old Greenwich), Garden Catering has been the winner of Fairfield County’s “Best Of” Reader’s Poll for having the best catering seven years in a row (2004-2011). They cater all types of parties serving different types of food. If you want sandwiches, breakfast, Mexican, BBQ, Italian, buffets, appetizers, or vegetarian choices, look to Garden Catering. Do you have kids at your party? Kids love chicken nuggets and Garden Catering is famous for just that. Their homemade nuggets and fries will have the children begging for more.
172 Main Street
Norwalk, CT 06851
Hours: Mon & Tues 6 a.m.-3 p.m., Wed-Fri 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
If Latin cuisine is what you seek, look to Valencia Luncheria. This tiny Venezuelan restaurant has been popular for years and even Food Network’s Guy Fieri paid them a visit and featured them on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. A catering must from Valencia are their empanadas with fillings like cheeseburger, Cubano (a Cuban sandwich inside of an empanada), and chipotle pork among many others. Their seafood dishes, arepas, and Valencia’s entire menu is a hit with locals. Be sure to order up some of their mango iced tea to quench everyone’s thirst. They offer an extensive catering menu that even includes a pig roast and an in home cooking demonstration/lesson.
Wilson’s Real Pit BBQ
1851 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
Hours: Mon-Wed Closed, Thurs-Sun 11 a.m.- Close
Wilson’s Real Pit BBQ has gotten some bad reviews, apparently from people who have no clue what real BBQ is supposed to taste like. However, the people that love Wilson’s know what the deal is. Wilson’s does BBQ right, featuring ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and tender beef brisket, all cooked in smokers. Sauce is optional with all the meat specialties and it should be. Real southern BBQ is served dry with sauce being a preference. The ribs are big winners here, with that dry rub, and that whole “bone coming out clean” effect. Wilson’s offers already set-up catering packages that feed small groups or large but as their website says, “If you would like something customized we can make pretty much anything work!”
Sono Brewhouse (The Brewhouse)
13 Marshall Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
The Sono Brewhouse has perhaps the best Sunday brunch in Connecticut. Booking a table is a good idea since the restaurant can fill up fast. Seeing how the Brewhouse’s catering menu reflects their brunch menu, this place is a safe bet for good eats. Featuring many different types of cuisine like Asian, German, American, Italian, and more, theirfood will take you all over the globe. The spacious restaurant offers a mezzanine level where lots of parties are held every year. The menu ranges from vegetarian, to chicken and beef, to pasta, hors d’oeuvres, and lots of seafood. Book the Sono Brewhouse for a holiday brunch with the family or throw a huge party for your work crew. They will appreciate it.
54 N Main St
Norwalk, CT, 06854
Hours: Mon Closed, Tues-Thurs 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat 12 p.m.-12 a.m., Sun 1 p.m.-8 p.m.
Jeff’s Cuisine is one of the premier southern food joints in Connecticut. Chef Jeff and his food have been featured on Roker on the Road, Food Network, and the restaurant is currently recognized by Zagat as the best BBQ in Connecticut three years running (2009-2011). Jeff serves up all types of southern specialties like po-boys, meaty ribs, fried chicken, spicy jerk chicken, Brunswick Stew, catfish, and gumbos. What better to go with those great savory foods than red velvet cake, peach cobbler, or key lime pie? Jeff has it all and then some on his catering menu. You can order it and pick it up or Jeff will bring the party to you. Either way, if “down-home cookin” is what you seek, the search is over with Jeff’s.
A&S Fine Foods
120 New Canaan Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06850
856 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06905
Hours: Mon-Fri 9a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
We featured A&S last week in our guide to making an Italian holiday feast but they clearly deserve another mention. One of the best Italian specialty stores/delis around, A&S makes wonderful sauces and fresh pasta that will have your party guests raving. Whether you go with their hearty lasagna, wonderfully creamy penne ala vodka, or anything that involves A&S’s homemade sauces, you won’t be able to stop eating. And you’re guaranteed to mop up that sauce with a piece of bread. Both of their locations are sure to provide your holiday get together with a complete meal, including appetizers, giant sandwiches, pastas, seafood, a large selection of meat entrees, and desserts. With A&S’s Italian flair, you are sure to leave this party satisfied.
Andrew Dominick is a freelance writer and food blogger living in Norwalk, Connecticut. His articles can be found at andrew-dominick.blogspot.com and his food reviews at food-dudes.blogspot.com