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Friday
Jun242016

Burger Review: Prime Burger in South Norwalk

Are you looking for an inexpensive burger for lunch? Maybe some fries and a soda to join the burger? If they are all offered as a lunch special, even better. With my obsession with burgers, and my annual Best “10” burgers in southwest Connecticut behind me, I decided to try the moderately priced, newly opened Prime Burger in SoNo. Located next to The Spread, one of my Best “10” burgers, the SoNo location is the second in the area, after the original opened in Ridgefield several years ago.

Prime Burger offers beef, salmon, turkey, chicken and veggie burgers from $6.50-$8.00 with free (sauces, onion, lettuce, tomato, etc.) and $1.00 toppings (cheese, chili bacon, etc.), a la 5-Guys. The menu also includes hot dogs, grilled cheese, chicken tenders and salads (you can add a patty or grilled chicken). If you enter from the street your journey begins near the rear, where you place your order. I ordered the $10 lunch special, which included a cheeseburger, fries and a beverage.

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Thursday
Jun232016

Sneak Peek - Washington Prime in Georgetown Opens Tonight

For fans of Washington Prime who live in the Danbury area, good news is here. The second location of the SoNo hot spot opens in the Georgetown neighborhood tonight, serving the same steaks and creative cuisine that fans have enjoyed down route 7 on Washington Street. The brainchild of owners Marco Siguenza, Rob Moss and its newest partner Dave Studwell, Washington Prime Georgetown offers the same delicious cuisine in a relaxed environment.

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Thursday
Jun232016

Guide to Kids Summer Cooking Camps & Classes in Connecticut: 2016 Edition

Kids and Summer vacation: No homework! No school! No tests! The beach! Playing with friends! Sleeping in! More friends! Camp! Baseball games! Swimming! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Parents and Summer vacation: WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE KIDS?!

Rest easy. Chill. We have some ideas that you will benefit from in more ways than one. Day classes, culinary camps, learning about where food comes from and then what the heck to do with it-you’re little (or big) foodie will be in their element. With any luck, junior will be able to make *you* a back-to-school breakfast by the end of the Summer. Ohhhh, yeahhhhh.

AMG Catering

Wilton

www.amgcatering.com/kids-camp

Choose your week, choose your cuisine. Proceed to cook and eat your way around the world. Well, in an almost-Anthony-Bourdain kind of way. At AMG Catering in Wilton, traveling the world is the theme for the summer cooking sessions that will introduce your “Chefs in Training” (CITs for those in-the-know) to a wide array of dishes. These hands-on classes will have the CITs working in a professional kitchen and learning cooking skills that will have them creating “Street Food”, “Regional Dishes” from across the U. S, and a variety of “Small Plates”. The junior chefs (ages 10-15) will top it all off with a cooking competition on the last day. Watch out, Food Network. A word of note: these kitchens are not allergy-free kitchens. Everything and anything (nuts, shellfish, dairy) is cooked here. Cost is $475 per week, $900 for two weeks, or $1350 or three weeks.   

 

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Wednesday
Jun222016

Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings for June 26 - July 3

Holbrook Farm in Bethel will be hosting a series of farm dinners this summer in collaboration with local chefs and farms.  On Sunday June 26, Chef Jeff Taibe from Kawa Ni, Westport, will highlight the duck with dishes like Duck Soba, Strawberry and Rhubarb Toast, Napa Cabbage Wraps, Duck Bahn Mi, Favas and Strawberries with Radishes and Smoked Soy, and Tomatoes and Arugula with Barrel Aged Ponzu Sauce.  Learn more here.

The Artisanal Burger Company in Manchester will feature Back East Brewing Company in a beer dinner.  There will be a reception, a 3 course dinner, and dessert.  Guests can try brews like the Backeast Summer Ale, BoMo Dry Hopped Pilsner, Back East Ale, and Tony Goes Dancing Double IPA.  It costs $60 per person. 

On Tuesday June 28, Tarry Lodge will host a RED Supper to help (RED) in the fight against AIDS.  They’ll present a tasting menu along with wine pairings.  It is $100 per person at the Port Chester location and $75 per person in New Haven and Westport.

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon is legendary… and now you can enjoy more wines from Caymus.  CAVA Wine Bar invites you to a Caymus Wine Dinner on Tuesday June 28.  Partake in dishes like soft shell crab, homemade fettuccini, and halibut alongside complementary wines.  It costs $89 per person.  Call 203-966-6946 to reserve.  

Got beef?  Learn all about Beef Butchery basics at Fleishers Craft Butchery’s Greenwich location on Tuesday June 28. 

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Tuesday
Jun212016

Solid Choices at Tavern 489 in Glenbrook, Stamford

The newest addition to the Glenbrook neighborhood is Tavern 489, located at 489 Glenbrook Road, sharing the building with the newly relocated and reopened Tawa Restaurant (reviewed here). The building has a long history in the neighborhood, it originally housed the Moosehead Bar decades ago (thank you “Hey Stamford”).

