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The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Locali Pizza Bar & Kitchen is now officially opened for lunch in New Canaan.

Friday January 17th kicks off Friday Night Wine Downs at Nicholas Roberts.  The tasting will feature Barbera, Barbaresco and Barolo. As usual, there is no charge for the tasting, but a $5.00 donation to Turning Wine Into Water gets guests a staff glass.  6-8pm.

On Monday January 20, Caseus in New Haven is hosting an “Oskar Blues Beer and Cheese Pairing.”  Visit them for samples of delicious beers from the Oskar Blues catalogue along with some seasonal treats.  Approximately $40pp. 6-7:30pm. 

January 21 is the Sixpoint Beer Dinner at Harlan Social in Stamford.  The guys from Sixpoint Brewery stop by for 5-courses of great food matched with their craft ales. $90 all-inclusive, 6:30 - 9:30pm.

Saturday January 18, Whole Foods in Darien will hold a storewide sampling called “Healthy and Delicious Meals.”  From 2-4, the store’s departments will be sampling healthy options that pack wonderful flavors too.

Tuesday January 21 is also a Cocktail Party & Mixology class at Bistro 7 in Wilton.  Students learn the basics of bartending and watch a pro make classic martinis and seasonal specials. The entire experience lasts about four hours, two of which are spent in a cocktail-party setting.  Save money on this fun experience via Groupon.

Barcelona New Haven hosts “Paella 101” January 21, 2014 at 7pm.  Chef Frank will teach you how to make this delicious dish and pair it with some delicious Spanish wines.  $25 pp plus tax & gratuity. 

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Stew Leonard's Introduces Croissant - Bagel Hybrid...The Crogel

Stew Leonard’s bakery team in Norwalk, Conn. has introduced the Crogel, a croissant-bagel hybrid.  Created by baker Tania Portela in Stew Leonard’s Norwalk store, bakers shape croissant dough into the size of a bagel, kettle boil the dough and then hearth bake it.  The result is a pastry that is crispy on the outside and buttery and flakey on the inside. 

Since the product was introduced in Norwalk on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 Stew Leonard’s has sold more than 1,000 Crogels.

Crogels are made fresh daily by Stew’s team of in-house bakers and are sold in packages of two for $3.99.  They are available in plain and multi-grain.

While they are currently only available at Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk, Stew Leonard’s in Danbury & Newington, Conn. and Yonkers, NY will offer Crogels by Saturday, January 18, 2014.

Stew Leonard’s in-house bakery teams make hundreds of fresh Crogels by hand every day.   Starting Saturday, January 18, 2014 customers are invited to sample the new Crogels at any of Stew’s Leonard’s bakery departments. 

Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk, Danbury and Newington, Conn. and Yonkers, N.Y.  Please visit for directions.


Chowdafest 2014! 32 Local Restaurants Compete for Your Vote

Chowdafest is around the corner! This year marks the 6th annual Chowdafest competition, pitting 28 award winning chefs & restaurants against each other where YOU are the judge! On February 2nd from 11-3PM, grab you ballot and sample 32 decadent samples of chowder, soup and bisque.  It's up to you to determine who has the best. 

Chowdafest 2014 ius excited to have some new additions and award winning chefs in this year's lineup including: Mecha Noodle Bar, The Spread, Bernard's, Parallel Post and Tikkaway from New Haven. 

Chowdafest is as popular as a sporting event which is why it's held at the 10,000 indoor seat Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.  It's also why the event is held annually as a pre-event to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2014.  Food and football fans alike come out to experience this culinary competition between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, then go home to family & friends to watch the big game later that evening.

Chowdafest is one of the best deals around.  It's just $12 (adults) $5 kids (6-12).

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Celebrity Mixologist Adrian Alvarado Kicks off "Prohibition Wednesdays" @ Prime 16

On January 29th, at 5 P.M., Celebrity Mixologist Adrian Alvarado will be kicking off the "Prohibition Wednesdays" at Prime 16 in Orange.

As an Actor/Mixologist, Adrian is best known for his role on ABC's General Hospital where he played Detective Cruz Rodriguez. Originally from Jersey City N.J., Adrian moved to L.A. where he started booking commercials and TV appearances in "Without a Trace," "Big Love," "Law & Order: LA" and "Body of Proof" before landing his longest running role on General Hospital.

Since moving back to the East Coast with his wife and two children, Adrian has expanded a passion for the hospitality industry. Bartending didn't just become a side income, it became a passion. As a Mixologist he worked for the famous Soho House Group in Los Angeles and New York

"The Cocktail culture is vastly growing, It's not just about going out and getting a drink.  It's about going out and enjoying a new experience in flavors and it's history in a responsible way."

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Jan142014 Mise en Place Delivered to Your Doorstep!

There is nothing better than being able to select a gourmet recipe and have all the needed fresh ingredients arrive and ready to cook with just a few clicks. makes meal making fun, easy, and a delicious experience. It is a mash-up of an online grocery store and a private cooking lesson. Easy to follow recipes, with pictures are provided. This is a great activity for two or the entire family, helping to reconnect people while sharing great food. The average time to prepare one of the meals is 30-40 minutes.

“Each week, 7 chef-designed recipes are featured on the menu. The dishes include 4 healthy meat & fish options and 3 unique vegetarian dishes.” The produce is fresher than what is typically found at the grocery store and can be enjoyed all week long.

Costs are simple to understand, they are per plate. Trial offers are currently running so check it out and go cook something extraordinary!

