Where Do Local Chefs Eat Out? Chef Dan Kardos of Liberty Tavern

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Jessica Ryan

I've always wondered where the chefs from our favorite local restaurants eat when they finally get some time away from their busy schedules. What are some of their favorite places, locally and beyond? This column is on ongoing feature. Past chefs featured have included: Chris Gonzalez of Hapa Food TruckCody Brown of Hoodoo BBQMatt Storch of Match & Nom Eez, &  Christian Petroni of Fortina Pizza. This week we speak with Chef Dan Kardos of Liberty Tavern. 

On the rare day or night you’re off from the restaurant where do you prefer to have dinner?( If home what is your meal or food of choice)?


Hartford Baking Company Opens in West Hartford

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CTbites Team

Hartford Baking Company started small and local, with owner Scott Kluger’s mother baking scratch items for farmers’ markets.  As her scones caught on, so did the buzz, and Scott saw an opportunity.  Leaving a promising career on Wall Street, he returned to West Hartford and opened their first location on New Park Ave in 2010: offering artisanal bread, sandwiches, pastries, and a really excellent coffee program (more on that in a moment).

The new Hartford Baking Company location, on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford Center, has the same menu as New Park (which remains open) with a few exciting additions. Both locations are the perfect destination for fresh cake and seasonal catering orders, but West Hartford has expanded their offerings to include a vegan grain bowl, a gluten free breakfast burrito, and an authentic Cuban Sandwich.  Fresh is better: the scratch baking process which occurs every night in their large baking facility in Bloomfield translates into a carb mecca of stunning fresh breads and baked goods.  


2017 Spring/Summer Fairfield County Farmers Markets via FGFG

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Analiese Paik

Farmers’ markets in Fairfield County, CT will begin opening in May and early June and we will update the listings below (from 2016) with 2017 information as it becomes available. Here are the markets updated so far via our friends at Fairfield Green Food Guide.

  • New Canaan opened April 22
  • Shelton opens May 6
  • Norwalk Rainbow Plaza opens May 17
  • Westport opens May 18
  • Greenwich @ Arch & Horseneck Streets opens on May 20
  • Fairfield’s downtown market that launched last year opens June 11

Chef Mogan Anthony of Locali Pizza & Village Social To Cook James Beard House May 6

Features

Stephanie Webster

Mogan Anthony and his team from Locali Pizza Bar & Kitchen in New Canaan, Village Social Kitchen + Bar in Mount Kisco, will be cooking the James Beard House on May 6th. 

When a New York Times critic declares, “[I] wish I had discovered his cooking” earlier, you know the chef is up to something special. Counting Nobu Matsuhisa and Jean-Georges Vongerichten as mentors, Mogan Anthony infuses his classical training with his South Asian heritage for an eclectic and enticing cuisine that’s all his own.

View the complete menu below and purchase your tickets here. 


Takumi Sushi, Ramen & Lounge in Branford

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Hope Simmons

I heard it through the grapevine their ramen was simply divine, so off I went to check it out. Then, I sampled their sushi, and an ongoing dilemma emerged—what to eat today? Must I choose? Ideally, you’ll want to go with someone who loves both, so you can share and have the best of everything, all in one artfully presented meal. You’ll find it all under one roof at Takumi Sushi, Ramen & Lounge on Route 1 in Branford.

Shoreline locals talked up Hanami for years, so if you remember that spot, it’s now Takumi. And it’s fabulous. I’ve been making the trip to the shore just about every week to get my fix since December. A simple, contemporary space where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle and focus on dining deliciously.


14 Places For Cinco de Mayo in CT: 2017 Edition

Features Holiday Events Mexican

Emma Doody

Uno, dos, tres… the countdown is on to Cinco de Mayo!  On Friday May 5, Connecticut restaurants like BodegaTaco Loco, and Bartaco will put on fabulous fiestas featuring food specials, live music, tequila, signature cocktails, and more.  There is even a cinco inspired cupcake making class and a benefit to support Dollars for Scholars.

  1. Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, East Hartford & Mystic: Through May 4, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant will host Cinco Days of Goodwill, where 20% goes to Goodwill Industries. Plus, visit them for $5 specials as part of the countdown to Cinco de Mayo.
  2. Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, Fairfield and New Haven: Geronimo will have celebrations at both locations. In Fairfield, an outdoor pig roast starts at 11:30am and an outdoor Taco Cart hits the streets at 5pm. The New Haven location will also have a pig roast, and later a street party complete with a donkey!

