Harlan Social (Stamford) – Still One of the Best

The new menu at Harlan Social is in full swing and there are some fantastic options emphasizing Chef Lewandowski’s philosophy of bold and balanced flavors.

The “Baby Tuscan Kale & Blue Cheese Salad,” topped with apples, spiced pecans and cider vinaigrette is delightful. The salad delivers bold flavors in the Kale and the Blue cheese and complemented by the sweetness of the apples and the acidity of the vinaigrette. The “Spicy Pork Meatballs” are delicious, served with soft polenta, San Marzano tomatoes with a touch of Pecorino. The slightly spicy and moist meatballs pair well with the creamy polenta with the Pecorino adding just a touch of saltiness. The “Local Burrata” is fantastic and is accompanied by red wine caponata with incredibly bold flavors. The Burrata is creamy with a soft lusciousness while the caponata takes the palate to the other extreme with olives, capers, eggplant and a touch of basil. These are all great choices to start the meal.

For entrees I really enjoyed the “Red Wine Braised Short Rib.” Served atop a sweet carrot puree and accompanied by Brussels sprouts, the soft, moist meat is perfectly glazed with the wine sauce. The sweetness of the carrot puree is delicious and works perfectly with the crunchy earthiness of the slivered almonds. Another great choice is the “Grilled Long Island Duck” served with butternut squash and apple puree, and finished with lingonberry sauce. A large, sliced duck breast sits atop a creamy and sweet apple puree that is offset by the slightly sweet-sour lingonberry sauce. The butternut squash adds an earthy quality, creating adish with rich flavors. Carnivores will be satisfied with the “Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb.” A rack of four encrusted chops are served with braised lamb shoulder, rye spaetzle and acorn squash. The chops are full of flavor with the shoulder, spaetzle and acorn squash adding additional flavors and texture. One dish that I am not as fond of is the Goat Cheese Ravioli, which is served with Serrano ham, picholine olives and braised tomatoes. The flavors fought with each other and did not offer the full flavor and balanced flavor profile as the other dishes.

Service is always spot on, knowledgeable, friendly and constantly checking to see if all is perfect for the guests.

Harlan Social on Urbanspoon

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