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New Haven’s ROÌA Restaurant: A Tale Of Two Countries

Restaurant New Haven French Italian Brunch Lunch Farm to Table Homepage

Carissa Chesanek

What do you get when you mix cooking traditions of both the Italian and French? The best of both worlds at ROÌA Restaurant in New Haven. It’s a culinary combo that doesn’t require you to renew your passport.

Located in the former Taft Hotel that dates back to 1912, ROÌA Restaurant and Cafe has historical charm. Step inside and you’ll see what we mean with its two-floor open design with ornate ceilings and impressive columns. The building is truly an architect’s dream. But you don’t have to be a designer to appreciate all that ROÌA has to offer. You just have to be hungry. 


Station House Opens in Historic Port Chester Train Station: Coal-Fired Pizza & Tavern Fare

Restaurant Port Chester American Pizza Openings Bar pizza

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

As city-bound commuters dash to and fro’ and the pulse of the city continues to thrive, the Port Chester railroad station, a landmark since 1890, stands as a symbol of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Today, this turn of the century building is home to Our House Restaurant Group’s newest venture, Station House. In keeping with this dynamic restaurant group’s approach to hospitality, as seen with their popular Rye House Port Chester and Manhattan taverns, and last year’s mega outdoor hit, Village Beer Garden, Station House offers that same neighborhood vibe, this time, it comes rooted in history and coal-fired pizza.ctb


PORRÓN Opens Today in Hartford: Spanish-influenced Cuisine From Chef Tyler Anderson

Restaurant Hartford Hartford County Spanish Celebrity Chef Openings

CTbites Team

Today, the much anticipated Restaurant Porrón opened its doors to Connecticut's Capital City. Hartfordites and travelers alike will be able to dine in the Goodwin Hotel’s new signature Spanish-style restaurant. Helmed by nationally renowned Chef Tyler Anderson, and his all-star team - many of whom are behind the success that is Millwright's Restaurant and The Cook & The Bear - promise to bring local flair to the globally-inspired menu.

Restaurant Porrón is a tapas-style restaurant complete with wine room and ham bar, as well as an accompanying craft cocktail bar (Bar Piña) - set to officially open by week’s end. The restaurant will feature 60 wines by the glass, local draft beer and an exciting gin & tonic selection. The tapas-driven menu will allow guests to sample a wider array of items, order a bunch of items to share, or order a la carte Spanish steakhouse-style. The food and service are intended to be elegantly simple and will use the highest quality products that Anderson and his kitchen and bar team can procure.


50+ Restaurants for Mother’s Day in CT: 2018 Edition

Restaurant Features Holiday Brunch Events Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Mother’s day is right around the corner!  Treat the special lady in your life with prix fixe dinners, delicious brunches, special holiday dishes, cocktail specials, and more.  These 50 Connecticut restaurants will help you show Mom just how loved she is!

  1. Rosie, New Canaan: Rosie in New Canaan invites you to Mothers Day Brunch from 9am-4pm. Treat her to favorites like Huevos Rancheros, the gigantic Lobster Club, and Brioche French Toast.

  2. Roia, New Haven: At Roia in New Haven, Chef/owner Avi Szaprio has created a two-course prix fixe menu. A kids a la carte menu will also be available.

  3. Essex Steam Train, Essex: All aboard! The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat has a range of Mother's Day packages available. Take a scenic ride or enjoy dinner on the train.

  4. Griswold Inn, Essex: The Griswold Inn in Essex will treat Mom with a "dinner" buffet and featured "pink drinks." The Mothers Day meal will be served from 11am-7:30pm and costs $45 for adults and $19.95 for children under 12.

  5. Washington Prime, Norwalk: Washington Prime's Mother's Day Brunch Buffet will feature a carving station, raw bar, sushi, ham, and so much more. $49.95 for adults includes a drink while children are $24.95. Choose from 3 seatings: 11am, 12:30pm, and 2pm

  6. Bar Sugo, Norwalk: Bar Sugo's Mother's Day brunch will include ½ price wines, $17 unlimited bloody marys and mimosas, and the regular brunch menu


New York's Artichoke Basille’s Pizza Opening in New Haven & Hartford

Restaurant New Haven Hartford Hartford County pizza Openings Take Out To-Go Homepage

CTbites Team

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, the nation’s largest and fastest growing New York pizza concept, has signed a multi-unit franchise deal to bring its larger than life slices and whole pies to the greater Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut areas. Franchisee Matthew Rusconi is looking to open the first location by year’s end and is actively scouting real estate opportunities in Hartford County, New Haven, Middletown, and Cromwell.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, founded in 2008 by cousins and best friends Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, specializes in serving authentic New York slices in a fast casual setting, but without the conveyor belt oven. The concept’s massive slices and whole pies, which have been named the ‘Best Pizza’ by The NY Post and one of the ‘Top 5 Slices in the Boroughs’ by CBS New York, range from the traditionally-topped to the more eccentric.


