Chef Dan Kardos Rolls Out Liberty Rock Tavern Food Truck

Restaurant Stratford Food Truck Comfort Food Bar Celebrity Chef Kid Friendly Catering Homepage

Andrew Dominick

I visited Liberty Rock Tavern in Milford shortly after they opened, and I distinctly remember Dan Kardos’ description of his menu, “I’m making food that people like to eat, food that I like to eat,” he said. 

That “food” is best described as elevated pub grub, which could be surprising to those who followed Kardos’ stints at Napa & Co., Le Farm, and various Barcelona locations. His fine dining background ultimately results in better bar food. It’s the kind of food made for cheat day, where you’ll have to roll up your sleeves, and sit as pulled up to the bar or table as you can get. It’s successful stuff.  

Nibble: CT Food Events For May 20- 27

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Tarry Lodge in Westport now has “Aperitivo Hour.”  Join them at our cocktail bar for small plates for $5 and select wines and cocktails for $10.  It is available from 4-6pm, Monday-Friday

On Monday May 21, Cask Republic presents a Beer Dinner in conjunction with No Worries Brewery.  There will be a welcome beer along with a four course meal an dbeer pairings.  It starts at 6:30pm and costs $65 per person.  Call Cask Republic Stamford at (203) 348-2275 to reserve.

Woodbury Restaurant Week runs from May 19 through May 25!  14 restaurants are offering prix fixe menus, discounts, and other specials in honor of the event. 

Artisan Burger Company hosts a Two Roads Brewery Wine Dinner on Monday May 21.  It costs $60 per person and runs from 6:30-9:30pm. 

CTbites Happy Hour on the Patio at Artisan Southport for $40

Features CTbites Invites Homepage

CTbites Team

For the fifth year in a row, CTbites has partnered with Chef Frederic Kieffer and Artisan at the Delamar Hotel Southport for an outdoor Happy Hour on their gorgeous patio and bar. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 29th  5:30-7:30, as we kick off al fresco dining with assorted appetizers and cocktails sponsored by KEEL vodka. Purchase Your Ticket here! 

Priced at $40, the Happy Hour includes a specialty cocktail created by KEEL Vodka, the only low-calorie vodka on the market and a second drink choice of wine or beer and assorted appetizers. 

Chef Frederic is preparing a number of signature appetizers both passed and buffet style to accompany the special summer cocktail provided by our sponsor, KEEL Vodka.

The very special cocktail features KEEL Vodka, St Germaine, Strawberry and/or raspberry infused Aperol, Fresh Lime Juice. Shaken and strained into a Collins glass and topped with soda, fresh mint garnish.

Festivities Celebrations Passes It On In Love (sponsored post)

Features Fundraiser Catering Chef Talk

Jessica Ryan

For more than three decades, and under the leadership of Roe Chlala and Bill Kaliff, Festivities  has been an integral part of the community, catering  milestone celebrations from birthdays and weddings, to corporate events and galas. This award-winning catering and event design company has launched their newest venture through their foundation.  Located on the Festivities Campus, “Pass on the Love” is a retail store offering a curated collection of gently used, quality, design, décor and tabletop items that have been donated and are available for purchase for your next event or for your personal use.  “Buy it in love, pass it on in love” is the store motto.  Proceeds from all sales are to be donated to agencies that provide services supporting safe and healthy homes.  The first two recipient agencies are The Center for Family Justice and the Domestic Violence Program at the Greenwich YWCA.

CT Guide to Outdoor Dining (2018): 100 + Restaurants for Summer

Features Restaurant Best of CT Outdoor Dining Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Temperatures are finally rising and all the snow is- dare I say- gone, so it’s time to get your sunglasses and head out for some outdoor dining!  Connecticut restaurants are opening their patios and decks for the season.  Whether you want a waterside view, a rooftop rave, or to get cozy by a firepit, there’s an alfresco experience waiting for you.  Here are over 107 places to eat outside in Connecticut this summer.

  1. The White Horse, Litchfield: The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant has both a deck and a patio so you can enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner along the river.

  2. Grano Arso, Chester: Grano Arso has 12 seats outside where guests can order from the full menu.

  3. The Whelk, Westport: Overlooking the quaint Saugatuck River, The Whelk brings sustainable, local seafood and ingredients to the lips of its diners.

