NORWALK, Conn. – A bit of the bayou washed up in South Norwalk earlier this year with the opening of Cajun-themed Nola Oyster Bar & Restaurant at the corner of Washington Street and South Main Street.
The restaurant’s menu is designed to “pay homage to the Creole regions of Louisiana, the Eastern seaboard and the New England shorelines, where the daily catch is bountiful and the creative options are infinite,” the restaurant's owners said in a news release.
Much of Nola’s menu focuses on seafood classics, such as a raw bar with local oysters and clams, a spicy gumbo and a Louisiana-style jambalaya with soft-shell crab, andouille sausage and crayfish. The menu also features interesting experiments, including a fried oyster BLT featuring locally-grown produce and a poached lobster and cornbread waffle.
On the “turf” side, the menu’s specialties include a veal porterhouse topped with a mushroom ragu and a kale and squash salad with toasted hazelnuts, pears and pepitas. Nola’s menu also includes tequila- and rum-based fruity cocktails to complement its craft beers and wine list.
The menu was designed by Executive Chef Dan Kardoe, a local veteran in the restaurant business. Before Nola’s opening, Kardos put in time as a chef at spots across Fairfield County, including The Whelk in Westport, Harvest Supper in New Canaan and Bar Rosso in Stamford.
“No stranger to our sustainable food culture and the culinary bar that has been set incredibly high throughout Fairfield County, Chef Kardos continues to take diners on a gastronomic journey,” the restaurant's owners said.
The spot’s décor was also designed with “Bourbon Street state of mind,” the restaurant said. The French-inspired features include wrought iron accents, large Charleston chandeliers, exposed brick walls and gas lit fireplaces surround the dark wood furnishings and leather banquette seating.
Nola Oyster Bar & Restaurant is at 68 Washington Street, Norwalk. Its hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, as well as a Sunday brunch starting at 11:30 a.m. For more information, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.