New Ramen in Norwalk! Good Hope Dumpling & Ramen House Now Open

Restaurant Norwalk Ramen Japanese Vietnamese Noodles Asian Delicious Dives Homepage

Andrew Dominick

It wasn’t that long ago that I went to Valencia Luncheria for dinner. I parked where I usually do, on that side of the street, almost directly across from the laundromat. When I came out of Valencia, I noticed a sign with a blushing anime character on it that read “Good Hope Dumpling & Ramen House.” I vaguely remembered that a couple friends mentioned it.  After I walked by, Good Hope was fully on my radar. 

I just hoped Good Hope would be good. 

There were positive signs besides a few of my pals who said they liked it, and the fact that their online reviews are solid. When I walked by the just over 20-seat restaurant (it’s the old Valencia location) at an obscure Sunday dinnertime, the place was packed, and I’ve noticed they gather a decent lunch crowd, even on weekdays. I had to check it out. What’s more is it’s just the kind of neighborhood haunt I like to highlight. 


25+ Restaurants & Bars for Cinco de Mayo in CT: 2018 Edition

Restaurant Holiday Events Cinco de Mayo Bar

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, Fairfield and New Haven: Geronimo Tequila Bar and Southwest Grill will be offering “Five Days of Cinco” at its New Haven and Fairfield locations.

  1. Mezon, Danbury: Mezon in Danbury will host its annual Cinco de Mayo block party with $7 plates and drinks, a live DJ, a cocktail competition and more. Doors open at 7pm.

  2. Dos Amigos, Torrington: Karaoke meets Cinco de Mayo at Dos Amigos in Torrington.

  3. CINCO Norwalk Block Party, Norwalk: CTBites, Ken Tuccio, and Don Carmelo's Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar in Norwalk are teaming up for CINCO, a massive Cinco De Mayo Block Party event. The event kicks off at 12pm and it is an all day party four live bands, two culinary competitions and the debut of Evenflow Mexican Lager from No Worries. 

  4. Bartaco, Stamford, Westport, West Hartford: Bartaco Westport is kicking off the summer with their Cinco de Mayo fiesta! Visit them for live music, a summer bucket list contest, and surprise giveaways.

  5. Cinco Five Festival, Stamford: The first annual CINCO FIVE FESTIVAL will take place in Stamford on Saturday, May 5 from 3-9pm at Stamford's Mill River Park! There will be food trucks, DJs, and plenty of beer and sangria. 21+.


Shake Shack Opening In West Hartford April 27

Restaurant West Hartford Hartford Hartford County Burgers Comfort Food Kid Friendly Hot Dogs ice cream

Stephanie Webster

Shack®is thrilled to announce it will open its doors on Friday, April 27that 11AM. The West Hartford Shack will be located at Corbin's Corner, 1445 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford, CT. This marks Shake Shack’s fourth Connecticut Shack, with existing locations in Darien, New Haven and Westport.

In addition to the Shack classics, the West Hartford Shack will be spinning up a selection of custom frozen custard concretes: Shack Attack (chocolate custard, fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie dough, Mast Brothers Shake Shack dark chocolate chunks, topped with chocolate sprinkles), Cookie Butter Blender (vanilla custard, cookie butter, chocolate toffee and chocolate sprinkles)and Pie Oh My (vanilla custard and slice of Four & Twenty Blackbirds seasonal pie).


Dom's Coffee: Get Your Espresso On At The "Most Beautiful Cafe in Connecticut"

Restaurant Coffee Tea And Coffee Cheese Breakfast Brunch Dessert Bakery

April Guilbault

Farmington, Connecticut; the land of colonial homes and rolling hills, horse farms, schools once attended by former First Ladies and now, home of Dom's Coffee, rated by Architectural Digest as The Most Beautiful Cafe in Connecticut.

Remember when the word coffeehouse conjured visions of overstuffed, cast-off furniture populated by long-lounging “alternative” coffee-sippers? All that was missing was your local version of Phoebe Buffay crooning about her Smelly Cat. Gone are those days. A new, craft-caffeinated, curated, uplifting day has dawned in the land of this coffeehouse and many others.


