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DAVIDsTEA Opens in Westport

On the twelfth night of Christmas, my true love brewed for me,” 1 buddha’s blend, 2 matcha matsu, 3 long life oolong, 4 la la lemon, 5 chocolate orange...and so the song goes. New to Main Street in downtown Westport, just in time for the holidays, is DAVIDsTEA, a Canadian company started by two cousins who wanted to introduce the masses to the ancient world of loose leaf tea in a fun, modern environment. Initially successful in Canada with over 80 stores, the cousins decided to set up shop in the U.S. with Westport following the likes of NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.

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CTbites Invites LAST MINUTE Holiday Gift Ideas!

“Twas the night before Christmas, and all thru the house…you suddenly realized you were short a gift for your loving spouse! ”

Even with Macy’s open round the clock till Christmas, who wants to brave the crowds and fight the holiday traffic?

CTbites Invites is offering you LAST MINUTE Holiday Gift Ideas that you purchase online thru our CTbites Invites website and then insert into a holiday card or stuff in the stockings “hung by the fireplace with care” for future use!

Choose from the following gift items: $100 gift certificate good for dinner at five of our favorite restaurants: Barcelona (all six CT locations), BONDADa Pietro’sMatchThe Chelsea

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Christmas Eve Dinner Reservations Still Available

Looking for last minute dinner reservations on Christmas Eve? Celebrate the holidays without dirtying a dish this year and do what we at CTbites do out. According to Open Table, these restaurants are still accepting reservations. Act fast though; many venues are already sold out. Happy eating and happy holidays from CTbites. 


Ridgefield | French  

Gabriele's Italian Steakhouse

Greenwich | Steakhouse


South Norwalk | Contemporary American

Dressing Room

Westport | American  

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An Evening w/ New York Times Wine Critic, Eric Asimov

Who is Eric Asimov? “I’m a shrink,” he informed the group assembled at the Darien Library. “I’m like a priest that people confess to.”

OK, so his description might not have been literal, but as the evening unfolded, it turned out to be strangely accurate.

In reality, Asimov is a respected journalist who writes a weekly column on wine for The New York Times.  He also contributes to their Diner’s Journal blog and created the popular $25 and Under restaurant reviews.  His most recent achievement, though, is authoring a full-length book entitled How To Love Wine, that he presented at the Darien Library on Thursday December 13.

Although Asimov is an established commentator, he still retains the fun wit of an entertainer.  The evening felt like a cross between an educational seminar and a stand-up comedy routine.  As the event coordinators started off the evening by pouring the guests wine, he remarked, “It’s a strategy of mine to get the crowd liquored up.”

Asimov began by outlining the two major impetuses for writing what he refers to as his “memoir meets manifesto.”  First, he wants to introduce people to the growing number of exciting, esoteric wines available in today’s ever-expanding market.  “This is the greatest time in history to be a wine lover,” he announced.  “There are more points of view than ever before.”  He explained that small-scale producers in Europe have produced delicious, yet unknown wines for years.  In the past twenty years, new laws and more adventurous consumers have made it possible to get them here.

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The Spread in SONO: Beautiful Food...Hip Spot

Word of mouth, and great word at that, brought me to The Spread, a spanking new dining hot spot in Sono. Two months young, the restaurant is the result a partnership of four guys, all with two decades-worth of bar and restaurant experience combined, plus one young and very talented chef, Arik Bensimon. Formerly the Executive Chef of Napa & Co., Chef Arik brings the food in this rustic yet hip joint to a level of excellence and seriousness not seen in Fairfield County in some time. The Spread’s menu is global in scope. It represents a range of cultures--Arik’s Moroccan background and French training, the partners' of Costa Rica, Italy, and France with a dash of New York and California in the mix. Indeed, the menu is all over the place, locally sourced and international, but somehow this eclectic mishmash works. Though dishes are simply titled on the menu, they are, in fact, complex and beautifully executed.

