The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it’s been called since the 20th century, remains the most important social and economic holiday in China. Originally tied to the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, the holiday was a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Several CT restaurants will be hosting special celebrations. Ring in The Year of the Dog at these local spots. Chinese New Year officially begins on February 16th, and ends on March 2nd.
Big pastry news just in from Stew Leonard's and The Hour.
Cannoli fans should head to Stew Leonard's to grab the store's newest concoction on the shelves in Danbury and Norwalk.
The Cannoli Chipwich is two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with creamy cannoli filling piped between them; the edges are rolled in mini-chocolate chips and then the whole thing is dusted with powdered sugar.
The chipwich is the brainchild of Jake Tavello, Store Director at Stew's in Danbury and the grandson of store founder Stew Leonard Sr. According to a spokesperson, Tavello and the Danbury bakery team were discussing new ideas for the bakery and decided to pair two of the store's most popular items: chocolate chip cookies and cannolis.
Where Do Local Chefs Eat Out? Chef/ Owner Stephen Lewandowski of Harlan Social, Harlan Publick & Harlan HausFeatures Interview Chef Chef Talk Interview Celebrity Chef
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)?
Tough question. I have 4 kids and when I do have that night off I like to hang with them and my wife so initially I would say we stay home and I will cook. My kids love chicken marsala so I tend to make this with penne pasta and an arugula salad. Simple but the kids love it. If we go out the kids really enjoy Sakura in Westport because of the hibachi. We have a good time and the staff is so friendly. We have been going there since we moved up here 5 years ago
GoodWorks Entertainment presents their third tasting event: WHISKEY SOCIAL. WHISKEY SOCIAL will take place on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 3 PM until 6 PM at The Warehouse at Fairfield Theatre Company (70 Sanford Street in Fairfield, Connecticut).
CTbites is GIVING AWAY 2 FREE TICKETS to Whiskey Social. To win, tell us why you NEED to go in the comments section below, and make sure you are a CTbites Newsletter Subscriber!
Socialites will be able to relish in the exclusivity of sampling from an internationally curated selection of 150+ types of whisky, rye, scotch, bourbon, aged rum, and mezcal. Ordinary New Haven’s mixologist, Tim Cabral, will be in the room crafting samplers of his distinguished cocktails. With the purchase of a ticket, socialites will be invited to savor an array of delicious local fare including a mac and cheese bar, meat and cheese station and dessert bar by Garelick and Herbs of Southport as well as famed pulled pork sliders by Custom Meats of Fairfield. The tunes of a live band will carry throughout the social while couches provide lounge and whiskey barrels scatter the floor for the perfect festive setting.
A short while back, fellow CTbites writer James Gribbon sent me a text. He asked, “Where’s a good place to get breakfast in SoNo?” I replied with, “There aren’t many. SoNo Baking Company and SoNo Harbor Café. That’s probably it.”
Unless it’s a weekend and restaurants are serving brunch, breakfast in South Norwalk is scarce. I’m not talking wheat grass juice or a pastry at one of the Latin places on South Main Street, when I say “BREAKFAST” I mean eggs, pancakes, and bacon. I want a sit-down place where I can get wired on quality coffee and clean up maple syrup drizzles with that last chunk of sausage.
Four young aspiring chefs are one step closer to making their dreams of attending culinary school a reality after being named finalists in Rachael Ray’s “Cook Your Way to Culinary School” competition. On Tuesday, February 13th, Jules Esposito, an 18-year-old high school senior from Wallingford, CT, will be cooking to win! She has had her sights set on culinary school since the 2nd grade. She started a baking blog in middle school and is part of a culinary program that has allowed her to manage a food truck and cater events.
Grano Arso Restaurant will have a wine dinner with Eric Railsback from Lieu Dit Winery on February 12. Chef Joel Gargano has created a four course family style meal to complement the wines. It costs $99 per person and tickets are available online.
Peaches Southern Pub & Juke Joint is celebrating Fat Tuesday on February 13. The Mardis Gras festivities include live music from the New Orleans Beatniks from 6-10pm.
Brewport in Bridgeport now offers gluten-free pizza crust!
The Spread’s new Greenwich location is now open Monday-Friday for lunch.
Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes in Watertown will have a “You’re The Mac to My Cheese Class” on February 13. Chef Jason McKenzie will show you how to make cheesecake, a mini heart cake, and “BoHo Mac and Cheese.” The class costs $65 per couple and includes two drinks.
Yoga meets beer at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford. Attend “Namaste and Drink a Beer” from 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesday February 13. Enjoy an hour of candlelit instruction followed by a beer.