Products We Love: SmashMallows Found At Balducci's

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Stephanie Webster

I'll admit, I'm late to the party on these 100% organic, all natural, crazy town delicious marshmallows. I stumbled upon SmashMallows at Balducci's today, but as it turns out, they have been written up by In Style, Cooking Light and even People Magazine, They are quite simply, the "Dom Perignon of marshmallows." Balducci's is currently carrying them in Mint Chocolate Chi, Toasted Coconut Pineapple, Strawberry & Cream, and Cinnamon Churo.  However, if you look online, there are three additional flavors worth an order: Root Beer Float, Meyer Lemon Chia, and Espresso Bean. 


The Outdoor Beer Garden at Shippan Landing, Stamford, Opens May 18

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Hey Stamford!

This in from Hey Stamford!

The Beer Garden in Shippan Landing is just weeks away from opening for the season!

Imian Partners, owners of the 15,000 square foot waterfront oasis plan to roll up their doors on Thursday May 18th and run through mid-October (weather permitting).  The hours of operation are Wednesdays & Thursdays from  4:00pm – 11:00pm; Friday:  3:00pm – 12:00am and Saturday & Sundays 2:00pm – 12:00am.

Throughout the Summer you can expect a variety of special events, including: Country Fest, A Food Truck Mash-up, Burger Throwdown, Yoga Fest and more! And, of course they’ll be opening as only they know how… a weekend long celebration to include cold beer, delicious food, amazing sunsets, live music and more!!  As more details become available we’ll be certain to share.  

Read the complete article on Hey Stamford.


Nibble: CT Food Events for April 24-30

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Emma Doody

Bar Sugo presents a meatball class on Saturday April 29 at noon.  It is $45 per person, plus tax, tip, and beverages.  Call 203-956-7134 to reserve your space.

Cask Republic in Stamford presents a 5-course whiskey dinner on April 25 at 7pm.  The evening will feature beloved hard to find whiskies like Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year, WhistlePig Boss Hog Third Edition, Four Roses Elliot's Select Single Barrel Limited Edition, Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Year, and Glenmorangie 18 Year Extremely Rare.  Dishes will include Veal Heart Tartar, Maple Bourbon Pork Belly, and more.  Seating is limited.  Reservations required and can be made by calling 203-348-2275.

Grab The Tasty Yolk’s April special while you still can!  "The Mad Batter" consists of a Maple bacon cheddar waffle covered with 2 eggs. Check their current locations on their facebook page. 


The 10 Best Farmers Markets in Connecticut

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CTbites Team

We felt this list of farmers' markets was pretty spot on. Check out Best of Connecticut's list of the 10 Best Farmers' Markets in CT. 

Connecticut has organized its best local offerings into “trails” that visitors can easily follow to enjoy the best of the best. One such trail is the Farmers Markets of Connecticut trail, which highlights local markets across the state. At each market, you’ll find freshly picked local produce, delicious baked goods, coffee roasted in Connecticut, and other products to allow you to prepare the freshest most delicious locally-sourced meal for you and your family.


Killer B Opens in South Norwalk w/ Beer, Bourbon, Bacon and Burgers (+ Decadent Milkshakes)

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Jessica Ryan

There are those who say pigs don’t fly…. They’ve never had Killer B’s Bacon Flight where thick cut strips of bacon arrive attached to a clothing wire, juices dripping, only to come flying immediately off. I really intended to have just one bite…

Killer B recently opened in South Norwalk, and stands for Beer, Bourbon, Bacon and Burgers – and with that I will tell you that this bacon, offered in such flavors as bourbon, butterscotch, fire, honey and orange, was indeed “killer.”  Take a bite and you soon realize this ain’t no grocery store bacon.


Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ Is Calling Out Connecticut Chefs, Butchers, Bakers and Adult Beverage Makers

Features

Stephanie Webster

If you’re a Connecticut chef, butcher, teacher, baker, student, mixologist, grill master, grandparent, etc., the TV Show Chopped on the Food Network is looking for you. Their casting website says they’re:

Seeking dynamic, outgoing, experienced chefs, Men and Women, any ethnicity and cooking specialty are encouraged to apply.

Even if you’re not a pro, head to the Specials page on the site, and find out about the shows they’re cookin’ up with everyday people, featuring contestants from all walks of life.


