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Greenwich Chef Returns to Port

Executive Chef Frederic Kieffer is coming home, at least in the gastronomic sense. The veteran gourmet chef served as the opening chef of l’escale , the dockside dining destination in Greenwich.

This month, he makes his return to this “port of call”—the English translation of l'escale— to oversee the kitchen in this Provençal-style restaurant.

The Parisian-born chef has made his home in Fairfield County for years, and served previously as the Executive Chef at Gaia restaurant in Greenwich. “I am very much looking forward to returning to l’escale ,” says Chef Kieffer. “The setting of this restaurant has always been spectacular and we have worked very hard to craft a wonderful new menu that will truly be representative of the flavors and ingredients of the south of France.” Among the chef’s most notable praise is the “excellent” rating he received from The New York Times .

Chef Kieffer will team with culinary consultant and restaurateur in his own right, Henri Donneux (of Fairfield’s cozily elegant Café Lola ), who will serve as the Chef de Cuisine. Pastry Chef Wendy Young Laurent will round out this A-list kitchen staff.

Chef Kieffer has crafted a menu inspired by the best of Côte d’Azur’s signature tastes and traditions. Word is, some of the dishes on the new menu include a saffron mussel soup served with house-made Parmesan olive and anchovy twists; a tapenade crusted tuna, served with a deconstructed ratatouille stuffed baby vegetables and finished with a rose wine sauce; and a tempting twist on the classic goat cheese salad that features garlic marinated goat cheese is served in a mini mason jar, accompanied by frisée, raw and fried artichokes and olive bread toasts.

Also new is the custom-designed raw bar, Le Bar à Huîtres, situated on the spacious outdoor terrace for al fresco dining.

The much-anticipated return of Chef Keiffer is actually the third collaboration between he and restaurateur Rick Wahlstedt, owner of l’escale , Southport’s Artisan , Miami’s La Goulue and Le Colonial in Manhattan and Chicago.

“Chef Kieffer is one of most talented and well-rounded chefs in the business today,” says Wahlstedt. “I could not be happier to welcome him.”

It’s probably safe to say that Wahlstedt isn’t alone in his elation. Fairfield County foodies are likely quite eager to offer Chef Kieffer a heartfelt “ bienvenue,” preferably over a leisurely lunch or dinner sometime very soon.

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