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Friday Froth: Viva La Michelada

Call it a "bloody beer," and I will have you flensed. An associate from Oklahoma calls them that, and his entire recipe consists of V8 and Gas Station Lite, like some sort of godless swine. I call it a michelada when I drink them, and you should, too. This sounds prescriptive, and it's intended to, because it's best to be forewarned and forearmed when we encounter a new specie. 

I have long been a fan of the bloody mary - in fact, I credit her with saving my life many a time during the Great Patriotic Keg Wars of my early 20s, but 30 was stealing up on me like Trotsky's assassin before I was swept up in the red coup of the michelada, and I've been a member of the party ever since, comrade.

Mistakes were made along the way, of course. 'This is a recovery drink,' I remember thinking. 'A sort of tremens-drip for the drinking class. It stands to reason that the more vitamins, minerals and other assorted Earth-stuffs, the better, yes? V8 is packed with many of the vegetables I hate, ergo it's bound to be good for me/this drink.' Ice, hot sauce, salt, pepper and beer went into the glass with the red fluid from the colorful bottle, and the results more successful than The Great Leap Forward only in that no one actually died. It was like drinking carrot juice from a storm drain. 

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Parallel Post To Host 2nd Annual Farm-To-Trumbull Events 

Parallel Post will again host the first of four Farm-To-Trumbull dining experiences on Wednesday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m. Following on the success of last year’s event, Farm-To-Trumbull will be an annual  culinary series designed to provide an intimate experience for 30 guests led by James Beard-nominated Chef, Dean James Max; Executive Chef, Chris Molyneux; and Chef de Cuisine, Ali Goss of Parallel Post.

Guests will first warm their palates with a welcome cocktail and a sampling of small bites, followed by a family-style dinner ripe with the season’s finest local ingredients, wine pairings selected by Parallel Post’s resident mixologist, Greg Genias aka “Bootleg Greg,” and an all-you-can-indulge dessert bar.

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Nominate CTbites for SAVEUR "Best Food Blog" Award

Do you like what we do at CTbites? Do you want to make us happy? NOMINATE CTbites for SAVEUR's Best Food Blog Awards. It only takes 30 seconds. Vote for CTbites HERE.  Deadline is March 14th. Why wait? Do it now. 


The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Stew Leonard’s will welcome local cookbook author Dina Cheney to sign copies of her new cookbook, Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals, on Saturday, March 8 from 12-2.  Dina Cheney has been the “Taste Test” columnist for Everyday with Rachael Ray for several years, is a regular contributor to Fine Cooking, and has written articles or developed recipes for more than 20 other publications. Cheney lives in Cos Cob, Connecticut.

DC Brau beer is officially in CT!  Come to Turnpike Wines in Fairfield to help celebrate the launch on Saturday March 8 from 1-5pm.  Free event.  For information on these delicious craft brews visit:

It’s the 2nd Annual Great Wall of Stouts at The Ginger Man in Norwalk.  26 stoutly stouts will be on tap Monday, March 10 through Sunday, March 16.  

Monday March 10th, experience a “Cool and Fun Varietals” wine class at Napa & Co in Stamford.  If you’re tired of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, try this class to find varietals lesser known like Grenache Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Tannat, Pinot Meunier, Petit Verdot, and more.  $45+ pp.

Tuesday March 11 at 7pm, Barcelona in New Haven will present you with “Foods from Chef Frank’s Trip to Spain.”  The trip provided some amazing culinary inspiration.  Experience some of the dishes he brought back with him. $25 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 

Also on Tuesday, “Celebrity bartender” Linda Kavanagh of Max Exposure Media will put her culinary skills and knowledge to work in support of Community Plates at Bistro 7 in Wilton.  Visit the link to see which guest bartenders will support different charitable causes throughout the month. 

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Bodega Hits The Road w/ The Bodega Food Truck Catering

Bodega Taco Bar continues to make its mark on Fairfield County with the addition of the Bodega Food Truck hittin’ the road this month. The rolling vibrant green mobile might as well be named the party bus as it already being booked for private parties, school functions and outdoor events – and the paint’s not even dry yet! Fans of Bodega’s innovative and edgy, while authentic and fresh cuisine, will now have the opportunity to follow their favorite cuisine to a street corner near them or grab a taco while partaking in a local event. This taqueria on wheels will also be the centerpiece of Bodega’s thriving catering business.

The team has created a catering menu that straddles the line between “fine” and “fiery” with ease. From a Burrito Bar and Taco Party, to passed hors d’oeuvres of Tuna Tataki and Smoked Chicken Albondigas,  party goers are assured to have a unique experience.  Bowls of hand slapped guacamole, pico de gallo, and cucumber mango salsa with fresh corn tortilla chips are a true crowd pleaser, as are roasted veggies with poblano agave yogurt dip and ceviche bowls with vibrant citrus shrimp and scallops. That deli sandwich platter at the office lunch meeting is transformed with hearty “tortas” such as; Argentinian grilled hangar steak with chipotle aioli, greens and queso fresco; Grilled Chicken with black beans, goat cheese and pickled onions; Grilled Portabella with truffle red pepper aioli and crispy kale; and the Baja Fish Wrap with mango cucumber salsa.

