Chef Luis in New Canaan Reinvents Itself As 129 American Contemporary Restaurant

Restaurant Openings New Canaan American Lunch

CTbites Team

 Chef Luis Restaurant, located at 129 Elm Street in the heart of New Canaan’s bustling retail and dining district, today announced its new name, menu focus and executive chef.  “129” will offer American Contemporary cuisine under the leadership of newly-hired Executive Chef Joe Page, who brings more than 15 years of experience in kitchens across the United States and overseas.

“Coinciding with dramatic changes to the look and feel of the restaurant, we are excited to also unveil our new name and menu,” said Sergio Tamburlini, General Manager of 129.  “To complement our comfortable, family-friendly ambience, our new all-day menu offers casual cuisine that is accessible to diners of all ages.  Guests will recognize a few of their tried-and-true favorites from our old menu – tacos, calamari chorizo and our classic salads – along with Chef Joe’s spin on classic recipes including lobster salad with avocado and grilled tomatoes, tuna tartare with roasted shallots, radish, arugula and avocado, a wild mushroom omelet with organic eggs and gruyere, and more!”

Bow Tie Cinemas Now Features Food, Drinks & A Stylish Renovation

Features Norwalk Food Movies Westport Trumbull

Andrew Dominick

If you’ve walked into either one of the Bow Tie Cinemas in Norwalk lately, you and I likely had the same reaction. I froze for multiple seconds. I’m certain my “wow” face was visible, mouth hitting the ground cartoon-style and all. I marveled at the renovations at the SoNo Ultimate Regent 8, the movie theater I grew up going to since it opened, and now it’s unrecognizable in the best way possible. 

Gone are the packed-in, partially broken seats, that have been replaced by padded, comfier electric recliners so you can put your feet up, kick back, and zone-out during a film. As a frequent moviegoer, that’s awesome, but this is a food site. I’m here to dish about the revamped concession stand that you’ll not only see in the South Norwalk Bow Tie, but also at the Ultimate Royal 6 on Westport Avenue, and soon at the Trumbull Marquis 6 with construction slated for early November. 

The upgraded concession area includes a full bar, with menus put in place by local restauranteur Greer Fredericks (Mama’s Boy, Peaches), who consulted on the project with assistance from Thomas Siano, who runs the bar program at her current restaurant.

Brown Dog Fancy Organic Ketchups and Mustards: Killer Condiments! (sponsored post)

Features Ingredients Ingredients Specialty Market Local Artisan Homepage

CTbites Team

When Connecticut food adventurer Kyle Rothschild can’t find an ingredient he likes, he makes his own. That led him to his latest venture: Brown Dog Fancy, a line of organic ketchups and mustards that shake up traditional notions of what makes a great-tasting condiment and marinade

Timing is everything in a kitchen, and Brown Dog Fancy’s arrival to the local food scene couldn’t be better.  Cooks, and the people who eat their food, have demanded organic, high-quality, and ethically sourced poultry, meat, and fish for years. Yet, far less attention has been paid to the condiments that accompany them.

“We spend so much time buying responsible and sustainable main ingredients, but then we marinate or top them with condiments that are full of fillers and words I cannot begin to try and pronounce. I want to know what’s in my food, and I think other people do, too,” says Kyle, who began making condiments for weekly beach barbeques that he and his wife, Sarah, hosted for friends near their Stamford, CT, starter home.

Sweet Maple Mustard Roast Pork Tenderloin Recipe via Local Food Rocks

Features Recipe Recipe Holiday Bloggers Thanksgiving

Local Food Rocks

This tangy yet sweet maple mustard roast pork tenderloin recipe brings together seasonal flavors in an easy-to-make-meal, perfect for a Sunday family dinner (or holiday entrée).

This Sunday pork roast idea came about thanks to Avon Prime Meats in Avon, CT. This local market packs a lot into it's 4,500 square feet. Front and center is their meat counter. They sell only Prime (highest grade of beef) or Premium Choice meats.

Many of the meats they carry are traceable to the farm of origin. They also work with local farms offering local, grass fed and all natural meats as well. Sepe Farms, Blue Slope Farms, and Cream Hill Farm are among their local farm partners.

Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of November 19-26

Features EVENT

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Every Friday and Saturday from 10am-2pm, the new GrayBarns on the Silvermine River hosts a pop up market featuring the incredible local baker, Flour Water Salt Bread. 

Then on Sunday November 26, Washington Prime will have a Homecoming Family Brunch Buffet.  Join them for one of 3 different seating times: 11AM, 12:30PM, and 2PM.  The price per person is $34.95 per person and includes a complimentary bloody mary, mimosa, or bellini. Children are $19.95 and tots under 4 are free. 

