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The Goose American Bistro & Bar

A new Italian restaurant raises the bar in Darien

Lobster Sliders

contributed photo

There’s nothing like absence to make the heart grow fonder. The original Black Goose had grown a little frayed around the edges, but once it shuttered its doors, townsfolk waxed nostalgic for its boisterous barroom and cozy fireplace. They pined for a good old downtown tavern where they could meet friends after work for a decent burger and a few beers. With the re-opening of The Goose, new owners Mike Gagliardi and Michael Friedman reinvented the town’s beloved gathering spot into a clubby, warm, and inviting American bistro while managing to keep the restaurant’s heart (its storied tavern room) intact.

The handsome new décor, the snappy service, and the new American menu are a few notches up from the old Black Goose. Patrons are happy to have their old haunt back—revamped and better than ever.

Some of The Goose’s charms include a spacious dining room, done in the style of a men’s club, flanked by a fieldstone wall, cozy banquettes, cherry parquet floors, wainscoting, and coffered ceilings, lightened up by massive arched windows, skylights, and amber glass pendant lights. Outside, a small patio for al fresco dining is flanked by Old English wrought-iron fixtures.

At The Goose, the mood changes by the hour. Afternoons are prime time for the shopping and stroller set—ladies lunching on better-than-average salads (for instance, baby arugula, cranberries, Spanish almonds, and pistachios, Belgian endive, radicchio, farmer Stilton cheese, with shallot-truffle vinaigrette), overstuffed sandwiches and lighter fare—as well as local businessfolk doing deals over steaming bowls of Chef Piergiorgio Nanni’s delicious crab and corn chowder with smoked bacon, inspired flatbread pizzas, and generous Angus burgers. In the early evening, the dining room swells with loud young families enjoying a range of small plates of appealing, shareable appetizers, while the bar teams with the Happy Hour crowd angling for a spot by the fire or a seat near a flat-screen TV. After dark the bar scene gets lively and earsplitting. Diners seeking less action will find the clubby dining room just the ticket for a casual winter meal of mussels with wine, garlic, and fresh herbs or for classic steak frites. For a more peaceful meal, go a little later in the evening, when the big family gatherings have fizzled out.

The Goose
972 Post Road, Darien

Cuisine: American

Sun.–Thu., 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Fri.–Sat., 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.

Find out more about this restaurant at  The Goose on Urbanspoon

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