Washington Prime, Norwalk, CT

A few weeks ago, we drove down to Norwalk for a stupendous dinner at Washington Prime, a new restaurant in the south part of the city near the old Chocopologie location. This was yet another bacchanal coordinated by Linda and her amazing PR team, and after a dry summer, we were looking forward to getting back to eating and drinking our way through the state. Washington Prime has been open for about two months now and features a new American menu with steak, locally-sourced vegetables, cheese, and bread, and clever cocktails on the menu.DSC_9612-2We sat outside while waiting for the group to arrive and sampled some of the cocktails, starting with the Pink Lady, with gin, pink peppercorns, lemon, and rose liqueur. The peppercorns were underwhelming but the drink was refreshing, with a nice foam on top. The Pippy Longstocking was equally delicious- strawberry lemonade with gin, vanilla beans, and seltzer, and the vanilla was the clear standout. While we didn’t try the dirty martini, we admired that it was served smoking with dry ice billowing off the sides of the glass!

The standout cocktail of the night was the aged negroni, featuring barrel-aged St. George’s gin in a classic negroni-style drink, pictured above. The gin in this wasn’t aged as long as they wanted it to as they planned on aging each barrel for three months at a time, but if this was what they considered to be average, whatever they’ll have next month will be ridiculous.DSC_9623Our meal started as the sun set down, and a bevy of finger foods was set before us- burrata with homemade pretzel bread and slaw, lobster bisque, and deviled eggs with freaking meatball garnishes. Take that, Olive Garden. The bisque was a stand-out, dairy-free but for the crème fraiche on top, and infused with briny, sweet flavor.DSC_9621-2The ‘knuckle and claw’ lobster dish, with blue corn grits, huge pieces of lobster, and creme fraiche, was a knockout, as was the poutine, a massive plate of cheese, oxtail ragu, and mysteriously alchemic fries that remained crispy underneath the deluge.DSC_9657Two salads appeared before the main course, both tasty and coated in toppings. The wedge salad featured large pieces of gorgonzola and the chop-chop, plenty of heirloom tomato and bacon. Normally I’m not a salad person but I licked both plates clean. Two more cocktails, a Moscow Mule and classic mojito followed, both delicious and well-crafted.wpid-img_20140910_193959316.jpgSteak time. Filet and ribeye were sliced and served with six sauces- my personal favorite was a horseradish cream, and served alongside scallops and street corn. Surf and turf with a spicy flair. At this point in the night, we had tried all of the cocktails so we went back to our favorites and I had another aged negroni. Spoiler alert: this negroni may have contributed to my candid advice to the couple across the table from us, and their ensuing invitation to their beach house in Newport. I’d go if I could remember their names. It was that kind of night.

We finished with a few desserts- tiny cookie sandwiches, chocolate cake, and ice cream, and went on our way. Washington Prime has great potential and a gorgeous location right on the Norwalk waterfront.

Disclaimer: This meal was a special media event hosted by the PR team, we paid gratuity and all else was covered, hence no numerical rating. 

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