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Weekend Brunch at Oak + Almond Restaurant

by Jeanette on February 21, 2014 · 12 Comments
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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to sample the brunch menu at Oak + Almond, a local restaurant in Norwalk, CT, that was transformed over the past year from an established traditional Italian restaurant to a rustic approachable farm to table restaurant at the passing of the baton from father to son, Jon Paul Pirraglia.

Oak + Almond features an open-hearth gill and brick clad oven where flatbreads, burgers and fish take on their smoky flavors.

wood fired oven

I love the new Open Kitchen which offers counter seating for a fun and entertaining dining experience.

almond+oak kitchen

The menu at Oak + Almond is seasonal, featuring simple, handcrafted foods, many of which are locally sourced. Their purveyors include Holbrook Farms (Bethel, CT), Sport Hill (Easton, CT), 109 Cheese + Wine (Ridgefield, CT), Liuzzi Cheese (North Haven, CT), Saugatuck Craft Butchery (Westport, CT), and Red Bee Honey (Weston, CT).

Almond + Oak Menu

Their “Drink Book” provides an extensive selection of craft cocktails, beers and their wine program highlights biodynamic and organic selections.

Oak + Almond Drink Menu

My fellow cohorts ordered lots of fun drinks. I enjoyed a virgin Bloody Mary with house made Pickled Carrot and Onion skewer.

Bloody Mary

Our group was seated at the 18 food communal table crafted from local 100-year old oak floorboards. We tasted an extensive sampling of Oak + Almond’s Brunch Menu, including:

this Artisan Cheese and Meat Board with house made Date, Apricot and Fig Preserves and Pickled Carrots and Onions

Artisan Cheese and Meat Board

Pork + Ricotta Meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce

{These were a table favorite – moist and tender meatballs in a light tomato sauce}

Pork + Ricotta Meatballs

Funghi Flatbread fresh from the brick oven ~ charred green onion, fontina, balsamic

Mushroom Flatbread

O+A Margherita Flatbread ~ Hamden burrata, tomato, calabrian chile

Margherita Flatbread

Charred Octopus with Guajillo Squid Ink, Potatoes, Andouille and Celery

{Loved the charred flavor, and it was quite tender}

Charred Octopus

For our main courses, our group ordered individual items from the menu, which included:

Rolled Oats Granola ~ Arethusa Farm Yogurt, seasonal fruit, Red Bee honey

Rolled Oats Granola with Arethusa Farm Yogurt and Red Bee Honey

For those who like a traditional breakfast order ~ Two Local Farm Eggs Any Style

Ann who sat across from me ordered Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Another option is B.E.C. – Griddled Farm Eggs, Bacon, Cheddar on a Brioche Roll

{This received great reviews from Cristina who I sat next to}

Bacon Egg Cheese on brioche

Buttermilk Pancakes with Connecticut Maple Syrup and Roasted Apples

{This was shared around the table. Definitely a favorite. The Roasted Apples had a little sugary crunch to them, like a brulee which added a nice special touch.}

Buttermilk Pancakes with Roasted Apples

Brioche French Toast with Connecticut Maple Syrup, Caramelized Banana and Candied Pecans

{Another dish that was passed around, this French Toast was nice and fluffy, and although I didn’t get to taste the Caramelized Bananas, the Candied Pecans added a nice touch}

Brioche French Toast with Caramelized Banana and Candied Pecans

There were also a few healthier options on the menu, including a Kitchen Sink Salad (changes based on what’s available seasonally ~ this one had arugula, brussels sprouts, roasted potatoes, and bacon) with options to add in avocado, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, grilled or smoked salmon. I ordered this salad without any add-ins because I had eaten so much already,

Kitchen Sink Salad

but if I were to order this for lunch as my main course, I would definitely add a protein next time like one of my table-mates who added roasted salmon.

Kitchen Sink Salad with Salad

Maria was spot on with this Holbrook Farms Greens with Grilled Shrimp (add-on), avocado, radishes and lemon vinaigrette

Holbrook Farm Greens Salad with Shrimp

Greg ordered this Grass Fed Hamburger with bacon, gorgonzola dolce, roasted cippolini jam and a fried egg on top, which was served with fries

{Cooked in the wood fire oven, this took on some smoky notes}

Burger

Jay ordered this generous portion of Blue Lip Mussels, harissa, fennel, garlic, shallots and fries

Blue Lip Mussels

Dee and Jeff ordered this Chittara Carbonara with guanciale, pecorino, farm egg and black pepper

{I didn’t taste this, but it received great reviews from others who did}

Chittara Carbonara

Our meal was topped off by a few selections from the Dessert Menu,

Oak + Almond Dessert Menu

including this Chocolate Chip Cookie with walnuts and milk and dark chocolate

cookie

and a Chocolate Tart with Olive Oil Ice Gelato

{The tart was rich and dense with deep chocolate notes, not overly sweet. Almost like a truffle. I loved the olive oil gelato – it was really nice and creamy.}

Chocolate Cake

Oak + Almond offers something unique in Fairfield County – both rustic country breakfast fare, and items with a little bit more sophistication. It’s a great place to hang out with family and friends for a leisurely Sunday brunch. I might suggest that my family book a table for Mother’s Day ;).

Oak + Almond

544 Main Aveue

Norwalk, CT

(203) 846-4600

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Comments

  1. Wow!! Seriously… EVERYTHING looks delicious!! I would love to eat all of it! Especially that chocolate tart… YUM! And you take amazing pictures!! Hope that you have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Cailee – it’s always fun trying new places and the best part is sharing so you can taste everything on the menu!

  2. Yes, please! I’ll take one of everything! Just getting over the flu, my appetite has come raging back. Isn’t brunch the best? It is my favorite meal. Thank you for sharing your visit to Oak + Almond. If I am ever in their neck of the woods, their place will be my very first stop! :)

    • Stacy – hope you’re on the mend – the flu is such a stinker. I used to love brunch before I had kids, just hanging out for a few hours on a Sunday. This was such a treat and so much fun since we were able to share lots of different dishes.

  3. That would be quite the hike from Maryland, but everything looks amazing! Especially those desserts. Yum!

  4. It as such a fun brunch and I’m glad we got to taste so many menu items. What were the mussels like? We didn’t try those. I really, really enjoyed the yogurt for some reason. I think it was because the oats were so sweet.

    • It was a lot of fun Wendy – great seeing you! I almost ordered the mussels but was so full after all the appetizers I ended up with just a salad. I tried a mussel and it was sweet and tender. I’ll have to try the yogurt granola next time.

  5. Oh wow this is amazing!! Such a great menu fully of quality food! Makes me kind of want to drag the.boy to Fairfield for brunch!

  6. I love trying new places and this place looks like a winner. beautiful looking

  7. Oh my goodness, all of the food looks amazing!! This place has a wonderful menu!

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