The brainchild of owners Eric Monte and Partner/Executive Chef Regis Saget, Tavern 489 offers an eclectic menu, paired with various beer and wine selections in a rustic environment. The fully redesigned interior emphasizes wood and stone to create an setting reminiscent of an Adirondack mountain lodge, complete with exposed M-Trusses, a canoe dangling from the ceiling, a full front-to-back 18-seat wooden bar, additional wooden high-top tables plus a large wooden “picnic” table, all drawing focus to the imposing floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the rear. The walls are adorned with photos of Ernest Hemingway who, in addition to winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, was, according to Monte, the ultimate outdoorsman, a true man’s man, and his photos fit the rustic, outdoorsy feel that he was striving to achieve. 

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Monday
Jun202016

Holbrook Farm Dinners Summer 2016

Holbrook Farm in Bethel will be hosting a series of farm dinners this summer in collaboration with local chefs and farms. Farm dinners will be announced each month, and tickets can be ordered online. June events and chefs have been announced but July and August are forthcoming.

Saturday, June 25

Chef: Aki Arai, House of Yoshida, Bethel, CT

Theme for the evening: CHICKEN (Whole chicken sourced from GourmAvian Farm--Bolton, CT)

Menu sneak peek: March Farm Tomato Gazpacho, Chicken Tenderloin with Ham and Wasabi Aioli, Chicken Liver Pate with Fig Jam, Farm Fresh Salad, Chicken Confit with Holbrook's Veggies and Risotto

Sunday, June 26 

Chef: Jeff Taibe from Kawa Ni, Westport, CT

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Sunday
Jun192016

Catch a Healthy Habit in Fairfield: New Summer Menu, Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free

Unassumingly tucked away amongst the store-fronts in downtown Fairfield is Catch a Healthy Habit. Maybe you’ve not been in a while…maybe you’ve never been at all, or you’ve been curious, but you’ve never been. The Cafe has been in Fairfield for over six years and in New Haven for two years prior to opening in Fairfield.

This casual, health-based, raw, gluten-free and vegan eatery focuses on clean eating. Their products are organic and non-GMO and the tastes and presentations are delicious and beautiful. They recently launched their new Spring/Summer menu and Stephanie Webster, armed with her camera, and I had the opportunity to stop in and sample some of the newest goodies to grace the menu. The food is gorgeously plated, visually stunning, allowing the naturally vibrant colors of spring to take center stage. As the weather heats up and we shed our outer layers we still need to satisfy our hunger without feeling weighted down.

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Sunday
Jun192016

Celebrating The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in CT 

When I married a fellow Yale grad student whose parents came to this country from Norway, I was struck by how intensely my newly adopted culture focused on light. There was the magic of Norwegian Christmas, when it seemed that every window in Oslo shone with candles lit against the darkness. At the opposite end of the year, there was the solstice at Midsummer, which has also been an occasion for partying it up since pagan days. Summer visits to a family farm north of the Arctic Circle brought grilling, beer, and card games in the brilliant light of the midnight sun. 

While Connecticut residents, being well south of the Arctic, can count on dark summer nights, you do not have to visit Scandinavia, or even claim family connections, to celebrate Midsummer. You just need to be able to appreciate that there’s something about this peak of sunlight hours that invites us all to lighten up and Let It Go. It’s a rare person who could not use the reminder.

The solstice technically falls on June 20th, but Midsummer parties typically take place from June 19th through the 25th. Locally organized festivities include the Scandinavian Club of Fairfield’s annual celebration complete with a Maypole, a Swedish tradition. This year it’s on Saturday, June 25th, at noon, at 1351 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield, CT 06825.

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Saturday
Jun182016

Young Shoots Digital Photography Contest Kids 8-18

WFM is proud to announce the second annual Young Shoots digital photography contest for budding artists ages eight to eighteen. The competition, jointly sponsored by the Westport Arts Center and Westport Farmers’ Market, provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity through the digital photography medium while showcasing the local color and vibrancy of the Westport Farmers’ Market. 

Lori Cochran-Dougall, Executive Director of the Westport Farmers’ Market, says that “partnering with the Westport Arts Center on the Young Shoots competition is the perfect way to mix food, youth and art while having a good time. We are thrilled to celebrate our local youth photographers again this season.” 

Photo submissions are due by August 14th, with this year’s winners to be displayed at Norwalk’s Sugar and Olives. Young Shoots photographers will find submission guidelines at the Westport Arts Center website. 

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Friday
Jun172016

Friday Froth: A Trip To Barcade New Haven, Video Games + Beer

Maybe it's just the freshness of a mind before it reaches pickled adulthood, but childhood memories seem more permanent. I can't remember breakfast on most days, but I recall hopping on bikes with a few friends, ditching our mother-mandated helmets, and riding down to Vic's Variety on Paradise Green in Stratford to buy Crybabies and play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a stand up, four player arcade game. 

Nintendo and Sega Genesis had killed video game arcades as dead as iTunes killed record stores until four guys in Williamsburg thought "What if we bring them back, but with beer?" That was 2004, and in the ensuing years the Barcade franchise has spread around New York, to New Jersey, Philly, and now, New Haven. It was once again time to get my Hadouken! on.

Travel time driving to Barcade is variable, in my case 3 hours in traffic. But by the time I arrived I was seriously ready to blow something up. Centipede, Galaga, Punch Out, four player X-Men and Ninja Turtles, Ms. Pac Man... take your pick, they're all still 25-cents to play. 

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