Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will debut his first restaurant in Connecticut in late Spring 2022. Located on Greenwich Avenue, Happy Monkey will showcase Latin cuisine with a Jean-Georges flair, enchanting guests with adventurous flavors and ever-changing, sustainable offerings served in a casual, fun atmosphere.
Admired for his acumen as a Michelin-starred chef, tastemaker and businessman operating 40+ acclaimed restaurants around the globe, Jean-Georges has envisioned a convivial, contemporary restaurant and bar with Happy Monkey. The menu embraces the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal produce, featuring Latin influences across shareable snacks, small and large plates, crudos, salads, tacos and more.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of Greenwich’s vibrant culinary scene, and have long eyed Connecticut as a prospective location,” said Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. “We’ve created something new and exciting that builds on our commitment to whole food and inventive fare yet offers the same level of tailored service you can expect at our restaurants. From a sophisticated evening out to a relaxed family dinner, Happy Monkey’s elevated yet approachable feel makes it a go-to destination for any occasion.”
Guests can expect a combination of favorites from ABC Cocina – one of Vongerichten’s NYC restaurants – like Arroz Con Pollo and a Grilled Maitake Mushroom, as well as inventive new dishes like Shrimp Tacos topped with spicy citrus peanut slaw and Marinated Whole Roasted Cauliflower served with sour cherry mole and warm tortillas. The dessert menu is comprised of sweet treats like a Cocoa Tres Leches Cake, a Strawberry Mango Crisp with macadamia coconut streusel, and rotating popsicle flavors. In addition to beer wine, sangria and hand-crafted cocktails, the beverage program features a margarita menu that will reflect the seasons. Non-alcoholic options include house-made sodas, juices and kombucha.
Working alongside Jean-Georges once again is Executive Chef Ron Gallo, who most recently served as Executive Chef at the Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges in Pound Ridge, NY. Gallo was previously Chef de Cuisine at Vongerichten’s Upper East Side restaurant, JoJo – a position he held for 13 years.
Art and design are just as central to the restaurant as the cuisine. Serving as a backdrop to the space is a prominent mural depicting famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo along with her playful pet spider monkey – a nod to the restaurant’s name. The art is by New York-based see.studios. Openshop, a New York-based strategy and design firm, collaborated with Jean-Georges’ team on the design of Happy Monkey. A long communal table stretches along the back of the dining room in front of the mural, offering a fun setting for celebrations or group outings, and a chic bar enhances the energy of the space. The restaurant is outfitted with moss green banquettes, black and white marble floors, rattan lights and hanging plants that give it a lush feel. Cream venetian plaster and brass accents create a warm and inviting vibe and select vintage decor adds an eclectic element.
Happy Monkey is in partnership with hospitality group Aurify Brands, which operates and cultivates leading brands including Le Pain Quotidien, Little Beet, Melt Shop, Fields Good Chicken, and Little Beet Table.
“We’re excited to bring a taste of Jean-Georges to Connecticut,” said Andy Stern, Aurify Brands Co-CEO. “We designed this concept in collaboration with Jean-Georges and his incredible team to be a fun spot for the community to come together over food – a place that gives you a daily dose of happy, as its name implies.”
Happy Monkey will open late Spring 2022 for dinner service Wednesday through Sunday, and will expand to offer brunch and lunch service this summer. Outdoor dining will also be available. Beginning later this month, reservations can be made on Resy or by calling the restaurant at (203) 405-5787. The restaurant is located at 376 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. For more information, please visit the website at happymonkeygreenwich.com