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Meet Lidia Bastianich @ Fairway Market Stamford December 14th

Come to Fairway Stamford on December 14th from 1-3PM to meet Lidia Bastianich and get a signed copy of her latest book, Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking

Bastianich is the author of eight cookbooks, the host of Lidia’s Kitchen on PBS and owner of Felidia, Del Posto, Becco, and Eataly. Shoppers will also have the opportunity to sample some of the LIDIA’S line of pasta and sauces.

In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips--from the cutting board to the kitchen table. Channeling the instructive elements from her TV show, she teaches us that a good dose of common sense is the key ingredient to a stellar meal. As storyteller and chef, she draws on anecdotes to educate and illustrate. Recalling lessons learned from her mother, Erminia, and her grandmother Nonna Rosa, Lidia pays homage to the kitchen sages who inspired her.

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Locali Pizza Bar + Kitchen Opens in New Canaan 


Three words to describe the outstanding cuisine that Locali Pizza Bar + Kitchen, the latest addition to New Canaan’s Restaurant Row. This twenty-eight seat restaurant / pizza bar is already making its mark on the culinary landscape of New Canaan.  

Executive Chef Mogan Anthony and his team are creating vibrant flavors and textural contrasts in many of their dishes, intermingled among other selections that are pleasantly soft and mild.

The interior design, with a strong focus on organic materials, creates a cozy and inviting environment with guests choosing between table or bar seating. In full view of the dining and bar area is the beautiful, hand-crafted ceramic encased Stefano Ferrara wood-fired brick oven.

Joining Chef Mogan in the kitchen is Chef de Cuisine Ruben Liriano and Chef Antonio Legato oversees the wood burning pizza oven. Chef Mogan gained his training at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore and subsequently under Chef Jean Georges Vongericthen in three different locations, plus the Bedford Post and Village Social in Mt. Kisco.

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The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events 

On Friday December 6, join 109 Cheese and Wine and Jim Morrison from Artisan Wines for some exceptional Italian red wines including Barolo, Brunello, and a few others.  The event will take place in Ridgefield, CT and costs $55pp. 7-9pm. 

Saturday December 7 from 4:30– 6:30pm Amity Wines and the CT Craft Brew Guild will have a beer tasting.  It will include Down East Appe Cider, Breckenridge Regal Pilsner, Green Flash Saison, Wachusett Larry IPA, Six Pints Global Warmer, Andechs Dopplebock, and more.  Please RSVP to Kim or Tony directly at 203-387-6725 or  Amity Wines Tasting Room: 65 Amity Rd, New Haven, CT 06515. 

Bishops Orchards in Guilford, CT conducts wine tours every Saturday this month at 2:00pm.  Tasting and Tour combo for $10pp. 

Monday December 9 at 7pm, Harry’s Wine & Liquor Market, 55 degrees Restaurant, and Vias Imports present a “Piedmont Holiday Wine Dinner” with guest host Michael Petrizzo, Northeast Brand Manager.  $89 plus tax and tip.  5 courses with wine pairings. 

Tuesday December 10, Barcelona New Haven will hold a “Spanish Holiday Dishes” cooking class.  Guests can join Chef Frank as he demonstrates how to prepare Barcelona-inspired holiday and New Year’s dishes.  7pm, $25pp. 

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10 Questions with the "Singing" Chef Neil Fuentes

Chef Entertainer Neil Fuentes (a.k.a. "The Singing Chef") was recently featured on the Food Channel giving audiences a tour of one of his favorite New Haven spots. Rubamba. We sat down with Neil to discuss his favorite ingredients, kitchen nightmares, and go-to dishes. 

1. If you had unexpected guests arriving at your home for dinner in one hour, what would you whip up?

One of the most effective recipes I like to make when I am in a rush is my Mustard Chicken, It’s fast, with deep flavors and really quick. I grab whatever I have in the freezer, chicken breast, chicken thighs, a whole chicken or whatever. I place the chicken in in a large soup pot! I put water until it’s covered with water. Put on the stove on high and covered. To that I add a 3/4 cup of good old yellow mustard. 1 tbsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. I let the chicken boil covered for 15 minutes. Then I uncover the chicken and keep it on high. The liquid will start reducing creating a super delicious sauce. One the sauce is thick I shut the stove off. At that pout I take the chicken off the pot and place it on a baking sheet with a rack and put it older the broiler in the oven until is nice and brown. I serve this chicken with a simple rice and sweet fried plantains.

2. What is the last dish you cooked for yourself?

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Elm Restaurant's Lil' Foodies Event w/ Chef Brian Lewis

Asher is an 9th grader at Fairfield Country Day School. He has a true passion for food and started his blog, AsherZeats, in September of 2012. 

“A little chocolate a day keeps the doctor at bay”

I recently had the absolute pleasure of being a part of a unique experience called Lil’ Foodies. During this special event,  Brian Lewis, the chef/owner of well regarded restaurant, Elm, and his wife Dana, guided a group of children from the age of 8 to the age of 16 through a culinary extravaganza. All for the fantastic price of… nothing!

