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Eating Out

Pho Saigon: Real Pho. Really off the beaten path. 

If you like Italian cuisine (I mean real Italian) and you haven't been to Fortina in Armonk yet, something is ALL wrong. 

 

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Friday
Dec022011

Friday Froth: Bringin' A Mix

The Monday after Thanksgiving is one of the cruelest of the year. A country isn't really worthy of the name until it has a National Day Of Feasting, (and a beer and an airline, according to Frank Zappa) but I feel like a good feast, especially a winter-ish one, could really do with a National Week Of Hibernation subsequently. But we all have our roles to play in the national ant colony, and so we waddled back to our jobs, office chairs protesting perhaps more loudly than we ourselves did at the morning's alarm. My role at Thanksgiving, however, was considerably more enjoyable: Bringer Of The Beer. Here's how that went.

Craft brews have officially tipped in the Malcolm Gladwell sense. Most bars and restaurants now feature at least one tap dedicated to interesting beers, and brew-focused establishments seem to be springing up everywhere, to the delight of the hop head.

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Thursday
Dec012011

Food Porn: White Truffles Class w/ Chef Matt Storch

The white truffle. Available for only a few months a year, this buried treasure is sold for $2500 a pound and is one of the most sought after ingredients on the planet. They are elusive, hidden underground. No longer sniffed out by pigs who had the audacity to occasionally eat them, the white truffle hunters have been replaced by the more trust-worthy canine. Their complex delicate taste is revered be chefs and diners everywhere, but you can only find white truffles in one place...the Piedmont area of Italy...and Fairfield County.

October-early December is white truffle season, and in celebration of these sublime fungi, Chef Matt Storch of Match Restaurant hosted a 12 course White Truffles Cooking Class at Clarke Culinary Center in Norwalk. Each course featured raw shaved white truffles (added at the last possible moment to preserve the taste of their ethereally earthy flesh). The smell alone could have kept the foodie in me satiated for days. 

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Thursday
Dec012011

Kids Review: Aux Delices Cooking School

And now a word from our 10 yrs old food critic....

Cake, bacon, and cinnamon; these are the words that my nose told my brain as soon as I walked into the kitchen at Aux Delices. I was so delighted that I was going to be cooking a scrumptious meal and not trying something that a professional chef created.

The cooking class that I went to was instructed by Lynn Manheim. She is also the cooking school director. The first recipe that we made was scones. Most of the ingredients were out on the table but the sugar and the flour were in two big bins. Mrs. Manheim shows everyone exactly how to do each step and how much of each ingredient to use. She will wait for everyone to finish one step before she goes onto the next, and if you need some help Mrs. Manheim will always give you a hand (especially if you’re grating butter like I was). 

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Wednesday
Nov302011

Meet James Beard Winning Author Laura Werlin @ FCC

Saturday, Decmber 3rd 1-3pm, come to Fairfield Cheese Company to meet Laura Werlin, who has recently authored her fifth book, Grilled Cheese, Please! This James Beard award winning author will be signing books and serving up a little grilled cheese sampling.

An expert in cheese and wine pairing and in particular American artisan cheese, Werlin received the prestigious James Beard award for her book The All American Cheese and Wine Book, which was the first of its kind in America to focus entirely on cheese and wine pairing. Also a die-hard grilled cheese sandwich lover, Laura's latest book, Grilled Cheese, Please! is dedicated to America's (and her) favorite food. This is her second book on grilled cheese having written the popular Great Grilled Cheese as well. That book was the winner of the World Gourmand award for best cheese book in the world.

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Wednesday
Nov302011

Bumper Crop: Cauliflower Risotto

Cauliflower is a tough sell at my house. My husband is a reluctant vegetable eater at the best of times, and I’ve tried to get my boys to try it under clever marketing names like “brain vegetable.” But alas, little success. As a risotto pusher, however, I’ve been victorious. If its on a menu, hubby will always order it, and if I cook it for dinner (which admittedly isn’t often), it will vanish. So I thought, Why not combine the two and see what happens? 

Lovely, almost petite heads of cauliflower abound in the greenmarket now, so buying it is an easy temptation. Once home, I separated the cauliflower into florets and roasted them--and if you don’t know my stance on roasting, I strongly advocate it for bringing out the best in vegetables. The cauliflower caramelizes in a hot oven, with yummy, toasty browned edges. Folded into a creamy risotto, it’s one of the best vehicles imaginable for cauliflower, and over at my house, one way it will always get eaten. 

