When I moved to New Canaan more than thirty years ago, going out for family dinner meant going to Stamford or Westport. We had no family restaurants in New Canaan. Then came Gates. While we now have a couple of dozen family restaurants in our little town, and two or three close a year., Gates is still here.
I confess that I have never been a fan. I find the dining room noisy to the point of discomfort, not to say, pain. So, this review is about the bar.
Speaking of the places that have closed, one was my favorite Sunday brunch place. I would have a Bloody Mary and eggs Benedict. When it closed, I started asking around but was disappointed to find that about the only place left that does Brunch is, you guessed it, Gates. A few Sundays ago, I wanted a Bloody so I went to the bar at gates.
The bar is quiet, roomy, and comfortable with a dozen seats at the bar and four or Good drinks, The bar menu is the same as the perennially popular and creative dining room menu. This "California" menu is really a "family" menu in the sense that kids like it and adults do not find it boring.
I recommend the Les Baud, Poached eggs served on a split muffin, salmon, and asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce. Now, those of you who would like this dish are aware of all the ways to screw it up. The muffin and the asparagus might be tough, the eggs over or undercooked, and the sauce plastic. However, this creative dish is well prepared and gracefully served.
At a family wedding I recently met the man who invented the marketing of tomatoes in a box. When I suggested that he had a lot to answer for, he apologized. He actually liked tomatoes. He protested that he could not possibly have predicted that putting them in a box would cause them to be beautiful, pulpy and tasteless.
I suppose that we have "fast food" to blame for the modern "french fry." You can imagine that I did not order potatoes with my eggs and almost did not try them when they garnished my dish. These were pomme frites, like one get in Brussels, not french fries. They are worth a visit to the Bar at Gates. Whether you like them European style with mayonaise, or American style with ketchup, you will like these. I sit at the bar and eat them like popcorn.
While there is outdoor dining in the neighborhood, Gates is dining room and bar. Reservations are accepted in the "kid friendly" dining room and the bar is first come, first served.
All popular credit cards are accepted.