Nearly 20 years ago, a neighborhood coffee shop was transformed into a charming New American restaurant. The concept was a simple one; a seasonal menu presented in a relaxed atmosphere; a concept that would grow with the town; and a restaurant where a chef’s creativity could shine. Owner Sal Bagliavio opened Bailey’s Backyard in October of 1999 and continues to make his culinary mark on the town of Ridgefield, CT.
Sal, a former pizzeria owner from Babylon, Long Island, raised in an Italian-American household, gravitated to the restaurant biz at an early age. A scenic drive through Ridgefield lured the young restaurateur into opening his own eatery here and Bailey’s Backyard quickly became a neighborhood hot spot, offering locals a new dining experience.
Today, this seasoned restaurateur is joined by Executive Chef Zach Campion, a Johnson & Whales alumn with kitchen cred that includes; Local 121 in Providence, RI whose concept was tagged as “locally harvested food and drink”; the ground-breaking Metro Bis in Simsbury, CT under the direction of Chef Christopher Prosperi; and continued to hone his craft in the kitchen of ON20 restaurant, a Hartford, CT culinary institution. Zach’s menu at Bailey’s Backyard is a peek into the many influencers and experiences that are at the core of this talented chef’s creativity and respect for the ingredients he and Sal curate on a daily basis.
Zach approaches his seasonal dishes in a manner that is honest, vibrant, and uncomplicated.
As a true farm-to-table restaurant, Bailey’s Backyard is committed to supporting and utilizing local ingredients from nearby coastal waters, and Connecticut and New York farmers and artisans, including; Simpaug, Millstone, Snow Hill, Holbrook, and Gaia’s Breath to name a few. Current menu highlights feature; baby arugula tossed with fresh strawberries, shaved radish, avocado, white balsamic vinaigrette, with crispy goat cheese; pan seared George’s Bank scallops with crispy risotto, pancetta, capers, and roasted mushrooms with a lemon beurre blanc; pork belly steamed buns with Sriracha-lime glaze, fresh jalapeno, kimchi, and sesame seeds; rainbow trout with fava beans, white beans, toasted almonds, wilted watercress, and brown butter; and pan seared duck breast served with English pea succotash, caramelized parsnip, fig gastrique, and an espresso-cherry demi.
Mixologist /Sommelier Kyle Martinez, a former chef himself, whose career also includes work with Ridgefield’s The Hickories and Homefront Farmers, embraces his passion for local, sustainable farming and fresh, seasonal ingredients incorporating these into the beverage program for Bailey’s Backyard. In keeping with the restaurant local, from-scratch approach to the menu, Kyle infuses these fresh flavor profiles into his cocktails, craft beer selections, and approachable wine list.
The setting at Bailey’s Backyard is that of two bright farmhouse style dining rooms wrapped in light clapboard walls, wood furnishings, greenery, antique light fixtures, local photography, antiques, and mason jars throughout the space, filled with fruit jams and pickled vegetables.
Catering by Bailey’s Backyard is a wonderful extension of this local eatery, producing catered affairs for off-premise events and milestone celebrations.