28 Nov 2 Comments Cooking with Jeff and Cristina Restaurant Reviews , , , , ,

We are always on the look out for great spots in Fairfield County that have great food and great energy.  On a recent trip to Bodega in Darien, we found both.  The crew responsible for Bodega have a multitude of restaurant experience that shines through in all of their endeavors, which include Bodega in Fairfield and Valencia in Norwalk.  The vibe is always fun and centered around having a good time.

The night started the way all good nights should, with great cocktails…and tequila flights!

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Bodega Surprise – scorpion reposado mezcal, triplum, mango mash, lime juice. Oh, AND we had the pleasure of getting the scorpion in the bottle!

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Alibi – St. George gin, mint-cucumber mash, and lime juice.

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Figure 8 – Cabo Wabo anejo, rosemary, fig preserves, ginger and orange juice.

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Gran Centenario flight – Plata, Reposado, Anejo and Rosangel

Our favorites for the night were the Bodegarita, their house margarita (not pictured), the Figure 8 and the Tomalito.  The Tomalito features jalapeño infused tequila blanco, and fresh tangerine juice, agave, and red chili flakes.  That being said, there was not one drink that disappointed!  Also, the Gran Centenario flight is something any tequila lover would appreciate.  My favorite was the Rosangel tequila, which I had never tasted before.  It has a special character, being that it is finished in port wine barrels and infused with fresh hibiscus flowers.

After working our way through the drink menu, it was time to get serious.  Well sort of… Next up was the Bodega Guacamole with garlic infused chili-crab!  There is only one word to describe this dish, EPIC!

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Bodega Guacamole – Garlic infused chili-crab on top of freshly made guacamole!

The next treasures served up were the Empañaditas Champinoñes.  They are essentially smaller empañadas filled with Portabella mushrooms and truffle cheese.  And yes, they taste just as amazing as they sound. The dough was perfectly cooked and flaky. The mushrooms accented with the truffle cheese brought these to the next level!

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Empañaditas Champinoñes – Portabella mushrooms and truffle cheese.

The next two items were specials that were great additions to the daily menu.  The Sweet Corn Esquites and the Chicken & Waffle Taco were fun creations that had unique structures and flavors.  The corn was so flavorful by itself that when combined with the chili dust and cotija cheese it had a great sweetness and spice.  The chicken and waffle taco was a fun twist on the popular chicken and waffle trend.  It kind of reminded me of the Zach arepa at Valencia, which is one of my favorite items there by the way.

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Sweet Corn Esquites – Plancha shrimp, cotija cheese, and chili dust.

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Chicken & Waffle Taco – Corn salsita and chipotle honey.

The next interesting plate was the Chilaquiles which features stewed Pasilla chili tortillas, poached egg, avocado crema, queso fresco.  It brings in a traditional Mexican flair with the poached egg, in particular.  One of my favorite dishes of the evening was the Arroz con Pollo Negro.  It incorporates black rice grown in Japan that gives the dish an Asian facet. This is going on the new menu and for good reason. It has a great blend of Asian influence on a traditional dish.

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Chilaquiles – Pasilla chili tortillas, poached egg, avocado crema and queso fresco

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Arroz Con Pollo Negro – Black rice, poblano, sesame seeds, and crispy potato

 One thing we always enjoy is a good fish taco.  Bodega does it right.  How about an entire red snapper…with pan roasted onions and peppers?  They were simply perfect.

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Real Deal Fish Tacos – Roasted red snapper, rajas, and jalapeno salsa

One thing that Bodega also does right is Brussels Sprouts.  Some people have been known just to go there for the Brussels Sprouts.  They also have a nice Crunchy Corn Slaw and Platanos con Crema.  They are nice complements to pretty much any of the other plates.

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Assorted Sides – Blistered Brussels Sprouts, Crunchy Corn Slaw and Platanos con Crema

The last entree we had was a paella dish called Paella de Mariscos.  This included all of the things a good paella should have: shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari and saffron rice.  At this point it was hard to continue to eat.  But just for the sake of our readers, we pushed on…

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Paella de Mariscos – Shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari and saffron rice.

Dessert is something that I often am not that compelled to indulge in.  It has to be something really interesting or a favorite of mine to order dessert.  Well, on this particular evening, it fell into the latter category.  One of my favorite dessert items is churros.  It goes back to my childhood trips to Disneyland, of all places, which always had churro vendors around the park.  For those of you that are not familiar with churros, they are Mexican doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar.  They are long and thin, rather than circular.  At Bodega, they are served with a hot chocolate sauce that certainly brings some extra indulgence to this dessert.

The other dessert we had a chance to try was the Upside Down Vanilla Cake.  It was a new item that is now featured on the updated menu.  It has candy bacon and pineapple which are two elements that make a good dessert, great.

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Churros – Mexican doughnuts rolled in cinnamon and served with hot chocolate

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Upside Down Vanilla Cake – served with candy bacon and pineapple

So as you can probably tell, we had a great time and a great meal at Bodega.  We recommend trying a lot of different plates as well as sides.  It’s much more fun to go with friends and split all different kinds of fun appetizers and entrees.  The drinks are also a must.  Whether it’s splitting a pitcher of the Bodegaritas or getting individual cocktails, a good time will be had by all.  We look forward to heading back soon!

BODEGA

Website: http://www.bodegatacobar.com/

Address:  980 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820

Phone: (203) 655-8500

Price: $$$

Do they take reservations?  Only parties 6 or more

Attire?  Casual

Vibe?  Modern, Classy, Chic

Hours:

Kitchen Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am–10pm,
Fri & Sat 11:30am–11pm, Sun 11am-10pm
Bar Hours: 
Mon-Wed 11:30am–12am, Thurs 11:30am–1am,
Fri & Sat 11:30am-2am, Sun 11am-12am

Parking: Street or municipal lot available

– Jeff