Street Diner Where everybody knows your name
By Camilla A. Herrera
September 12, 2007 12:00 AM
Take a look at the menu of the Bedford Street Diner in Stamford.
find eggs, bagels, French toast, pancakes, sandwiches, wedges,
burgers, french fries, coleslaw, coffees, teas and milkshakes
- the bread-and-butter of diner dining.
have to try the cheesecake," says Darcey Trudeau, the
5-month-old eatery's co-owner with Nancy Ackerson, who comes
out from the kitchen, where she is often found baking and
preparing specials, to join her sister in a booth.
cheesecake is our grandmother's recipe," says Ackerson.
"It's a family secret."
won't remain a secret much longer are the menu's healthier
offerings. These include nut breads, fresh fruit, salads,
veggie and turkey burgers, grilled chicken and vegetable wraps.
want egg whites?" says Ackerson. "Just ask."
singles out the Healthy Morning Wrap, scrambled egg whites,
avocado, grilled chicken, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes and salsa.
can always get dressings and salsas on the side," says
something more gourmet?
out the assorted dinner pastas, the New York Strip, the Pesto-Crusted
Salmon with Saffron Rice and Vegetables and Dave's Fave Salad,
which includes grilled chicken, walnuts, apples, dried cranberries
and Gorgonzola cheese on a bed of mixed greens.
salad is named after David Agostino, their brother, who is
still working the floor one recent afternoon while the remaining
lunch crowd is about to clear.
forget to tell her about our healthy options," he says,
already did," says Ackerson to her brother. "We
name a lot of our items after friends and family."
Agostino, their mother, must have a thing for avocado and
portobello mushrooms with ranch dressing. That wrap is named
also is Billy's BBQ Wrap, Laura's Thanksgiving, Carlos' Chicken
Port, Nanny's Napoleon, Karen's Veggie Wrap, Chris T's Wrap,
Nanny's Veggie Burger Wrap and Chuck's Crispy Wrap.
week's specials include Freddy's Spanish Omelet, Tiger Schulman's
Tuna Melt and Nanny's Homemade Spinach Pie.
named Zack Zesty Buffalo Chicken Wrap after Trudeau's toddler
son, Zachary. His playgroup friends have their names attached
to menu items as well. Next will probably be her daughter,
Chloe, 4 months, and her niece, Caitlin Agostino, 6 months.
has one, too," says Ackerson, about her cat.
giggles, teasing Ackerson in a loving tone that underlies
much of the quick-fire banter the sisters exchange.
reveals something about the kind of comfortable familiarity
they hope to bring to the Bedford Street Diner.
recruited people we have worked with," says Ackerson.
took a risk when they came here and we are so grateful,"
with family, they seem to be saying.
the kind of family we come from," explains Ackerson.
"From always being in a restaurant, we know how we were
treated, so we want to treat people right."
you goes a long way."
it is, as if sharing with a friend, that they reveal how they
never expected to be working at a diner, much less be running
one, even after growing up and later working in and around
parents even met at a diner, says Trudeau, the former Buttery
was a cook," says Ackerson, about Joe Agostino.
was a waitress," says Trudeau.
seems inevitable, and the sisters nod in agreement, that the
family's diner culture would qualify them to keep it, well,
in the family.
make it happen, Trudeau gave up a job in public relations
and Ackerson quit three concurrent waitressing jobs to build
and manage the diner.
said, 'I found this place,' says Trudeau.
think he's always wanted this kind of place," says Ackerson.
kind of place we would own so they could be involved as much
as they want to be," says Trudeau.
original deal and two others at other sites fell through but
they didn't stop looking. Last November, the family landed
the Bedford Street site and after four months of heavy construction,
the Bedford Street Diner opened.
was a crazy day," says Ackerson, laughing at the memory
of their opening day, when David Agostino, a former writer
with no restaurant experience, joined the family business.
sisters wouldn't be able to do it without their parents.
comes in at 3:30 a.m. to open and clean and set up,"
helps with the kids and closes," says Trudeau, momentarily
fired mom a month ago," she jokes, as a way of expressing
concern that her mother does more than she should. "She's
says their father jokes about the toil of working early in
the morning. "'These are supposed to be our golden years,'
he says to mom, 'And here I am washing dishes.'
keep doing this and he'll be here for years," she adds
with a smile.
at that counter," says Trudeau.
works and then his friends come in to have breakfast,"
always been this way," says Trudeau. "We make fun
of each other all the time."
wouldn't have it any other way.
a year? I hope we're still here," says Trudeau. "I
love seeing the same faces."
Bedford Street Diner, 935 Bedford St., Stamford. Open Monday-Wednesday,
6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday,
6 a.m.-4 p.m. Take-out menu available. Call 406-9985 or visit