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Da Pietro's Chef Pietro Scotti Talks About 25 Years in Westport

Chef Pietro Scotti…on 25 years in Westport!

On the day after Michel Nischan sadly announced the closing of The Dressing Room, I was sitting in the cozy dining room off the kitchen of Chef Pietro Scotti’s home talking with Pietro and his wife, Janine, about the changes in the restaurant scene and in particular dining in Fairfield County.  

An anchor in Westport for over 25 years, Da Pietro’s Restaurant on Riverside Ave was one of the first “fine dining” establishments in Fairfield County, and immediately become popular as the “go to” place for special occasions and romantic dinners.  Reviewed as “Perfection ” by The New York Times and  “Excellent” by Wine Spectator, the intimate 25 seat restaurant specializes in fresh pastas, creative starters and hearty and seasonal entrees.  

Pietro, known for his big smile, warm personality, and unfailing generosity to local community events and causes, has helmed Da Pietro’s since the beginning and can still be found in the tiny restaurant kitchen every day during both lunch and dinner.   

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Ferguson Library's A Novel Affair is a Foodie's Delight

The Ferguson Library’s major fundraiser, A Novel Affair, will transform the library (at Bedford and Broad Street, Stamford) into an elegant venue Thursday, April 10 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event, which raises funds for library services and collections, is a foodie’s delight, featuring small plates from some of the most popular area restaurants and caterers, an open bar and wine tastings hosted by BevMax. There will also be craft beer tastings courtesy of Charter Oak Brewing Company, SBC and Half Full Brewery. This is the fourth year for the event, which last year netted $160,000 for the library.

Tickets are $125. Reservations available at or by calling 203 351-8205. Sponsorship information at 203 351-8208.

Participating restaurants: 
Bar Rosso
Charter Oak Brewing Company
David’s Soundview Catering
DiMare Pastry Shop
The Fez Restaurant & Bar
Greenwich Staffing
Half Full Brewery
Hudson Grille
napa & co

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Graham Elliot's Primary Food & Drink Opens in Greenwich: Outstanding & Creative Cuisine

Primary Food & Drink, the newest member of Master Chef Graham Elliot’s expanding restaurant group, opened in Greenwich this past December under the direction of Executive Chef and Managing Partner Merlin Verrier. The restaurant is serving some of the most innovative and imaginative interpretations of traditional recipes using unique combinations and ingredients.

With six Michelin stars in his portfolio, Chef Verrier worked under several of the great chefs in America. His culinary experience included stops in his native California, Oregon and Colorado where he was eventually noticed by James Beard Award winner Chef Jennifer Jasinski and promoted to Sous Chef at her Rioja Restaurant. His travels brought him to Chicago in 2008 where his business relationship with Chef Elliot commenced. One month after joining Chef Elliot, he was promoted to Sous Chef and a year later he was overseeing the kitchen as Chef du Cuisine where he received his first Michelin star. Chef Verrier now brings his magical cuisine to Fairfield County.

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Sustainable Food & Farm Expo, Sunday, March 9

Hundreds of guests eager to sample local, artisan and organic food, attend tasting workshops, and learn about homesteading are expected to flock to Audubon Greenwich’s Sustainable Food & Farm Expo on Sunday, March 9, from 10 am until 5 pm. Twenty exhibitors and vendors, including organic farmers, homesteading experts, artisan food producers, specialty food retailers, and an organic restaurant, will be present to share their products and expertise with attendees. Attend free talks about backyard beekeeping, chicken keeping, organic gardening, community gardening, and the soil food web.

The Sustainable Food & Farm Expo is produced by Audubon Greenwich in cooperation with the Fairfield Green Food Guide and is poised to attract both regular guests and newcomers from as far as Westchester County. “Audubon is proud to host this exciting, family-friendly event. Organic farming practices and more wholesome approaches to eating will greatly reduce our burden on Earth’s natural resources while enhancing our habitats, soils, and communities” said Jeff Cordulack, Audubon Greenwich’s Events Manager.

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Friday Froth: The Good Earth

Someone - I don't recall who, and I'm forced to paraphrase here - once said the amazing thing about books is that a writer who may be hundreds of miles away or hundreds of years dead can speak directly from their mind into that of the reader. A recipes is the same, because what is a recipe but another cook speaking into your head and guiding your hands? A recipe is thus a combination of people and ingredients -  ideas of taste and texture made physical manifest. In this way a chef is the same as a brewer, and a dish is like a beer. 

Artisinal foods and beers are the result of obsessive dedication to recipes using prime ingredients to produce an idealized flavor. How much closer can you get to your ingredients than visting the actual dirt from which they spring? That's the idea behind Victory Brewing Company's Ranch series of double IPAs. 

The name comes from Victory working with family owned hop farms, which are sometimes called hop ranches, as if the hops detach themselves and wander the moonlit world when the humans aren't watching. Victory worked with growers from Roy Farms, Carpenter and Seagal Ranches, and and Perrault Farms, among others, to create this series. 

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