On certain mornings, the village of Georgetown smells as if it was baked inside a loaf of bread. That was my initial thought when attempting to track down local baker Rob VanKeuren. I had the address, but wasn’t certain where he was exactly. My “Where are you?” messages went unanswered, although not on purpose, the guy was wrapped up in baking. A cluster of mailboxes and my own lack of sleep the night before combined for confusion and I ended up in a driveway, still sniffing the air, and I was greeted by a tiger-striped cat, then a kid. I asked if he knew where I could find “the guy that bakes bread.” He brought my question to his mom and returned with, “Go to Lombardi’s. A right turn out of the driveway and immediately on your right.”
Didn't get to Europe this summer? Experience an "Evening in Italy" at Elm Restaurant on Saturday August 26th with a special wine pairing event. Enjoy a delicious 4-course menu created by the chef accompanied by unique Italian wine varietals. Limited seating, reserve a spot now. 203 -920-4994. $85/pp exclusive of tax/gratuity.
On Monday, August 21, Cask Republic New Haven will host a Counter Weight Tap Takeover at 5:00pm. The brews on tap will include Headway IPA, Workhorse Pilsner, Space Coyote IPA, Spiral Architect DIPA, Wizard Fight DIPA, Mixed cassette Grisette, Cask Conditioned Headway IPA, and more. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages or call 475-238-8335 for more information.
New Haven Craft Beer Week returns August 20 – 26 in partnership with Beer Collective!
First of all: Beacon Falls, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Oxford, Naugatuck, Shelton - in acronym, BAD SONS, collectively "The Valley." Once the manufacturing heart of an industrial state, the factories shut down to reopen out west, overseas, or not at all, but their brick shells remained. Once known for hats, watches, and artillery shells, there is new life to be found in old factories in the valley, which have become perfect incubators for the Connecticut brewing industry's baby boom.
The BAD SONS brewery inhabits a space in Derby just down the Housatonic river from the Yale crew team's boathouse, about 300 yds from the Dew Drop Inn. This coal-era brick monolith may be where "BAD SONS" comes to mean "Valley Beer."
Chef Brian Lewis, of The Cottage, has an exciting announcement...
From the moment that we opened our doors and started cooking at The Cottage, I knew that we had really stumbled onto both a truly special town and adventurous clientele in Westport, one that really connected with my cooking and supported my full creative expression.
So as we turn the corner in completing our second year of cooking our most heartfelt local American Cuisine at The Cottage, with simply the best culinary and service team that I have ever had the privilege of working with, I am delighted to announce that we are now set to expand our other culinary passion – with a modern Japanese Izakaya meets Omakase restaurant in a treasured Westport landmark, The Vigilant Hose Company Firehouse, right across the river on Wilton Road.
You may have been told not to eat raw oysters in months that don’t have an R. It’s not true. It was a beautiful, temperate August afternoon when I stood on Hummock Island slurping freshly harvested oysters and casting their shells onto the ground below. Hummock Island Oyster Company recently started offering “oyster tours,” giving the public an opportunity to visit the island, witness the operation, and taste oysters fresh from the sea. I eagerly accepted their invitation to participate, which is how I found myself indulging in oysters in early August.
The 10th annual Blues, Views & BBQ Festival presented by the Westport Downtown Merchants Association will be held in Westport CT on September 2 & 3rd at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts and the grounds of the Westport Library.CTbites will once again play host to the areas top chefs as they grill up some of their favorite dishes and offer up samples for attendees of the festival.
CTbites Chef Line-up for 2017
Saturday 9/2 12-4 pm
12:00- Match/OmNeez (and soon, Burger Lobster in Westport) - Chef Match Storch
1:00- Fleishers Craft Butchery- Paul Nessel
2:00- The Spread/ElSegundo- Chef Carlos Baez
3:00- ‘Port Westport- Chef Justin Kaplan
4:00- Da Pietros Restaurant - Chef Pietro Scotti
Paci, one of Connecticut’s best Italian restaurants, has completed a grand remodeling and renovation after 21 years in businessThe restaurant, located in the nationally recognized historic train depot in Southport, will reopen on September 5th after a two month long redesign. The fresh new space showcases a new gleaming 1000 square foot glass walled bar with spacious seating as well as a gorgeous new dining area. The adjacent grounds will offer patio seating hedged with lush greenery. A new menu and hours of operations are also planned.
