Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of December 17-24

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes in Oakville invites you to a “Hardcore Sweet Holiday Cake Class” on Friday December 22 at 7pm.  The beginner cake class is great for pre-teens and young adults.  Tickets are $60 per person, and participation is limited to 10 people. 

Valencia Luncheria will have an Ugly Sweater brunch on Saturday December 23 from 10am to 4pm. Guests in Ugly holiday sweaters receive a complimentary brunch punch. 

For the first time ever, Amis Westport will be recreating the renowned Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner celebrated by Amis Trattoria in Philadelphia yearly. Taking place on Dec 23, this four course prix-fixe menu will feature classic seafood dishes created by Amis Executive Chef, Brad Spence, and prepared by Westport Chef de Cuisine Matt Langston.  The 4 prix-fixe menu IS $65 pp, plus tax and gratuity.  A $35 beverage pairing is also available.  

Garelick & Herbs introduces their new black and white .... donuts. Homemade in their in house bakery, the new black and white donuts are made with pure Belgian white, milk and dark chocolate. And just in time for the holidays, Garelick & Herbs is also baking homemade raspberry jelly donuts.  $2.75 each. Southport store only.

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk Back For The Holidays

Ingredients Features Holiday Specialty Market Ingredients Kid Friendly Kids

Stephanie Webster

Stew’s Christmas Cookie Milk will be back in stock at at all Stew Leonard's stores in Connecticut this week.  This is the second consecutive year they’ve sold this special milk. 

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk is sweet, creamy milk that has the same flavor as a sugar cookie that’s been dunked in milk.  It comes straight from award-winning dairy farms in upstate NY and is free from artificial growth hormones (rBST) and antibiotics.  This milk goes from the farm to each of our stores in as little as 24 hours. 

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk is available only for a limited time and is sold in a ½ gallon glass container for $5.99.  

MECHA Noodle Bar Takes Over EGGZ Food Truck For The Winter

Restaurant Food Truck Breakfast Asian Lunch Homepage

Stephanie Webster

Did you hear the one about the #tapas place and #noodle spots taking over the #breakfast #foodtruck?!?! 

The team from MECHA Noodle Bar as well as Mézon and Pho Vietnam has taken over the EGGZ food truck this Winter Fri-Sun 8AM-12PM on Holbrook Farm aka EGGZ TAKE OVER. They will continue to serve EGGZ Truck's “brekkie sandos”, as he calls it, and adding some Mecha-Mezon flavor into the daily inspiration side. They will run the truck until January or until they "can’t take the cold any longer."

When we asked MECHA owners Tony Pham and Richard Reyes, WHY, Pham says "Things came together where Matt was going into hibernation for the Winter and we saw how important the truck was to Holbrook. We also wanted to have some fun and work with the elements. It’s not everyday you can make a camp fire, see the sun rise, and hear chickens in the background." 

Go check out this amazing mashup of Asian inspired breakfast eats at Holbrook Farm in Bethel Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 8AM-12PM. 

Local Chocolatier, Truffle Shots of Essex CT Named Country’s Best Chocolate Gift By Forbes Magazine

Restaurant Essex Chocolate Dessert Specialty Market Gift Guide

CTbites Team

Forbes magazine recently named local chocolatier, Truffle Shots of Essex, Connecticut among the country’s best chocolates for gift giving this holiday season. Forbes "loved the Fig and Balsamic shot—with aged balsamic and fig ganache as well as the Chipotle Cinnamon—dark chocolate ganache with a whiff of cinnamon and a slight kick from the chipotle."

Truffle Shots® brand chocolate truffles are the Chocolate Award-winning creation of mother-daughter chocolate lovers in Essex, Connecticut. The duo has replaced the chocolate shell of a traditional chocolate truffle with a sealed shot glass to create new levels of truffle indulgence.

The decadent, silky ganache of Truffle Shots® brand chocolate truffles melts on the tongue in sensory bliss in 30+ amazing flavors like Fig Balsamico, Tellicherry Cardamom, Caramel Beurre Noisette, Bumbleberry, Miel Habanero, Castelvetrano Olive, and Ginger, to name a few.

