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Four Top Chefs in New Canaan

From French and Italian to organic and locally grown — these chefs know how to draw the crowds and keep them coming back for more.

We all know there's not exactly a shortage of great restaurants or great chefs in New Canaan.  With diners, delis and plenty of delicacies in the dozens of upscale restaurants that call New Canaan home, there's truly a top chef to please a person of any palate.  That being said, here are four chefs who go above and beyond to stand out in our town.

1.  Luis Lopez of 

You may have tasted his cooking at Sole, where he worked as a chef for eight years, but it didn’t take too long for of his own.  His namesake restaurant Chef Luis, which will be expanding into the former space on Elm St. this month, was an instant success when it opened in 2007.  Whether it’s his warm and welcoming personality that first drew loyal patrons or his New American cuisine “with a Spanish flair," Luis has done it right from the start.  It can’t hurt that he names his dishes after his regular customers either (ie: “The Higgins' Grilled Caesar Salad” or “The Bakers' Calamari”).  Not only do people love his food, but hope that one day, just maybe they can be a part of the menu too.

2. Robert Ubaldo of 

A newcomer to Forest Street, Chef Robert Ubaldo’s restaurant may have delivered just what New Canaan needed.  His creation, The Farmer’s Table, is part restaurant, .  Almost all of the ingredients that he uses for the day’s entrees come from his brother John’s farm in Pound Ridge, New York.  Using only products that are available that day, including locally grown produce, fresh-baked breads, and organic meats, Ubaldo changes the menu almost daily as he works to make the most mouthwatering meals out of what he’s got.  While the restaurant can only seat 12 people at a time, Ubaldo can also prep any of his meats, cheeses, soups and sauces for customers to bring home to their own dinner tables.

3. Dan Kardos of 

Since opening in 2008, Harvest Supper has been from the likes of New York Magazine to Zagat and has won critical acclaim including Wine Spectator Magazine’s Award of Excellence.  Under the supervision of farm-to-table Executive Chef Dan Kardos, the restaurant has continued to flourish.  With fresh and local produce shaping the menu, Kardos doesn’t disappoint with consistently decadent artisanal dishes- all the while working on what was said to have been “one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in Fairfield County” - a traditional Italian restaurant Bar Rosso in Stamford.

4. Kender Urena of 

While he may be known for his exquisite French dishes, Bonne Nuit’s Executive Chef Kender Urena began his chef training at his parents' restaurant in Costa Rica before graduating at the top of his class from the French Culinary Institute in New York City.  After working at some of New York’s most well-known establishments, Kender thankfully fell in love with New Canaan and decided to put his skills to work.  Try one of his signature dishes like pan-seared sea scallops with truffle vinaigrette, haricots verts and chive mashed potatoes.  One trip to Bonne Nuit and you will see why the restaurant has won the Wine Specatator’s Award of Excellence two years in a row, and has been voted “Best Bistro” in Fairfield County by the readers of Connecticut Magazine.

tom rubino May 19, 2011 at 06:53 PM
bravo for The Farmer's Table from the folks at the Hudson Milk Co.
chuck dorris May 19, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Please credit the photos of Chef Kender Urena and the Scallops correctly. Copyright 2011, Chuck Dorris, edining.us chuckdorris@gmail.com. Thanks.... see my site at http://www.edining.us/photo6L.html. Thank you.
Lauren Doyle May 19, 2011 at 07:24 PM
He is still titled the Executive Chef at Harvest Supper. I confirmed this with them yesterday. Thanks.
Sheryl Shaker May 19, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Two comments were removed from this thread. The first was an inappropriate remark. The second was a response that no longer made sense, once the first comment was removed.
Kender Urena February 25, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Thank you for this write up, Miss Doyle. I applaud the accomplishments of my colleagues mentioned in this article. However, the facts in the section regarding my restaurant, Bistro Bonne Nuit, are INCORRECT. Miss Doyle states that "After working at some of New York’s most well-known establishments, Kender and his wife Roe thankfully fell in love with New Canaan and decided to put their skills to work." This is false, My ex-wife, Roe, and I have been divorced for seven years. Miss Doyle, please check your facts before publishing something that is disconcerting to my personal life. Thank you.
Chandra Johnson Greene February 27, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Hi Kender, The article has been updated. We apologize for the inconvenience. Chandra

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