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Cocktail Naming Contest: Win Free Dinner @ Match

WIN a FREE Dinner for two @ Match Restaurant in SoNo. Here's how...

It's time for another cocktail throw down! Match has decided to trust the fate of their new summer specialty cocktail to the naming skills of our CTbites readers.  If your cocktail name is selected, you will win a FREE DINNER FOR TWO at Match Restaurant (cocktails included) + bragging rights. 

Here are the ingredients for the cocktail in need of a name:

1.25oz Don Julio Anejo
1.5oz Cocchi Americano
1oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
.75oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5oz Honey Syrup
Grapefruit Zest

Post your submission below (include email). We welcome input from readers. If you see a name you like...chime in!

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New Chef @ Barcelona (SONO) : Introducing Chef Wayne Homsi

With a hip and lively environment, the Barcelona restaurants have consistently offered bold cuisine, inspired by the Iberian Peninsula accompanied with some of the best drinks and Sangria in the area. Each location adheres to the basic premise that a visit to Barcelona must combine great fun with great food. To continue in this tradition, Barcelona (SONO) recently introduced its new Executive Chef Wayne Homsi. Fresh from his culinary journey throughout Spain, CTbites stopped by to sample Chef Homsi’s new additions to the Spring menu.

Chef Wayne graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and joined The Waldorf Astoria Hotel where he became the youngest sous chef in its history. He subsequently worked at Picholine and then became the opening sous chef at its sister restaurant Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro in New York. He next joined Il Barilotto as Executive Chef and Partner in 2002 before joining Barcelona SONO earlier this year.

The menu at Barcelona offers “Meat + Cheese,” “Tapas” plus a few smatterings of “Paella,” “Meat + Fish” and Mixed Grill.” The Tapas contains bar bites and others that are more closely described as small sharing plates.

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Westport Barnes & Noble Book Signing May 17th: Come Meet Amy & Stephanie

We hate to shamelessly promote ourselves, but we would be remiss if we failed to mention our upcoming book signing at Westport Barnes & Noble on May 17th.

Come meet CTbites Founders, Amy Kundrat and Stephanie Webster @ Barnes & Noble in Westport on Saturday, May 17th @ 1PM. 

If you haven't heard the news, check out our post on our recently published book featuring over 50 of the best restaurants and chefs in Fairfield County.

BONUS: Chef Jon Vaast from Sugar & Olives will be with us serving up their recipe from the book.  

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Extra Virgin Tasting Menu at Community Table with Olivette

Alina Lawrence of Olivette and Joel Viehland of Community Table will present an 'Extra Virgin Tasting Menu,' a night of eating, drinking and learning about authentic extra virgin olive oil, how to properly taste it, and the myriad of ways to enjoy it with food. This tasting menu will take place June 3 inside Community Table in Washington, CT.

Alina Lawrence is an olive oil educator and owner of Olivette, a boutique olive oil tasting room in Darien, CT. Alina received her training and certification in olive oil sensory analysis from the National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) in Imperia, Italy.

Chef Joel will work with Alina to share her extensive knowledge of olive oil. As Alina guides you through the complexities of each oil, Chef Joel will present a matching five-course tasting menu, accompanied by wine, that will make for a memorable evening.

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Pizzapalooza to Benefit Working Lands Alliance

Join Working Lands Alliance for our spring fundraiser at Hindinger Farm in Hamden, CT. This fun and casual (and kid-friendly!) event will be held on Thursday, May 15th at 5:30 pm. We will again be featuring Big Green Truck Pizza, great local beer, and bluegrass music from New Haven-based Five in the Chamber. So come thaw out from the winter and help raise funds to support WLA's efforts to protect CT's farmland! Purchase Tix here. 

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Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Monday May 12, Napa & Co in Stamford invites you to help them finish off the last of some single vintage wines before they restock the cellar. Cocktail style event with family style food and vino galore! Reservations required – limited to 25 people.

Ted’s Montana Grill in Hartford officially opens its doors on Monday May 12! Ted Turner, a philanthropist, environmentalist and avid outdoorsman joined forces with famed restaurateur George McKerrow Jr.  The restaurant embodies Big Sky Country and its tradition of hearty food.

