DARIEN, Conn. – At the The Goose in Darien, the menu is always changing. Award-winning chef Piergiorgio Nanni has stoked his fall and winter lineup with a bounty of creative dishes that will satisfy all appetites.
With the transition to colder temperatures, Nanni and sous chef Brandon Wallace are rolling out heartier, warmer comfort foods. One of Nanni’s signature dishes is veal nanni, with prosciutto, fontina cheese and risotto. Beef bourguignon is another winter favorite, along with Nanni’s award-winning chili. In the Chili Challenge in September at the Darien Nature Center, Nanni’s entry was judged the best among nine worthy competitors.
“I think we are unique in how frequently we change the menu,’’ said Lynn Gagliardi, one of the restaurant’s owners. “In the summer we’ll do lighter dishes, more seafood and lighter pastas. In the winter we get heartier dishes and offer the warm, comforting foods. We also tend to change the soups to butternut squash and use more root vegetables. We’ll change the menu four or five times a year, according to the season.”
The restaurant has developed a winning team with Nanni and Wallace, who returned after spending the summer in South Carolina. Nanni has been with The Goose for three years.
“They’re both very creative,’’ Gagliardi said. “It’s just great to watch their dynamic. It’s a great blend with a lot of variety. We lost Brandon for a few months, but he decided he wanted to come back to us. He decided The Goose is the place for him.”
The Goose also features “Family Night” meals on Sundays, and holiday decorations are in place. Gagliardi said private party rooms have been booked through the holidays.
“We have 38 employees, and 20 of them have been there since we opened,’’ Gagliardi said. “We all work as a team and we have the same goal in mind. It’s a loyal clientele and the staff enjoys working together. That’s infectious. If they’re happy and doing their jobs, it comes across to the customer. Whether it’s in the kitchen or in the dining room, it’s a positive atmosphere.”
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