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Looking for a cool place in town to enjoy great drinks and food? Take the short voyage to Nouveau Monde Wine Bar and Bistro, 6 Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center, to embark on a taste bud exploration.
Nouveau Monde is French for “New World.” Newtown residents and owners Peter Chang and Bill Towne understand that on the East Coast there is usually emphasis on what is called old world wines, which are from France, Italy, and Spain. In addition to having traditional wine, they want their restaurant to focus on introducing people to new world wines from places in the United States, South America, Australia, and India.
One of the many fun items purposefully placed about the relaxed chic restaurant is a cork globe with pins showing the origins of the different regions of its wines.
“We really want people to be educated about wine,” said Mr Towne. “When you tell a story, it really enhances people’s experience and understanding.” That is why Nouveau Monde Wine Bar and Bistro also hosts wine seminars, aptly named “Wine University,” and wine pairing dinners every month, which people can sign up for online.
Whether sitting in the private upstairs dining area, the high energy comfy lounge and bar, or the two patios in warm weather, knowledgeable servers allow guests to sample a wine before ordering a glass.
In addition to the extensive wine list, Nouveau Monde offers a wide variety of craft spirits, bourbons, scotches, whiskies, micro and craft brews, and one of the largest port selections around.
Nouveau Monde Wine Bar and Bistro is a full-service restaurant. It serves elevated comfort food with fresh, seasonal ingredients and flavors. There are gluten-free and vegetarian options marked on the menu.
Since opening in April 2016, Nouveau Monde Wine Bar and Bistro has already been featured in Connecticut Magazine’s Readers Choice Award for Best Wine Selections, Best Bistro, and Best Hidden Gem, as well as Award of Excellence recognition from Wine Spectator Magazine, which is awarded to fewer than 3,600 restaurants in the world.
A Sample Of The Menu
Starters and Share Plates — Nouveau Monde Wine Bar and Bistro has a wide variety of appetizers. The Beef Short Rib Empanadas come baked with a housemade dough using a traditional Argentinian recipe and chimichurri, with three for $10.
Cheese & Meat — Guests can choose from a cheese plate of three cheeses, charcuteries platter with chef’s choice of cured meats, or a combination of both.
Soup — Soup options include housemade New England clam chowder, as well as seasonal apple and acorn squash bisque.
Salad — A customer favorite is the harvest salad with kale, pomegranate, butternut squash, feta, pepitas, and bourbon maple vinaigrette.
Entrées — Wondering what wine will pair well with a certain dish? Each entree listed on the menu suggests different wine choices that go well with the meal. Some of the most popular menu items are the ginger-soy marinated hanger steak with buckwheat soba, edamame, and charred collard greens; and the Nouveau Monde fried chicken, which is brined and soaked in buttermilk, with confetti corn bread, collard greens, and béchamel sauce.
Dessert — A signature dessert is the Nouveau Bonaffee pie, with layers of dulce de leche, fresh banana, and Amaretto whipped cream on an Oreo crust. Also, there is also a large selection of liquid desserts, including dessert wine, scotch, and whiskies.
Brunch — On Sundays till 3 pm, guests can enjoy a specialty menu of brunch options including the Thai Eggs Benedict served with buttermilk biscuits, Chile grilled shrimp, housemade Thai-styled hollandaise, and home fries for $16. Another popular brunch item is the shrimp and grits, with cheesy grits and eggs cooked to order for $15.
Coffee & Tea — Coffee is from Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters and is roasted in Trumbull for Nouveau Monde, with a custom blend made specifically for the restaurant. Nouveau Monde also features Newman’s Own organic black and green tea.
Featured cocktails — Nouveau Monde offers a variety of signature and seasonally inspired cocktails, such as the Dangerous Liaison, with gin, Limoncello, blood orange mixer, and lime juice, served up martini style.
Wine — There is wine available for every price point from budget-conscious options to exclusive higher priced bottles. In addition to more than 40 wines by the glass, the wine list also features a reserve wines by the glass list, with a short list of hard-to-find wines such as 2000 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The sommelier’s special list has wines by the bottle that are excellent values.
Nouveau Monde Wine Bar and Bistro, 6 Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center, is open seven days a week. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 pm; and Sunday from 11 to 9 pm. Reservations can be made by calling 203-491-2723. For more information visit nouveaumondewinebar.com or search nmwinebar on social media.