Diners can help feed the hungry while eating at their favorite local restaurants. CTbites is pleased to have joined forces with  Food Rescue US to launch Hunger Bites, a program allowing restaurants and diners to join together in the fight against hunger. If you see the Hunger Bites logo at your local restaurant, please consider donating $1 on your guest check, $1 = 20 fresh, nutritious meals to people in need in your community.  Participating restaurants include: The Cottage in Westport,Whelk Jesup Kawa NiMatch RestaurantCask Republic South Norwalk,Mill Street Bar & TableTaproot RestaurantThe Stand Juice Company,Match Burger LobsterNom-eez Winfield Street Coffee & Deli Tarry Lodge The Spread & The Ginger Man Greenwich

Prime: An American Kitchen and Bar in Stamford’s Harbor Point now offers a “Power Lunch.”  When you order the two-course $24 price fixed lunch, they guarantee you’ll be in and out in 35 minutes from when your order is taken.  Prime is open for lunch from 12:00pm - 3:00pm, Monday through Saturday.

Rye Ridge Deli - Deli Dining Returns to Main Street, Westport

Restaurant Deli Lunch Breakfast Kid Friendly Westport

Ellen Bowen & Fairfield County Foodie

We sent two CTbites contributors to the new Rye Ridge Deli in Westport. Here's the scoop...

When Oscar’s Deli announced it was closing in July 2016, Westporters were saddened to lose what felt like the last vestige of the “small town” local businesses on Main Street.  For 42 years, Oscar’s was known as the community meeting place for locals, families and aspiring politicians, all presided over by its owner, the late Lee Papageorge , who many a day watched  the comings and goings from his iconic barber chair. 

Many of us waited to hear what would replace the popular spot, and there was a collective sigh of relief when it was announced that Rye Ridge Deli, based in Rye, NY with locations in Rye and Stamford would take over the spot.

Hunger Bites: Diners Eat Out To End Hunger

Features Fundraiser

Stephanie Webster

Starting November 15th, diners can help feed the hungry while eating at their favorite local restaurants. CTbites is pleased to have joined forces with  Food Rescue US to launch Hunger Bites, a program allowing restaurants and diners to join together in the fight against hunger. If you see the Hunger Bites logo at your local restaurant, please consider donating $1 on your guest check, By giving just $1 today on your bill you'll provide 20 fresh, nutritious meals to people in need in your community.

Participating restaurants include: Bartaco, Barcelona, The Cottage in Westport,Whelk Jesup Kawa NiMatch RestaurantCask Republic South Norwalk,Mill Street Bar & TableTaproot RestaurantThe Stand Juice Company,Match Burger LobsterNom-eez Winfield Street Coffee & Deli Tarry Lodge The Spread & The Ginger Man Greenwich

SHU Szechuan Restaurant: A Hidden Chinese Gem In Fairfield

Restaurant Chinese Asian Fairfield Lunch Special Dietary Needs Noodles Homepage

Ramin Ganeshram

When I mentioned that I was visiting SHU restaurant in Fairfield, someone inevitably said, “I didn’t know Sacred Heart University opened a restaurant!”

A common misunderstanding but, in fact, SHU is local slang for Chengdu, the capital city in China’s Szechuan province. Think of it like calling Philadelphia “Philly” or San Francisco “Frisco”

SHU, on the Post Road in downtown Fairfield is the second outpost of the popular restaurant created by Chef Xinyu Huang, three years ago. Huang spent much of his career as a culinary arts professor in Chengdu before emigrating to the United States and working in restaurants in Chinatown and Connecticut.

“My goal was to create a restaurant that was dramatically different from American Chinese food,” said Huang, through a translator. “The cuisine of Szechuan is considered one of the great culinary styles of China, and I wanted to share authentic dishes with both American and Chinese American diners.”

Nibble: CT Food Events For November 13 - 21

Features Events

Stephanie Webster

CA based "make-your-own" pizza venue, Pieology Pizzeria, opens November 17th in Stamford with a FREE PIZZA party. Think pizza, music, games, and fun - on the House.

Every Thursday, Kawa Ni presents a reverse “Happy Endings” happy hour from 9:30-10:30pm.  There will be food and drink specials, as well as sake bombs.

Hartford's Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry will bring together award-winning chefs and mixologists from the region on Monday November 13. The evening will include cocktail and dessert receptions and a multi-course seated dinner prepared by New England’s best chefs.  Space is limited; advance ticket purchases are required.

On Tuesday November 14, the Fairfield location of the Fairfield Greenwich Cheese Company presents “Gruyère Past and Present: A Deep Dive with Glenn Hills of Columbia Cheese.”  Join them for a discussion on the history, craft and commerce of Gruyere, and of course sample it with a nicely paired wine from the region!  It is $50 per person and lasts from 7-9pm. 