Swyft Opens in Kent From Award Winning Chef Joel Viehland w/ Adventurous Comfort Food

Features Kent Pizza American Openings Comfort Food

Amy Kundrat

Swyft, historic Kent’s new restaurant featuring wood-fired pizza, is now open offering creative small plates, pastas, rustic entrees, and a large selection of craft beers and natural wines. 

Swyft is the brainchild of chef-owner Joel Viehland, formerly of the award-winning Community Table in Litchfield County. The historic 18th-century building is divided to house both a modern tavern and a fine dining restaurant. Swyft, a 40-seat tavern and bar, will offer seasonal comfort fare, with ingredients largely coming from nearby Rock Cobble Farm. Through a separate entrance is Ore Hill, where eventually Viehland will serve a tasting menu that draws upon his experience cooking at Noma, Gramercy Tavern, and other renowned restaurants.

At Swyft, the focus is on adventurous comfort food. Small plates include baby back pork ribs with guanciale-spiked XO sauce, a salad of lightly charred brassicas with crispy grains and pomegranate, and pickled wild mussels on saffron aioli toast, while entrees range from wood-fired chicken for two to rabbit milanese with cardoon gribiche or a burger with old-school tallow fries. Swyft will offer a selection of seasonal pizzas, wood-fired in a Pavesi oven from Naples, Italy. In addition to classics like margherita, Viehland will offer a kale and potato pie, with both the greens and the milk for the housemade ricotta coming from Rock Cobble Farm just minutes away.

Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of December 10-17

Features News

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Champagne and Caviar… yes, please!  Join the Whelk for dinner featuring those two delicacies on Tuesday December 12 at 7pm.  The meal includes 4 courses, 9 wine pairings, and costs $170 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

On Thursday December 14 from 6-9pm, Norwalk’s Waypointe will be converted into a Holiday Pop-Up.  The Orchard St. Market is free and open to the public, and will feature local Norwalk artisans.  In addition, with the purchase of a $25 ticket, you can attend a special holiday-themed art class inside Pinot's Palette.  

Visit Hub & Spoke in Bridgeport for Dinner and Storytime with Santa from 4:30-7:30pm on December 14.  Adults and kids can enjoy an early dinner and holiday desserts while chatting with Santa over a hot cup of cocoa.  Call 203-345-9110 to reserve.

On Tuesday December 12, Tre Scalini in New Haven will host a Feast of the 7 Fishes.  It costs $90 per person and reservations can be made by calling 203-469-4218. 

190 Main Bar & Restaurant: New Tapas Eatery Opening in Westport

Restaurant Openings Westport Tapas Bar

CTbites Team

New bar & restaurant opening in Westport as reported by WestportNow. 

A new bar and restaurant, 190 Main, opens Dec. 15 at 190 Main St., according to Melissa Gorman, co-owner with Sam Alang. Gorman said the eatery offers small plates and tapas featuring seafood specialties. Gorman is a Weston resident who grew up in Savannah, Georgia where she previously managed several restaurants. The 190 Main Street space was previously occupied by the Vine Wine Room that closed in July and the the Luxe Wine Bar, which closed in April 2016. The restaurant offers lunch Thursday through Sunday and dinner every day, according to Gorman. 

CTbites Holiday Gift Guide For Your Favorite CT Food Lover (2017 Edition)

Features Gift Guide Best of CT Holiday Homepage

April Guilbault

Holiday time and food just plain go hand-in-hand! Whether it is making a time-honored and well-loved recipe, sharing a meal with a group of special someones, or giving a gift of specialty food goods, the holidays…involve…food. Henceforth and ergo, we at CTBites would like to add a few items to your list. No need to check these twice, we can tell you right off that they are worth sharing! From pottery and chocolates to classes and luxury trips, there is something for every person you will be shopping for this season. Our great Nutmeg State is simply brimming with artisans and people who are making delicious, beautiful and fun products or offering experiences that enrich our lives. Enjoy these, enjoy *giving* these, and enjoy the smiles that will result. Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone! May it be delicious!