  4. The Place, Guilford: The Place in Guilford, is about as outdoors as you can get without going camping. Tree stumps are your chairs, outdoor fires cook your meal and the menu hangs outside over it all.

  5. The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing, Stamford: The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing in Stamford is now open for the season. Families and pets are welcome!

  6. Swyft, Kent: Swyft in Kent can seat 25 guests on the patio and they also have a few tables on the porch.

  7. The Tavern at Gray Barns, Norwalk: The Tavern at GrayBarns sits in the space that once housed Silvermine Tavern. It has all been redone and reopen. Take it all in on their patio.

  8. Mill Street Bar & Table, Greenwich: Mill Street Bar + Table in Greenwich has a tavern atmosphere that’s elegant yet warm and homey. Cozy up on their patio on a starry night at this neighborhood favorite alongside the Byram River.

Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of May 13th - 20th

Features Events Fundraiser Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

On Monday May 14, Chef Luke Venner of elm in New Canaan will cook at the historic James Beard House in NYC!  The event begins at 7pm, and tickets are $135 for members and $175 for the public. 

Visit Fletcher Cameron Kitchens in New Haven for a mixology and tapas event featuring Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar on May 16.  Learn the basic history of tapas and about great cocktails to pair with them.  Signed copies of The Barcelona Cookbook: A Celebration of Food, Wine and Life will be on sale as well.   

Yoga and beer collide at Still Hill Brewery on May 16.  The Rocky-Hill based brewery invites you to a one hour yoga session… complete with a pint of your choosing!   

Olea in New Haven presents a Vivanco Wines wine dinner on May 17. Chef Manuel Romero has developed an inspired menu to complement the Spanish vino.  Call 203.780.8925 to reserve.

On Thursday, May 17th, CTbites will celebrate the launch of its new Food & Drink PODCAST hosted by Ken Tuccio. Come on down and meet the CTbites team and help open up the patio season at The Spread in South Norwalk.  Plus, te first 40 guests to arrive after doors open at 5:00PM get to sample some of Chef Carlos Baez' NEW HAPPY HOUR MENU Free!!   

Lord & Taylor in Stamford Creates Food Truck Destination

Restaurant Food Truck Lunch Stamford

Hey Stamford!

Hey Stamford! shares a new Food Truck destination in Stamford at Lord & Taylor's!

While the rest of Stamford is trying to figure out how to make the whole food truck thing work,  Lord & Taylor (yes, the retail giant) is taking a step in another direction,  by turning their parking lot into the ultimate food truck destination.

It started back in March with just a couple of trucks,  but has quickly gained steam over the last few weeks.  Jack Baker, a spokesman for Lord & Taylor, tells us that the end goal will be to have a mix of 4 or 5 food trucks at a time during lunch & dinner, creating a consistent food truck destination for our area.

Food trucks thus far include: Dough Girls Pizza Truck, Gotta Go Greek Food Truck, HAPA, MOC Eatery, Pito Sofrito, Walter’s Hot Dog Truck.

Read more at Hey Stamford!

The Beach House Café Opens in SONO w/ Southern Style Brunch

Restaurant SONO Norwalk Greenwich Breakfast Brunch Lunch American Homepage

Jessica Ryan

Residents of Greenwich are no strangers to The Beach House Café located on Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich. The restaurant, with its beachy-chic interior and seafood fare with a fresh, Asian twist, has been a local favorite since it was re-opened in 2016 by restauranteur Kane Xu.

Just recently The Beach House Café opened a second location in South Norwalk, directly across from the Maritime Center. While it retains a nautical theme with reclaimed wood, dock-line roping, seaside prints and dock-master lanterns, the vibe here is edgier, more urban, lending itself perfectly to the SoNo landscape.

I had the opportunity to visit the new SONO location for brunch a few weeks ago and was struck by the Southern influence, though perhaps I shouldn’t dismiss the fact that the restaurant’s current location once belonged to Mama’s Boy, known for its Southern cuisine. The Brunch Menu boasts a great many choices, seemingly something for everyone, unless you’re like me, indecisive with an extensive palate and healthy appetite.

