The Tavern at GrayBarns Opens in Norwalk- Silvermine Tavern Magically Reimagined

Restaurant New Canaan Norwalk American Lunch Farm to Table Gastropub Breakfast Brunch Homepage

Lou Gorfain

“It’s a 21st Century iteration of a 19th Century Inn,” Robert promised. So, before the six of us scattered to warmer climes for the winter, we chose the newly opened Tavern at GrayBarns for our farewell dinner. 

After a pre-prandial toast, our party was served an un-presupposing bread and butter plate. Standard fare? Hardly. Executive Chef Ben Freemole had us at first bite.

That homespun bread perfectly captures the ethos of Andy Glazer’s sweeping reconstruction and fortification of the legendary Silvermine Tavern and Inn, its footprint reduced by almost a third. In this new “Haven of Refuge,” both décor and dining dazzle, no detail taken for granted, not even a humble bread and butter starter.


Taco Gigante At Margaritas: Are You Up For The Challenge?

Restaurant Tacos East Hartford Mystic Mexican Lunch

Hope Simmons

This ain’t your average taste of Mexico. We’re talkin’ a two-pound, 12-inch marvel—ay, Chihuahua! Look no further than Margaritas, with local outposts in East Hartford and Mystic. A crispy shell, light as air, is piled with everything under the sun: seasoned chicken, ground beef, pork carnitas, bacon, cheese, lettuce, refried beans—let me catch my breath here—Mexican rice, salsa fresca and queso, topped with hacienda and picante sauces, crema and pickled jalapeños.

The challenge is, can you finish it in one serving? We failed, but enjoyed the Taco Gigante even as leftovers the next day. Want to give it a try? Put yourself on the wall of fame (or is that wall of shame?!). But you’ve got to get there quickly. Taco Gigante rides into the sunset when October ends, amigos.

Margaritas is located at 350 Roberts Street in East Hartford and at 12 Water Street in Mystic.


Chef Prasad Chirnomula Announces Thali Too & Oaxaca Kitchen To Close

Features Indian

Stephanie Webster

Celebrated Chef Prasad Chirnomula has announced that he is closing Thali Too and Oaxaca Kitchen at the end of this month.  After serving the New Haven population for nearly 10 and 7 years respectively, and having received many accolades and other distinctions, THALI TOO and OAXACA KITCHEN will permanently close their doors later this month.  Prasad stated that expansion efforts with restaurants in other markets in Connecticut and the costs associated with that have resulted in financial strains that forced the closing of the majority of his restaurants. Chef Prasad is optimistic that he will reinvent his brand with new and fresh concepts that will again meet the ever-changing culinary needs of these communities.   


Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of October 21-28

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

From October 21-28, Connecticut restaurants and chefs are teaming up to help Puerto Rico.  Participating restaurants like Avert Brasserie, Butchers & Bakers, Max Oyster Bar, The Cottage, and more will create and serve small plates inspired by Puerto Rico, with 100% of the proceeds generated by these dishes being donated to Unidos Por Puerto Rico. 

South Avenue Butchers has teamed up with Baldanza Cafe to co-host a delicious five course dinner highlighting organic, grass-fed meats sourced from local farms. The exclusive dinner includes wines paired by Keely Abbott from The Wine Trust.  Join them at Baldanza Cafe on Wednesday, October, 25th at 7:15pm. 

Walrus + Carpenter hosts a Country Western Music + Moonshine Revue on Thursday October 26 from 7:30-11:30pm.  They’ll whip up chicken-fried steaks and moonshine as guests enjoy the live music. 

On Thursday October 26, Washington Prime in South Norwalk continues its five course wine pairing dinners with Jadot / Resonance Vineyards.  It costs $85 per person. 

The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County invites you to the 12th Annual Chefs' Dinner to Fight Hunger on Thursday, October 26. 


4th Annual Greenwich Restaurant Week October 27- November 5

Stephanie Webster

We are so excited for Greenwich Restaurant Week to kick off at @thejhousegreenwich on Oct. 26th! Next Thursday’s Opening Night Party will take place from 6-9 PM and guests can enjoy a variety of tasty tapas, light bites & creative cocktails... Stay tuned for our Insta stories at the party (if you’re coming)! Limited tickets are available here.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, check out their web site.


23+ Foodie Places to Celebrate Halloween in CT: 2017 Edition

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

We have some frighteningly great food news to share… many Connecticut restaurants, bars, farms, and markets are serving up boo-tiful Halloween specials!  Hotspots like Cask RepublicHub + Spoke, and The Spread will have nighttime parties for the 21+ crowd, while Wakeman Town FarmStew Leonards, and Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes have Halloween baking classes for youngsters.  It’s time to get out your costumes- Halloween 2017 is here!

