Spring couldn’t come soon enough in our books, and while we love the warmth and comfort of soups and stews, we are so ready to hit the farmers markets to cram our reusable bags full of fresh spring produce. Here are our three favorite spring recipes that you’ll want to make just as soon as you throw open the windows and dust off your flip flops. Check out Marcia Selden's recipes for: Bruschetta w/ Smashed Fava Beans, Baby Pea and Bacon Risotto with Pea Shoots and Parmesan, and Fusilli w/ Roasted Fennel, Leek and Arugula Pesto
The spring/summer season brings many things: rain, blooms, a high pollen count, and vastly improved temperatures. The onset of warmer weather also means that farmers from all over our fair state will begin to harvest and sell the fruits of their labor at The Fairfield County Farmers' Markets. Sure, there were a selection of dedicated year-round markets this year which kept me deep in kale and root vegetables, but summer brings vibrant colors and flavors we can only imagine in the winter months. Perhaps, you already have a favorite, but the list of farmer's markets expands every year due to growing demand. Here's the roundup you need to stay in the local loop.
Analiese Paik of The Fairfield Green Food Guide has the ultimate Guide to Fairfield County's Farmer's Markets. This cheat sheet is all you need to enjoy beautiful local produce, baked goods, and prepared foods all summer long. Let the season begin!!
Word’s out. There’s a new Thai place in Bridgeport worth traveling for. Ruuthai is a little family-run restaurant making authentic Thai dishes. Even better, Ruuthai offers dishes rarely seen in these parts, like mussel pancakes, boat noodles and steamed red curry fish custard. And then there are the desserts. Thai desserts are decidedly weird to Americans. Pork in a dessert? What?! Yes, and it’s good.
Ruuthai has been open almost five months. It’s in a residential neighborhood off North Avenue. The storefront is cheerfully decorated with orange and lime accents, and pink and purple swirly, girly flower stencils. The effect is simple and charming. They’ve added a few more tables recently (they’re getting busier), and they do a lot of take-out, but I believe in eating food when it’s at its best – moments after Def Ruangsikul, head chef, has prepared it.
If you sit down to eat you will probably meet Chef Ruangsikul’s daughter Dif. Dif McGeough is the manager and waitress. She was born in Thailand and raised in the United States, and she’s a knowledgeable and gently humorous guide.
Over the course of several visits, here’s what we’ve tried:
The Battle of the Chefs returns to Ridgefield's Founders Hall on Sunday, June 1, 4 – 7 pm and will feature Chefs Forrest Pasternack of Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield, Matt Storch of Match in Norwalk, and Jeff Taibe of The Whelk and LeFarm.
In a culinary showdown similar to those featured on television shows such as Top Chef and Chopped, three seasoned chefs will match sharp knives and quick wits for the benefit of Founders Hall. The participating chefs, Pasternack, Storch, and Taibe, will compete to create an entree from a basket of surprise ingredients in front of over 200 people.
After several years of immersing ourselves in the Fairfield County dining scene as partners and editors of CTbites, we had the opportunity to trade pixels for print. We are very excited to announce the launch of our book, Fairfield County Chef's Table, featuring over 50 restaurants and recipes, now available at your local book store and online.
The book, published by Globe Pequot Press, was written by Amy Kundrat (yours truly), the executive editor and partner at CTbites. The photography is by none other than CTbites founder and editor in chief Stephanie Webster. It is the culmination of the many years we have been writing about and photographing the Connecticut food scene. This two year project was a blast to work on, and we only wish we could have included 50 more of our favorite restaurants. For more information, please visit our website.
A special thank you to all the chefs, restaurant owners, farmers, friends, CTbites contributors, and CTbites readers who shared their time, expertise, and support. We hope you enjoy the book, experiment with the recipes from some of our favorite restaurants, and share it with your friends and family!
Barnes & Noble, Milford: April 27 @ 1 pm
Barnes & Noble, Westport: May 17 @ 1 pm
Bodega Taco Bar is keeping tradition alive and keeping Fairfield County partying with their annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta. With the maiden voyage of the Bodega Food Truck this month, there will be even more to celebrate. Beginning Friday, May 2 thru Monday, May 5, the indoor / outdoor festivities include Bodega’s signature Mexican inspired fare, tequila tastings, cocktail specials, live music and dancing. Oh yeah.
Celebration highlights include our self-proclaimed "Year of the Pig" menu which includes; roast suckling pig plato, pork belly lollipop (and now we are excited), pork chop stack with green apple chimmichuri, roast pork mexi-ramen bowl: cracklin' pig taco, and pork and crab dumplings. Sunday Family Cinco Brunch is family fun day with a piñata, games, and Bodega’s version of "touch a truck" with the new Bodega Food Truck. Tequila infused revelers can dance to Latin DJ spun tunes at both locations Saturday night.
It's never too late to add a few new Passover recipes to the menu. Here are two more great Passover classics from Marcia Selden Catering including a Nut Free Haroset and a delicious Matzo Kugel.
Get a Taste of Easter at Stew Leonard’s on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13, 2014. Stew’s culinary team will offer complimentary tastes of their best sellers for Easter throughout the store. Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk- Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, April 13 12 – 4 p.m.
On Monday evenings, order the special Burger & Bordeaux at South End in New Canaan and enjoy a Speakeasy Burger and a glass of Bordeaux for $25.
Tuesday is Burger Night at Darien Social. Every Tuesday there will be new burgers, created by the Chef. Come out and enjoy the menu and the great price.
Half Full Brewery in Stamford holds another Rare Beer Night on Wednesday April 16th. Rare Beer Night is a recurring series that will take place on the third Wednesday of each month. The evening will feature 3-5 test batches and attendees will receive full pints of each beer. Tasty food pairings will also be provided by Fairfield Cheese Company and Fairway Market.
Also on Wednesday, Barcelona SONO presents “La Vida del Mercat,” a walk-around tasting that will feature our favorite food vendors, both locally and from Spain. This event will be farmers market style
Passover begins April 14th as does the hunt for new and exciting crowd pleasing recipes for your Passover table. We found some excellent selection in the recently pubished e-book, “4 Bloggers Dish: Passover, Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors," but in case you still need a few more dessert options for your repertoire, here are the recipes for Macaroons and Chocolate Soufflé cake from Chef Judy Roll of Tabouli Grill.