Market Place Kitchen & Bar Opens in Newtown

Restaurant Newtown Avon Danbury Woodbury Organic Local Farm American

CTbites Team

Market Place Hospitality group is delighted to announce the grand opening of their newest location, Market Place Kitchen & Bar Newton, this Friday, December 1st. The restaurant will be open to the general public for dinner and is located at: The Village at Lexington Gardens, 32 Church Hill Road, Newtown, CT. With sister locations in Avon, Danbury, and Woodbury, Market Place Kitchen & Bar is 100% locally owned and operated and committed to sourcing local ingredients and working with local farmers.

Managing Partner Eli Hawli says: “We are delighted and honored to be a local business supporting local farms. As our Market Place family continues to grow, we will continue to provide the same quality of craft cocktails and chef driven cuisine which we know all of our wonderful customers want and expect from us

Chef Prasad Chirnomula's ‘India’ Restaurant in New Canaan Closes

Features Restaurant New Canaan

CTbites Team

Sad news from

Just over 18 months after opening, India restaurant on Main Street has closed, its owner said.

India Restaurant on Main Street in New Canaan has closed. Credit: Michael Dinan

Chef Prasad Chirnomula said he’s closing the downtown eatery which since April 2016 has served classic Indian cuisine and signature dishes, as well as five other locations due in part to “longer structural income versus debt issues.”

He added that the restaurant itself did not fare well enough to support the considerable costs of operating it.

“I love the town, I love the people there but if you can look at Main Street alone the whole street looks empty, everything is for lease,”Chirnomula said. “And I think I have been in New Canaan and I have seen the peak and Main Street was nice and busy—parking was always an issue, but I think right now almost no businesses are open on Main Street. There are not enough diners. I don’t know. Does New Canaan have too many restaurants? It’s definitely a supply-and-demand issue. I love the restaurant where I am, but we just could not afford to keep the restaurant. It is just very expensive.”

A note affixed to the door on India ended with this teaser: “Please stay tuned for ‘Special Announcements.’ ”

Read the complete article here. 

Bar Lupa in Westport Brings Italian Twist on Tapas

Restaurant Italian Westport Openings Lunch Tapas Spanish

CTbites Team

 In Italian, stuzzichino means a snack, or appetizer, or nibble. Assaggio, similarly, means a small amount of food or drink.

From Italian to Spanish, both translate roughly to tapas, an Iberian food culture that pairs small servings of food with drink in a laid-back setting.

It’s the kind of cuisine and vibe that Massimo Tabbacco and Miguel Angelo D’Onofrio, co-owners of the recently opened Bar Lupa, want to achieve at their redesigned space on the Post Road in Westport.

“It’s little portions, so you can taste a variety of things,” Tabbacco said. “It’s basically the same thing as Spanish tapas. But here in America, they know the word tapas more than stuzzichino.”

To avoid confusion, the items are listed on the menu as “Italian tapas,” but the dishes are inspired by Tabbacco’s and D’Onofrio’s respective upbringings — in Rome and Sao Paolo, Brazil, which has a large Italian population — and shared experience working in Italian restaurants throughout Fairfield County, as well as New York City.

Read the complete article on Westport News.

Chef Tyler Anderson of Millwright’s Competes on Bravo's Top Chef Airing Dec 7th

Features Celebrity Chef Chef Talk

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Eleven years ago, I got hooked on Top Chef while… ironically… working out at the gym.  I don’t think the other gym-goers appreciated the decadent food visuals- I got a lot of side-eye- but I was mesmerized by the lightning fast pace of the challenges and the  culinary problem-solving.  That initial encounter blossomed into full blown fandom; I’ve interviewed chef-testants and dined at their restaurants.  It’s crazy to think that the latest installation marks the show’s FIFTEENTH season- and that one of Connecticut’s own chefs will be one of fifteen to compete for the coveted title.  Chef Tyler Anderson of Millwright’s in Simsbury will vie for Top Chef when the series debuts on December 7!