Hog River Brewing Co., based in Hartford, will start hosting local chefs in their tap room.  They will begin the winter season on November 14 with Brasato Italian Street Eats.  They will serve a 5-course Italian menu paired with five of our beers, including some first time releases.  Tickets are $55 per person, plus tax and an 18% gratuity. 

Pieology to Open at Stamford Town Center + FREE PIZZA DAY Nov 17th

Restaurant Pizza Stamford Lunch

Hey Stamford!

This just in from Hey Stamford!...

Just weeks after the opening of their latest restaurant, — Rascal Flatts — the doors of the Stamford Town Center’s newest tenant are about to open.  Pieology, a fast-casual pizza chain, plans to open its ‘restaurant row’ shop on November 17th, when they will be hosting a a FREE PIZZA DAY featuring music, activities, and of course FREE PIZZA.

Living in Fairfield County that name may not be familiar to you.  But the California-based chain has been around since 2011 and includes about 140 stores across the country with plans to open even more within the coming year.

Read the complete article here. 

Chef François Kwaku-Dongo Brings a Fresh Culinary Vision To New Canaan’s Beloved Roger Sherman Inn

Restaurant Norwalk Openings Chef

Stephanie Webster

Celebrated Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo spearheads the reinvention of the Roger Sherman Inn, a historic landmark in New Canaan for nearly a decade. The stunning New England restaurant and 17-room Inn will undergo a significant culinary transformation as it remakes itself for the 21st century.

Chef Kwaku-Dongo is introducing a seasonally-inspired menu, showcasing fresh, locally-procured ingredients. The menu is a culinary tour of New England, its coastal seafood, local family farms, and talented artisans. Using these East Coast ingredients as the foundation for quality and flavor, Chef Kwaku-Dongo applies techniques honed in some of the most demanding kitchens in the country. 

"The Impossible Burger" Now Available at all CT Bareburger Locations

Restaurant Features Burgers Stamford Ridgefield Lunch Vegan Vegetarian Special Dietary Needs Homepage

Andrew Dominick

Elk, beef, duck, bison, lamb and turkey are just some of the proteins used in burgers at Bareburger. The microchain makes sure their burgers are more than just meat-based, and keep vegetarians and vegans in mind with offerings that already include the Farmstead, made from sweet potatoes and wild rice, and the Guadalupe, a black bean and roasted corn burger. Recently, Bareburger has slowly started to roll out another all-natural vegan burger that supposedly tastes close to, or like beef.

Created by Impossible Foods and CEO/founder/scientist Pat Brown, and appropriately named The Impossible Burger, this meatless option is solely made from plants. It’s made up of wheat and potato proteins for a familiar beef burger-like texture, vitamins, amino acids, sugars, and uses konjac (from Japanese yams) and xanthan (made by fermentation) as binders for the patty. It also uses a molecule called heme, which carries oxygen in our blood. Heme is in every living thing, plants included, and makes our blood red. Since red meat contains large amounts of heme, The Impossible Burger uses heme made from fermentation, and gives it a meatier taste than most vegan or veggie burgers on the market. It uses two fats, coconut oil and soybeans to give it that much needed sizzle effect when it hits the grill.  

40+ Connecticut Restaurants for Thanksgiving: 2017 Edition

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Thanksgiving arrives on Thursday November 23!  Don’t just “wing” it this season when it comes to your plans… Connecticut restaurants are offering delicious feasts and tables fill up quickly!  Perhaps you’d rather serve Thanksgiving dinner in your home, but without the hassle of cooking.  Caterers and restaurants across the state are offering an array of to-go options for groups of all sizes.  These 40 places will make all of your Thanksgiving culinary dreams come true.

  1. Bloodroot, Bridgeport: On Thanksgiving, Bloodroot in Bridgeport serves a Harvest feast, which is a single sitting, starting at 4:30. It costs $49.95 per person and reservations can be made by calling 203-576-9168.
  2. Judy’s Bar and Kitchen, Stamford: Judy's Bar + Kitchen in Stamford offers an extensive Thanksgiving catering menu for those who want to enjoy the holiday in their homes without worrying about the cooking.
  3. Shell & Bones, New Haven: Shell & Bones in New Haven will be open on Thanksgiving from 11am – 8pm. In addition to their regular a la carte menu, specials will include Cider Brined Turkey, Maine Lobster Salad, Vegetable Pot Pie, Pomegranate Rack of Lamb, and more.
  4. Bear’s Smokehouse, Hartford and Windsor: Bear's Smokehouse has a Thanksgiving take-out menu with extensive options for meats, salads, sides, stuffings and breads, sauces and gravies, and desserts.
  5. Pearl, Westport: Make your reservations now for Pearl in Westport's traditional Thanksgiving Day menu.