Valentine’s Day is Wednesday February 14, and Connecticut restaurants are offering an assortment of romantic dining options, from prix fixe menus to creative a la carte options to wine specials. Here are just a few highlights:
Chef Tyler Anderson is excited to announce that he has reached an agreement to operate all food and beverage at the historic Goodwin Hotel in Hartford, CT. In a partnership with the hotel’s owners Charles Mallory and Randy Salvatore, Tyler and his team will create a program that works alongside the major redevelopment of the hotel. Charles and Randy have created something very special in the city of Hartford and this team intends to bring something special as well.
The 10th Pacific House Close to Home Dessert Tasting and Youth Concert will be held on Friday, February 23rd from 7-10pm at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. Tickets are now on sale for this spectacular community tradition that offers incredible desserts and live music while raising funds for homeless youth. Talented student musicians from area high schools will join together in a night of music to help their homeless peers.
Guests will leave the event having sampled delicious food and desserts from some of the area’s finest restaurants, bakeries and chocolatiers including: A Chef’s Choice, Bad Louie’s Fudge, Chocolate Works Darien, Dimare's Pastry, Filicori Zecchini, Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery, Le Rouge, Little Pub, Longford’s Ice Cream, Pasta Vera, The Granola Bar, Tomatillo.
Like its sister restaurants SHU in West Hartford and Fairfield, Chef Xinyu Huang HAN is a study in authentic Chinese cuisine, this time focusing on Huo Guo—hot pot—a popular eating experience throughout China.
For the uninitiated—as I was before visiting HAN—hot pot is a method of table-side cooking best described as Chinese-style “fondue” in which meats, vegetables, seafood and even eggs are poached in well-flavored broths before eating. Unlike fondue, which simply coats bread or fruit in cheese or chocolate respectively, diners actually cook their food in the hot pot.
This just in from Community Table Restaurant & Bar in Washington CT...
We are excited to announce that Community Table Restaurant and Bar will be reopening this spring. We don’t have an exact date yet but, we are hoping to open our doors before Memorial Day and work out any ‘kinks’ before the busy season kicks in.
We have spent the past months contemplating what direction Ct should go in next. We turned to Adam Riess, a Washington native and restaurant consultant, to help us define our goals and offer us options. Though many interesting ideas were discussed, hearing from so many of you who simply wanted Ct to come back the way it was, eventually swayed us to move in that direction.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you’re looking to treat your loved one to a romantic dinner for two, Connecticut restaurants are serving up decadent prix fixe meals, love-inspired a la carte menus, and other sexy specials. If you and your significant other prefer an alternative to wining and dining, there are also couples cooking classes and catering options if you want to enjoy the evening at home. Here are 85+ Valentine's Day Dining spots for that special day.
- Homestead Inn, Greenwich:Thomas Henkelmann's famous French cuisine will be featured on the Valentine's Day menu at the Homestead Inn. The prix fixe menu costs $85, plus beverages, tax, and gratuity.
- elm, New Canaan: At elm in New Canaan, enjoy 5 courses for $55 on February 14.
- Red Bee Apiary, Weston: On Sunday February 11, visit Red Bee Apiary in Weston for a honey tasting paired with cheese and chocolate. Plus, sip champagne and honey wine.
- Millwrights, Simsbury: Millwright's Restaurant & Tavern is celebrating Valentine's Day with prix-fixe menus all week! Join them on Tuesday February 13 and Sunday February 18 for a 4 course meal for $69 per person. On Wednesday February 14-Saturday February 17, it will be $79 per person
- Anthony’s Ocean View, New Haven: Anthony's Ocean View invites you to start the Valentine's festivities early, on Saturday February 10, with an evening with an open bar, passed bites, dinner, and a DJ for $79.95 per person, plux tax and gratuity.
- Sunset Meadow Vineyards, Goshen: Sunset Meadow Vineyards will offer TWO Types of Wine and Chocolate pairings at Sunset Meadow Vineyards from 11m-4pm on Valentine's Day, February 14.
- Terrain Garden Cafe, Westport: One day before Valentine's Day, on Tuesday February 13, join Terrain Chef Jessica Bengtson and Carissa Dellicicchi from The Stand Juice Company for a three-course Valentine’s Day dinner in the Garden Cafe in Westport, CT. You’ll enjoy a full menu of vegan dishes, from hors d’oeuvres to dessert, plus a signature cocktail and wine pairings.
When temperatures plummet, it’s the perfect time to warm up with a piping hot cup of joe! These shops, restaurants, and markets serve up some of Connecticut’s best java, from espresso to cups to iced options. Be sure to check out the pastries and other eats, too!
Every Tuesday, The Spread’s SoNo and new Greenwich location offer buck-a-shuck oysters.
On Monday February 5, The Westport Library’s Cookbook Club will take place at Wakeman Town Farm. The evening will be led by food lover and blogger Yamini Lal, also known as “Fairfield County Foodie.”
