Artisan restaurant opens in hotel
Published 4:05 pm, Thursday, August 11, 2011
After opening L'Escale in Greenwich, head chef Frederic Kieffer has teamed again with restaurant owners Charles Mallory and Rick Wahlstedt to open Artisan, the new restaurant located in the Delamar hotel in Southport. The restaurant opened July 13.
Kieffer chose to re-imagine New England dishes with his own touches, for instance, serving his own renditions of a pot roast dinner and New England seafood chowders.
"We really took the staple items and just revisited them, like reinvent them a little bit," said Kieffer, who lives in Fairfield.
"It is a daunting and humbling experience to build out a fine dining restaurant, and to pull it off successfully," said Mallory, who is general partner and owner of the Delamar in Greenwich. "There are a lot of other things that I've done in real estate before, but this ranks at the top in terms of pulling it off and making it work."
The hotel and restaurant are located in a 65,000-square-foot, J-shaped building not far from Interstate 95.
Artisan is open to the public for breakfast and lunch, along with dinner. With food coming from local farmers and fishermen in the Northeast, Kieffer said Artisan is "price sensitive," to its clientele. The menu includes New England ciopino lobster broth ($13), a white shrimp cocktail ($12) and hangar steak with a shallot sauce ($26).
Inside, hardwood floors and white tablecloths accompany a stainless steel horseshoe shaped bar. The restaurant is divided between a formal dining area with a private room and an upscale tavern setting. Sunlight pours into the tavern area.
"It's not only convenient, but I can relate more than ever with the clientele," Kieffer said of his restaurant's proximity to home.
Kieffer said three of his Artisan chefs also worked for him at L'Escale when it opened in 2003, which has helped provide a foundation of experience at Artisan.
Mallory said Kieffer's vision of a twist on local dishes, along with a flashier take on the tavern concept, will distinguish Artisan from other New England cuisine-based establishments.
"It was about taking something obvious, and making it the best you've ever had," Mallory said.
Artisan is located in the Delamar hotel, 275 Old Post Road, in the Southport section of Fairfield. For information, call 203-307-4222.