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CTbites' Catering Guide to summer Clambakes & Pig Roasts. Let these guys plan your next party!

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Friday
Feb222013

Friday Froth: Beers to Sample While Waiting for Spring

Between typing, I'm looking at surging whitecaps. The water glints with the stray sparkle of sunshine, but mostly it's the blue color of anodized chrome, evening off to a shallow green. It's cold, and the wind knifes into any exposed skin wherever it can, but there's that sunshine. Random patterns run across my chest and face, and I hold up a palm like a screen to see the fluid waves of light move on its surface. The Sun is starting to burn stronger - it's holding off the darkness for longer each night. I smile, sip a Whale's Tale, and try to remember where the hell I put my notes.

Spring beers are already starting to hit the market, it seems, like Magic Hat's Pistil, which has replaced the Vermont brewer's previous spring seasonal, Vinyl

Victory looks ready to release several new beers this spring, including the K-Bomb and Ranch double IPAs, NATO IPA (made with American, English and German ingredients), and Swing Session Saison.

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Friday
Feb222013

Amuse Bouche: Food News for February 22nd

"They feel kind of a personal connection to the restaurant; they feel they know something that maybe not everybody else does." The Salt looks at why restaurants and diners both like secret menus. Share your experiences ordering off the menu with us below in the comments. 

Weary of winter? Well, be encouraged: Magic Hat has released their new spring seasonal beer, Pistil. Pistil is made with barley, oats, and fun hops like Apollos, but it's also fermented with dandelion petals. The Vermont brewer's spring beers are usually some of its best, and have wide distribution in CT, so keep and eye out for this sign of spring. 

Brew York: New York City Beer Week starts today and runs through March 3. Ride the steel rails to the brass rail as NYC becomes Brewtopia. Events happen all over the city, so food/beer pairing dinners and words like "unlimited tastings" are being thrown around. No need to drive: let the train lull you to sleep on the way home. Miss your station by four stops. Still worth it. 

Gastronomy Domine: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield demonstrates the proper technique for making a peanut butter sandwich... in space! (h/t Grub Street)

Thursday
Feb212013

CTbites' Canned Film Festival: Food Movie Favorites

The Awards Season is in full swing!  The Golden Globes, Sundance Film Festival are already old news…the Grammy’s just scored record ratings and now the anticipation builds for the “motherlode” of all awards… The 85th Academy Awards for Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences (also known as the Oscar’s ) airing on Sunday 2/24 on ABC.  And what better way to spend a winter evening than with Dinner and a Movie!

But, what if you don’t feel like braving the weather, the crowds or JUST can’t stand the smell of popcorn? How about staying in and watching a movie and ordering in or making dinner? Therefore, I offer you the CTbites,  “CANNED FILM FESTIVAL" with tasty recomendations for food focused movies in 4 categories: Food Flick Classics, Watch With Your Kids, Food Education, and Flicks For Wine Lovers. 

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Wednesday
Feb202013

Discover Bethel Restaurant Week Starts February 24 

Discover Bethel Restaurant Week is Back!

Visit Bethel from February 24 - March 2, 2013 for the town's second annual Restaurant Week.  Several Bethel restaurants will be offering special discounts and prix-fixe specials for lunch and dinner. 

Participating Restaurants:

Stella Restaurant and Bar - 213 Greenwood Ave: Lunch Special - $10 or $15 prixe fix menu (includes appetizer, entree, tiramisu and coffee) and Dinner Special - $30 prix fixe menu (includes appetizer, salad, entree, tiramisu, coffee and glass of house wine)

Daily Fare - 13 Durant Ave (Free Coffee or Scone with any lunch purchase)

Sycamore Drive In Restaurant - 282 Greenwood Ave (10% off total bill)

Sal'z Pizza - 211 Greenwood Ave. Greenwoods Grille and Ale House - 186 Greenwood Ave

O'Neills Sandwich and Coffee Bar - 114 Greenwood Ave

LaZingara Restaurant - 8 PT Barnum Sq

Lebanese Cuisine - 23 Stony Hill Rd

LaFortuna Restaurant - 37 Stony Hill Rd

Putnam House Restaurant - 12 Depot Place

Ruzzuto's- Stony Hill Road

For more information, visit www.bethelchamber.com.

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Wednesday
Feb202013

Winesday: Best Wines from the Mohegan Sun Winefest

There’s a lot to wine about at the Mohegan Sun Wine Fest.  I watched in horror as my printer spewed out 16 pages of wines that would be featured over the course of the weekend.  The annual event is an exercise in diversity; exhibitors bring everything from the commercial to the exclusive, the traditional to the innovative.  There are wines with long-lasting legacies and bottles that haven’t even hit shelves yet.