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Chocolate Tasting & Tour Giveaway

Winter in Connecticut just got a little sweeter. The Connecticut Office of Tourism is sponsoring a very tasty giveaway we thought you might want to know about. Enter for a chance to win two nights to relax, indulge and hit our very own Connecticut Chocolate Trail. Whether you’re looking to get away with your best friend or to escape with your significant other, now is your chance to win this fabulous free trip for two. 

Grand Prize Details

  • Two night stay at the luxurious Delamar Greenwich Harbor Hotel
  • Dinner at L'Escale Restaurant
  • Two relaxing 60-minute spa treatments
  • Chocolate tasting and tour at the Chocolate Lab at eleven14 Kitchen, including a hands-on chocolate making demonstration and delicious chocolate goodies to take home

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Champagne for a Cause: Saugatuck Grain & Grape

Saugatuck Grain & Grape is hosting a Champagne tasting this Saturday, December 22 from 3 to 6 pm. During this event, 10% of proceeds from the event will benefit The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, created by United Way of Western Connecticut.

From Mimi at Saugatuck Grain & Grape: "I've decided to open up some bottles of bubbly; a lot of bottles, actually. Prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy, I was merely going to bill it as a lovely way to spend the day. I think, however, I am going to make one change to this party. I want to celebrate life and I want to do my small part to ease the pain of the families who lost a sister/brother/niece/nephew/grandson/granddaughter/wife."

They will be pouring the following champagnes: Billecart-Salmon, Chartogne-Taillet, Henri Goutorbe, Laurent-Perrier, Krug, Cristal, Pierre Gimonnet, Pierre Peters, Aubry, A. Margaine, and Gaston Chiquet.

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Eren’s Grill: Regional Turkish Cuisine in Fairfield CT

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Eren’s Grill was the neatness and precision of the refrigerator case.  Platters of perfectly aligned kebabs await the grill. Bowls of bright-red-hued eggplant-tomato salad and  pale, fluffy humus.  Glistening rows of dark-green stuffed grape leaves.  Then Eren, a young man wearing chef’s white’s embellished with the Turkish flag, stepped out from the open kitchen and proudly started telling me about his fresh and homemade food.

Fairfield’s new and only Turkish restaurant is a small joint in a strip mall. With just a few tables, it does a lot of take-out and catering. Whether eat-in or take-out, it’s a welcome addition to the Tunxis Hill section of Fairfield, a neighborhood that could use more good food. And the food here is good: fresh and full of flavor.  Ottoman cuisine has a long and noble history, and Eren – who was head chef of the Athens’ Tike, an international group of Turkish restaurants in places like London, Cyprus and Kiev -- for 8 years -- is proud to put his signature on it. “I want to play a little,” he says.

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Friday Froth: Winter Update

OK, first off: big news yesterday, as Westvleteren 12 hit retail in the United States for the only time ever. This is absolutely one of the world's finest beers (it scores a perfect 100 with over 1,300 reviews on BeerAdvocate), and the only way to get it, apart from this super limited release, is to travel to the St. Sixtus Abbey in Belgium. The sole reason Westvleteren 12 is available at retail (for an eye-popping $85/six pack with two glasses) is because the abbey needed a new roof. You can read all about it here, but Fairfield County residents will have to skip over the border into New York to places like DeCicco’s if they want to experience this ultra-rare elixir. A complete list of retail locations can be found here, so good hunting. 

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Dinosaur BBQ: Two Guys Eat Meat & Drink Beer in Stamford

Jim Morrison believed the ghosts of American Indians jumped into his head as a child and gave him spiritual direction for the rest of his life. I had a not totally dissimilar experience the night of Dinosaur BBQ's soft opening party after I returned home, wherein I undressed and found the ghosts of several pigs, cows and hickory trees inhabiting my shirt. The sign on the window said "Private Party" and there were people checking names at the door, but the attendance must have been close to 200. Owner John Stage seemed to have prepared for twice that number, thus accounting for the volume of aerosolized meat and wood, which, in their previous and more solid forms, were of course what brought Dinosaur to Stamford, the crowd to it. 

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