The California-inspired fast-casual rotisserie restaurant by former Sweetgreen and Starbucks’ culinary leader Ben Pote opened in Cos Cob last week.
The concept of this fantastic eatery, both in cuisine and design, is inspired by California with a thoughtfully curated menu that offers something for everyone.
Rotisserie chicken and slow-roasted cauliflower are at the heart of the menu, complemented by entree-style salads, plant-forward sides, and sauces that are made in-house daily, with thoughtful pops of flavor throughout. The chicken, for example, is rubbed with bay leaf, oregano, and fennel pollen, giving it an herbaceous, savory flavor, while the whole-roasted cauliflower is sprinkled with za’atar, a Middle-Eastern herb blend. Wildacre’s salads are hearty enough for lunch and dinner, or to eat alongside a whole roasted chicken or cauliflower. Guests can order a la carte or select a bundled meal, which offers the choice of either a rotisserie chicken or slow-roasted cauliflower main plus two sides and two sauces. Side dishes range from french fries to roasted brussels sprouts, and the majority of the menu is gluten-free. The California influence shows up throughout the menu, which features ingredients like fennel pollen, Meyer lemon, and avocado, and flavors inspired by the Mediterranean, Central American, and Asian cuisines.
Wildacre thoughtfully sources its ingredients. The rotisserie chickens are from Cooks Venture, which raises a slow-growth, heirloom chicken called the Pioneer, taking into account the health of the animal and the health of the environment. Core to their mission is advancing regenerative agriculture, and their chickens are pasture-raised, heirloom birds fed a diet of non-GMO feed. Other menu items will be local and organic when possible.
Like the menu, Wildacre Rotisserie’s design has a California flair. Crisp white paint and contemporary light fixtures give the space a modern vibe, and tiles in varying shades of green represent the different greens one might find walking through the woods. Throughout the restaurant are images of poppies – the state flower of California. These beautiful, delicate flowers turn the Pacific coast orange every summer and are a fixture of the brand design. Seating will be available indoors, where diners can take in the views of Mill Pond.
Pote has over a decade of restaurant industry experience and an extensive background in culinary operations and menu strategy. He has held leadership positions at a number of nationally-renowned food brands, including Director of Development at Souvla in San Francisco, Director of Culinary Innovation at Starbucks, and most recently Director of Culinary Strategy and Culinary Program Manager at Sweetgreen. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008, Pote cooked his way through the kitchens of multi-unit restaurant groups like the Hillstone Restaurant Group (Hillstone, Houston’s) and The Florence Group (led by the Food Network’s Tyler Florence), before graduating from the French Culinary Institute in New York City in 2010.
Pote said, “We’re thrilled to bring a taste of California-inspired cuisine to Cos Cob, and to become part of the vibrant Greenwich food scene. We’re reimagining the traditional rotisserie with thoughtful ingredients and unique flavor profiles to bring you food you can feel good about for any meal of the week.”
Guests will have the option to order and dine in, or order for pickup or delivery. The restaurant is located at 147 E Putnam Avenue and will be open Tues-Sat from 11am-8pm.
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