“One of the main reasons I went on was to represent the state of CT,” Anderson said.  “There are some Chefs, Restaurateurs and Artisans doing some amazing things in this state, I wanted to try and raise that awareness.”

Millwright’s: Chef Tyler Anderson Creates Inspired New England Cuisine in Simsbury

Restaurant Simsbury American Local Artisan Local Farm Special Occasion Celebrity Chef Outdoor Dining Homepage Catering

Lou Gorfain

Four years. That’s the time Tyler Anderson devoted to perfecting his signature dish, Tapioca Custard. A lush confection of clams, bacon, onion, potato and fennel, the delicacy perfectly defines the wizardry of this celebrated chef … a magical spin on homespun.

The small portion is intentionally introductory, a riff on a classic New England starter. As if by sorcery, the custard conjures “all the flavors of clam chowder.”  

Anderson conceived the dish as a tribute to the meal – and the moment -- that super-charged his culinary life. “I went to the French Laundry in 1997 when Tomas Keller was in the kitchen,” he recalls. “Up to then I had been cooking mainly to meet women and go drinking with my buddies.”

He began the feast with Keller’s classic, Oysters and Pearls, a sabayon of pearl tapioca with beau soleil oysters and white sturgeon caviar. 

“I took the first bite,” he remembers. “And at that exact second understood that cooking could be more than just cooking.” He pauses and grins. “It made me smile. I was happy. I now had a passion to make people happy.”

Two Stamford Chefs Compete on Same Episode of Food Network’s, “Chopped”

Features Celebrity Chef Chef Talk

Hey Stamford!

vThis just in from Hey Stamford!

Over the last several years, we’ve shared news with you about a handful of local chefs and restaurateurs who have competed on the Food Network’s competition show, “Chopped“.

Most notable have been Christian Petroni, Chef & co-owner of Fortina, who appeared as both a contestant and a judge.  Adam Greenberg, who was with Fortina when he first competed (and has since made his way to DC) competed on the show multiple times (coincidentally appearing again on December 5th).  And of course, there’s Aaron Sanchez,  a constant fixture on both “Chopped” and other Food Network shows.  You may recall Sanchez owned and operated Paloma in Harbor Point which has since closed their doors. On top of that, there’s also been a handful of local kids on the junior version of the show.

So that’s all pretty cool! But as far as I am aware, we’ve yet to see multiple Stamford chefs compete on the same show….. UNTIL NOW!

On December 7th, Stamford’s own, Steve Costanzo, owner & chef at Olio and Chef Jean J, chef & co-owner at Soul Tasty will put their culinary skills to the test on the SAME SHOW!

Nibble: CT Food Events For Week of December 3-10

Features EVENT News Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, located in New Haven, will hold a “Porters and Stouts Beer and Cheese Pairing Class” on Monday Dece,ber 4 from 6-7:30pm.  They’ll pair delicious dark brews with cheeses from their fromagerie.   Tickets are available online and costs approximately $45. 

On Tuesday December 5, Baldanza Café in New Canaan will team up with South Avenue Butcher for another Baldanza Butcher Dinner.  There are two seatings: 5:30pm and 7:30pm.  Tickets are $100 (which includes tax and gratuity) and can be purchased by calling 203-966-4000.

Bareburger’s Ridgefield location now offers delivery!  Place your orders here. 

On Thursday December 7, Kosher Like Me food blogger Liz Rueven will present an interactive cooking class focusing on Chanukah latkes (potato pancakes). Students will prepare a classic recipe in addition to learning how to make seasonal variations and fruit sauces to top them with.  Feel free to BYOB. 

Soul Tasty in Stamford's Chef, Jean J will be featured on the TV show CHOPPED! They are having a viewing party Thursday, Dec. 7 at Acuario Restaurant (78 W. Park Place Stamford,CT) from 7:30-10:30pm (episode airs at 9pm). Head on over!