  1. The Fez, Stamford: On Friday October 27 starting at 10pm, The Fez in Stamford will throw a Halloween Bash with live music by Free Flow. There will also be best costume prizes, drink specials, and more.
  2. Hummock Island Oyster Company, Westport: An extra spooky edition of the Hummock Island Oyster Tour will take place on Friday October 27 from 5-7pm. Wear your best costume... there will be a contest!
  3. The Black Rock Zombie Pub Crawl , Bridgeport: The Black Rock Zombie Pub Crawl will begin at Hub & Spoke on Friday October 27 at 7pm. From there, go on to participating bars and restaurants like Aspetuck Brew Lab, Mr. Crab Seafood and Bar, TruNorth, Brennan's, and Fire Engine Pizza. A wristband is $25 per person and 100% of proceeds go toward Puerto Rico hurricane relief.
  4. L’escale, Greenwich invites you to a Halloween Soiree on Saturday October 28 starting at 9pm. The best costume wins a magnum of wine!

Millwright's Tyler Anderson To Join 'Top Chef' Cast via CTNow

Features Celebrity Chef

CTbites Team

Props to our CT Chef Tyler Anderson! This just in from Leeanne Griffin of CTNow.com

Tyler Anderson, the chef-owner of Millwright’s in Simsbury and co-owner of The Cook and the Bear in West Hartford, is about to add “Cheftestant” to his extensive resume.

 Anderson has been announced as one of 15 competitors on the newest season of "Top Chef," debuting Dec. 7 on Bravo. He is the first Connecticut chef to join the series, which is now in its 15th season. 

The new season is described as an "epic culinary adventure through the state of Colorado." "From deconstructing the Denver Omelet and preparing Rocky Mountain Oysters to tailgating with the Broncos, the level of competition for these 15 talented chefs is going to be a mile high. With the judges looking for the chefs' peak performances, the challenges will test the competitors' culinary abilities in picturesque locales." 


Fall RoadTrip Along I-95: Guide To Eating On Route To CT Casinos

Restaurant Groton New London Waterford East Lyme Best of CT Old Saybrook Branford Madison

Hope Simmons & Elizabeth Georgian

Inspired by a recent inquiry from a local chef, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite places to take a flavorful break on the way to or from Connecticut’s casinos. No need to gamble on where to stop for a bite; the southern shoreline towns along I-95 dish up some amazing food—from banh mi to seafood, donuts, Greek specialties and more. 

Branford

You’ve heard us say it before, but the recommendation bears repeating: look no further than Takumi Sushi, Ramen & Lounge for the finest sushi and ramen around!


Kala Bistro Opens in North Haven From Olea Chef, Manuel Romero

Restaurant Hamden North Haven New Haven Openings Lunch Spanish Latin American Asian

Lou Gorfain

Though open for just two weeks, Kala Bistro has already attracted a small throng of regulars. The night we dined, the staff recognized more than half the patrons, greeting them warmly, like old friends.

Our server, Rose Ledee, pointed out a couple at a table on the patio. “This is the third time they’ve come in the past week!” she gushed, proudly. 

In contrast to the formal, fine dining of Olea, Manuel Romero’s acclaimed Spanish hot spot in downtown New Haven, his new restaurant is suburban, relaxed, and very much a part of a bustling neighborhood that borders North Haven and Hamden. Lower-keyed (and lower-priced), the bistro menu is far more global and just as scrumptious. 

Consider the Bao Pork Belly, the epitome of Chinese dim sum. The sweet, soft bun pillows a slice of savory, chewy pork belly, their contrasting textures framed by a crunchy cucumber disk, tart pickled carrots, briny hoisin, and mustard seeds. Despite the complexity of flavors, Chef Romero has created a sandwich that tastes surprisingly simple and subtle. 


Best Desserts in Connecticut: Happy National Dessert Day!

Restaurant Best of CT Dessert Homepage

April Guilbault

You are going to hate us. But then, after careful consideration, you’re going to really love us. A lot. It’s National Dessert Day and well, we just *had* to gather a deliciously lengthy list of desserts from all over the state. CTBites readers and staff weighed in and we have just the thing to squelch your craving, ease that long day, or just enjoy for the sweet heck of it. We happen to notice, though, there are a lot of bananas and bourbon on this list in all different forms. Is that the magic combination for culinary comfort and delight?? Happy desserting, everyone!
By county…


Nibble: CT Food Events For October 15-22

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

The Tasty Yolk has debuted its October special. The Local Yolkiel includes local handmade kielbasa and 2 eggs topped with a cheddar cheese beer sauce served on a pretzel bun.

