Chef Luke Venner is the executive chef at Elm Restaurant in New Canaan, CT. Before Elm, he was the chef at NYC restaurants, BLT Fish and BLT Steak. Throughout his culinary career, he trained in kitchens from Napa Valley to New York City. He received numerous accolades from the New York Times to Wine Spectator. Chef Luke Venner took time off his busy schedule to chat with Suburbs 101. Here are his recommendations for the best restaurants in Fairfield County and New York City.
We are also very excited for the upcoming Greenwich Wine and Food Celebrity Chef Gala on October 7, 2022, where Chef Luke Venner will be a celebrity guest chef.
Eat Where the Chefs Eat is a column where local Chefs and food industry insiders share their favorite restaurants in the New York metro area. Learn where your favorite chefs go when they aren’t in their own kitchens!
Best Restaurants in Fairfield County according to Chef Luke Venner
What are your favorite restaurants in Westchester and CT? What do you usually order at each restaurant?
I really like the meals I’ve had at Restaurant L’Ostal in Darien, CT. French cuisine is dear to my heart, so it’s been a very welcome addition to the Fairfield County culinary scene. The food at L’Ostal is cleverly presented and the wine list has many of my favorite producers.
Although I still have not actually dined there, we order a lot of takeout from Kissaki in Greenwich, CT. They serve an omakase menu to-go; each course arrives pristine and expertly packaged.
On my day off I can often be found eating clam pizza and Calabrian chili wings at Sally’s Apizza in Stamford, CT. Thankfully, I don’t have to drive all the way to New Haven for that experience anymore.
Being from the midwest I am a big fan of steakhouses and we frequent Prime in Stamford, CT often. The staff is warm and friendly and the fare is always consistent and well executed. I almost always get the tuna tartare and a ribeye with french fries and bearnaise sauce.
Best New York City Restaurants according to Chef Luke Venner
What are your favorite restaurants in New York City? What do you usually order at each restaurant?
New York has so many great restaurants, but when I lived there I undoubtedly ate at Estela more often than any other. It was on my way home and I could always manage a seat at the bar for a plate of jamon iberico and the fried arroz negro.
Almost every year, usually around the holidays I plan a meal at Daniel. Nothing is more “New York” to me than getting dressed up and spending the whole evening there. I always get the chef’s tasting menu and I always feel like a king when I leave.
For a long time, I’ve been obsessed with Hillstone. It’s a corporate restaurant group and there is absolutely nothing “chefy” about it, but they seem to do everything right from the food, to the service and ambiance. It’s no secret that the veggie burger we serve during lunch at Elm pays tribute to my favorite thing there.