50 CT Restaurants and Venues for Holiday Parties 2017

Features Restaurant Best of CT Holiday Catering Events Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

At exactly 12pm on Thursday November 23, Santa Claus concluded the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and officially ushered in the holiday season!  For those looking to throw the ultimate holiday bash, popular Connecticut restaurants and venues can provide fantastic backdrops for the festivities.  These places have party spaces and packages that are perfect for your soirees!

  1. Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Wilton: The Schoolhouse in Wilton can help you throw a holiday cocktail party starting at $45 per person. Offerings include Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Mini Baked Brie, Beef Tenderloin Canape, and more.
  2. Brasitas, Norwalk: Brasitas in Norwalk and Stamford both have private rooms.
  3. Two Roads, Stratford: Two Roads Brewery in Stratford has a private events room that holds 75 seated or 160 standing. You can also schedule private tours for groups larger than 10 and smaller than 20.
  4. Heirloom, New Haven: At Heirloom in New Haven, use their private dining room or The Study at Yale, their penthouse space.
  5. Roger Sherman Inn, New Canaan: The Roger Sherman in has a number of rooms of all different sizes for your private holiday party: The Blue Room (14), the Terrace Room (80), the Hunt Room (30), the Ivy Room (30), the Garden Room (70), the WineRoom (36), and the Porch (70). Reception style can accommodate between 20-200 guests.less

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Bar Opens in Waterbury CT

Features Pop-Up Dinner Cocktails Norwalk Waterbury

Stephanie Webster

Miracle, the beloved Christmas pop-up bar launched in 2014 in New York City, will continue spreading holiday cheer this year with over 50 locations around the world. Launching the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 24, Miracle locations throughout the United States and beyond will offer seasonally-themed cocktails in a festive setting through Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24. In our fair state of Connecticut you can find the pop up in Waterbury, CT: Miracle at Highland Brass Co. 

Spigot Beer Opens in Norwalk, Pouring A Unique Beer List

Restaurant Features CT Beer Beer Brewery Specialty Market Norwalk SONO Homepage

Andrew Dominick

There’s no shortage of good quality craft beer flowing from the taps of multiple bars and restaurants in South Norwalk. On the flipside, Washington Street has seen a few brewpubs bomb. Now there’s a new beer bar on the block, and before you scoff, and say to yourself, “Really? Another one?” let us tell you what’s different about Spigot Beer.

The first thing you’ll notice is it’s in SoNo, but just slightly out of reach of the main drag. Then you must find it. At least four people saw a photo I posted, some who live on the same street, and still had no idea where Spigot is located. It’s across from the post office and Klaff’s, at the very end of the strip of stores that houses Nagoya, right before the Webster Lot entrance near the front of the 50 Washington Street building. You’re welcome. 

Chef Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse to Open Old School Pizza Spot in Wilton

Restaurant Wilton Pizza Kid Friendly Lunch Italian Openings

CTbites Team

This just in from GoodMorning Wilton...

It’s big news in the foodie world when you hear that the Schoolhouse at Cannondale chef and owner Tim LaBant is expanding his culinary footprint and opening up a second restaurant. The award-winning chef is known for melding farm-to-table creativity with fine dining, so you can only imagine what kind of white tablecloth, haute cuisine will spring from LaBant’s imagination.


That’s right, LaBant will be opening up a pizza place, called Parlor, right here in Wilton, in a space at River Park Shopping Center.

Yep, a pizza place in a shopping center. Light years from what you think of when you think Tim LaBant, Schoolhouse Restaurant chef/owner.

LaBant laughs at the image. “There’s a reason for that.”

He wanted to open Parlor in the center of town and for it to have a different vibe–something of a cross between the old school pizza parlors that CT is known for and a lively, great, neighborhood space.

“I think there’s something humble about an old school pizza parlor. Look at like a place like Pepe’s, something that’s just got linoleum everywhere. It’s got an amazing product and they’re packed all the time for a reason, because their product is great, and they care about one thing–pizza and the people that are there,” LaBant says.