First Taste: OKO Opens In Westport w/ Chef Brian Lewis

Restaurant Japanese Westport Asian Openings Cocktails Bar Noodles Sushi Homepage

Andrew Dominick

If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the Fairfield County food scene, there’s a good chance you’re jonesing to eat at OKO, set to open on April 19 in Downtown Westport. OKO is brought to you by Chef Brian Lewis—fresh off a James Beard semifinalist nomination—a name Westporters are familiar with from his over two-year-old flagship restaurant, and critically acclaimed, The Cottage. At OKO, Lewis is changing things up, as he plans to showcase his passion for Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques. 


Junzi Kitchen in New Haven: Customize Your Chinese Bings And Things

Restaurant New Haven Chinese Asian Noodles Lunch Take Out To-Go lunch Homepage

Carissa Chesanek

Back in 2015, a few Yale students, including chef and culinary director Lucas Sin, got together and opened Junzi Kitchen in New Haven. The small counter-serve spot dishes out traditional Northern Chinese cuisine, specializing in bings (flour-pressed wraps) and noodles.

Since its creation, Junzi Kitchen has expanded to New York City, with one currently at Colombia University and a second to open on Bleecker Street this spring.

The New Haven location is bright and welcoming. It has an organic feel with its white brick walls, light wood accents, and lush greenery dangling from the ceiling. On one wall, there is a small display of featured artwork, including ceramics made by the China-based artist Junty.


Carbone’s Celebrates 80 Years in Hartford (sponsored post)

Restaurant Hartford Bloomfield Rocky Hill Italian Lunch

CTbites Team

To commemorate its 80th year, Carbone’s Ristorante in Hartford is serving a Roman Dinner on weekdays from April 2 through June 29. A menu previously reserved for very special occasions –– the Roman Dinner is a 7-course chef tasting menu, including specialty wine to pair and a small gift to take home. True to Carbone’s tradition, certain courses will be prepared and served tableside.

From fig bruschetta with prosciutto di parma and housemade ricotta to grilled diver scallops with shrimp, pepper-crusted petite filet with dolce gorgonzola, and a few of the classics––these courses are sure to impress. The entire experience is $65, or $80 with wine pairings. Reservations are recommended. 


Guide To Great Pancakes In Connecticut

Restaurant Breakfast Brunch Best of CT homepage Homepage

Elizabeth Georgian

There is nothing quite like a fluffy, American-style pancake topped with butter and drizzled with real maple syrup. These breakfast-focused and all-day eateries offer both classic flavors and tasty twists on pancakes perfect for a filling meal to start the day. The CTBites staff have weighed in and we’ve stacked together our favorite pancakes throughout the state of Connecticut. 

If you have a favorite pancake spot that is not on our list tell us all about it below.


Anaya Sushi & Ramen: Slurp Worthy Noodles (And More) Served At All Hours

Restaurant New Haven Ramen Noodles Asian Japanese Homepage

Carissa Chesanek

Anaya Sushi & Ramen has been serving its hungry New Haven crowds (and Yale students) since it opened back in 2015. CTBites.com reported on the venue when it was just three-months-old, highlighting its all-you-can-eat sushi and touching on its soon-to-come late-night ramen house.

Now, two years later, this venue has become a staple in the restaurant community. With its substantial all-day sushi menu (and after-hours ramen delights), casual vibe, and friendly service, owner Soraya Kaoroptham (who is also the mastermind behind Noodle House) and her team seem to have gotten it right.


Chef Brian Lewis' OKO Japanese Restaurant Opening Soon!!

Restaurant Openings Westport Japanese Homepage homepage

Stephanie Webster

Exciting news from Chef Brian Lewis and his entire team. Chef Lewis' new Japanese concept OKO will be opening soon

From Lewis: “I have been really inspired by Japanese cooking techniques, culture and ingredients for a very long time, studying and layering Japanese influences into my cooking for many years, but it was the introduction of the Okonomiyaki at The Cottage that was my real ‘a-ha’” moment in defining the direction for my next restaurant.

Introducing the Okonomiyaki, a savory, Japanese pancake filled with seasonally-inspired ingredients, was a whimsical addition to our menu - Japanese street food with some rarefied touches. Our guests absolutely loved this dish and it quickly became a Cottage favorite, which will likely stay on the menu as a Cottage Classic.