Unlike its Franco-centric siblings – the Le Penguins in Greenwich and Westport-- Le Fat Poodle is a Parisian Bistro in name only. Indeed, its faux French appellation comes with a big wink, setting the mood for the whimsy inside what was once a stately U.S. Post Office.
The soaring ceilings, whirling fans, and leafy palms suggest sexy Saigon rather than teeming Paris. That’s Pink Martini on the playlist, not Piaf. And the menu? Global far more than Gallic.
East meets West via seductive Vietnamese egg rolls. Or there’s Swiss fondue to spark a party without borders. Sample Spanish Ceviche or blistered Japanese Shushito Peppers. Bite into creamy Tuscan Ravioli, plump with wild mushrooms.
“This is a Global Bistro, not a French Bistro,” insists veteran restaurateur Anshu Vidyarthi.
Chef John Craig is cooking up something great again at Clarke, New England's Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test Kitchen in South Norwalk. Nothing says summer like fresh corn and this is a great way to prepare it! For this recipe, you'll use the Convection Broil setting on your Wolf Convection Oven to perfectly melt that mozzarella cheese. This recipe for Clarke's Bay Corn is a simple, delicious side dish for any summer meal.
The 43rd Annual Milford Oyster Festival takes place on Saturday August 19. There will be 35,000 oysters, crafts, food, amusement rides, classic cars, and more. The festival runs from 10am-6pm.
On Saturday August 19, visit Sunset Meadow Vineyards for a Farm to Table Lobster Dinner under the stars. The dinner includes Lobster, Clams, Mussels, Potatoes, Corn and Watermelon. There will be live music and wine specials all evening. Reservations are required as seating is limited. Call 860-201-4654 for info and reservations. It is $79.95 per person.
During the month of August, visit The Fez for a prix fixe menu that includes 3 courses for just $25.
I have a real appreciation for chefs who can bridge the gap between food that tastes good and food that is just plain fun. Knot Norms bills itself as a "fast casual New England seafood eatery," and has recently opened in East Norwalk next to Mr. Frosty's at East Norwalk at 10 First Avenue. The menu reads like a classic New England summer playlist, with greatest hits including: Lobsters Rolls, a Fried Chicken Roll, Roasted Oysters and a Crab Salad Roll...just to name a few. This casual spot may have a "just strolled off the beach" feel to it, but don't be fooled, Knot Norms is far from your average seafood shack.
Summer grilling is in full swing in CT, and with that in mind, Marcia Selden has shared a great recipe that leverages both Connecticut's proximity to some excellent seafood and our favorite culinary friend, the grill. A little flame goes a long way in this dish, Tamarind BBQ Swordfish & Pineapple Skewers. There is nothing better than grilled pineapple, and you can use the excess for a great cocktail. Enjoy!
I’ve been rabidly following the food news from my hometown of Salem, CT ever since I heard rumor of a brewery opening up by former classmates—Zack and Laura Adams. This awesome husband and wife team have created a beer oasis perfect for hanging out in the sleepy town of Salem. Opened in May, 2017, Fox Farm has been enjoying rave reviews.
I’m really pleased that Zack agreed to an interview with CTbites to share his passion for beer and tell us all about his newly opened brewery.
Chef Matt Storch (of Match and Nom Eez) is opening Match Burger Lobster this summer, a new fast casual concept. It will be located in the space next to Fleishers Craft Butchery, in the Saugatuck neighborhood of Westport, CT, just off Exit 17 on I-95 near the Westport train station. Are we excited? Yes, because the new restaurant will leverage our proximity to high quality, local ingredients: fresh seafood from Norm Bloom and Sons, and Northeast pasture-raised and humanely-handled beef, ground daily at Fleishers. Storch's opening menu will include classic lobster rolls, whole lobsters, a variety of burgers, local Copps Island oysters, paper-thin onion rings, donut milk shakes, wine and beer. Oh...and foot-long hot dogs from Fleishers.
