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Tuesday
Oct292013

ChowdaQuest is ON! Vote for Your Favorite Soups & Restaurants

Chowdafest, presented by Stop & Shop, has announced a two-month program called ChowdaQuest allowing chefs/restaurants the ability to earn their way into the annual competition. 

Chowdafest is limited to 28 restaurants. Seven (7) spots in four categories: Classic New England Clam Chowder, Traditional Chowder (Manhattan & Rhode Island Clam Chowders only), Creative Chowder and Soup/Bisque. Restaurants who finished in the top 3 places last year in each category automatically qualify to compete again. A total of 12 spots can be earned through ChowdaQuest (three (3) in each category) with a remaining category spot reserved for “at-large” bids by the Chowdafest committee.

During the month of October through Thanksgiving, restaurants competing in ChowdaQuest are offering a soup sampler appetizer where customers use their smart phone to vote for which soup or chowder they think the restaurant should enter. Restaurants with the most votes will fill the remaining slots. ChowdaQuest is sponsored by CTBites.com and Sierra Nevada Beer who will also be the exclusive beer at Chowdafest as the event will now offer beer sampling to compliment the competition. 

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Monday
Oct282013

Fairway Market “Hosting the Holiday” Events Nov 2-3

Fairway Market stores throughout the Tri-State area, (including the Stamford location), are holding their annual “Hosting the Holiday” event in which shoppers can sample main courses, side dishes, baked goods and more from the extensive Thanksgiving catering menu and receive 10% off catering orders placed that day.

“Hosting the Holiday” takes place on Saturday, November 2, 2013 and on Sunday, November 3, 2013 between 11 AM– 2 PM at twelve Fairway Market locations (excluding the Upper East Side and Upper West Side stores).  Items available for tasting include autumn vegetable puree soup, butternut squash soup, roasted Fairway ABF turkey served with turkey gravy, roasted butternut squash, candied sweet potatoes, savory sausage stuffing, classic cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and Fairway’s own apple, pumpkin and sweet potato pies. 

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Monday
Oct282013

Bailey's Backyard Farm Dinner November 5

Ridgefield's farm-to-table restaurant Bailey’s Backyard will be hosting a seven-course farm-to-table dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The dinner will celebrate Connecticut ingredients and the farmers who cultivate them. The cost for the upcoming dinner is $95 per person with wine pairings and $75 per person without. Seating is limited. For reservations call 203-431-0796. For reservations call 203-431-0796.

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Sunday
Oct272013

CHAR Opens in Byram, Greenwich: A Menu Built to Please

Westchesterites and Nutmeggers...CHAR in Byram is open! 

In the crazy scene that was this year’s Culinary Village at The Greenwich Wine+Food Festival there were a few major culinary stand outs…and one was a Grilled Octopus with Garlic Confit prepared by CHAR. From that single bite I knew that a visit to this Greenwich newcomer was required.

Situated along the river in Byram on the NY border, CHAR is owned by experienced GM, Jimmy Rucova, and his two brothers who also run Dolphin and Cafe Hudson, both in Yonkers. CHAR has a warm, but "cool" interior, with multiple dining spaces all outfitted with beautiful reclaimed wood. The wall coverings are former floor joists from old buildings in Brooklyn and the flooring is water-logged white oak from Alabama. A stone fireplace provides the focal point in the main dining room and antique brass fixtures dot the faux-tin ceiling to provide a casually hip environment. 

But the food is the real news at CHAR.

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Friday
Oct252013

Recap: Final Fork It Over "Brunch" Fundraiser With Chef Jeff Taibe

CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGE TO LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY

On Sunday, the final Fork It Over event to raise money for The Westport Farmers' Market, was held at the Norfield Grange in Weston. Jeff Taibe from Oak & Almond charmed us with an afternoon of Southern fare that left everyone licking their fingers and wanting to know what else this talented chef has up his sleeve. To top it off, John Barricelli from Sono Baking Company did not leave a sweet tooth in the house untouched. Please see below for the full menu and recipe. These events were a group effort with the talents of Saugatuck Grain & Grape, Lauren Kreter and Something Borrowed and an amazing staff. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY HERE c/o Liz Dorney.

