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Sunday
Apr082012

CTbites Invites: Coromandel Wine Dinner Recap

“The goal of this evening is so you will dare to order a glass of wine next time you dine at a restaurant.” Those were the words of Coromandel’s managing partner, chef, and jack of all trades, Gopi Nair at the latest CTBites Invites event where Indian cuisine was paired with wines from around the world. 

But wine with Indian food? It is possible. Apparently wine was popular among Indians thousands of years ago but as time passed the country became integrated which resulted in wine becoming all but obsolete. Nair explained to the dining room of food fanatics that he did not grow up pairing wine with food but people should not stray from marrying the two. “You can come to an Indian restaurant and order wine,” Nair said. “You don’t have to order beer or a martini.” 

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Friday
Apr062012

Friday Froth: Bibliophile

Peace, as elusive as it can be on a macro scale, is oftentimes attainable with three simple elements: a comfortable chair, a glass of something within easy reach, and a good book. The difficulty of holding the tenuous balance of a yoga pose forces one to focus mind and body on that one action. If the mind wanders, so too does the body, and suddenly there's that worn out spot on your mat, and oh hell - everyone just saw that didn't they? You topple not just out of your pose, but back into reality. For the moments before, though, there was only the confluence of mind and body floating in a meditative innerspace. Withdrawn from the world's nettlesome preoccupations, there was peace. Similarly, good stories allow us to disengage from reality; to take a restful break from life. Actively experiencing food and drink, really thinking about what you taste, also takes focus. 

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Thursday
Apr052012

Cheers to CAVA Wine Dinner @ Barcelona Restaurant

If you're in the neighborhood and like your bubbles, don't miss the "Cheers to CAVA Wine Dinner" on Thursday, April 12th at Barcelona Restaurant in West Hartford, 7pm.

Champagne is one of the world’s most profound and expensive wines, usually only drank in times of celebration. However, Spain has its own popular sparkling wine created in the exact same style as its French counterpart, called Cava. While never bearing the generally high price tag as to Champagne, Cava is just as enjoyable and inspiring. As a self-declared “bubble head,” Gretchen Thomas, Wine & Spirits Director for the Barcelona Restaurant Group, is throwing a wine dinner showing off her favorites from several Spanish regions and their uncanny ability to pair well with even the heaviest and most flavorful dishes - a good thing since their Executive Chef, Adam Greenberg, is known for his creativity. This promises to be one of the most eye-opening food and wine pairing event of the season.

$45 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  

For reservations, email gretchen@barcelonawinebar.com 

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Wednesday
Apr042012

Lamb Bacon with Chef Paul Desiano

A fixture in Ridgefield's marketplace, Cello Restaurant seems to be in a perpetual state of experimentation. The last dining experience I had there was at an East meets West Sake dinner (Paul is Italian and his wife is Japanese) where their mult-course menu blended their native cuisines, pairing them with wine and sake. Running into Paul at The Marketplace (a group of artisan gourmet food and craft shops) in Ridgefield one afternoon, the conversation turned to his latest passion for the interesting cuts of meat he is procuring from Craft Butchery in Saugatuck. Although I was intrigued to share a 36-hour Confit of [Pork] Jowel, it seemed a bit ambitious for the majority of home cooks who may not yet have sprung for a sous vide supreme. So we settled on sharing his recipe for lamb bacon. Paul pairs this to the jowl dish which is served with a rosemary parsnip puree and braised red cabbage.

Chef Paul Desiano's Lamb Bacon Recipe

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Wednesday
Apr042012

And the Cocktail Contest Winner Is...

Thank you to everyone who participated in The Barcelona Restaurant Cocktail Contest. Gretchen Thomas, the Wines and Spirits Director for the Barcelona Restaurant Group, said she had a hard time selecting a winner as "there were so many great names from which to choose," but she did finally settle on a favorite. 

Congratulations to Robbie D for his cucumber inspired winning name...drumroll please...¡Ay Cukarumba!. He will receive a FREE DINNER FOR TWO @ any Barcelona Restaurant, cocktail included. 