Fortunately, I carefully siphoned through all of the offerings to bring you a report of the very best the event had to offer.  Armed with my 16 page list, I diligently worked my way through the tables, asked questions, and sampled the wines.  (Don’t worry, there was a significant amount of spitting involved!)

It’s difficult to compare wines, especially with such an extensive range available.  How can one compare an expensive Napa Valley Cab to a fruity white made for casual drinking?  To solve the predicament, I broke my explorations down into categories.

In this first installation, I feature Robust Reds, Wonderful Whites, and Wines to Watch.  In Robust Reds and Wonderful Whites, my aim is to focus on quality.  Some of these wines might come off as a bit of a monetary splurge, but they drink beautifully.  Wines to Watch also hinges on quality.

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Wednesday
Feb202013

Bar Rosso Wild Game Dinner on March 6

Bar Rosso in Stamford will host their first annual Wild Game Dinner on March 6, 2013. Cost is $120 per person. To reserve a table, email info@barrossoct.com or call 203.288.8640.

Game Dinner Menu:

TUSCAN FETTUNTA

Fig Marmelade, Wild Boar Prosciutto Wine Pairing: Barbera D’Alba Pio Cesare

HOME-MADE PAPPARDELLE

Stained with Chianti in a Braised Rabbit Ragu Wine Pairing: Nero Di troia, Botromagno

RISOTTO

Braised Wild Boar and Truffle Butter Wine Pairing: Nero Di troia, Botromagno

 

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Tuesday
Feb192013

2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists: Chefs Bill Taibe & Bun Lai

Congratulations to Chefs Bill Taibe and Bun Lai on their nominations for Best Chef: Northeast for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists. For the complete list visit: http://www.jamesbeard.org.

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Tuesday
Feb192013

8 To The Bar Snack Bars: Raising the "Bar" in CT

Finally, A healthy nutty snack that is doesn’t taste overpoweringly of high fructose corn syrup! I’m talking about the new 8 To The Bar snack bar that a pair of Connecticut cousins have recently brought to Fairfield county markets.

Made of a medley of eight different organic nuts, oats, dried fruit, honey and coconut, the bar has a great taste and texture. I particularly love the sour cherries that give the snack a tanginess, which, married with the sesame and coconut and the crunchiness of the nuts, translates to a taste that is deliciously more-ish.

The bar hits the mark for post exercise recharging. I tried my first bar after a five-mile run and found it both satisfying and energizing (not to mention delicious) – a fact that local fitness studios have cottoned on to. The bars are now available at Joyride, Kaia Yoga and the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.

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Monday
Feb182013

The Winner of the Cocktail Naming Contest Is...

The wait is over. South End Restaurant has reviewed the 75 creative entries in the Cocktail Naming Contest, and a winner has been named: 

Mighty Aphrodite is the winning cocktail name and will be featured on South End's cocktail menu.

Congratulations to Jodie (who needs to contact us to receive her prize). 

Here's what she had to say about how she came up with her name: "Because rosemary was draped around Aphrodite as she rose from the sea. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the 'Rose of Mary' - Wikipedia"

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Sunday
Feb172013

Krust Pizza & Bourbon Bar in Middletown

We are excited to begin bringing you even more content from across the state of Connecticut, welcoming new voices into our mix, and experimenting with the occassional shorter, more tactical posts. To that end, we are pleased to welcome Emily Cahill, the newest addition to the CTbites team covering one of our favorite new spots in Middletown. - Stephanie Webster + Amy Kundrat

Photo: Nick CaitoKrust Pizza Bar

Cuisine: Wood-fired pizza, Bar
Price: $10- $15
Our Highlights: Specialty pizzas, bourbon and cocktails
Hours: Mon – Closed. Tues-Thur 4pm – 1am, F&S 4pm-2am, Sun 4pm-1am
Online: http://krustpizzabar.com/

Wood-fired pizzas, a softly lit interior, and a seemingly infinite bourbon list sets the stage for NoRa neighborhood newcomer Krust. Owners Rich Garcia and Kevin Wirtes introduced the Middletown eatery in mid-January 2013, showcasing a concise but creative menu of beautifully executed artisan pies. Whether it’s the rustic pine paneling, amber glow of bar shelves brimming with bourbon bottles, or smoky aromas permeating the space from the wood burning oven, one thing is evident: Krust is a delicious and welcome addition to Middletown’s bar and restaurant scene.

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