Go check out for more information. 

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Pantanal Restaurant & Churrascaria: Brazilian in Bridgeport

The smell of grilling meat perfumes the air on Frank Street in Bridgeport. What’s going on here? This drab residential neighborhood is crowded with cars. And what’s that funky-looking vividly green-and-yellow building? The sidewalk’s striped green and yellow too, the colors of the Brazilian flag.  This is Pantanal, a Brazilian buffet and churrascaria. We’re going in.

It’s Thursday at lunchtime and the place is crowded. We grab plates and try to take in all that’s offered at the cold and hot buffet. We’re overwhelmed, and we’re in the way. Everyone else knows what they want. We’re gawking, and we know we could easily overload our plates with the choice of salads, fruits, hearts of palm, collards, white rice, Spanish rice, mac ‘n cheese, black beans, pinto beans, fried sweet plantain, fried chicken, fried fish and stews. Customers are digging in to those stews. The chicken and okra stew looks intriguing, but I need to exert restraint. I need to focus. I chose an orange-colored stew of smoked pork ribs and white beans. Excellent choice, smoky and deeply flavorful.  

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"Fine Food For a Cause" Fundraiser to Fight Childhood Obesity

Please help conquer an important battle that is being waged in our own backyard - the fight against childhood obesity and the critical need to teach local children and their families about the value of healthy eating and exercise.

On Monday, January 27, 2014 the Stamford Family YMCA will host more than 200 local supporters to help their fight against childhood obesity. The event, Fine Food For A Cause, will be held at the Palace Theatre in Stamford at 6:30PM. At this year’s event guests can sample a plethora of culinary creations provided by chefs of 10 outstanding well-known Stamford restaurants including: Barcelona, bartaco, Columbus Park Trattoria, Bar Q, Quattro Pazzi, Sushi Charlie, Tabuouli Grill, Sweet Lisa’s, Napa & Company, Forever Sweet Bakery and David’s Soundview Catering.

The evening will include dinner, music, live auction and a commemorative journal, with special guest, Chris Hansen, TV Journalist and NBC Dateline correspondent, serving as Master of Ceremonies 

Proceeds from the event will support the Stamford Family YMCA’s youth development and healthy living programs.

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Recap: Plan B Magical History Tour, Featuring Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon

Tucked back to one side off the well beaten path of the Post Road in Milford, roughly a hundred red heads lie on their sides in elevated cubbie holes. Hardly anyone paid them attention. In fact, I may be the only one who even noticed. A double stacked row, maybe 25 gallons of Maker's Mark bourbon - original wax seals unbroken - is just for decoration. My eyes roamed elsewhere, and caught George Harrison sprinting away from a Blue Meanie. I shook my head and returned my attention to the chicken and waffles. 

This past October, thieves (likely insiders) made away with approximately $26,000 worth of Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old bourbon. Each bottle in the 65 cases stolen is worth roughly $130, but many sell for hundreds of dollars more. Pappy had a small cult following of aficionados until rock star chefs like Anthony Bourdain and David Chang blew up its spot in the past few years. Ever since, the small supply that leaves Frankfort, Kentucky each year has been dwarfed by the demand. Drew Kulsveen, a minor royal in the bourbon world and friend to CTBites, could barely get one bottleOn a weeknight at Plan B Burger Bar, we were about to be presented with two servings.

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The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

The Whelk in Westport will start serving LUNCH on January 15th! Lunch will be served Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays 12pm-2:30.

Saturday January 11 is Step Out at Stepping Stones Museum.  The wine and food tasting supports the museum’s educational initiatives. It includes the Melting Pot, Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines, The Brewhouse, and more.  7-9:30pm.  $40 and up per person. More info here. 

Mohegan Sun’s Restaurant Week begins Sunday January 12th and goes through the 17thVisit the website to see what the casino’s renowned eateries are offering.

Sundays are ½ off bottles of select wines at many local restaurants, including The Spread, Bar Sugo, and Bistro Latino.

On Tuesday January 14, learn how to braise at Barcelona Fairfield.  Join Chef Helton and learn the art of braising and complementing it with a few vegetable side dishes. 4-7pm. $35pp plus tax and gratuity. 

Also on Tuesday, Caseus Fromagerie in New Haven is offering a class called “Relishing the Rind.”  The class will explore categorizing cheese by types of rind. You will get to taste bloomy, ash, wash-rind cheeses ...and more! 6-7:30pm. Approx $37pp. Buy Tix Here.

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Maple Syrup Tap A Tree Program @ Ambler Farm

It's that time of year again. Sign up for Ambler Farms immensely popular, Maple Syrup Tap-a-Tree program. Sign up quickly...these classes fill up fast. 

Maple Syrup Tap-a-Tree program 
Training sessions (choose only ONE): Sat., Feb. 8th at either 10-11am or 1-2pm.
Learn the science and history of maple syruping by being a hands-on part of the process.   We will send regular updates on the running of the sap so you can come to the Farm to collect sap from your tree. We will boil down the sap in our sugar shack and send each family home with their very own bottle of Ambler Farm maple syrup.

The season runs from early February to mid-March (a typical season is five weeks long). If you are traveling during February or March, we will collect sap for you.  Contact Kevin Meehan

Enrollment Limited to 110 families. This program sold out quickly in previous years, so please do not wait to sign up.  The number of trees at the Farm is limited, so we are unable to accommodate late requests or wait lists. 
$65 per non-member family/$60 per member family.

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