May 22, 2013
Written by Sally Sanders
Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:36
Brian De Caro, president, and Keith DeCaro, vice president, of The De Caro Restaurant Group in Weston, offered culinary surprises when they opened the Pacific Rim restaurant, Splash, at the Longshore Country Club in Westport and Baang Café and Bar in Greenwich.
For 14 years, diners at Baang have had the pleasure of exploring the talents of the restaurant’s chefs, currently David Soto, who was with Nobu in New York City and then executive chef at Splash in Westport before coming to Baang. Chef Soto’s imagination has served the Baang menu well. Sous chef is Angel Cruz, Andy Matsuda is master sushi chef, and banquet manager is Angela Buccheri.
Architect David Rockwell, known for his designs for Nobu, Planet Hollywood and Vong and for the Mohegan Sun casino, has provided vibrant color, centering attention on the open kitchen.
The beverage list ($8 to $29), includes wine, sake, and beers including Chang, Singha, Tsingtao, Kirin Ichiban as well as specialty drinks.
Leading the appetizer list ($12 to $16) are Szechuan lobster crepes with plum wine and lobster cream sauce; firecracker spring rolls with peanut chicken and mustard honey sauce; Thai crab cakes with roasted pineapple and spicy remoulade. Outstanding salads ($15 to $16) are Baang chicken salad tossed with Chinese lettuce, crispy noodles and sesame vinaigrette and crackling calamari salad with hot chile, lime and miso dressing.
The luncheon menu includes a bento box ($20) with chicken salad, wonton chips, and a choice of one Baang bite and salad. Baang bites are grilled filet mignon sandwich, sambal shrimp wrap, five-spice chicken breast, barbecued salmon, miso scallops with upland cress, and seared nori tuna with Thai peanut sauce and whole wheat noodles.
Lite bites ($10 to $16) are sweet and sour shrimp; goat cheese wontons with ginger-mustard sauce; barbecued spareribs with a sesame-honey glaze; lump crab spring rolls; and shrimp dumplings with avocado sauce and sweet soy.
Sushi and sashimi selections ($13 to $28) are spicy tuna roll; king crab California roll; Baang sushi set, 12 pieces of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, halibut, tamago, shrimp, ikura, crab meat with four pieces of spicy tuna and California rolls. A sashimi plate offers three pieces each of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, halibut and tamago. Dishes from the wok — sautéed vegetables, pad Thai noodles, vegetable fried brown rice, and broccoli with black bean sauce — are all $8 each.
Entrees ($25 to $34) include wok-fired whole fish with red chile dipping sauce; Shanghai beef with matchstick potatoes; braised Peking duck, with vegetable crepes and orange miso; sautéed Chilean sea bass with black rice, stir-fried vegetables and sweet chile miso sauce; applewood bacon-crusted scallops with gourmet tomato salad and passion fruit miso sauce; and lobster tail and filet mignon with sautéed spinach and wasabi mashed potatoes.
Save room for desserts ($7 to $16), especially the bittersweet chocolate pagoda, chocolate brownies layered with praline mousse, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Or try banana-nut spring rolls with Tahitian vanilla anglaise and chocolate-coconut sauce or the chocolate fondue for two, bittersweet chocolate and kaluha, with bananas, pound cake, strawberries and macaroons.
Service is knowledgeable and efficient, especially if you are assigned opera-star-in-training Michael DeVito.
Kevin McHugh of Weston, former owner of Match and The Loft restaurants in South Norwalk, is restoring a 1920s building at the junction of Routes 102 and 7 in Ridgefield as a restaurant. Formerly Ye Old York Pub and later Branchville Junction Antiques, it will open as the Little Pub in July and will have an English garden with an outdoor bar and terrace.
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