It might be time for breakfast but at Oak + Almond you get so much more if you stop by for their Sunday brunch.
If you happen to be in Norwalk, CT on a Sunday looking for a nice place to take in a Sunday brunch, try the Oak + Almond. Oak + Almond opened its doors for business in April of 2013. Oak + Almond is located at 544 Main Avenue in Norwalk, CT next to the DMV. They are also open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
You may be thinking what a unique name for a restaurant. One may think it has to do with the decor but no, it is based on the fact that they use oak and almond wood to fuel their wood-fried oven, grill, and rotisserie. During different seasons of the year they may use other types of wood to enhance the flavor of the local and seasoning ingredients.
As one may surmise, the majority of their culinary offerings will have an earthy tone from the slight char as a result of using wood-fired cooking techniques. By the way, the wood burning aroma can be smelled throughout the restaurant, not in an overpowering way, but a subtle way much like from a glowing fireplace.
The focal point of the main dining area is the 18 foot communal table, where a group of us meet for Sunday brunch and sample their offerings. This charming table was made using local obtained 100 year old oak floorboards giving it a rustic, but warm appeal.
The many windows allow a lot of natural light to come in during the day. Oak + Almond has a simple, but cozy decor, with simple artwork adorning the walls. The open kitchen at the back of the restaurant is visible from almost anywhere you sit in dining room. Off to the left is the bar, which sits in rough stone cave-like room. Two banquet rooms sit off the main dining room with one having a working fireplace. During warm weather outside seating is available.
Take a look inside Oak + Almond in this video walk-through
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The Oak + Almond menu changes as the season change and the availability of local ingredients. They use several Connecticut food suppliers, including:
- Holbrook Farms – Bethel, CT
- Farah’s Farm – Wilton, CT
- Chestnut Hill Farm – Weston, CT
- Sport Hill – Easton, CT
- Hickories – Ridgefield, CT
- Reservoir Community Farm – Bridgeport, CT
- Westport Farmers Market – Westport, CT
- Artisan Made – Southbury, CT
- 109 Cheese + Wine – Ridgefield, CT
- Red Bee Honey – Weston, CT
Moving onto our brunch, several of us started off with, what I call, the typical brunch cocktails: Spicy Bloody Mary and Mimosa. The well-made Bloody Mary had a nice combination of ingredients with abundant horseradish adding the correct amount of “kick.” It was garnished with house pickled veggies. The Mimosa had the proper portions of champagne and orange juice. Others at our table had Oak + Almond signature cocktails: the Oak + Almond and the Sgt. Tom Pepper.
We were presented with several samplings, family style, of items from their brunch menu so we could get a broad perspective of their offerings.
Pork + Ricotta Meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce. These rough form meatballs were excellent with the ricotta adding a slight sweetness balancing out the spicy tomato sauce.
Charred Octopus on a bed of kielbasa, potatoes, andouille, celery with a guajillo squid ink sauce. The tender octopus had an earthy flavor that came from the wood fired char.
We munched from a mixed board of delicious wood roasted nuts, artisan cheese and meat from their Artisan Cheese Board, Meat Board, and Wood Roasted Nuts selection. The nuts are roasted in duck fat, rosemary, and garlic. It also came with three different jams, pickled vegetables, and crostini. These boards would be great to enjoy with a nice glass of wine while sitting on their patio during a pleasant summer evening while enjoying a summer breeze.
An entree ordered was Two Local Farm Eggs Any Style accompanied by toast, potato hash, and bacon. The potato hash was a little too peppery for our taste. While we like our food to have added spices, when it comes to pepper we would rather add it ourselves.
We also tried the Rolled Oats Granola topped with Arethusa Farm yogurt, pears, and Red Bee honey. The oats were crunchy and sweet.
Next, waiters brought out their Buttermilk Pancakes and Brioche French Toast for all of us to sample. The buttermilk pancakes were topped with Connecticut maple syrup and roasted apples. The pancakes were super light and airy due to whipped eggs being incorporated into the batter. The sweetness of the apples was brought out nicely by them being roasted over the wood fired grill. The brioche French toast was topped with maple syrup and caramelized bananas and candied pecans. The bananas and pecans accented the light French toast exceptionally well.
Next, we your treated to two different flatbreads:
Funghi: an earthy combination of local mushrooms, fontina all drizzled with aged balsamic.
O + A Margherita: Hamden burrata, tomato, and calabrian chile. The creaminess of the burrata balanced out the spicy and fruity notes of the calabrain chile.
We ordered an item from the “Main” entree to sample. The Grass Fed Hamburger arrived in front of me to try. It was topped with bacon, gorgonzola cheese, and roasted cippolini jam. A fried egg was added on top. The hamburger was accompanied by a mountain of house-made fries. The hamburger was cooked on their wood fired grill giving it a slight char and smoky flavor. The roasted cippolini jam added a slight sweetness to the hamburger.
Others at out table tried the “Kitchen Sink Salad with Salmon.”
To close out the brunch we were presented with two different dessert items. A Chocolate Tart sprinkled with sea salt and served with olive oil gelato. A Chocolate Chip Cookie containing walnuts, milk and dark chocolate with sea salt sprinkled on top.
Another enjoyed gathering with friends and enjoyable food comes to a close. We will have to stop at Oak + Almond this summer to enjoy their other offerings on the patio.