Registration is now open for Bishop Orchard’s CSA. They have an assortment of options: mushroom shares, flower shares, egg shares, cheese shares, and more!
The “Boozin' In Your Onesie Bar Crawl” is coming to Hartford on Saturday February 10. A ticket includes no cover entry for up to 8 venues, an LED Bracelet indicating when to head to the next venue, a 17oz Elite Color Changing Cup, kick-off party from 12-1:30pm, a 90's party from 1:30-3pm, a “Glow Your Mind Halftime Party” from 3-4:30pm, an after party from 7-9pm, and so much more! Be sure to wear your best onesie- there will be prizes!
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill is hosting An Evening with Justin Baldwin, founder of Justin Winery, on Wednesday, February 7 at 6pm. The four-course menu includes Avocado and Crab Toast, Moroccan Shrimp, Pomegranate Lacquered Duck Breast, and Petite Filet of Beef Rossini. A complementary Justin wine pairing will be served with each course. It cost $150 per person, including tax and gratuity.
Do you remember seeing Finding Nemo in theaters? Or when Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California? How about when a young rapper named 50 Cent won “best new artist?” It probably feels like a long time ago… and it was! 2003 to be exact. And that’s also how long Mohegan Sun’s Winefest has been around. January 26-29, 2018 marked the FIFTEENTH anniversary of this massive event that brings together celebrity chefs, wine, beer, spirits, food, and local vendors for an entire weekend. I first attended the festival in 2013 and had the opportunity cover the event on behalf of CTBites for the fourth time this year.
Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Company have introduced a subscription cheese box service that curates small batch, artisan and traditional cheeses and delivers them, freshly cut, to the doorsteps of food lovers across the nation.
Cheesemonger Box will curate a selection of small batch and traditional American and European cheeses for monthly home delivery, launched this winter as the first cheese subscription service of its kind.
Founders Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, co-founders and owners of Connecticut cheese shops Fairfield & Greenwich Cheese Company, are launching the service with the goal of “spreading the cheese love across the country” and empowering customers to “become the expert” on artisan cheese.
Restaurant Crawl Through Mohegan Sun...Ballo, Bobby’s Burger Palace, Todd English’s Tuscany, Tom’s Urban + More!Restaurant American Italian Special Occasion Homepage Burgers
While heading to Mohegan Sun for the Lady Gaga concert (yes, she was indeed fantastic), my editor at CTBites asked me to check out the casino’s restaurant scene. And not just one or two spots either. She wanted me to work my way through as many as possible. Naturally, I was intrigued. I’ve been to a few of the casino’s restaurants, but there were so many I have yet to experience. So when she asked me to do a restaurant crawl before the concert, I happily accepted the challenge. While I might not have tried them all - Mohegan Sun has a lot of restaurants - I managed to maneuver through a solid few. Here’s how it went.
Can you say Mexican Food Porn? We can with our yum on demand Macho Nacho Burgers. Serve these bad boys at your Super Bowl Party and your guests will go gaga! (View the recipe below.)
I arrived to The Blind Rhino in South Norwalk 15 minutes early to meet with Ken Tuccio to discuss the party he and The Blind Rhino are throwing on Super Bowl Sunday. As I walked through the door, much to my surprise, Ken was already sitting at the bar. He was halfway through a pint of beer, looking comfortable in a zip-up hoodie bearing the logo of Bridgeport based brewery Aspetuck Brew Lab.
Ken Tuccio, a Norwalk resident, isn’t your typical “local media personality”. While most of the people involved in media on a local level seem as if they were designed in a “news anchor factory”, Tuccio is admittedly rough around the edges.
Say you wanted to eat your way around the globe, but you were short on time and money and didn’t feel like flying. Problem solved. Chef Colt Taylor can take you there through his ever-changing menu. No jet lag or weather delays, and oh, the places your palate will go!
“We want to create more than a restaurant,” Colt explains. “We want to create this experience. Like you can come to four different places, and have four different meals, experiences, moments. We’re on menu 15 in five months. It’s exciting and it keeps things fresh.”
Not big on leaving the comforts of home? His Tuesday night burger night’s got all-American appeal, replete with fries and a craft brew. Wednesday is a popular Italian night. Mexico more your style? Take a trip on Thursday for tacos and tequila. And soon they’ll soon launch bourbon and braises on Fridays.
Then, come Sunday, it’s time for boozy brunch. “It’s eggs Arcadia and red velvet pancakes, all that fun stuff.” What’s eggs Arcadia, you say? “It’s my signature little brunch thing—like merging a Connecticut lobster roll and poached eggs. We put poached eggs over butter-poached lobster on a biscuit with a ginger-citrus hollandaise. It’s delicious!”