American Craft Beer Week is May 12-18 and the Gingerman locations are celebrating with beer dinners:

On Monday May 12, the Gingerman in SONO will hold a Stone Brewing Co. Dinner in honor of Craft Beer Week. 5 hard to find brews, including the Go to IPA (cask conditioned) and Ruination, will compliment 5 courses. Tickets are $75 per person, tax and tip included.  Call 203-354-0163 for reservations.

On Wednesday May 14, the Greenwich Gingerman will have a Goose Island Beer Dinner.  Thie paired dinner features six beers, including brews not yet readily available in this area.  Tickets are $85, tax and tip included.  (203) 861-6400.

Cask Republic of New Haven will also participate in American Craft Beer Week with daily events and specials.  View full schedule here.  

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Event Roundup: American Craft Beer Week In CT May 12-18

One hundred twenty four. That's how many breweries posted events for the first American Craft Beer Week in 2006. Since then, the number of microbreweries, brewpubs and beers bars has quintupled, and they all bring out their best and brightest for this one week celebration of fermented grain. Last year there were 1,269 individual events reported to the Brewer's Association. with who knows how many slipping under the radar. So, the question rises: where will you be during American Craft Beer Week?

We've compiled a quick primer with a rundown of events for each day of ACBW 2014 to give you all an outline of what Ninkasi has let slip between her delicate fingers and onto your town. There are more events in the Constitution State this week than we can print, but we've tried to find something for everyone in several different counties, and feel free to comment if you know of anything we may have missed. Allons-y! 

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‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ Author Brings Her Italian Wines to Connecticut

“The wine in Tuscany tastes like the earth it came from,” says Under the Tuscan Sun author Frances Mayes, who is releasing her own line of hand-selected Tuscan Sun Wines in the U.S. to help better present a fabled European lifestyle to Americans—who could benefit from slowing down and embracing the Italian ethos of centering life on the joys of the table and celebrating food and wine as integral parts of life. (As part of introducing the wines, Mayes will participate in a quartet of Connecticut events in May; details a bit lower.)

We all have heard, and envy, Mayes’ story, which the world has come to know through her books and also through the 2003 film “Under the Tuscan Sun,” based on Mayes’ 1996 memoir and starring Diane Lane as a recently-divorced author who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life. (Mayes bought the villa but the marital rift is a fictional embellishment of the screenplay.)

On May 29, Mayes will lead a wine tasting and bottle signing at Twisted Vine in Fairfield (3 to 5 p.m.) and do the same kind of event the next day at the same time at Crazy Bruce’s Liquors in Bristol.

At 6:30 on the 29th, Mayes will attend a wine dinner in her honor at L’Orcio in New Haven. The cost is $50 per person and includes four courses with wine pairings and cantucci. For reservations and more information, call L’Orcio at (203) 777-6670.

And at 7 p.m. May 30, Mayes will be at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook for a wine tasting, followed by a screening of “Under the Tuscan Sun.” Tickets are $15 at

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Fairfield Cheese Company Celebrates 5 Years

Five years ago Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo combined their love for cheese and their entrepreneurial spirit and created Fairfield Cheese Company, a bustling cheese shop located in a food loving Connecticut suburb. To celebrate five years of artisanal and farmstead cheese, charcuterie and fine foods, and their popular cheese school, Fairfield Cheese Company will mark their anniversary with a calendar of special events during the month of May. View the complete list of events below:

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Join the CSA @ Hubbard Heights Farm in Stamford: Here's Why...

The CSA from Hubbard Heights Farm is different than most subscription food programs.  That’s because its fields lay smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Stamford, the state’s third largest city.  Consequently, most subscribers live within a few minutes of the farm, so it’s easy to drop by and watch their groceries grow.

“They really identify with the place,” says Randy Brown, the Cornel l-trained Wizard who conceived and created this one of a kind urban farm.   “Because they’re sort of shareholders, the subscribers feel ownership of the crops.”

Convenient access also allows people to customize their weekly supply of just picked vegetables, greens, and flowers.    “We don’t have to transport the boxes to a central pickup point like most CSA’s,” Brown points out.  That allows subscribers to personalize their portions.  In fact, they can even go into the fields and pick their own food.  “It doesn’t get fresher than that,”  Randy adds.

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