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Restaurant Files: Fun Evening at the Sign Of The Whale in Stamford, Connecticut

June 21, 2016 2 comments
Sign of the Whale entranceWhat makes the restaurant visit “fun”? Good company and good conversation? Check. Good food? Check. Good drinks? Check. Good music, preferably live? Check. The view? Would be nice. Check.
Okay, now that we have the magic formula, I have a place for you, where you will be able to mark all of the above check boxes (well, you are in charge of your own fun company – can’t help you there) – Sign Of The Whale restaurant in bustling Harbor Point neighborhood in Stamford, Connecticut.
From the moment you walk in, you are greeted by spacious and noisy place – the noise is a sign of any happening restaurant where people like to stop by after a day of work, have a drink and discuss… whatever they feel like discussing. And let’s talk about that drink. The restaurant offers nice selection of cocktails. We had an opportunity to try a few – Raise the Roof (Silo Barrel Aged Gin, Apple Bite Cidre, black walnut bitters served over ice) was nice and refreshing (gin’s aromatics was somewhat dialed down though), Strawberry Mule (Leblon Cachaça Rum, lime juice, agave nectar, strawberries, ginger beer. Strawberry Garnish) was very pleasant and Spiked Fall Tea (Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, Cranberry vodka, lemonade, sugar rim, lemon garnish) packed a nice punch.
I have to also mention the wine list at the Sign of the Whale. While it is rather on the short side, it sports an excellent selection of the interesting wines. I had a glass of 2013 La Galope Rosé Côtes de Gascogne – fresh, tart strawberries profile with great acidity. Another wine which I liked very much was 2014 Insurrection Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Blend South Australia – balanced fruit, overall nicely restrained and well complementing our steak (see below).

And then, of course, there was food.

Our selection of the appetizers started from the Shrimp Skewers (old bay seasoning) – perfectly cooked, excellent flavor profile.

shrimp skewers at the Sign of the Whale

Coming right after was Seafood Tower (clams, shrimp, lobster, two types of local oysters) – presentation alone makes you salivate profusely.Lobster and shrimp had perfect texture, and oysters were delicious.

Our dining experience continued with Chopped Kale Salad (Tuscan and Baby Kale tossed in sesame vinaigrette, topped with oranges, avocado, fennel and cucumbers) – to say that it was one of the very best kale salads I ever had would be an understatement – perfect balance of flavors with crunchy texture; sesame vinaigrette was simply spot on. Next arrived Ahi Tuna (Ahi Tuna tossed in soy ginger sauce, served over avocado cream, topped with yuzu aioli, and served with wonton chips and wasabi) – again, excellent flavor, very tasty.

Two more appetizers were completing first part of our dinner. Lobster Minis (Claw, tail and knuckle meat, lightly mixed with mayo, lime, lemon, and blood orange) were texturally good, however, the flavor was lacking for my taste. Fish Tacos (Haddock fried in tempura batter, with pineapple, apple and pickled red onion) had nice crunch on the fish, and apples with pickled onions were providing nice refreshing component.

Not to be outdone, our main course followed, starting with Seafood Cavatelli (Little hollow pasta shells, tossed with Lobster, shrimp, chopped clams and capers in lobster cream sauce), which I can describe in one word – delicious.

Our next dish, 16 oz Bone-in Rib Eye (Grilled, served with caramelized onions, Parmesan steak fries, sauteed spinach, chickpeas, shallots and house steak sauce) was easily everyone’s favorite at the table. Here my description will be even shorter – wow. Perfectly executed steak, triple-fried (!!) potatoes were amazing, house steak sauce was perfect, so all together was simply a wow.

Our last main dish was Pan Seared Atlantic Sea Scallops (U-10 scallops served with vegetable orzo pasta salad, finished with a Blood orange beurre blanc) – it was perfectly executed both in presentation and the texture of the scallops, but what spoiled the dish for me was the amount of salt on top – just too much.