Nibble: CT Food Events for Week of April 17- 23

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Emma Doody

Mohegan Sun’s Sun WhiskeyFest takes place on Friday April 21 at 8pm.  General admission tickets are $85 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. 

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and Fairfield Greenwich Cheese Company will hold a “Grilled Cheese: Beyond Kraft Singles” class this week.  It will take place at the Fairfield location on Tuesday April 18 and the Greenwich location on Thursday April 20. 

Millwrights hosts a Stone Brewing and Maine Beer Company collaboration dinner on Tuesday April 18 at 7pm.  The evening will feature Main Lunch, Main Peeper, Stone Tangerine Express, and Stone Xocoveza Charred with paired dishes.  It costs $65 per person. 


Aux Delices Takes Over SoNo Baking Company Spot in Downtown Westport

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Stephanie Webster

In case you hadn't heard, SoNo Baking Company is giving up the keys to its downtown Westport location at 44 Church Lane, across from the new Bedford Square. Aux Delices will be taking over the space in the next few weeks. This will be Aux Delices' second location in Westport, and Aux Delices owner, Debra Ponzek, said "We had been eyeing this location for quite some time and were excited when the space became available."

Aux Delices,  means “all the delicious food in life,” and culinary institute-trained Debra Ponzek, describes her cooking as “quality, healthy food for busy people.”  If you have visited any of their other locations in Greenwich, Darien or Westport's Post Road, you will find quick and easy service, grab-n-go items, as well as a sit down cafe experience. For fans of Aux Delices, the menu at the new Westport location will be similar to you as well. 


Layla's Falafel Opening in Westport w/ Delicious Authentic Middle Eastern Fare

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Stephanie Webster

Layla's Falafel, with their delicious and authentic Middle Eastern menu, is opening in Westport in late April. Offering a full menu of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine, Layla’s (named for its owner) serves up well-priced, flavorful and fresh fare. Ideal for takeout, a quick lunch or a pre-movie pit-stop, it’s a solid alternative to your standard takeout repertoire. Previously only found on Black Rock Tpke, their new location will be across from Stop N Shop at 1537 Post Road East in Westport. 


Where Do Local Chefs Eat Out: Christian Petroni of Fortina Pizza

Features Chef Talk Chef

Jessica Ryan

I've always wondered where the chefs from our favorite local restaurants eat when they finally get some time away from their busy schedules. Do they prefer to go home and relax? Or do they like to go out? If the latter, what are some of their favorite places, locally and beyond? This column will be on ongoing feature. Past chefs featured have been: Chris Gonzalez of Hapa Food Truck, Cody Brown of Hoodoo BBQ & Matt Storch of Match & Nom Eez. This week, we speak with Christian Petroni of Fortina Pizza.


Dew Drop Inn in Derby: Adventures in Chicken Wings And More

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James Gribbon

"When I was first looking for a location, I didn't even want a place with a kitchen." It's not what you expect to hear from the owner of a bar which has become more famous for food than its drinks. When Bronx-native Jay Carlucci bought the Dew Drop Inn in 2006, "I just wanted a neighborhood bar, I wasn't even looking north of White Plains." One major reinvention and many smaller renovations later, the Dew Drop is a linchpin of both the restaurant and social scenes in Derby, and a regular top three finisher in every list of the best wing spots in Connecticut.

"It was rough then, but it was definitely a local hangout, a neighborhood bar." His vision was to take the concept and make it better. Within the first few months every light beer was taken off the menu, and Carlucci heard about it: 'You're crazy, you didn't make money in the valley selling new beers.'


Embody Fitness Gourmet Opens New Location in Darien

Restaurant Darien healthy Juice Bar Juice Cleanse Take Out

Stephanie Webster

After nine years, EMBODY FITNESS GOURMET has a new location in Darien, at the Palmer’s Market Shopping Center (380 Heights Road). This is one of three Embody grab-n-go healthy organic locations; the others residing in New Canaan and Westport. 

Embody is our go-to spot for protein shakes, juices, and salads. In Darien, they have also started serving Intelligentsia coffee--one of the top coffee roasters in the country. Embody's menu embraces all forms of lean proteins and nutrient dense vegetables and fruits in their menu creations, many of which pair well together allowing customers to mix and match items for an entire day's worth of nutrition. My personal favorite...The Almond Buzz, a perfect combination of almond butter, almond milk, bananas, cacao and protein powder. 



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