Visit Tarry Lodge in Westport for a Pig Roast on Thursday October 19 at 6:30pm.  The evening includes three courses: pizza to start, the roasted pig and sides, and apple cobbler for dessert.  It costs $70 per person, with an additional wine pairing available for $25 and a beer pairing for $15.  Call 203-571-1038 to reserve.

Bobby Q’s Cue & Co. in Norwalk now offers Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4-7pm in the bar area.  Join them for $1 off all appetizers and flatbreads, $3 pulled pork sliders, 50 cent wings (minimum of 6), a $10 Cue & Co. “Bar Crack” (pork belly cracklings), and $2 off all beer, wine, bourbon and cocktails.  In addition to Happy Hour, Bobby Q’s Cue & Co. will also offer Trivia Night every Wednesday beginning at 7:30pm and Country Night every Thursday from 9pm to 11pm with drink specials, a late-night food menu, and country line dancing.

All month on First Thing Fairfield County, Ken Tuccio is raising money for breast cancer research to support the American Cancer Society. They’ve teamed up with Letizia's Pizza in Norwalk to create "Gertie's Pie of Hope," named after Dennis Letizia's mothe who passed away from breast cancer. 


Walter's Hot Dogs Opens Today in Stamford's Harbor Point

Restaurant Stamford Hot Dogs Comfort Food Kid Friendly To-Go Take Out Lunch Delicious Dives

Andrew Dominick

Walter's Hot Dogs opens today in Stamford at 200 Commons Park South at Harbor Point. This 100-year-old hot dog institution is serious business and has ton of accolades. At the Stamford location, customers can expect all the good stuff that’s made Walter’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike; curly fries, fried potato puffs, homemade hand-scooped ice cream and Italian ice, and funnel cake fries dusted with powdered sugar. Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy a Walter’s item that was previously only available on their food trucks, the Puffy Dog, a hot dog (or double it, if you dare) served with fried and smashed potato puffs in the bun. 


The Pastry Hideaway Bakery & Cafe Opens in Wilton

Restaurant Wilton Bakery Breakfast Lunch Dessert

Fairfield County Foodie

My heart did a somersault at the first bite of the pain au chocolat. The Pastry Hideaway - Bakery & Cafe  had nailed it.  This breakfast favorite was remarkably flaky, the exterior bearing that unmistakably delicate crunch. Every bite caused teeny-tiny flaky crumbs to scatter all over my hands and napkin.  A lot of butter must have gone into that perfection, but heck,  it's worth it.  With lovely dark chocolate enveloped in its soft and chewy interior… each bite was pure joy. 

The Pastry Hideaway - Bakery & Cafe recently opened their doors in downtown Wilton.  At the helm is Culinary Institute of America grad Pamela Graham.  Her life has taken her to many places around the world.  She moved back to Wilton from Johannesburg with her family a couple of years ago.  Before opening Pastry Hideaway she was most recently working at Bouchon bakery in New York.  


The Drunk Alpaca: Baked Goods Made with Local Craft Beer

Features Bakery Dessert Beer CT Beer Shelton

Andrew Dominick

Firefly Hollow Choconaut Porter brownies, Brewport Seventh Inning SIPA BBQ-glazed potato chips, Thimble Island Ruby blondies. If you didn’t pick up on it, there’s a theme here, Connecticut local beer and baked goods. That’s cool, but The Drunk Alpaca is much more than just booze baked cakes and chips.

The Drunk Alpaca was created by friends Stephania Halverson and Jessica Oen, who met when they worked together at Whole Foods in Darien, where Halverson was the bakery manager, and Oen was a kitchen supervisor and head cake decorator. The duo clicked during their time at the grocery store and wanted to do their own thing. Baking was the obvious, logical business to get into. 


Cocoanuts Thai Rolled Ice Cream & Dessert Truck Launches w/ Vegan, Gluten Free Menu

Restaurant Food Truck Dessert ice cream Coffee healthy Norwalk Kid Friendly

Stephanie Webster

Tyler Moss is rolling into town, quite literally, with a new Thai rolled ice cream and dessert truck that elevates this food trend to the next level. After nearly dying from an allergic reaction to a peanut, Moss, who previously ran the popular Bun Burger Bun allergen friendly food truck, is reaching out to his fan base again and providing a healthier dessert option in the form of outrageously creative frozen desserts, coffee, and hot cocoa. Cocoanuts is the name to look for, and the truck will be parked outside the South Norwalk Ice Rink starting in late October. What’s on the menu? Cocoanuts will be serving up non -dairy, gluten free, vegan desserts to the hungry masses using coconut cream, coconut milk, and other allergen friendly ingredients. The best part...these desserts are so rich and delicious, you would never know they are allergen free.