Along the way we also had a pleasure of listening to the Chef Brian Murphy who came to check on us a few times and use the moment to talk about our delicious experience:

Chef Brian Murphy , Sign of the Whale

Chef Brian Murphy , Sign of the WhaleAnd now, let me  present to you the desserts! Remember I told you that today we are talking about concept of fun at the restaurant? So to make sure it is fun all the way, how about some adults desserts? Yep, you got that right – these would be the desserts which also have an addition of so called “adult beverages”. And I don’t know if any other place can do it better that the Sign of the Whale – even presentation of those adult beverages is an art form.

From the Tidal Wave Drinks menu, we had The Blue Whale (Smirnoff Vodka/Coconut Rum/Blue Curacao/Pineapple Juice/Sprite) and Old Man’s Orange Potion (Smirnoff Orange Vodka/Triple Sec/Orange Juice/Sprite) – tell me if you think those are not the fun to share:

More exciting desserts followed, like Ice Cream sandwiches, Adult Root Beer Floats and Seasonal sorbet. And for my ultimate happiness I can tell you that the regular coffee was excellent, which is more of a rarity nowadays.

You know what is also great at the Sign of the Whale?  The outside seating on the roof deck! Here is what you can see if you will wait until it will get dark outside:

Roof Top at the Sign of the Whale

harbor Point vew from Sign of the Whale

View from the roof top of Sign of the WhaleI hope I gave you enough reasons to go and check Sign of the Whale on your own. And if you will not – well, it will be your loss… Cheers!

Sign Of The Whale
6 Harbor Point Road
Stamford, CT 06902
Ph: (203) 883-8282
http://www.signofthewhalect.com/

Sign of the Whale Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Admit It – You Always Wanted To Learn More About Spanish Wines – Here Is Your Chance

February 11, 2014 10 comments

Barcelona LogoWhen it comes to wine, I never admit that I have favorites – I always say that I like them all. But deep, deep inside, I know that this is a little bit of a lie (just a tiny one, seriously) – it is Spanish wines I’m very particular to in many cases. Spain has the biggest area of the vineyards planted, and it is third wine producing country in the world, so you can imagine that there is quite a bit to learn about Spanish wines.

So, what I’m trying to tell you is this. If you are interested in learning about Spanish wines, and you live in a close proximity of Greenwich, CT, you are in luck! Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant in Greenwich, CT is offering to take you on the tour of four different regions in Spain, during the course of four evenings in March. Here is the description of the Passport Through Spain program from the Barcelona’s press release:

“Jet set through Spain in the best way imaginable with a glass (or several) of wine, expertly prepped tapas and the rustic, and warm environment of Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant in Greenwich, CT.  Each one hour class in the series (there are four in total) will focus on a particular Spanish region, history behind the wines and the food that best accompanies them prepared by Chef Michael Lucente.  These wine classes are designed to enlighten and inspire both the novice and enthusiast. Wine Steward, Jose Valverde will guide you along the way, with tips and tricks for successfully pairing your wines with local food.

The series will take place each Wednesday during the month of March beginning on March 5th at 7:00pm. The first wine-pairing class covers the Rioja region best known for its Old World style and their well-aged red wines. The second covers Galicia (March 12th), a seaside region. The third class on March 19th covers Montsant/Priorat, known for its powerful, elegant and complex wines and the last class on March 26th  will focus on the Valencia region.

Attend one class or attend them all. With the first class you attend, you’ll receive a Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant passport. Each time you attend a class, your passport will be “stamped” and you receive a complimentary tapa token to redeem on your next visit. Attend all four classes in the series and receive a [$100] gift certificate for two people.  Each class is $35 per person (plus tax and gratuity) with a maximum of 20 people attending. Reservations can be made by contacting rsvp@barteca.com.”

If you think about it, you will pay $140 for the four classes, and you will get four tapas tokens plus a gift certificate for $100 – which means that you will have great fun education basically… for free. Remember – there are only 20 seats available for each class, so don’t delay!  Also, as Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, in case you are still thinking about the present, the gift of wine education might be just it! ¡Salud!

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