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Sunday
Aug282016

Spiga - Old World Meets New Italian in New Canaan

Spiga Wine Bar opened quietly in New Canaan a few weeks ago, offering a menu that combines old world Italian red sauce cuisine with modern interpretations of classic dishes. As reported in the CTbites Sneak Peek, the new owners redesigned the interior to offer a family focus for early guests followed by a hip environment as the evening progresses. During its opening weekend, my wife and I visited after a movie and then again with friends for a late lunch. On both occasions we were all impressed with the cuisine, but were a little taken aback by the noise. CTbites was subsequently invited by the owners to visit one afternoon to sample additional items, discuss the changes envisioned to the menu and how the owners are addressing the desire of guests to enjoy conversation with friends and family.

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Friday
Aug262016

Small Name, Big Flavor from Nit Noi Provisions' Chicken Recipe via Westport Farmers' Market

In Thai, “nit noi” is defined as small or tiny. But there is nothing small about the flavor of Nit Noi Provision’s food. Founded by Jill and North Shutsharawan, Nit Noi Provisions of Westport delivers enormous flavor in every dish and seasoning crafted by this relative newcomer on the food scene. From Thai noodle soups, to broths and condiments, Nit Noi uses fresh, local, and sustainably sourced ingredients that explode with exotic yet accessible flavor. A weekly vendor at the Westport Farmers’ Market, Nit Noi proffered samples of its popular KMG dish at a recent happy hour at Patagonia. They share their recipe below.  

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Thursday
Aug252016

Tix on Sale! Kitchen Crawl Culinary Fundraiser: 5 Fabulous Chefs + 4 Designer Kitchens

Experience 5 Chefs in 4 designer kitchens, while helping to feed the hungry in our community. 

Join CTbites, Moffly Media’s AtHome Magazine, and realtor Judy Michaelis for Fairfield County's first ever, KITCHEN CRAWL,” a culinary tour to benefit Community Plates.

Here's how the Kitchen Crawl works... Guests will purchase a $45 ticket and proceed to 4 different Westport houses, where chefs from The Spread, The Pearl at Longshore, Nom Eez, Rothbard's & Vespa will be cooking just for you. Cooking demos and specially prepared bites will be enjoyed alongside wine and beer provided by Stew's Wines...all in spectacular designer kitchens.

Purchase Tickets to Kitchen Crawl here. 

Note: Ticket sales will be limited.

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Thursday
Aug252016

Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings for Week Of August 28 to Sept 4

Stamford Summer Restaurant week returns!  Through September 4, select restaurants will offer special prix fixe lunches and dinners, starting at $10.16 and $15.16 respectively.  Participants include popular eateries like Cask Republic, EOS, The Fez, and many many more!  For menus, prices, and details, visit: 

PARTY LIKE THE SUMMER’S NOT OVER!!!!  Match Restaurant is switching up its regular menu for one night only and teaming up with Norm & Jimmy Bloom from Copps Island Oysters & Lobsters to bring you seafood fresh seafood from Long Island Sound!  Special drinks alongside a full beer and cocktail menu. Monday August 29. See the menu here.

Fleishers Craft Butchery in Westport will have another installation of Beef Butchery 101 on Tuesday August 30 at 7pm.  The night covers Craft Butchery philosophies on sourcing and sustainability, butchering knife skills, basic animal anatomy, demonstrations by a Craft Butchery master butcher, and tasting of samples. 

Get your tickets now for a screening of “At The Fork” on September 8 at 7:30.  Filmmaker John Papola, and his wife Lisa provide unbiased look at how farm animals are raised for our consumption. 

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Wednesday
Aug242016

Summer Corn Chowder with Grilled Vegetable Confetti via Marcia Selden

It's that time of year, the time when fresh sweet corn is at its best. This is the season for homemade corn chowder, and Marcia Selden makes it easy. Go swing by your local farmers' market and grab some corn. 

Summer Corn Chowder with Grilled Vegetable Confetti

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Sunday
Aug212016

Taberna Mediterranean Tapas and Wine Bar in Fairfield's Brick Walk

I have an affinity for those underexplored sweet spots that are slightly off the beaten path, tucked away, or unheard of. For whatever reason, Taberna, a Mediterranean tapas and wine bar located in the Brick Walk in downtown Fairfield hasn’t been widely discovered. Although I hadn’t heard of it many have, and those who have sing its praises.