Lorca Cafe to open in Fleishers Greenwich

Features Fleishers Butcher

CTbites Team

Fleisher’s Craft Butchery is collaborating with Leyla Dam Jenkins from Lorca cafe, on opening a sunny new location in early November inside the Fleisher’s Greenwich butcher shop at 160 E. Putnam Ave. Cos Cob.

Like the beloved Stamford original, Lorca's new branch will be offering a variety of specialty coffee drinks and Spanish-influenced sweets, like their signature alfajores (shortbread cookies with dulce de leche and coconut).


Nibble: CT Food Events for October 8-15

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Join Terrain Garden Cafe for a food-focused evening hosted by CTBites and the Westport Farmers Market. On Monday October 9, they’ll gather with some of the food industry’s leading talents to discuss trends, restaurant and farming secrets, and everyday life during an open forum. Reservations required. $50 per person. Cost includes welcome cocktail, stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres, and hospitality.  Tickets available here.

On Monday October 9, 86’D- A Culinary Collision- takes place in West Hartford.  8 Remaining Chefs will participate in 8 Battle Rounds in secret restaurants with open kitchens.  A portion of the proceeds will be given to End Hunger CT.  Tickets are $30. 

On Tuesday October 10, Two Roads Brewing Company and CT Girls Pint Out are celebrating Women in Beer!  A $10 ticket includes a beer and the chance to hear from a panel of women in the industry.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Get In Touch Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Through October 31, visit Sport Hill Farm every Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm to purchase a pumpkin from the patch.   Kids can receive a free tattoo and treat and the farm will donate 35% of the pumpkin purchases back to the community via Easton PTA & E.L.F.


Recap: Red Bee Apiary Tasting, An Evening in the Hive

Features Events

April Guilbault

Spicy. Fruity. Grassy. Buttery. Ashy, woody, and mineral-y.

Would you believe these words are all describing honey? Red Bee Apiary in Weston recently hosted a “Rare and Exotic Honey and Mead” sensory tasting evening and by golly, all those adjectives described the varied honeys that graced our collective lips. 

In a country barn located on a cozy, twinkly property, owner and Queen Bee, Marina Marchese,  began our evening with a little talk about the bees (no birds. just bees). What goes on inside a hive and what roles do the bees have in their colony? How, exactly, do those little fabulous fliers make honey and fill those perfect hexagons? How did Marina became so enthralled with beekeeping? I won’t divulge those answers, lest you attend one of these sensory evenings on your own some time, which you should. It is both an educational and intriguing, not to mention, delicious event.


Guide To Best Tacos in CT: Happy National Taco Day

Restaurant Tacos Mexican Best of CT Delicious Dives Norwalk Hartford Stamford New Haven Bridgeport Homepage

Stephanie Webster

Here's our list of our favorite Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

Rincon Taqueria (493 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk) From the owners of Bistro du Soleil in SoNo comes a menu that includes Huevas Rancheros, Burritos, Chilaquiles, Tacos, Empanadas, Tamales and a Chicken Quesadilla. All of their dishes pack great flavors. Mix and match the tacos, from Baja fish to pork, empanadas, generous portions. Fresh ingredients and complimentary yellow rice and beans. Pretty small deli-like space and BYOB.  

Tacos Mexico (82 Fort Point St., Norwalk) Enchiladas, grilled specialities, lots of shrimp dishes, chipotle chicken tacos and the hot sauce is HOT-consider yourself warned, so you made need an Orange-Ginger Mojito (muy bueno). Plain from the outside, but pleasant inside, and very reasonably priced. Parking can be tricky. http://tacosmexicollc.com

Chango Rosa (1 Union Pl, Hartford ) This fun casual restaurant and cocktail bar serves a fusion of authentic Latin American street foods and the popular smoked meats from Bear's Smokehouse. The menu features foods such as empanadas, enchiladas, arepas, and tacos! The meats are divine. https://changorosa.com/


Chowdafest 2017 Winners Announced!

Features Events

Brett Levy

At 11am on Sunday, the bright sun and warm temperature greeted over 10,000 visitors to the Stop & Shop sponsored Chowdafest at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport. The traffic exiting I-95 North and South was jam packed with soup-seekers who arrived from all over New England and New York. Of the 40 purveyors of chowders, bisques and gumbos, the most common offering was the traditional New England Clam Chowder, though many other inventive recipes were up to the competition. Enthusiastic providers ladled their savory soups and asked for votes until 3pm when they scraped the bottom of their pots empty. (View the list of winners below.)