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Tuesday
Nov292011

Cupcakes: Trend or Tradition? A Guide to the Goods

A friend of mine recently referred to cupcakes as “portion-controlled cuteness.” While I can’t argue with the cuteness part, I may take issue with the portion control. At least, my self-control is a little lacking in that department.

Admittedly, the tasty little treats are perfect for a toddler’s birthday party. But lately, they’ve become a different kind of indulgence. 

The craze took flight in 2004 when New York City’s Magnolia Bakery had their signature red velvet cupcakes featured on Sex in the City. Since then, cupcakeries have popped up across the nation with reckless abandon. No doubt the little cuties are a recent phenomenon. The real question is sustainability. Is their popularity as fleeting as being crowned Prom Queen or will they reign supreme for decades to come?

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Tuesday
Nov292011

Texas BBQ franchise opens in Bridgeport via ctpost.com

This just in from ctpost.com.

The biggest barbecue fast food chain in the country is coming to Connecticut in the North End of Bridgeport. Dickey's Barbecue Pit will have its soft opening Sunday and its grand opening Dec. 8.

Cohen is a Dallas native, and often ate at Dickey's growing up. The first Dickey's Barbecue opened in Texas in 1941. The original location is still open for business, and Dickey's Barbecue is still owned and operated by the Dickey Family, according to the company website. The company began franchising in 1994.

Customers can expect to get their food in three minutes or less, Cohen said, but the meat is smoked for hours. The brisket, for example, is smoked for 14 hours before it hits a plate. "We have fall-off-the-bone ribs," Cohen said. "Most restaurants use a thermometer to test if the ribs are done. We test our ribs by picking them up and if they don't break in the middle, we know they're not ready to serve."

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Monday
Nov282011

White Truffles Dinner w/ Chef Matt Storch of Match

Can you picture yourself in Alba running through the woods chasing down the dog that has sniffed out your White Truffle gold, and then shaving them over rich and buttery pasta or eggs or roasted meat and fish while sipping juices from the Nebbiolo grape? Then this exclusive culinary experience is for you. 

Chef Matt Storch of Match Restaurant in SoNo has only 2 seats left for an exclusive private class and dinner featuring the elusive and divine White Truffle this Wednesday November 30th 6-8pm. Yes...every dish in this evening's 10 course menu will prominently spotlight white truffles.

Matt Storch will teach you about the golden fungus, what to pair it with and, of course, give you the opportunity to eat as much as you possibly can of it.  Today's White Truffle market price is $3425 per pound

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Sunday
Nov272011

Road Trip: Aberdeen Seafood & Dim Sum in White Plains

Upon our return to the United States this summer from living abroad for 13 years, with our most recent move from Hong Kong, my family and I were faced with a serious food challenge.  We hadn’t had access to good pizza, bagels and deli for years, so the first few weeks after we moved back, we became “born again” NY carb fanatics, showing our faces at every bagel and pizza joint north of NYC.   After a month or so, this eating frenzy thankfully began to wear off.  One of the things we miss most about Hong Kong is going out for Dim Sum, or yum cha, as it’s also called in Cantonese. After a friend mentioned Aberdeen Seafood & Dim Dum in White Plains, I knew we had to go to bridge East meets West food chain.

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Friday
Nov252011

Red Mango All Natural Fro-Yo Coming to New Canaan

Red Mango, a Dallas based company offering 100% all-natural frozen yogurt will open its first Connecticut location in New Canaan at 125 Elm St.  

Red Mango has a "real" yogurt taste more akin to Pinkberry vs. the more sugary versions found in many fro-yo venues these days. According to the Red Mango website, its frozen yogurt contains live and active cultures with no preservatives, artificial coloring, or preservatives. Its gluten-free yogurt uses only natual sweeteners and will offer an alternative to other frozen yogurts in the area that use high fructose corn syrup in their products.  The standard flavors include the original Sweet and Tangy,  a Pomegranate by POM, Madagascar Vanilla plus with an ever-changing special flavor, currently Cinnamon Apple Orchard at other locations.

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