I’m a city girl at heart and for a small city in CT, Norwalk packs a lot of punch. Every local parent owes some of his or her sanity to Stepping Stones Museum and the Maritime Aquarium - two spots in South Norwalk (aka SoNo), a fantastic neighborhood to walk around and eat and drink your way through.
Some of the best food in Fairfield County is in Norwalk - I can rattle off a dozen places there that are far better than what we have in Greenwich. Here's one Norwalk eating experience that will satisfy your entire family this summer.
Get Your Seafood On at Knot Norm’s
Located on an adorable, beachy stretch of land in East Norwalk right on the Long Island Sound, Knot Norm’s was made for summer. Owner Jay LeBlanc opened the spot just a year ago as an extension of his existing catering (via kick-ass wood fired grill on wheels) business. The space is small but bright, airy and nautical, and it's very much casual enough to bring the kids. Knot Norm's is counter service and you seat yourself - PERFECT for families.
Half the menu at Knot Norm’s focuses on “Rolls” served on a toasted hot dog bun - delicious things like lobster rolls, Norwalk's own Copps Island oyster rolls, lump crab rolls, as well as fried chicken, brisket, pork belly, and steak and cheese rolls for land lovers. The other half of the menu is “Knot Rolls” - salads, steamers, fish tacos, soups, roasted oysters, chicken wings. There’s usually daily specials, too. No matter what you pick, it will be tasty.
Each roll at Knot Norm’s comes with a side of chips (kid friendly!), pickles and coleslaw. Knot Norm’s also offers french fries (my girls' favorite food group), and they can do chicken fingers for kiddies who have not yet developed the taste buds for lobster rolls. On a future visit, I'd like to try the brisket roll, but right now, I have enough trouble deciding among the seafood options to even entertain the idea of anything not from the sea.
Be sure to also hit the seriously good selection of craft beers and wines available. Owner LeBlanc was in the beer industry previously and he knows his stuff. Behind the counter, there's a huge ice trough packed with all kinds of beer selections. On our last visit, there was also a bucket advertising $3 cans inside it.
Then Wash It All Down With Some Soft Serve
One teeny tiny, itsy bitsy block over from Knot Norm’s is Mr. Frosty's Ice Cream. Mr. Frosty’s is an outdoor only counter service spot with a large patio for seating. It’s classic summer. And it basically begs you to visit after you finish up at Knot Norm’s - with kids in tow, is there really any better end to the night??
Mr. Frosty’s has every kind of ice cream flavor and preparation you could think of. There’s custard soft serve (their signature) and all kinds of hard ice cream flavors. There are sundaes and "Tornadoes" (blended soft serve ice cream and toppings a la Dairy Queen Blizzard). There are ice cream sandwiches and dipped cones and all kinds of fruit smoothies. There’s also this thing called Flavor Burst that looked crazy funky.
Knot Norm’s and Mr. Frosty’s is a flawless combo for summer nights. I’ll be back to share more Norwalk favorites in the coming months.