Stay tuned for our next cocktail contest. Happy Cocktailing from CTbites. 

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Wednesday
Apr042012

Roger Sherman Inn Celebrates Titanic Centennial Last Dinner April 14th

Nes and Joseph Jaffre, owners of the Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan, CT announced today that the Inn is hosting an event-­‐packed recreation of the legendary Titanic’s last dinner on Saturday, April 14th. “Night to Remember” includes 7-­course recreation of actual First Class menu while raising funds for American Red Cross.

Come on board the ‘U.S.S. Roger Sherman Inn’ as it commemorates the Titanic’s 100th anniversary. The Inn, known for its history and elegance, offers the perfect setting to host a luxurious evening that was the hallmark of the Titanic. Throughout the night, guests will relive the grandeur of the Titanic with a lavish champagne welcome, a seven-­‐course dinner that recreates the final First Class menu, dancing to the music of the era with a wonderful string quartet and open bar.

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Sunday
Apr012012

Opening Night at Elm Restaurant in New Canaan

At 5:44PM on the first day of spring, March 20, 2012, the kitchen at elm Restaurant in New Canaan hummed to life as it received an order from the dining room. This was no ordinary order, it was the restaurant’s first. The order ticket began…Appetizers – 1 grilled Spanish octopus, 1 citrus cured hamachi, 1 local lettuces from Millstone Farm, 1 roots, shoots, fruits and leaves, and 1 soft farm egg ravioli… elm was officially open. The outstanding staff that Chef Brian Lewis had assembled sprang to action. The months of planning, the weeks of training, the hours of preparation were now tested as the guests arrived and the orders placed.

 

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Sunday
Apr012012

Melt Mobile Grilled Cheese Truck Opens in Stamford

If there’s one thing consistent with trends, it’s that followers will do anything to get in on the action to stay, err, well, trendy.  This was evident yesterday at the opening of Melt Mobile, a new gourmet grilled cheese truck, parked smack in the middle of downtown Stamford’s Landmark Square. 

Backed by Bobby Flay as part of his new “Food Project” reality show, what was started by two fierce women as a paddy wagon, one with an entrepreneurial background, the other, a trained French Culinary Institute chef and former restaurateur, is now a “permanent for now” gourmet food trend in the form of a food truck. Two trends in one, food truck and gourmet comfort food.  And as I mentioned about those followers… 

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Friday
Mar302012

Spotted Horse Tavern Opens Today in Westport

Last night, the CTBITES crew along with 100 (or so) other Westporters attended the "opening" of THE SPOTTED HORSE TAVERN, the latest and GREATEST by restaurateurs Kevin McHugh, Pete Mennona and Tommy Febbraio. (The Gray Goose in Southport is also one of theirs!) And I am placing all my bets on this HORSE! With former Manolo chef Pedro Garzon as head jockey, this SPOTTED filly is bound to cross the finish line in first place.

 

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Thursday
Mar292012

3rd Annual Hops & Grapes, Toasts & Tastes April 14th

On Saturday, April 14th, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Connecticut Chapter will host Hops & Grapes, Toasts & Tastes for the third year at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. 

Local restaurants, vineyards, and distributors will come together to showcase a selection of appetizers, wines, and beers to over 250 people throughout the Fairfield County area.

Tasting sponsors to date include: American Harvest Vodka, Back East Brewing Company, Barcelona Restaurant, Bartaco, BJ Ryan's BANC House, Butterfield8, Cabot Cheese, Café D'Azur, Cake Suite, Chocolations, Cupcakes & Milkshakes, Dichello Distributors, Dina! A Restaurant & Bar, Ducky Life Teas, Karen Harvey Catering, Little Pub, New England Wine & Spirits, Nolet's Gin, O'Neills Irish Pub & Restaurant, Opici Wine Company of CT, Pink Cupcake Shack, Pizzeria Rosso, Regatta Ginger Beer, S. Pellegrino & Aqua Panna, Savor, Star Distributors, Starbucks, Sweets By Stella, Wave Hill Breads Bakery & Cafe.

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