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Thursday
Oct242013

Sneak Peek at Eclectic Luncheonette in New Canaan

A stop at the newly opened Eclectic Luncheonette and Catering on Vitti Street offered a glimpse into the cuisine that owner/chef Robert Milano will bring to the east end of downtown New Canaan. The periwinkle exterior adds a bright, southern feel to this residential-commercial street; an inviting beginning to any visit. The interior is more sterile, offering 22 seats and a long counter where orders are placed.

The lunch menu consists of various salad combinations, sandwiches with melted cheese, soufflés and desserts. Most tend to include fried ingredients or cheese so be careful if you are looking for a lower caloric lunch; you can create your own salad from a list of a dozen ingredients.

My lunch started with a cup of the house made “Tomato Bisque.” The tomato-ey flavor was rich and delicious, the texture was silky from the addition of cream, and the diced scallions added a nice crunch with just a touch of spiciness.

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Thursday
Oct242013

Wine Highlights from The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival

How much can change in a year! Last year, I attended the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival as a CTBites contest winner.  I was just a typical reader who had entered the website’s Facebook contest in the hopes of getting a ticket to the coveted annual event. 

Now, just a year later, I was standing under the CTBites tent, which was prominently stationed right at the entrance to the festival.  After attending Greenwich Wine & Food last fall, I went on to write for the website and ultimately become their wine correspondent.  And at that moment I was preparing to interview some food and wine heavyweights including Gretchen Thomas of Barcelona and Laurie Forster, “The Wine Coach.”

2013 marks the third year for the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival.  Serendipity sponsors the event and a portion of the proceeds go toward Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. 

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Wednesday
Oct232013

Bodega Taco Bar presents Dia de Los Muertos Nov. 2nd

Always one to throw a party, Bodega Taco Bar presents Dia de Los Muertos,   "Day of the Dead", one of Mexico’s most important festivals since pre-Hispanic times. While it may sound a bit macabre,  the day is actually met with great joy as families gather to welcome the souls of the departed on their annual visit home.

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Wednesday
Oct232013

Barcelona Restaurant Cooking Classes @ ALL Locations!

Ever wondered how the chefs come up with the seasonal menus and specialty dishes at your local Barcelona Restaurant? The Barcelona Cooking Class series can shed some light on everything from "Seasonal Veggies" to "Spanish Stews,""Braises," and "Holiday cooking." These classes are held in the kitchens with Barcelona's Executive Chefs. Check out the great list of Cooking Classes at your favorite Barcelona Restaurant. Cooking classes make great gifts!

Stamford Classes

Where: Stamford
When: 10/26/13 @ 2:00 PM
Fall Vegetables Cooking Class
$45 per person, plus tax and gratuity

Enjoy the beginning of Fall and join Chef Scott as he shows off some of his favorite ways to cook up the great vegetables that Connecticut has to offer!

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Tuesday
Oct222013

Michele's Pies New Cookbook, Perfect Pies & More, Available Today!

One of the perks of living in Fairfield County is the proximity to Michele's Pies two locations in Norwalk and Westport. I've been around the block when it comes to pie, and Michele's are simply the best. 

When Michele Stuart first got into pie-making, she burned out three ovens in her ski condo in Vermont supplying local farmers’ markets with pies made with “love and fresh fruit. ”Those days are long gone. 

Now, with her second cookbook, and 27 National Pie Contest Championships, Michele is poised to take over the pie eating world. If you can't get to one of her stores, and would like to bring some of her culinary magic into your own kitchen, check out her new cookbook: Perfect Pies & More.

After the success of Perfect Pies, Michele Stuart went back into the kitchen—the same kitchen in Vermont where she first dreamed up the award-winning creations that inspired her to open the popular Michele’s Pies shops.

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