It's A Woman's World: Gretchen Thomas, Wine and Spirits Director, Barteca Group

Features Interview

Jeanne Muchnick

Our new series, “It’s A Woman’s World’ is devoted to Fairfield County female influencers who’ve forged their own paths, often in food-related fields long dominated by men.

Whether farming the land, bringing healthy food to the masses, feeding an entrepreneurial spirit or injecting feminism with food, these groundbreaking ladies have set a new definition of women’s work, creating new paths and setting examples for those who follow. 

How'd they do it? Read on. This week, our focus turns to Gretchen Thomas, Wine and Spirits Director, Barteca Restaurant Group. Have a suggestion on someone you’d like to see featured? Email 

Battle of the Chefs Returns to Ridgefield's Founders Hall on June 3

Features Ridgefield Events

Amy Kundrat

Battle of the Chefs returns to Founders Hall on Sunday, June 3, 4 – 7 pm.  In a culinary showdown similar to those featured on television shows such as Top Chef and Chopped, three seasoned chefs will match sharp knives and quick wits for the benefit of Founders Hall. Chefs Brian Bender (David’s Soundview Catering in Stamford,  formerly of Cutting Board Café in Ridgefield), Zachariah Campion (Bailey’s Backyard, Ridgefield), and André Gainer (Luna Rossa, Ridgefield), will compete to create an entree from a basket of surprise ingredients, in just sixty minutes, in front of a live audience.  A panel of food experts, including Brendan Walsh (Dean of Culinary Arts, the Culinary Institute of America) and Amy Kundrat (executive editor, CT Bites) will judge the chefs on their creativity, craftsmanship and culinary results as the crowd cheers the chefs on. Ken Tuccio, host of CTbites new Food & Drink podcast, will emcee the action.

Steakhouse Del Frisco's To Acquire Barteca (Bartaco & Barcelona) for $325 million

Features news

CTbites Team

If you haven't heard the news, this is big for CT, reported here by CNBC.

Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, known for its upscale steakhouses, told CNBC it will acquire Barteca Restaurant Group for $325 million in cash in a bid to expand its footprint and balance its portfolio.

The deal announced Monday represents a calculated move by Del Frisco's, which owns Del Frisco's Grill, Del Frisco's Double Eagle and Sullivan's Steak House, to grow in scale and reach new customers. It's a big step for a company with a market cap of $344.8 million.

Barteca is a 20-year-old company with two brands, Barcelona, an upscale casual dining restaurant that specializes in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, and Bartaco, which features a menu of "upscale street food" with bold South American, Mediterranean and Asian flavors.

Read the complete article on CNBC. 

New Haven’s ROÌA Restaurant: A Tale Of Two Countries

Restaurant New Haven French Italian Brunch Lunch Farm to Table Homepage

Carissa Chesanek

What do you get when you mix cooking traditions of both the Italian and French? The best of both worlds at ROÌA Restaurant in New Haven. It’s a culinary combo that doesn’t require you to renew your passport.

Located in the former Taft Hotel that dates back to 1912, ROÌA Restaurant and Cafe has historical charm. Step inside and you’ll see what we mean with its two-floor open design with ornate ceilings and impressive columns. The building is truly an architect’s dream. But you don’t have to be a designer to appreciate all that ROÌA has to offer. You just have to be hungry. 

Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of May 7-13

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Shake Shack’s 7th Annual Great American Shake Sale lasts through May 13th!  Donate $2 or more to No Kid Hungry at your local Shake Shack and receive a complementary hand spun shake on your next visit.

Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk now offers Sangria Sundays!  Join them from 4pm- close for ½ price pitchers of sangria and margaritas.

Chef Geoff Lazlo and Mike’s Organic in Stamford are teaming up for “Vermont Wagyu Beef, Craft Beer, + Wine” on Thursday May 10.  Lazlo will prepare wagyu on the grill while guests sip on craft beers and wine from Val’s.  Plus, meet Sheila Patinkin, founder of Vermont Wagyu.  Tickets are $125.   

On Thursdays, Basso Café treats ladies to two drinks for the price of one!  They also have a $35 menu that includes an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and ½ bottle of select wines.   

