Burgers & Frites Elevates Fast Casual In Lakeville
By Jacque Lynn Schiller
Area Canadians rejoice: poutine has arrived in the Litchfield Hills. Or perhaps instead of the gravy train you prefer your spuds served alongside escargot sautéed in herb butter? So long as you like them double crisped and airy, you’ll find fries done right at Burgers & Frites in Lakeville, Conn.
Served with an intriguing assortment of sauces such as truffle aioli or crème fraîche and bacon, the hand-cut and twice-fried potatoes are just one of the draws at this unassuming new French-American spot.
Located in a wood-beamed building beneath a chestnut tree, B&F is not trying to reinvent the classic diner wheel, but is offering something refreshingly different around these parts in the form of a fast casual restaurant using local produce and churning out some incredible house-made ice cream and desserts. (I’m skipping ahead of myself, but the largely seasonal treats menu developed by Chef Tommy Juliano, Jr. is something to get excited about.)
But first, the burgers: juicy Pat LaFrieda sourced. You may opt to keep things simple or dress it up by adding frizzled shallots, blue cheese or Nodine’s bacon. The patty is just thick enough, and the snappy bibb lettuce and garden-fresh tomatoes show the little bit of extra consideration that elevates humble to homerun.
The same can be said for the B&F hot dog, served on a buttered potato roll with both traditional toppings like sauerkraut and/or the premium route such as caramelized Vidalia onions.
And yes, veg-heads, there is something on the menu for you as well, though it’s not an expected bean burger. Nope, here you’ll find a massive grilled cheese, thick with melted Cabot cheddar. One can also opt for the build-your-own salad, again with an array of delicious add-ins.
Diners order at the counter, cutting down the wait time and making the eatery more family-friendly. Hungry patrons are quickly satisfied. And just because B&F is “fast casual” doesn’t mean it doesn’t change its menu with the seasons like any fine restaurant.
“Although we have only been open a little over a month, we have already made a number of seasonal changes to our menu,” said owner Patrick Sinchak. “Our salad toppings, our tomatoes are local, our ice cream flavors…we opened making a sweet corn ice cream using corn from a local farm. We are currently working on a mint chocolate chip ice cream using mint from our garden and we are also working on a salted caramel and apple ice cream. We are also selling apple crisp [right] while it lasts.”
All of the desserts are made in the B&F kitchen, including that remarkable small-batch ice cream. Whether swirled into a milkshake or topped with salted caramel, the results are superb. The first time we stopped into the restaurant, I tried the sweet corn with Maine blueberries. I’ve truly never had anything like it — sweet summer corn spun into a cup. The French favorite crème brûlée is well executed and on a recent blustery autumn afternoon, I gratefully consumed a cinnamon-spiked apple crisp as I watched vibrantly hued leaves swirl about outside the solarium. This place is a go-to treat, no matter the season.
Burgers & Frites
227 Main St., Lakeville, CT
Open every day 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.