Upon entering Craft 260, the words of one of America’s founding fathers Ben Franklin, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” are written on the wall facing the opposite side of the restaurant where a cozy little seating area surrounds a large open bar — the main attraction of this weekend’s hotspot.
Craft 260 is an American-themed establishment and was suggested by a friend, though judging by the name, we were not sure if it was an American craft beer brewery or a German-style beer garden. Our uncertainty did not last long, as my friends and I saw the large plank-wood painted American flag structure hung on the wall enclosed by quotes from iconic American figures such as Mark Twain and Elliot Ness. The local feel of this small but interesting, rustic Americana-style bistro and bar brings purpose and identity to their slogan, “Serving American Comfort.”
If you are a Fairfield student of the legal drinking age, this may be your new beer hotspot. The “Beer Bar” has an enormous beer menu loaded with almost 50 distinct Pilsners and lagers, IPA and pale ales, Belgian, stouts and porters and specialty craft beer options.
However, do not let the American bar theme be the sole attraction of your visit or deter you nacho lovers. “Craft Nachos” are a must when dining here: crunchy warmed tortilla chips, topped with hickory pulled pork with an unexpected barbecue sauce tang, dried red onions, freshly sliced tomatoes, black beans, Jalapeño peppers and a delicious new twist for me — melted IPA Vermont White Cheddar sauce — all made it a flavorful dish with unexpected twists.
For the main course, my friends and I skipped out on the highly recommended burger and sandwich options, along with the wood oven baked flatbreads that we definitely would have to order on our second visit, and settled for the Smoked Turkey Pot Pie and the Garlic Steak. The pot pie contained strips of turkey “smoked and pulled from the whole bird,” kale, white beans and creamy vegetables, a “rich turkey stock” combination, all covered by a fluffy golden pastry.
Usually when ordering steak, the general concern is that the dish is overly priced considering the portion size, most often a miniscule quantity of meat. However, Craft’s serving of garlic steak will fill you up. A thick cut 10-ounce sirloin, topped with garlic butter and pecorino crust, with a side of fries and steamed green beans, was both filling and reasonably priced.
It is clear that this place is gaining a larger following considering the attendance in both the dining area and around the bar. Just opening in February of this year, the location is east on Post Road from Fairfield University. Craft 260 is located on 260 Post Road in Fairfield, just after the fork in the road before Stop & Shop where Post Road veers off into Kings Highway.
Craft 260 has the potential to be one of the top competing establishments in the Greater Fairfield area, but lacks an accessible location for students. The cuisine is affordable for college students, but it is difficult to get to if you do not have a car on campus. In terms of quality of food, Craft 260 deserves a five-star rating, but the location and size of the restaurant drops the rating down to a 4.5-star rating. Craft 260 is the home of true American dining and drinking.