Bridgewater residents opens Brigadoon Cafe
Updated 9:12 pm, Wednesday, September 7, 2011
A Bridgewater resident has opened a new restaurant in Danbury.
Chef Stephan Gerhard opened Brigadoon Cafe at 14 Ives St. -- on Restaurant Row -- in Danbury Aug. 1.
A grand opening celebration will be held Sept. 10-11, coinciding with the Taste of Danbury.
The restaurant, which seats 27 patrons, is owned and managed by Mr. Gerhard, a chef who has put his efforts into creating an establishment he calls, "the place to go for thoughtful omnivores."
"It's always been my dream to open a restaurant," said the 49-year-old, who formerly made a living by woodworking, and whose hobby has always been cooking.
"Feeding people has always made me happy," said Mr. Gerhard, a WestConn grad, who began his working career in a kitchen in Newport, R.I.
He has been cooking for 30 years, seven of which have been professionally.
"I learned the art of hospitality from my parents, whose door and kitchen were always open for friends and feasting," he said. "I grew up with a natural affinity for cooking."
Business has been good for the restaurant that sits across the street from Two Steps, and is open for breakfast and lunch every day but Monday.
The menu, with its weekly specials, borrows some signature dishes like the Danbury Benedict, or the Cluckin Good Sandwich, from the previous owner, and Mr. Gerhard is already putting his personal stamp on the offerings, leaning toward wraps and organic foods he gets at the Danbury farmers' market, as well as Bell & Evans chicken.
"All food is good for you if it is prepared right," said Mr. Gerhard, who has been married to his wife, Jenny, for three years.
The cuisine is a fusion of his own making, Mr. Gerhard said.
He brings together some Middle Eastern flavors, and lots of smoked meats, fish and cheeses that he prepares himself.
His own specialties include Mac Man's Lamb -- a family recipe of grilled curried lamb served in a wrap with yogurt and mint sauce, and ginger chicken, a marinated chicken dish with ginger, garlic and soy.
Patrons may get nearly anything with a dose of Mr. Gerhard's custom seasonings, including dragon dust, made from a variety of smoked and dried peppers.
"We take the peppers, smoke them, dehydrate them, and then crush them into a dust," he explained. "We then use the dust to season our food for a hot and flavorful taste."
Breakfast includes French toast, a variety of eggs Benedict and a unique deep, fried lamb with eggs fast becoming a best seller.
Prices range from $3 to $10 for breakfast and from $4 to $12 for lunch.
"I want to promote conscious eating," Mr. Gerhard said. "We're not highbrow; we're just about good delicious food, which can be every bit as healthy as the `smothered and covered' fare prepared by my predecessor."
In addition to the cafe, Mr. Gerhard caters parties and travels throughout Fairfield and Litchfield counties for what he calls "remote cooking," offering patrons a chance to have a unique dining experience in the woods or on a beach.
Brigadoon Cafe is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call Mr. Gerhard at the restaurant at 203-743-0449 or at 203-249-4755.