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Tuesday
Mar312015

The Legendary Mario's in Westport Sold to Harvest Wine Bar Owners via Dan Woog

This just in from Dan Woog's 06880 blog:

The rumors careening around town are true: Mario’s is being sold.

The legendary restaurant/bar — a Saugatuck mainstay since 1967 — will change hands soon. A new name, cuisine and interior will follow. The deal could be finalized tomorrow morning.

New owners Kleber, Nube and Vicente Siguenza own 5 restaurants in Fairfield and New Haven Counties (including 55 Degrees in Fairfield).

Mario’s: A Westport legend.

Mario’s will remain as it is for the next year. It will then transform into Harvest Wine Bar — similar to the Siguenzas’ restaurant of the same name in Greenwich. Harvest offers modern American custom cuisine with Asian, Latin and Mediterranean influences, plus an extensive wine list. Harvest supports local, organic farms.

Read the full article here.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar302015

Tix on Sale for Community Plates "Food For All 2015" Fundraiser May 7th

 Community Plates, the technology-fueled, direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending food insecurity in America, is thrilled to present their signature fundraiser, “Food for All.” 

Food for All, in keeping with Community Plates’ forward thinking and innovative methodology, is an event like none other in the area. The high octane evening features Fairfield County’s newest restaurants and artisans, in addition to Food for All’s popular craft cocktail bars spearheaded by creative mixologists. An added highlight this year is the Dessert Café, which will feature sweet treats and libations. Attendees will be treated to a special surprise upon their arrival by one of Community Plates’ legacy restaurants, setting the tone for a delicious and celebratory evening. Purchase Tickets Here.

“Community Plates has already picked up and delivered well over 5 million meals at a value of almost $9 million to food insecure people in Fairfield County. This means over 8 million pounds of food has been kept out of landfill and gone to where it’s needed most. 

Another fundraising element to be featured at Food for All is a photography exhibit where attendees have the opportunity to purchase works from some of the food industry’s most provocative food photographers. An eclectic array of photography which infuses various food elements and takes them into a more artistic direction will be on display for all to enjoy and purchase with 100% of the profits going to Community Plates.

Event Details:

Thursday, May 7

6-9 PM

The Loading Dock

375 Fairfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902

Tickets: $75 ($60 each for groups of 6 or more)

http://communityplates.org/ffa15ffld/

direct: https://end-hunger-here.chirrpy.com/

Featured Restaurants (as of 4/1/15):

Abigail Kirsch

Aji 10 Latin Cuisine & Pisco Bar

Amore Cucina & Bar

Cafe Madrid & Tapas Bar

Dante's Restaurant & Bar

Fortina

Golden View Firenze

Greenwich Cheese Co.

Jax & Co.

K is for Cookies

LeRouge Chocolates

NEAT

Palmwich

Paloma

SOOSH

Strada 18

Table 104 Osteria & Bar

Vespa

CRAFT COCKTAIL BARS

bartaco

The Fez

The Spread

Walrus & Carpenter

"Every bit of this food rescued has been completed by volunteers from all over our area, caught up in this food rescue revolution, powered by our GoRescue technology and our innovative hunger relief model. We’re focused on meeting the need of 110,000 people right here who struggle to know where their next meal is coming from, “ says Kevin Mullins, executive director and co-founder of Community Plates, “The Food for All 2015 fundraiser helps sustain and propel us toward our mission of bringing hunger to an end here in Fairfield County. Our current impact is twenty meals rescued and delivered for every one dollar donated! This type of impact would have been unheard of before and offers real hope for ending this senseless problem. Food for All is a lot of fun. The food and the energy in the room is amazing - and we do a lot of good in the process.” 

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Community Plates and their GoRescue application, the organization’s award-winning web and smartphone enabled interactive food rescue scheduling tool. GoRescue connects food-service organizations that gather and donate food that would otherwise be wasted; to food runners, who give of their time to pick-up and deliver food donations; to the receiving agencies that ensure donated food gets to those in need throughout the community.  

About Community Plates

Founded in January 2011, Community Plates is committed to ending American food-insecurity through direct-transfer food rescue. Established as a 501(c)3 non-profit food-rescue platform, Community Plates is focused on transferring healthy, usable foods to where it can help feed those in need. This volunteer-driven, technology fueled process coordinates with restaurants, grocers, bakeries, caterers and other food-service organizations who have foods destined to be thrown away, and delivers the food to soup-kitchens, food-pantries and other hunger relief organizations who serve food-insecure individuals and families. Since launching in Fairfield County, Community Plates food runners have rescued over 5.3 million meals, saving over 8 million pounds of food from going into landfill. Community Plates currently operates in Columbus, OH; Albuquerque, NM; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; and Fairfield County, CT with plans to open six to eight additional sites in 2015.

Sunday
Mar292015

Magee's Curbside: Must Try Breakfast & Lunch in Stamford!

I get this tip that the new place to go for the best casual breakfast and lunch food in Stamford is a small spot at 72 Magee Ave., in the “no-man’s zone” south of I-95 and the Metro-North tracks. On the way to Greenwich one morning I decide to investigate Magee's Curbside.

Here’s the bottom line in an anecdote:

After I show up and rattle the staff by asking them to make a few dishes I can sample and photograph—and ask if the owners are around—I’m sitting at a table talking to co-owners Danny DeGruttola (owner of The Brickhouse Bar & Grill on Bedford Street) and Evan Philippopoulos. A woman comes in and declares that she’s back after Magee’s delighted her with the best turkey burger she’s ever had. (The house-recipe burger was a recent special.)

