New Canaan's Newest Hot Spot Replacing Pine Social

High-end Chef Nicholas Martschenko is giving the space an overhaul and Patch got a little sneak peak at the menu!


Many were sad to see Pine Social go, but every ending brings a new beginning.

That new beginning brings Chef Nicholas Martschenko to the heart of New Canaan to fill the empty space on Pine Street with his new restaurant - South End.

Martschenko comes to us from the likes of Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY, Gramercy Tavern on East 20th Street in Manhattan, and i Trulli ion East 27th Street in New York.

“It’s going to be all about great food, great atmosphere, great service and great libations in a comfortable setting,” said Martschenko, 38, who comes to New Canaan with his wife and three young children. “The approach is new, American, contemporary, approachable dishes.”

Martschenko attended the Culinary Institute of America from 1996 to 1998 and started off at Primo Restaurant in Rockland, Maine.

Martschenko gave Patch a sneak peak at the menu with appetizers like fried baby artichokes, roasted garlic aioli, spit-roasted pancetta with grilled nectarines, and rocket greens in saba syrup.

Dinner? Pan-seared, black sea bass with panzanella salad and gazpacho vinaigrette.

Drinks? A full bar.

South End will also serve lunch during the week and brunch for the weekends. 

“I’m very excited about this deal,” said Pyramid Restaurant Group broker Steven Matsis. “I have a sense for these things, I’ve been doing it for 27 years, and I believe this is going to be a very hot location in town. It’s right on the money and just what we need in town.

“I’d say it’s a bit of upscale, American tavern atmosphere, not too stuffy,” said Matsis, founder of Capital Restaurant Group in 2004. “Nicholas is a very, very high-end chef, comes from high-end operations in New York, and he’s a young guy. He’s partnering with a very experienced pastry chef and they’re looking to do some very cool stuff.

"Pine Social was great, but, from my experience and what I’ve read of Nicholas’ information for the landlord, I think they’re going to do something that will bring even more revenue. It’ll be a very cool place, not terribly over-priced, fun, casual affordable - a good time with good food,” said Matsis. 

The space is currently undergoing renovations that Martschenko says will “really open up the place. We’re going to lighten it up, open up the windows, lighten up the wood - make it more of a home-style feeling .”

Martschenko also has a partner, Keith Siskind, who runs Tarry Lodge, which is located in Port Chester and Westport.

It is still too early for an official, grand opening date to be released; however, residents should look out for South End to open their doors sometime later in August.

Angie S. July 18, 2012 at 07:15 PM
As though anyone actually uses the dog park as they should! How many times have I spotted dog droppings on the pedestrian path at Irwin Park? And people walking their large dogs everywhere there's green? I don't see them with bags to pick up after their dogs, so I sure hope they do have them in their pockets or something.
Angie S. July 18, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Now even fewer people would bother to use the dog park if they need to get a permit to use it! Oy!
Angie S. July 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Location within the downtown area shouldn't matter THAT much. Come on people. This is a walking downtown. The Pine Social location isn't all THAT far from "restaurant row". However, I do wonder if New Canaan has one too many upscale restaurants and not enough places where folks can dine out at more modest prices. Do we really need yet another overpriced restaurant? I couldn't believe I could have a decent meal at cheaper prices in Greenwich, of all places. I thought for sure New Canaan would be at least more affordable than Greenwich establishments.
Angie S. July 18, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Pine Social had approachable prices, but the food was kind of spotty on and off, depending on what you ordered. The marinated skirt steak was always too tough, for example. Their seafood and poultry dishes tended to be much better, though occasionally a bit on the salty side. I thought it would do OK and am sad to see it go. It was one of the few restaurants in New Canaan that had reasonable prices.
Angie S. July 18, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I agree with others' sentiments --- if you're going to charge NY prices here in NC, you had better make sure the food AND the service is superb. I'm a NY foodie, and I've tried many of NC's restaurants. I don't usually return to the ones where the price tag is high but the food is mediocre. With the high price tags on NC menus, of course the expectation of diners like me would be high to match! I agree with whoever mentioned something about some restaurant owners seeming to think they can simply open up their doors and charge high prices for mediocre food just because they're in NC and $$$ will roll in. My advice to would-be restaurateurs is, if you're going to have hefty price tags on your menu, make sure your food AND service are WORTH every penny! :-)


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