Godavari South Indian Restaurant Opens In Norwalk

Restaurant Indian Norwalk Lunch Homepage

Ramin Ganeshram

A testament to the evolving palate of Fairfield County, South Indian restaurant chain Godavari has opened in the former Burger King location on the Post Road in Norwalk, just past Bow Tie Cinemas.

While there is no shortage of many excellent Indian restaurants in the area they tend to follow a uniform menu of what native South Asians recognize as “Indian restaurant food”, a cuisine based mainly on the foods of northern India and less often cooked at home.

The menu at Godavari also features many of these specialties, especially those that have become beloved by American diners like Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, and Tandoori meats but it’s the staggeringly extensive menu of dishes from around the subcontinent that really make this franchise restaurant shine.

Nibble: CT Food Events For Week Of November 5-12th

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Tavern on Main's "RAUS in the HAUS" with Donny Raus will take place Friday November 10 from 6:30 pm until closing.  Donny will make coffee cocktails using his signature Cold Roman blend while the kitchen will whip  up several dishes using RAUS coffee. 

Brasitas in Norwalk will have a Tequila Tasting Dinner on Wednesday, November 8 at 7pm.  Four courses will be paired with tequila-based cocktails.  The event costs $65, plus tax and tip. 

On Thursday November 9, Kawa Ni will host a Japanese Whisky Dinner.  The evening will include 6 courses paired with 6 complementary whiskies.  It begins at 6:30pm and costs $125 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

The Westport Farmers’ Market and Fleishers Craft Butchery have joined to sponsor the film, Unbroken Ground: Revolutions Start from the Bottom, at the Fairfield Theater Company on Monday November 6. 

Donut Crazy Launches the “Cruffin” Croissant-Muffin Hybrid

Ingredients Features Bakery Dessert Kid Friendly Breakfast Doughnuts New Haven Shelton Westport Bridgeport Homepage

Stephanie Webster

Donut Crazy, a local, family-owned eatery specializing in unique donut flavors (lovingly called Dailies & Crazies), announced a tasty new menu item called the “Cruffin.” The croissant-muffin crossover is the company’s way of celebrating the first sugar-filled year of its New Haven location near Yale University. The “Cruffin” will be available at all Donut Crazy locations for $4.25, starting on Friday November 3, weekends only and while supplies last. 

The “Cruffin” has quickly become the food world’s newest bakery obsession, much like the “Cronut” before it. The buttery, flaky pastry is shaped like a muffin and filled with different flavors. Donut Crazy plans to offer coconut, dulce de leche, chocolate mousse, and pumpkin. More exciting flavors to come!

Stew Leonard’s Delivered To Your Door with Instacart

Features Ingredients Home Delivery Delivery Service

Stephanie Webster

Family owned and operated Stew Leonard’s today announced Stew’s Fresh Delivery Powered by Instacart, the technology-driven, nationwide on-demand grocery delivery service.  Starting Wednesday, November 1, 2017, same-day grocery delivery service will be available to 365,000 households within a 20-30 minute drive of Stew Leonard’s farm fresh food stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. as well as in Yonkers, Farmingdale, and East Meadow, N.Y.

Customers who sign up for Stew’s Fresh Delivery by February 1, 2018 using code stewsexpress will have free delivery on orders over $35 for up to a year.    

Beekman Boys Dinner at Terrain: All Hail the Beet Tops!

Features Events Cookbooks

April Guilbault

If there is one word that factors prominently in the Beekman Boys’ lexicon, it is community-knowing and growing with one’s neighbors. To gather around tables together. To support each other’s endeavors or to get to know each other more. Hell, it’s to experience this thing called life. Together.

Although one recent October evening was warmer than usual, the balmy temps only added to the convivial gathering at Terrain in Westport. It was a celebratory gathering to mark the new cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, founders of Beekman 1802 lifestyle company. This book, their sixth, sends out the call to “Have a seat!” and enjoy an assortment of dishes that they have created along with their Sicilian neighbor, Rose Marie Trapani. A sampling of these dishes was highlighted this evening. 

Paul’s Pasta in Groton: Best Freshly Made Pasta in CT?

Restaurant Pasta Italian Groton Lunch Noodles Homepage

Elizabeth Georgian

Dare I say they have some of the best freshly made pasta in the state? Yes! I’ll tell anyone who asks — Paul’s Pasta serves my favorite pasta dishes in Connecticut. This family-owned pasta shop is nearly as old as I am, and I have two decades of experience dining at Paul’s Pasta to share with you in this review.

If the tell-tale sign of a great restaurant is a crowded establishment with smiling customers eating with gusto, then Paul’s Pasta is definitely one of the best in the state. When coming during the height of mealtimes, Paul’s Pasta always has a waiting list, but this shouldn’t dissuade visitors — turnaround times are generally not substantial and the wait is always worth it. Reservations are not accepted.