Connecticut did not earn its “land of steady habits” nickname for its cuisine.
The birthplace of the hamburger, the hot lobster roll and clam pizza, the Nutmeg State has long been adventurous when it comes to its cuisine. In this feature we look at unique dishes on Connecticut’s culinary frontier. From unusual ingredients (crocodile and invasive sea creatures) to bizarre flavor combinations (doughnut burgers, anyone?), the instantly Instagram-able dishes in this story have in common only their uncommonness. We can’t say these unusual creations will appeal to all tastes, but we can say each was one we’ll never forget.
A trip to Ridgefield, Connecticut would not be complete without a visit to the quintessential ice cream parlor and candy mecca that is Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe. Offerings span from homemade chocolates, fudge, and ice cream. There is even an entire room devoted to nostalgic candies and gummy treats. I am always looking for fun and interesting food experiences and packaging. During one of my recent visits to the shop/food safari, I noticed a wall of cotton candy made by Chocolate Storybook. The brand’s assortment offers upwards of 50 flavors including sweet and savory delights like Bacon, BBQ sauce, Atomic Fire, Pancake and Syrup, Frosted Donut, PBJ, seasonal desserts and fruits, merlot, and even a gender reveal option. The most unusual flavor however was Trump hair! The jury is still out on that one. You can add these to the list of memorable hybrid sweet treats trending these days.
On August 26th, Hey Stamford brings local restaurants together at Mill River Park for Hey Stamford Food Festival, an innovative culinary festival.
In an effort to unite great restaurants and tasty brews, the food festival will take place at Mill River Park, Saturday August 26th 1-9pm, with a $10 admission.
Restaurants include: Seaside Sliders, Rice & Beans, Magee's Curbside, M.O.C. Eatery, The GRANOLA bar, Nosh Hound Food Truck, Hapa Food Truck, Bang Burger, DrewbaQ, DoughGirls Pizza, Kona Ice of Stamford, Boothbay Lobster, Gotta Go Greek, Bareburger, Brother Jimmy's BBQ, Remo's, The Spread & El Segundo, Hoodoo Brown BBQ, Cask Republic, Knot Norm's Catering, Acuario, Sign of the Whale, Nikki Glekas Events
Greenwich’s best come together on Monday August 7 for Best of Greenwich, Moffly Media's annual celebration of Greenwich's finest businesses. The Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel will serve as a backdrop for fun cocktails, delicious hors d'oeuvres, and live music.
On Wednesday August 9, Tarry Lodge in New Haven will partner with Stony Creek Brewery for a Swine & Dine Dinner. The five course meal, with dishes like House-Smoked Porchetta over Arugula with Salsa Verde and Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Braised Short Rib Ragu, will be paired with beer from the Branford based brewery. It is $95 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
TruNORTH Tavern & Table in Bridgeport will host its monthly industry night on Monday August 7 from 8:30pm-close.
Embody believes in eating local, keeping things simply and honoring ourselves by eating real food! This summer salad with edible Nasturium flowers makes for a beautiful dish to bring to parties or just to enjoy on your own. Takes only 15 minutes to make! Also, the majority of the ingredients are LOCAL (from the Westport CT Farmers Market) and all are organic.
Fried ice cream is a thing again! At least it is in Stamford.
If you haven’t heard the sweet whispers and the sizzle of the hot oil, the concession stand at Cummings Beach has a brand-new resident.
Drop & Fry was started by two city residents, Irving Diaz and Mario Forte, friends since freshman year of high school. They came up with the idea to batter-dip-and-fry pound cake-coated balls of ice cream, after being dissatisfied with fried ice cream desserts at Mexican and Asian restaurants, where you’d typically see if offered. They also saw an opportunity to capitalize on selling a sweet treat that’s not all that common in Fairfield County.