No, the woman wasn’t a ringer; no one knew I was coming and the owners of the small, bright and cheerful place weren’t even supposed to be there—the food just is that terrific.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar272015

Friday Froth: A Look At Beer'd Brewing

I like to let my face grow its own sweater for the colder months. Having a glossy layer of man-fur dulls the teeth of the winter wind, people seem to like my more avuncular look, and growing a beard takes slightly less work than shaving every day, so technically I'm conserving the planet's resources. You're welcome

I've noticed the delicate liquid measurements, tweezing of botanicals, and arguing over the perfect shape for a single unit of ice has lead many adherents of cocktail culture to treat their faces like overly manicured topiary. There will always be respect and, above that, love in my heart for those who create finely constructed, strong and delicious cocktails, but an enthusiastic ransacking of my home will never turn up a single tin of mustache wax. 

When I met Aaren Simoncini of Beer'd Brewing in Stonington, he was wearing a shirt that said "beer is art"and his beard didn't look like an aluminum foil swan full of lo mein. We nodded at each other and I approached.  

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar272015

Kawa Ni Bartender Competition #1: Photo Gallery & Recap

Move over "show case showdown," there's a new showdown in town. Jeff Maron, bar manager of Kawa Ni in Westport (and both of the other Bill Taibe's jaunts) hosted the first of six Bartender Competitions where some of the North East's finest BAR-istas concocted some fabulous potions for the judges and guests to imbibe and describe. The goal of this event series is to showcase the art of the craft cocktail and elevate mixology in CT. 

Each 'tender was required to create 5 identical cocktails using one ounce of the sponsored ingredient - in this case, Appleton Reserve Rum, and one ounce of the secret ingredient - in this case Ancho Reyes chili liquor. Other than that, each drink-master was given free reign to embellish, add, adjust and design their signature cocktail. There was even some blow torching of fruit. The end game was to impress the panel of 4 judges, including the lucky winner of the CTBites cocktail naming contest, and Adam Roytman of Walrus and Carpenter (from whence many of the evening's delicious nibbles were provided).

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar272015

Weekly Nibble: Autism Bites, Paella 101, Easter Dinners, Breweries & More

On Tuesday March 31, Barcelona West Hartford invites you to “Paella 101.”  Chef Eric will demonstrate how to make this classic Spanish dish at 7pm.  The class is $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 

Also on Tuesday, Blue Lemon in Westport will hold a six-course wine dinner featuring wines from Rioja.  Chef Bryan Malcarney will prepare his twist on Spanish cuisine and wine pairings from the region. 7pm, $78 per person.  

Autism Bites! Starting April 2 (World Autism Awareness Day), popular Fairfield County restaurants will donate a percentage all food/beverage sales to Autism Speaks during the month of April. 

There will be a Two Roads beer dinner at Tavern 1757 at 6:30pm.  The restaurant is located at 318 Roosevelt Ave in Seymour, CT.  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar262015

La Zingara in Bethel Launches a New Cocktail Program

Photo: La ZingaraLa Zingara in Bethel will launch a new cocktail program beginning April 1 with a menu spanning classic cocktails to their own crafted creations. The backbone of the new menu will be rooted in house made ingredients, including syrups, grenadine, fresh-squeezed juices, and (a handful of) bitters. In addition to the new cocktail program, Ecco Rooftop Eatery & Bar (located just above La Zingara) will reopen on April 1 as well.

"We are finally bringing La Zingara up to par on the cocktails that we have been doing on the [Ecco] rooftop for a while now. We are looking to bring the same quality that we bring to our food. Clean, simple drinks that utilize what is in season. Twists on the classics," said Lisa Tassone, La Zingara and Ecco owner.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar262015

Bistro Mediterranean Opens in Norwalk: Tapas With Bold, Rich Flavors via Connecticut Magazine

Tapas remain such a hot trend that restaurants with no hint of Spanish heritage are salting menus with small bites and petite plates to share, partly because it’s so appealing to begin a meal with several appetizers (or to make an entire meal from a succession of tapas), and partly because small plates equal big business.

No harm in the best of one culture being imitated and adopted—but there’s also nothing like experiencing tapas in an authentic environment, prepared by a talented chef and served in an atmosphere that embodies a European cadence, with passion to delivering a superior dining experience the hallmark.

When all of that rings up at what can only be declared a bargain price—especially when contrasted with the threshold costs of fine dining in Connecticut circa 2015—it amounts to a mandate for discovery.

In this case, the restaurant to seek out is Bistro Mediterranean and Tapas Bar, which opened its third location earlier this year on Route 1 in Norwalk. The original is in East Haven, and thesecond bistro opened in Westbrook a year ago.

Read the complete review at ConnecticutMagazine.com 

Wednesday
Mar252015

Christian Petroni of Fortina Pizza Shares Mom's Easter Pie Recipe

When we asked Fortina's Christian Petroni  to share an Easter recipe, he turned to an Italian classic...his mother. Much of Petroni's culinary inspiration is derived from a richly food-centric childhood just outside of Naples, and this Easter recipe is no exception. Christian's mother's cooking can often be spotted on the menus of Fortina Pizza (Armonk, Ryebrook & Stamford coming soon), and now on CTbites. Thanks to Fiorella & Christian Petroni for sharing a little bit of their holiday with this ultimate comfort food Recipe for Easter Pie. What type of "pie" you ask. This recipe features: salami, sweet provolone, ricotta and eggs...enough said. 

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Tuesday
Mar242015

Autism Bites Comes to Fairfield County April 2nd

As if you needed an excuse to eat out, starting April 2nd (World Autism Awareness Day), and running ALL month long, the following restaurants will donate a percentage all food/beverage sales to Autism Speaks! YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO TO EVERY RESTAURANT! (Just pick four: breakfast… lunch… dinner… and après drinks.) Your appetite supports Autism Speaks! Eat out all month and help children and adults with Autism.

Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism.

View the complete list of participating restaurants below. 

Click to read more ...