In my continuous and unending search for great hamburgers in Fairfield County, I returned to SONO to sample Chef Dan Kardos’ latest version at LOCAL Kitchen and Beer Bar. Kardos is no stranger to my “Best of” list with previous version from both Harvest Supper in New Canaan and NOLA (at this same location) earning a spot. The interior of the restaurant has been transformed, with more woods and lights plus the rear room (never my favorite) was converted into a Bourbon Bar. The new décor gives a much hipper and fun feel.
Chef Dan’s latest version is named “THE LOCAL BURGER” and includes all natural, humanely raised beef, sautéed wild mushrooms, bacon, Swiss cheese, fronions and black pepper mayo, encased in a Wave Hill bun…served with French fries and a pickle. I ordered it medium-rare and as I waited I looked through the menu. It includes four entrées, with the remaining items small and shared plates. Likewise it is very diverse in its cuisine’s origin, from Cuban Wraps to Pizzettes, to Pulled Pork Sliders and Thai Popcorn Chicken, the menu is a stroll around the world.
The burger arrived and the first item I noticed was its size, particularly its height. The patty must include at least 8-ounces of meat (sourced from Saugatuck Craft Butchers), covered in melted Swiss cheese. The cheeseburger sat atop the bacon, fronions and an array of sautéed wild mushroom. I cut in half and it was cooked absolutely spot on to medium-rare, the interior glistened with juice. A quick bite confirmed that Saugatuck Craft has great meat and the kitchen took care in forming the patty, allowing the meat to maintain its medium grind. The oozing Swiss cheese delivered creaminess and a great nuttiness. The fronions, wild mushrooms and bacon were intermingled under the patty, with the earthiness of the mushrooms the centerpiece of the flavors. The bacon was mild with just a touch of saltiness and the onions added additional saltiness. The pepper mayo added creaminess and a little spice. The Wave Hill bun continues as my bun of choice.
The fries were excellent, soft on the interior with a good crispy exterior, and seasoned perfectly.
Overall I though Chef Kardos’ newest burger, “The Local Burger” is delicious, with great flavors.