Tavern 489 Recreates a Mountain Lodge Respite

Published February 23rd 2016
Unprecedented Restaurateur Collaboration Offers a Unique Experience
February 18, 2016, Stamford, CT:  A musician at his core, a restaurateur by design, and a wine enthusiast at heart, Eric Monte, the creator and co-founder of The Fez located in Downtown Stamford, is in the production stages of another original food and beverage concept opening this month. Tavern 489, which takes its cues from the warmth of a grand stone fireplace in a tavern’esque mountain lodge, is spearheaded by Monte and his long-time culinary partner, French chef Regis Saget.
 “We are doing something that’s never been done before,” says Monte of his partnership with renowned Indian chef Kausik Roy of Tawa Indian Cuisine, “We’ve taken the bar portion of Tawa’s expansive restaurant space and played off the focal point of the room’s massive stone fireplace and created a mountain lodge atmosphere featuring upscale tavern fare, wild game and libations.”
Tavern 489 takes up real estate in Tawa’s free standing colonial style building in the charming residential Stamford neighborhood of Glenbrook. The space, separated from Tawa’s main dining room by wooden trestle dividers and velvet curtains,   has been transformed into a deep country mountain lodge, channeling prolific adventurers Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost, replete with Adirondack furnishings, river canoes, and rural reading den antiques, all framed in forest green walls and high-ceiling wooden trusses. At the center of it all are a large 18-seat mahogany bar with an antiqued backdrop mirror and that imposing stone hearth which adds a warm glow to the 45-seat restaurant and bar. 
The menu takes its cues from Monte’s love for French cuisine and from Chef Regis Saget’s upbringing in the south west of France on a vineyard and whose family reared their own animals and grew their household produce. Chef’s innate food culture is the foundation of Tavern 489’s hearty, local, and seasonal menu. Small plates include; French onion soup au gratin; wild mushroom ragout with a poached egg and sautéed greens; Canadian poutine with hand-cut fries, cheese curd and rich gravy; and lobster salad with citrus dressing. Hand-formed burgers are of the 10 ounce bacon burger variety with sautéed mushrooms and onions topped with Swiss cheese; and the bison burger is simply dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a roasted red pepper aioli, allowing for the flavorful buffalo meat to take center stage.
 Tavern 489 entrées, while unabashedly carnivorous, offer adventurous diners a break from the norm. Chef’s French influences are apparent, and he and Monte’s affinity for the bold flavors of the spice route shine through. Menu highlights include; 1/2 roasted marinated chicken with roasted masala; braised shorts rib with maple Salvador Paulaner beer;  homemade sausages with lentil stew; house made duck confit ravioli;  Tavern’s “dirty steak” for two, a mesquite ash rubbed tomahawk ribeye; and a wonderful and seasonal specials board highlighting local wild game, bird, and carving boards such as;  pheasant braised Forestier style; grilled quails with grapes and almonds; venison with Cumberland sauce; rabbit with mustard and caramelized onions; and house smoked ham. From the sea guests can enjoy; wild salmon with faro, corn, mushrooms, chorizo, tomato, spinach, and escabeche; local fish and chips; and market fresh preparations. 
In keeping with Monte’s signature wine and cocktail bravura, the beverage program for Tavern 489 will complement the restaurant’s woodsy concept and the menu’s rich and robust flavor profiles.  Wine enthusiasts can look forward to Eric’s cellar picks on any given night, as well as limited edition wines from his extensive collection.   An impressive brown spirits program, creative cocktails, house made infusions, and draught craft beer menu round out the beverage offerings.
Tavern 489 has lots in store, including Monte’s signature vertical wine tastings and wine maker dinner series, seasonal game dinners, live singer-songwriter sessions, and book author readings and poetry nights. The scene is set; fireplace, wine, good food and all – a mountain lodge escape.
Tavern 489 plans to open early March, 2016.
489 Glenbrook Road, Stamford, CT
Chef Regis Saget:
Regis graduated from culinary school in Morlaas, France with degrees for chef and pastry chef. He continued his culinary adventure away from the wholesome rolling hills of his countryside village to expand his palate in countries like Spain, England, Andorra, Switzerland, South Africa and reaching far to the East.
He settled in Greenwich CT in 2000, at Versailles Restaurant.  He has worked at La Colline Verte and St. Tropez in Fairfield and opened Savvy Restaurant in New Canaan. His respect for ingredients and creative talent has earned him an Excellent in the New York Times in July 2006.