We moved to Fairfield County (initially Stamford and now Westport) from Shanghai in the summer of 2011. Over the last two years, there were many transitions to life here, but the most difficult was food. My wife and I enjoyed the variety of a lot of different types of Chinese food while in Shanghai, and missed that a ton. Thanks to the folks on Chowhound though, we found some places to tide us over in between visits to Flushing or my family in the 626.
I was going through some of the old threads to see if there were any new updates or recent finds, but didn't see anything so thought I'd summarize my learnings over the last 2 years to see if I've missed anything. If nothing else, maybe this can help others who might be newcomers to Southwest CT.
I've titled this post Chinese menus because I've found that restaurants who have menus (or sections of menus or at least items with English names that you know has a standard Chinese equivalent) in Chinese tend to be 'authentic' in the sense that they are serving traditional dishes that someone who is Chinese would recognize. So all the restaurants below meet that criteria.
1. Lao Sze Chuan (老四川)
1585 Boston Post Rd, Milford, CT 06460
There's a ton of commentary on Lao Sze Chuan already on other threads, so will just say thank you to all the Chowhounds for pointing this out - for a while we loved to hit up Costco and then have dinner at Lao Sze Chuan before going home.
2. Hao Si Chuan (好四川)
1049 Boston Post Rd, West Haven, CT 06516
We've only gone once since it's a little further away, and it was almost a disaster because I had a very hungry wife, toddler and grandfather in the car while I was trying to find the place which made for a pretty rough start when we finally got there and sat down. However, 10 minutes into the meal we started to turn it around and by the end of the meal I was forgiven for taking the family so far for dinner.
3. Little Kitchen Westport
423 Post Rd E, Westport, CT 06880
When we first moved to Westport, we ordered takeout once and then never went or ordered again because while the food was fresh it was not what I would consider 'authentic'. Over the summer though, we went and was surprised to see that the sitdown menu had some items that I would consider to be some 'authentic' but not necessarily fancy staples such as Yung Chow Fried Rice (扬州炒饭), Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉面), Pan Fried Noodles (两面黄) including using ingredients like Chinese sausage (more the Taiwanese sweet kind). I didn't see it on their drinks menu, but on the wall in the back they have popular beverages from Taiwan such as Guava Juice (芭乐果汁/番石榴果汁), Sarsaparilla soda (黑松), and Apple Sidra (苹果西打). It's good enough to keep me going back just for those few things - although on occasion I'll have the Nasi Goreng or the Massaman Curry Beef.
4. Pearl East (东海楼)
2720 Summer St, Stamford, CT 06905
Have gone once when hosting colleagues visiting from China and we were looking for something 'authentic' in Stamford. As others have mentioned they have a "Traditional Chinese" section to the menu which has a number of items that I'd like to try next time I go and would be typical of a restaurant serving Huaiyang cuisine (e.g. typical appetizers, pig ear 麻辣猪耳朵, marinated beef 五香牛肉, jellyfish 凉拌海蜇, drunken chicken 醉鸡). I have to admit the food we had last time was ok, I wasn't blown away, but this is the only restaurant I've found in the area that is definitely more Shanghainese vs. #1 and #2 which are Sichuan or #3 which is more Taiwanese/ Indonesian).
We have on occasion also gone to Westchester - which is not Southwest Connecticut I know, but thought I'd include for completeness sake.
3 Barker Ave, White Plains, NY 10601
Aberdeen has also received many mentions on Chowhound for dimsum/ Cantonese food so the only thing I'll mention is that we found that we could park in the gated parking lot with the entrance on Barker for free (can't remember if it's Sat, Sun or both). You take a ticket to get in but coming out the exit gate just lifts when you pull up.
6. Imperial Wok (湘园)
736 N Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603
Imperial Wok also has a section of the menu with Traditional Chinese dishes, which tends to also be Sichuan or Taiwanese style (which is confusing because from their Chinese name of the restaurant you would think it is more Hunan style, but what do I know). I have to sheepishly confess that my favorite dish there is a basic stir fried shrimp and egg, although I do enjoy their West Lake Beef Soup as well.
Would love to learn if there are any other Chinese restaurants in the area that I've missed with Chinese menu items, or other styles of Chinese food. In particular my wife grew up in Xi'an so if there's anything in the area serving Shaanxi staples like Liang Pi Cold Noodles 凉皮 without having to trek to Flushing (http://www.xianfoods.com/) or into the city that would be fantastic.