Gastro Bar, a restaurant and wine bar, recently opened at 78 West Park Place in the Columbus park neighborhood of Stamford, CT. The open floor plan combined with the warm tones of the decor provides a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy a drink at their long bar or a meal. The front of the restaurant are large doors that open to allow the warm weather to filter through the cozy, open floor plan. Their street side patio invites you to enjoy your dining while taking in the sites of the neighborhood.
Executive Chef Fernando Gomez creates his Mediterranean cuisine infused with European aspects. Here he is presenting to us his Eggplant Parmesan which is a wonderful baked eggplant layered with Mascarpone, ricotta cheese, and tomato sauce finished off with a topping of prosciutto. No, we did not start with this dish, we started with drinks and appetizers at the bar adorning the left side of the restaurant.
Owners Mario Lopez and Alejandro Lopez have done an exceptional job in choosing the decor and layout of Gastro Bar. The teal color accompanies the browns and red brick greatly. The framed artwork painted directly on the rustic red bricks depicts a Spanish / Portuguese theme.
A few of the cocktails we enjoyed were the West Park Tini, Banana Mojito, and Slow & Low. The West Park Tini combines Curacao, Tanqueray, pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup to arrive at a light and refreshing cocktail along the lines of a French Kiss. An unique twist on a mojito is Banana Mojito: Don Q rum, mint, lime juice, and muddled banana. The Slow & Low uses Slow & Low whiskey, muddled oranges and lemon, and ginger beer to obtain a fruitful whiskey cocktail.
Mike Lauterborn from Hamlet Hub is enjoying a Gastro “Moscow” Mule. A blend of Hendricks gin, pineapple juice, triple sec, St. Germain, and Rose wine in simple and rustic copper mug.
While sitting at the bar and enjoying our drinks, we were treated to three of their appetizers: Grilled Calamari, Brushetta, and fried oysters. The lightly, and I do mean lightly, batter calamari sitting on a smoked aioli was a pleasant change from other fried calamari we had, in the batter was barely present allowing the calamari to the star. The Bruschetta was nicely grilled bread topped with fresh tomato, shallots, garlic, basil, and cheese. The cheese gave it added depth. Just like the calamari, the lightly battered, but crispy oysters cam in a half shell resting on a bed of avocado puree, grapefruit, and radish.
Adjoining to our table located just inside the opened full length doors, we continued with samples from their menu. Including:
- Salmon tartar: fresh salmon with jalapenos, shallots, crispy potatoes, and cilantro
- Brussels Sprout Salad: shaved Brussels sprouts combined with truffle oil, lemon juice on a crispy riscotto cake
- Albondigas: lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce topped with sautéed baby kale
- Fig pizza: thin crust pizza topped with a layered of creamy goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula, and drizzled with 10 year balsamic
- Baked King Salmon: crispy skinned salmon on a bed of whipped potatoes, beets, and braised celery
A close-up of the flavorful Eggplant Parmesan.
The delightful Paella was a bounty of clams, shrimp, chicken, mussels, calamari, chorizo adorning saffron rice and topped with sweet peas.
The Cavatell was a hearty short rib ragu with black truffle and cream and topped with baby greens.
We closed out the evening with coffee and desserts. Two to be specific: a Chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream and Mascarpone and sour cream cheesecake. This very light and refreshing cheesecake had a slight “tang” from the sour cream.
Another wonderful meal was enjoyed with friends at Gastro Bar. Everything presented to us for sampling was well prepared and flavorful. Try the fig pizza, you will be surprised as to how good it is. Their patio is calling us back come next summer.
They are opened Monday through Friday, 11:30 am to 1:00 am; Saturday, 5:00 pm to 1:00 am. They have a Happy Hour that runs Monday through Saturday, 4:00 to 7:00 pm.