Some of you might be familiar with the name, thinking it’s not in Fairfield, it’s in Bridgeport! And you would be correct, sort of... Prior to opening the Fairfield location, Chef Daniel Lopez and his brother Jaime owned and operated the Bridgeport restaurant for 8 years. Upon hearing that it was closing, longtime diners were happy to follow to the new larger venue with light-filled dining area, large bar and outdoor patio.

I was able to sit down and chat with Chef Lopez who was born and raised in Ecuador who revealed to me that he had been enamored with the flavors and cuisines of the Mediterranean since he was a child. In 1994 he and his brother emigrated to the states and immediately began working in the restaurant industry - for many well-known Fairfield County favorites.

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Friday
Aug192016

Back to School with Kohlrabi & Radish Salad from The Whelk and Westport Farmers’ Market

It might be back-to-school season, but it’s still summer at the Westport Farmers’ Market. Thirty vendors plus guests, including many favorites and a few new faces, brave every sort of weather each week to bring us the very best in fresh vegetables, cheese, meat, fruit and berries, coffee, tea, pasta, pet food, flowers, prepared foods, and artisan crafts. Before saying so-long to the kids for the season, stop by the market to stock up on fresh ingredients for hearty breakfasts and healthful lunches. Anthony Kostelis of The Whelk, offers this refreshing salad to pack in the kiddo’s box or serve at dinner.

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Thursday
Aug182016

Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings for Week of August 21-28

Mill Street Bar + Table and Jessica Wong of Holbrook Farm are joining together to support the farm and highlight local ingredients.  On Sunday August 21, Chef Lazlo will prepare a special meal of appetizers, salads, dinner entrees, and dessert while Jessica details the farm’s new projects.  It runs from 5-8pm and costs $100 per person.  Purchase tickets here.

Enjoy a wine tour with the Greenwich Wine Society on Friday August 26.  A bus will leave Riverside shopping center at 9am.  From there, visit two wineries and have lunch at the Griswold Inn in Essex, CT.  The tour ends at 8pm.  Tickets are $125 per person.  

On Sunday, August 21, enjoy a Tomato Tasting at Ambler Farm where you can explore the world of tomatoes.  Guests are encouraged to bring a tomato-based dish for sharing at the event and a tomato from home- the largest wins a prize!  It costs $20 per family up to 6 people. 

The Bronx Brewery is making its Connecticut debut!  Welcome them to the state with a launch party at Barcade in New Haven from noon to midnight on Thursday August 25. 

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Thursday
Aug182016

Little Pub Opens Today in Fairfield on Black Rock Turnpike

The Little Pub you know from Ridgefield, Wilton and Cos Cob is opening its fourth location in Fairfield at the intersection of Stillson Avenue and Black Rock Turnpike. This spot has some history as it housed the Angus restaurant for over 70 years. Owner, Doug Grabe says "It's a cute and cozy building in a perfect neighborhood for Little Pub and we’re really looking forward to serving the Fairfield community."

"Little Pub Fairfield will share the traditional old world charm of our other little pubs with thick plaster walls, hand hewn beams, and antique iron light fixtures," says Grabe. In fact, the team re-purposed over 80 vintage beams from their Cos Cob renovation. A massive stone fireplace serves as the focal point for the main dining room, alongside some wonderful pub decor, including a vintage telephone booth.

What is unique to Fairfield is its size. The dining room is over 50% bigger than Wilton, with 130 seats. Grabe says "The bar alone is bigger than our entire Ridgefield footprint." 

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Wednesday
Aug172016

Brewport Brewing Co. Brings New Haven Pizza To Bridgeport CT

A lot of the time, when you write about food and beer, you realize the compelling truths in a story start with the people. Case in point, Brewport Brewing Co. If you've driven on I-95 through Bridgeport any time in the past several months, you have probably seen eye-searing electronic billboards announce its impending arrival as part of their scroll. The waiting is over, and the entire month of August has been designated a public "sneak preview" of the pizza-centric brewpub. I dropped by unannounced to get a taste of what we have in store. Here's your first look.

Brewport started out as an idea in the mind of its president, Bruce Barrett, of Barrett Outdoor Communications, hence the billboards. (You may also recognize his IWagePeace.org billboards.) The brewpub is located directly off exit 27 on 95N, below one of Barrett's billboards, and roughly at the radiant point in the center of the giant loop made by the exit 27A connector. The easy access, and the huge mural of brewing equipment painted on the building's side, make it hard to miss. Bruce and his brother John purchased the building in 2000, and it continued its life as a distribution center for the Fairfield County News for years before they contacted their longtime friend - and brewery manager at BAR New Haven - Jeff Browning.

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