On Wednesday May 9, Finalmente Trattoria in Westport will host an Antinori Estates Wine dinner.  The 6 course meal is $110, inclusive of tax and gratuity.   

Litchfield’s Saltwater Grille invites you to a “Vive Le France Wine Dinner” on Wednesday May 9.  The evening will include five wines and five courses for $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  Reservations can be made by calling 860-567-4900.   

CTbites Announces Food & Drink Podcast Launch Hosted By Ken Tuccio

Features Interview Podcast

Stephanie Webster

We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new podcast series only on CTbites! Starting May 17th Ken Tuccio is joining the CTBites family when he begins hosting FOOD & DRINK, a CTBites Original Podcast! Subscribe to Apple Podcasts here or find us on Spotify.

Prior to the premiere of Food & Drink on May 17th, Ken Tuccio wanted to give his listeners a behind the scenes look at the last year of his life when he was the host of a morning drive radio show, First Thing Fairfield County, on 95.9 The Fox.

This episode is moderated by Patrick DiCaprio from Full Pours Radio and serves as a bridge between Ken's previous show, Welcome To Connecticut, and his upcoming show Food & Drink.

Ken openly discusses how the morning show job came about, his creative frustrations, battles with the sales staff, why it all came to an end and what he learned from the experience.

The Westport Farmers' Market Opens May 17th w/ Great Vendor Lineup, Food Trucks + "Chopped At The Market"

Features Ingredients Farmers Market Westport

CTbites Team

As a proud sponsor for The Westport Farmers' Market, CTbites is pleased to announce, the 2018 summer season.

While it’s fair to say this long, cool spring has taken a toll on many of us, Westport Farmers’ Market shoppers and vendors have especially felt its bite. We’re happy to report the wait is over; the vision of supporting the best market in the area is in sight. In just a over a week, on Thursday, May 17th, the Westport Farmers’ Market will return for its 12th year 50 Imperial Avenue.

There will be new faces among other vendors, too, including Grateful Food Company offering plant-based fare, and Norm Bloom & Sons with local oysters. In addition to new faces – even those whose identity is still a secret – familiar favorites will return, including last winter’s newest guest vendor, Cross Culture Kombucha, who will be pouring booch on site, and farm favorites Sport Hill; Fort Hill; Riverbank, Two Guys from Woodbridge; Sankow Beaver Brook; Ox Hollow; Beltane; Woodland; Rose’s Berry; Aradia; and Muddy Feet Flower Farm.

Station House Opens in Historic Port Chester Train Station: Coal-Fired Pizza & Tavern Fare

Restaurant Port Chester American Pizza Openings Bar pizza

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

As city-bound commuters dash to and fro’ and the pulse of the city continues to thrive, the Port Chester railroad station, a landmark since 1890, stands as a symbol of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Today, this turn of the century building is home to Our House Restaurant Group’s newest venture, Station House. In keeping with this dynamic restaurant group’s approach to hospitality, as seen with their popular Rye House Port Chester and Manhattan taverns, and last year’s mega outdoor hit, Village Beer Garden, Station House offers that same neighborhood vibe, this time, it comes rooted in history and coal-fired pizza.ctb

PORRÓN Opens Today in Hartford: Spanish-influenced Cuisine From Chef Tyler Anderson

Restaurant Hartford Hartford County Spanish Celebrity Chef Openings

CTbites Team

Today, the much anticipated Restaurant Porrón opened its doors to Connecticut's Capital City. Hartfordites and travelers alike will be able to dine in the Goodwin Hotel’s new signature Spanish-style restaurant. Helmed by nationally renowned Chef Tyler Anderson, and his all-star team - many of whom are behind the success that is Millwright's Restaurant and The Cook & The Bear - promise to bring local flair to the globally-inspired menu.

Restaurant Porrón is a tapas-style restaurant complete with wine room and ham bar, as well as an accompanying craft cocktail bar (Bar Piña) - set to officially open by week’s end. The restaurant will feature 60 wines by the glass, local draft beer and an exciting gin & tonic selection. The tapas-driven menu will allow guests to sample a wider array of items, order a bunch of items to share, or order a la carte Spanish steakhouse-style. The food and service are intended to be elegantly simple and will use the highest quality products that Anderson and his kitchen and bar team can procure.