50+ Restaurants for Easter in CT: 2018 Edition

Restaurant Holiday Special Occasion

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Even though snow’s been in the forecast, spring is actually on its way and Easter is right around the corner!  Connecticut restaurants are celebrating the occasion with prix fixe menus, traditional dishes, brunches, buffets, and more.  Click here to see all of the egg-cellent options… and don’t forget to reserve ASAP so some-bunny doesn’t beat you to it!

  1. Hub and Spoke, Bridgeport: On Wednesday March 28, get into the Easter spirit at Hub & Spoke in Bridgeport. The Easter bunny will make an appearance for dinner at 4pm.
  2. Homestead Inn, Greenwich: Dine on a 3 course Easter prix fixe menu at The Homestead in for $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
  3. Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook: They will serve an Easter Brunch from 10am to 4pm.
  4. Harbor Lights, Norwalk: Harbor Lights in Norwalk will have a three course prix fixe Easter Dinner for $49 per person, plus tax, gratuity, and drinks.
  5. Anthony’s Ocean View, New Haven: At Anthony's Ocean View, enjoy Easter brunch with seatings at 10:30am, 11am, 1pm, and 1:30pm or come for supper at 3:30pm or 4pm. Choose from a meal in the dining room or reserve a private family suite.
  6. Madison Beach Hotel, Madison: The Wharf at The Madison Beach Hotel will serve Easter brunch from 10:30am-3:30pm. They'll have salads, breads and pastries, omelet and carving stations, entrees, house made desserts, and more. It is $54 per adult, $20 for children 6-12, and free for kids under 6.

No Leftovers Jamaican Cuisine Now Open at Former Swanky Franks Location

Restaurant Norwalk Jamaican Delicious Dives To-Go Take Out Kid Friendly Comfort Food Homepage

Andrew Dominick

Throw me into the mix of longtime Norwalkers who were shocked and saddened when the iconic Swanky Franks abruptly closed less than a year ago. What’s done is done. I’ve come to grips with the notion that I’ll be forever sour that I can’t order a ripper with chili and a pile of fresh cut fries heavily drizzled with ketchup. I grew up eating there so I’m entitled to hold onto that nostalgia. That doesn’t mean I won’t support what’s there now. 

About six months after Swanky’s called it quits, a banner appeared on the front of the building. It advertised a new roadside joint called No Leftovers featuring Jamaican food. When No Leftovers opened at the start of 2018, I noticed the parking lot was usually full, or close to it, multiple times throughout the day. That’s a good sign. And seeing how I really like jerk chicken, I knew had to check it out. 


50+ Restaurants & Bars for St. Patrick’s Day in CT: 2018 Edition

Features Restaurant Holiday Bar

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Corned beef!  Guinness!  Carbombs!  Let’s be honest, March 17 is as much about the delicious food and drinks as it as about St. Patrick.  Connecticut restaurants, bars, and venues will be serving up plenty of Irish-themed specials in honor of the holiday.  Get out your green, and head to these 50+ spots!

  1. Tigin Irish Pub, Stamford: Tigin is always St. Patrick's Day headquarters, and this year they are shutting down the area behind the pub for a giant block party! There will be live bands, outdoor bars, Guinness, and Irish whiskey. less
  2. BJ Ryan’s, Norwalk: St. Patrick's Day is a weekend long affair at BJ Ryan's in Norwalk. On Saturday March 17 they'll serve up corned beef and a full Irish menu. On Sunday they'll host a recovery brunch until 3pm. 
  3. New England Cider Company, Wallingford: On March 17 from 10am-12pm, partake in a St. Patrick's Day Brunch at New England Cider Co. The meal will showcase barrel-aged and cask ciders alongside Irish classics like Shepherd's pie, Irish sausage, cabbage, potatoes, 12 hour smoked corned beef, and more. 
  4. O’Neill’s, South Norwalk: O'Neill's in Norwalk always puts on an epic St. Patty's Day bash. This year, they promise an Irish breakfast, drinks, Irish dancers, bag pipers, and live music all day.

Danny's Drive-In, Stratford: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, And History

Restaurant Burgers Hot Dogs Delicious Dives Comfort Food ice cream Diner Take Out To-Go Stratford Openings Homepage

James Gribbon

Food, like any other aspect of human culture, has its landmarks. Local touchstones, the food you grew up with can be felt from great distances away, even by people who didn't grow up nearby. Ask just about anyone across the world what constitutes American food and chances are "hamburger" will be in their top two answers. The burger's invention at Louis Lunch in New Haven is well known and, regionally, so is Danny's Drive-In in Stratford. This is why a "For Sale" sign on the building has met with such concern - it's only been seen twice before in 83 years.