Ridgefield bistro fuels bodies, minds, hearts the columbian do you bake or broil bacon in the oven

On my first visit to fuel, I met my friend adrienne, who recommended this neighborhood favorite. The chalkboard outside said they serve the best sandwiches in town. Best sandwiches in town? It was hard for me to get excited about a sandwich, but I decided to try the ham and swiss sandwich with a bowl of the tomato basil soup. The sandwich was extraordinary — fresh sliced ham covered in melted swiss cheese between two thick slices of wheat bread. The soup had the summery taste of a ripe heirloom tomato bursting with herby fresh basil. I eyed the made-to-order double chocolate cookie baked in an iron skillet and topped with vanilla bean ice cream. But that would have to wait.

I also had the fresh-squeezed lemonade with peach tea. The lemonade (like all lemonade at fuel) is hand-squeezed using an old-fashioned lemon squeezer.

In the summer, fuel adds fresh local berries to its lemonade. On sundays, oranges are hand-squeezed for all-day mimosas served with breakfast sandwiches made on crusty baguettes.Bodies minds

On my next visit, I had the tillamook grilled cheese — fuel style with slices of thick-cut bacon and fig jam — that had me reconsidering my lukewarm position on sandwiches. The melted tillamook cheddar and provolone blended nicely with the salty bacon and sweet, fruity fig jam.

Despite the care they take in making their sandwiches, the team at fuel didn’t expect lunch to be so popular. At its heart, fuel is a wine bar. Megan sanchagrin, the general manager, spent the last six months revamping fuel’s wine list.

“I just edited the wine list and I added 40 wines to the list,” she said. “the reason for that is because of diversity. We wanted to teach people about it and to expand what they’re able to get here. Everything is handpicked. I tried it myself. I didn’t want to just put a cab on the menu. It had to be the best cab. I would say 95 to 100 percent of the wines you find here, you aren’t going to find anywhere else. A lot of times we get our hands on a small production of wine and I will buy it all.Sandwiches town I don’t want to see it anywhere else. If I see it at costco, if I see it at safeway, we don’t have it anymore. Our wines are small production, local, very unique. I am looking for wines that are mind-blowingly delicious.”

At night, the lights are dimmed. The snowflake-y lighting fixtures over the bar sparkle like fireworks. Freshly made pasta dishes and charcuterie appear on the menu (as well as lunch items such as lamb sliders). Wine specials are offered on mondays and wednesdays. On friday nights, there are wine tastings and dinner specials to pair. Every second saturday, fuel hosts a winemaker dinner. A percentage of the proceeds from winemaker dinners goes to local charities. Bridge the gap (a local nonprofit that assists children in foster and adoptive care) is a favorite.

Although the menu, lighting and vibe of this place may change depending on when you visit, you can expect the food and drink to be carefully selected and prepared.Bodies minds the all-women management team at fuel is hard-working and tight knit. They miraculously do all of this out of a tiny kitchen with what sanchagrin described as, “an easy bake oven.” as she explained, “our name is fuel for a reason. Our goal is to fuel people’s bodies and minds and their hearts, too. The goal is for them to walk out with a happy stomach for them to feel good about the things they ate.”