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2014 CT Food Lover Gift Guide. We've got the perfect gift the foodie in your life. 

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Thursday
Dec182014

Sono Baking Company To Take over Java Coffee in Westport

Yep. It's true. In a few short months, Java Coffee in Westport at 44 Church Lane is a thing of the past (sad to see them go). The good news? Sono Baking Company has just signed the lease for that very same location, and hopes to be up and running by February-ish. 

Owner, John Barricelli, says "The old Java location will be more of a cafe, with our primary retail storefront in Westport being the Post Road shop." "This location will not be a full bakery, but will feature complete menus for breakfast and lunch, great coffee, and possibly dinner...down the road."

We will keep you posted as we get closer to the opening date. 

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Thursday
Dec182014

CTbites Readers Get Special Gift @ Sugar & Olives Winter Market

CT Bites readers who shop the market get a free gift with a purchase of $25 or more, a seasonal seasoning; a tin of our coffee salt rub (great for roasts or steaks) featuring Gorilla Coffee Beans and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Keep it or gift it, either way it’s a delicious addition to your holiday meal.

This indoor, rain-or-shine market/outing will run every Friday through February (except after Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year’s), offering locally produced edibles, including milk, eggs, cheese, honey flour, grains, produce and meats. More Info Here. 

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Thursday
Dec182014

What Makes A Beer A Connecticut Beer?

Recently there was some discussion on Twitter, that infinite forum for public opinion, as to what makes a beer Connecticut Beer. At issue was the newly released Sip Of Sunshine IPA from Lawson's Finest Liquids. SOS, as we'll call it, is brewed at Two Roads in Stratford, Conn., so Elm City Beer Lovers asked if it belonged on their "Best of CT Beers" list. The obvious catch? Lawson's Finest was established in Warren, Vermont circa 2009. So: does being brewed and sold in Connecticut make it a Connecticut beer you're drinking? It depends on what you think.

First, we have to consider how hard a line we're going to draw. Some beers are obviously capital C-B Connecticut Beers: New England Brewing in Woodbridge, Beer'd Brewing in Stonington, Relic Brewing in Plainville, Southport Brewing Company... all established, licensed, brewed and sold in Connecticut.  
Verdict
: Connecticut Beers

That's easy, but are beers like these the only ones worthy of the name? What's the orthodoxy here?

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Wednesday
Dec172014

Kids & Adult Cooking Classes @ Aux Delices 

Aux Delices' 2015 Winter/Spring Kids & Adult Cooking Class Schedule has just been announced. Aux Délices offers cooking classes for adults and children at their professional catering kitchen in Stamford. Classes are generally held on Wednesday evenings for adults and Sunday afternoons for children. Classes are hands-on for children and both participation and demonstration for adults. 

Their focus is to teach easy, interesting and seasonal food preparation, utilizing a variety of cooking techniques. The chef instructors are from Aux Délices, as well as from well-known restaurants in Fairfield County and New York City. Lynn Manheim, the Cooking School Director does an incredible job engaging and challenging both children and adults, while teaching students the basics of cooking along the way.  

View the complete schedule below...For more information, click here. 

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Wednesday
Dec172014

Road Trip: Miami Dining Guide c/o MIABites.com 

A few months ago, CTbites Director of Marketing and Invites Curator, Ellen Bowen, launched MIAbites.com to cover the fast growing food scene in Miami and Miami Beach (taking advantage of the fact that Miami is her 2nd home).

With the holiday season approaching and many CTbites readers heading south for Christmas and New Years break (or going just to escape winter’s wrath ) we felt it only right to keep you in good food during your travels.  

Check out MIAbites recent Best Bites Dining Guide, a comprehensive guide to all the good eats in Miami and Miami Beach. 

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Wednesday
Dec172014

13 Places to Celebrate New Years Eve in Fairfield County CT

Plans for New Year's Eve? Usher in the New Year at one of Fairfield County's favorite restaurants and celebrate with great food, music and libations. Many will offer their regular menus while others are offering fix prixe extravaganzas. CTbites New Year's Eve round-up summarizes those restaurants that are offering special menus for ringing in 2015!!! Make your reservations early as the best spots and times usually go first.

