The full story on Duo -- American and Japanese fusion on South B'dway

You want the company of the Buddha while you wash your filet mignon down with some saké?

It’s a safe bet there’s only one place in town where you might do such a thing, (starting later this winter) and that would be Duo, the American-Japanese fusion restaurant and lounge being established on South Broadway by the Shanghai-born Wilfred Sheng.

Sheng, 39, recently relocated to Wilton with his family from Manhattan, where he worked as a chef for 20 years. He’s designing Duo, his first restaurant, as an atypical take on Japanese cuisine, with traditional sushi and sashimi on the menu right next to dishes like surf ’n turf and risotto.

“For me, everything is a mix of American style and Japanese style,” Sheng said. “When people come in, they’ll get a surprise every time.”

The chef-owner’s seeming motto that “variety is the spice of life” is also evident in his choice of wallpapers, which are of numerous and vibrant patterns throughout the 8,500-square-foot restaurant.

A bar, lounge, televisions and sound system will fill the spacious front room, while the back room will be dedicated to dining and can accommodate parties and conferences, Sheng said.

The restaurant, located at 175 S. Broadway, has been vacant for the last eight months, since Jeff Chen abandoned it — and its name, Shanghai Grill — in order to attract more foot traffic to his business. He moved downtown and opened Pacific Grill on Putnam Street last summer.

Sheng, who knows Chen, said he hopes the modern flair and mix of American and Japanese food at Duo attracts young and old, as well as those whose first choice when dining out in the past might not have been Asian food.

“Everything is a new style,” he said.

Sheng plans to hire about 20 employees and is shooting for a February opening.

Lunch and dinner will be served, with take-out and delivery available.

For more information, call the restaurant at 580-8881.


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