Martel for Lunch
Sunday, March 07, 2010
We wondered what all the fuss was about.
Martel's parking lot is always jam-packed. Since the restaurant on the Fairfield-Southport border doesn't take reservations, we had waited unsuccessfully for a table on weekend nights. Finally, Suzy decided on another strategy: lunch at the hot spot.
Martel is a French-inspired American bistro. The lunch and dinner fare -- listed on the same menu -- is decidedly un-Fairfield which is exactly why the folks are flocking there. With our town lacking in upscale, inspired lunch menus, Martel is the perfect spot for a birthday party or a respite from the daily grind.
The cramped bar and small dining space means there is always a wait -- unless you go at 11:30 AM weekdays (or early on a weeknight). The American-inspired brasserie does well with its comfort food dressed up in Continental flare (try the yummy Truffled Macaroni and Cheese). We started with Martel's specialty iced tea which is infused with orange juice for a hint of sweetness. It tastes like the beginnings of a cocktail -- without the alcohol. The special appetizer we shared was Duck Sausauge, unctuous and moist, prepared on a bed of delicious lentils. Suzy's brother ventured to try the thinly sliced lamb sandwich with roasted eggplant on a toasted ciabatta roll. Visitor Beware: the portions are generous for lunchtime! Assumed at any bistro worth the title, the fries are hearty and delicious. We also ordered a "PLT" -- pancetta stacked alongside tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. The crab roll was immense as well.
If the wait staff wore a smile and served with a little enthusiasm, it would lift the atmosphere, which otherwise is a boon to the burgeoning Fairfield restaurant scene. Whatever you are looking for, Martel fits the bill.
2316 Post Road -- Fairfield, CT 06824