Here are 13 Fairfield County New Year's Eve Restaurant Parties...

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Sunday
Dec142014

The Rosie O Sandwich @ Reddi Rooster in Stamford

Breakfast of Champions? The "Rosie O" at Reddi Rooster in Stamford may not qualify for this title or as a healthy start to the day, but when you want a diversion from the granola, the yogurt, the egg white omelet, the fresh fruit and throw calorie count to the wind, this sandwich is a great choice.

Reddi Rooster is located on Route 1 on the east side of Stamford near the Darien border. It is a fairly non-descript roadside luncheonette serving sandwiches, wraps, and a few hot dishes. The Rosie O has garnered some positive press as one of the best breakfast sandwiches in area so when I found myself in the area I decided to stop in and see for myself. It is available on a roll for $4.50 or as a wedge or a wrap for $7. I ordered the roll version and grabbed one of the seven stools. A steady stream of guests entered, ordered and waited, always a good sign…locals know.

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Friday
Dec122014

The Year-Round Gin & Tonic

The gin and tonic has become one of my favorite year-round cocktails. Now before you shout INFIDEL or HERESY and run for the torches to scare me and my cocktail into hibernation until the summer equinox, hear me out.

The first rule of a year-round G&T: the gin must be considered carefully. If you’re looking for guidance here, you can’t go wrong with the St. George Terroir Gin, which grounds this G&T with an earthy bite of “Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage, and other evocative botanicals.” One whiff and you’ll instinctively look over your shoulder for the bear that modeled for the label. Trust me, this is the gin you want for a cold weather G&T.

Next, find yourself a clean and crisp tonic. I recommend and will rarely stray from Q Tonic. Don’t even think about desecrating the G&T with a tonic like Schweppes, or please don’t tell me about it because I WILL judge you harshly.

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Friday
Dec122014

Weekly Nibble: Pig Roast; Happy Hours, Cooking Classes; Wine Making & More

The Chelsea is now La Chelseita… well on Monday-Friday from 4-6:30 for their new Happy Hour! Enjoy specialty taquitos and tacos, $3.99 wine & drink specials, $1.99 ponies, $2.99 domestics, and $3.99 internationals.

Rare Beer Night takes place at Half Full Brewery in Stamford on Wednesday December 17.  The night features special test batches of beers from their Nano System.  Guests can receive full pints of these brews and enjoy foods from local vendors.  The event is limited to 40 people and costs $30 per person. 7-9pm. 

Sugar & Olives in Norwalk gives you 2 opportunities to learn about cooking while eating and drinking on Wednesdays:

Their “Weekday Nooner” takes place Wednesdays 12-2pm.  Watch them demo 3 recipes and then enjoy a 3 course lunch (with drinks too!)  The classes start at $40.  Cooking classes also take place Wednesday evenings 7-9pm. The cost is $80 and now you can buy gift certificates as a holiday gift:

Thursday December 18, Walrus + Carpenter of Bridgeport will do a Carolina-Style Whole Hog Barbecue!  There will be plenty of delicious food and live music from BrewGrass. 

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Thursday
Dec112014

Chowdafest Organizer Launches "Chilifest" Feb 1st: You Vote!

The “hot” gift of this holiday season might be tickets to Chilifest.  Chilifest is a pre-Super Bowl event that takes place on Feb. 1, 2015 at Bedford Middle School in Westport CT from 11AM to 3PM.   Just like its sister event, Chowdafest, veryone is given a spoon, ballot and pencil, then sample 18 different kinds of chili's and vote on their favorites.

Chilifest will feature three categories of chili's:  classic beef, creative chili (turkey, vegetarian, green etc.) and “Firehouse” chili.  Twelve local restaurants will compete in the classic and creative categories while firefighters from the Fairfield, Norwalk, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton Fire Departments are slated to compete in a separate category for best firehouse chili.

Some of the restaurants competing in the 2015 competition include:  Bobby Q's (Westport), Cask Republic (New Haven, Stamford), Chef's Table (Fairfield), Chilibomb (Fairfield), Liquid Lunch (Milford,

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