Our first stop on the journey was the New Canaan Farmers Market. During this time, Chef Lewis generously bought for us the freshest ingredients the market had to offer. We obtained fresh, crisp, juicy apples (of all varieties), a heap of straight from the ground fingerling potatoes, brightly vivid purple cauliflower, and much more.

Chef Lewis taught the group about the importance of supporting local organizations and also about picking the freshest foods from the stands.

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Luxe Wine Bar to Re-Open Soon in Westport 

Luxe Winebar (aka Luxe Modern Wine & Cocktails) at 190 Main Street in Westport will soon re-open on under new ownership. Former owner Robert Reilly has passed the torch to new owner, Dave Morton. The two are working together to make improvements to the menu and interior of the bar, while keeping things the way patrons liked it.

“We had a loyal customer base that was disappointed to see LUXE had closed temporarily,” said former owner Robert Reilly. “Dave and I hope they’ll come back and find LUXE better than ever.

Morton is working to make the setting warmer and friendlier, plus adding on menu items to complement the existing cheese and charcuterie. “The cheese and charcuterie have been well received,” Dave Morton says. “I want to give people even more options to choose from. New items will include desserts and chocolates from neighboring businesses, plus other wine-friendly noshes like hummus and pita chips, and olives.”

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Dinners At The Farm 2014 Schedule Has Been Announced!

This just in from Dinners at the Farm:

Temperatures are brisk, the holiday season is upon us and looping holiday music is everywhere, but that's no reason not to drift off into summer daydreaming. To help with that, we're happy to announce our 2014 schedule of farm's our 8th season! We look forward to having you join us for our annual summertime, open-air feasts in the fields where our talented chefs cook-up mouthwatering dishes, on site, with just-from-the-earth food. In fact, plan on enjoying six or seven courses in one seating featuring local poultry, beef, pork, seafood and seasonal vegetables galore. Plus, our chefs cook a different menu every night, no two nights are the same. We're only hosting 10 dinners in 2014. If you're a veteran farm dinner guest then you know these dinners sell-out fast. As with every year, we'll be donating $20,000 to our longtime beneficiaries: CitySeed, CT Farmland Trust, Working Lands Alliance, The New CT Farmer's Alliance and Region 4 School's healthy lunch initiative.

Purchase your tickets here.

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Foodie Gift Guide: CT & Beyond...Part II

The turkeys are gone and the radio stations have started playing seasonal tunes... The holidays are officially here!  If you're looking to gift friends and family with awesome foodie presents and local treats, we've compiled some of our favorites for your perusal. We also enlisted the help of a prominent local chef, Mario LaPosta of Tarry Lodge in Westport, CT who offered his picks. 

Here are a few more gifts for your foodie loved ones. [See our Ultimate CT Gift Guide Part I here].

Happy holidays... And happy shopping! 

Cranberry Walnut Olive Oil, New Canaan Olive Oil

For that one foodie in your life that seems to already have everything – consider shopping at newly opened New Canaan Olive Oil. Their wide assortment of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Vinegar flavors will entice even the most spoiled cooks, specifically their Cranberry Walnut Olive Oil. Great for salads or sautéing veggies, this seasonal flavor will add a toasty and tangy taste to any dish. And for our beloved bacon lovers, try their Bacon Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil – an easy way to add bacon flavor to almost anything! 

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CTbites Invites Recap: Sushi and Sake Tasting w/ Oktopusake, Matsu & Bottlerocket

The upstairs loft room at Westport’s Matsu Sushi was the scene of the most recent CTbites Invites Sushi and Sake Tasting on Wednesday 11/20.   CTbites Invites is an exclusive feature that offers unique “curated culinary experiences” to CTbites readers, that are both tasty and informative, and this evening was no exception. The twenty-six very spirited attendees enjoyed an evening presented by Matsu Sushi owner, Paul Teoh,  Bottlerocket Wines & Spirit representative Rachel  Halperin, and Chris Dircks, creator of Oktopusake, a new small batch sake made in New Haven currently still in launch mode. 

Each guest was greeted with a signature Blue Saketini, a potent drink made with Vodka, Sake, and Blue Curacao topped with fresh shredded cucumber sticks. 

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Congrats to Chowdafest 2014 Qualifiers

Congratulations to those who earned a spot for Chowdafest 2014. This year there are 10 rookies in the field of 28. Five restaurants are competing in two categories. Almost 40 different towns from Mystic to Greenwich are represented. Below is the list of restaurants participating and the categories in which they will compete.  This might be the most competitive group of chefs/restaurants to date.  

New England Clam Chowder:

Bernard's (Ridgefield) - rookie
Donovan's (Norwalk) - defending champion
Go Fish (Mystic) - rookie
Guvnor's Brewery (Norwalk) - rookie
Mansion Clam House (Westport) - 2 time champ
Old Post Tavern (Fairfield)
Rory's (Darien)
Wood'n Tap (Orange) - rookie

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