“A culinary patchwork that goes well together”

GREENWICH — Creative entrepreneurs at a number of shops and restaurants are making Cos Cob a “foodie” destination, bringing with them new energy and an innovative approach to food.

Roast chicken, Thai-style dumplings, breakfast sandwiches and poke bowls are just some of the latest offerings on the menu along a short stretch of Post Road, joining a number of other food establishments and markets in the area. The movement is powered by a number of entrepreneurs, offering a fresh, healthy and artisanal approach to food and catering.

At Island Fin Poké, owner Jamie Darnow said Cos Cob was having a good time. “It’s becoming a food hub,” he said.

Noting that a steady stream of cars pass through the area every day, Darnow, a former printing and publishing manager, said there was a great clientele in the area. “I can pull 23,000 cars a day,” he said, “and the city needs more healthy food options.”

Cos Cob was a more affordable place to do business than other parts of town, Darnow added — “coming out of the pandemic, it was a tenant market.”

Chelsey Altomaro, a mother-of-two from Old Greenwich, is delighted to have more options and lots of choice in her part of town, she said.

“I love it,” Altomaro said, adding that she was happy to have diverse and healthy food options nearby. Altomaro picked up dumplings and broth at Nit Noi Provisions, while his two daughters bought pizza at the Cos Cob food and retail district. “The dumplings, they’re phenomenal,” she said.

Cos Cob has long had a base of notable eateries, offering a range of dining options over the years. Joey B’s has been serving chili dogs, milkshakes and hamburgers since 2008, while Chicken Joe’s, at the other end of the row of restaurants, is developing a loyal fan base for chicken nuggets and potato cones. Terre frites since 1994. There was also a lot of pizza. options and an Indian restaurant to choose from.

Fjord Fish Market started in Cos Cob in 1990, offering premium seafood like black cod and ray wings, as well as fresh sushi. Nearby, the Greenwich Cheese Company has been selling black truffle butter and Stracciatella cheese made in Connecticut since 2014. Fleishers artisanal butcher opened in 2015, but closed last year following labor disputes . Roost Kitchen + Coffee, Gelato & Cioccolato as well as Green and Tonic have also opened in Cos Cob.

Now another wave of food entrepreneurs are opening up along the Cos Cob business district.

“It’s hard not to notice how much our city has reinvented itself over the past year, especially with the emergence of a robust food scene in Cos Cob,” the Chamber of Commerce President said. of Greenwich, Marcia O’Keefe. “Two blocks from Cos Cob, you can taste Indian, Thai, Hawaiian or Italian cuisine, not to mention the cheese and fish shops. It’s exciting for those who want a more casual food atmosphere and a variety of choices. Cos Cob is a very accessible part of town that deserves this new attention.

Newcomers to the Cos Cob culinary scene include Ben Pote, owner of Wildacre Rotisserie, which will soon open in a former Starbucks cafe.

Pote has been visiting family in the area for years and has seen changes in the restaurant industry, he said.

“We’ve really seen the scene evolve here,” said Pote, who has a background in the food and beverage industry. “Greenwich seemed like such a nice, commercial and residential place, but there was a gap in the market for what we’re doing now. »

Pote said an influx of new residents to the area has provided a good clientele for the type of food he seeks to prepare, convenient and tasty with a creative twist on old classics.

“The influx of young families moving into the area during the pandemic, in Greenwich and Cos Cob, they want to eat well. And we offer delicious, quality food at a competitive price,” Pote said.

There appears to be a growing synergy between restaurants and food outlets in the area, he said.

“They are totally different. It’s a beautiful blend of all those things, a culinary patchwork that works well together,” noted Pote.

Coming soon to the restaurant business in Cos Cob, another creative effort from a regional leader in the farm-to-table movement and healthy eating, Mike Geller. He’s opening a market at 600 E. Putnam Avenue, Mike’s Organic, this fall. Geller said he looks forward to being part of what he calls the “Cos Cob food movement.”

“They are all different companies. And also, people start gravitating to those areas once they reach critical mass, where there are all these amazing options, great high quality food, all in Cos Cob,” he said .

Geller runs an organic food delivery business and warehouse in Stamford, as well as a commercial kitchen. Cos Cob’s new space will be the flagship of his retail operation, and he’s got plenty of ideas for how it will nurture and nurture the community.

“The outside of the space, which we’re putting a lot of work into, is going to be a playground for food,” said Geller, from Greenwich. “We’re going to have farmers coming in, pop-up experiences, a donut machine on the weekends, fresh cider. And we plant dozens of trees, a garden in front of the store. It’s really going to be a hub for the town of Greenwich, and it gives us the opportunity to partner with local businesses – Wildacre doing a rotisserie, or Roost making breakfast sandwiches in a pop-up market that we do. This will allow us to support all these food brands in a constructive way. »

Longtime Cos Cob entrepreneur Randy Caravella said the new energy in the community was exciting to watch

“It’s like we’re becoming the food capital of the world,” he joked. “It’s fantastic. It’s good for the community, good for local business.

Caravella, owner of Post Road Wine and Spirits, said he hopes city officials and business leaders in Cos Cob can also make improvements to public spaces in the business district. Making local parks more “friendly” and providing communal outdoor dining would build on the successes of the restaurant industry, he said. And a long-standing parking shortage in the Cos Cob business district should be solved – “now that all these businesses are coming, we need parking,” Caravella said.

Overall, he said, the new influx was a happy occasion for Cos Cob. “It’s refreshing,” he said. “We are a dynamic community.

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