Many new restaurants have opened in Fairfield over the past six months, strengthening the town's reputation as one of the hottest dining destinations in the county.
One of the most recent additions to the menu of local dining options, Craft 260 at 260 Post Road, appears to have won a following almost as soon as it opened.
Located in a small shopping center on a stretch of the Post Road between downtown and Black Rock's eateries in Bridgeport, Craft 260 draws patrons from both sides and is especially busy on weekends, according to one of its three owners, Tomer Raviv.
"We get the Black Rock younger hipster types, as well as the downtown Fairfield vibe," Raviv said. "We want to be known as a destination."
The other Craft 260 owners are chef Vincent Mascaro and Kosta Proskinitopoulos, once a customer of Raviv's and Mascaro's when both men worked at another local eatery. They opened Craft 260 in February.
In their new restaurant, the trio wants to create an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness -- as well as providing excellent food and drink.
"We want to get back to the table being an important place," Mascaro said. "We want this to be an `everyman' kind of place, for you to be comfortable if you're 22 or 82."
The three men have brought an international flavor to the restaurant -- Raviv is Israeli, Mascaro is Italian and Proskinitopoulos is Greek -- and their menu is made up of what might be called gourmet comfort food, done American-style with an international flair.
Menu features include beer-soaked Brussels sprouts, pork belly lettuce wraps, candied thick-cut bacon and wood-oven pretzels with a cheddar sauce from the "Taste & Share" plates on the menu.
More substantial fare ranges from burgers -- of which the owners are very proud -- to baked mac-and-cheese, shrimp and grits, pot pie and cedar plank salmon.
And the restaurant's dessert choices include bread pudding with pecans and a bit of bacon, s'mores, and a Greek-inspired ice cream sandwich made with baklava.
Craft 260, true to its name, also offers craft beers that regularly change, as well as 11 wines and numerous scotches and bourbons. The restaurant has 11 beers on tap (the "260" references the restaurant address, not the number of beers), and a different white and red wine is featured every month.
The owners' idea is for patrons to sample something from a range of offerings: beer, wine, the malts, the food and, of course, the atmosphere.
"We're not rushing people," Raviv said. "Don't bring your cellphones. We want to create the atmosphere of 15 or 20 years ago when you enjoy the people you're with."
Craft 260 is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., with the kitchen closing around 11 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., with the kitchen closing at midnight. Sunday hours are 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Happy hours with discounted drinks and food take place Tuesday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit www.craft260.com, call 203-955-1745, or visit the restaurant on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.