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Friday
Jan312014

Dressing Room in Westport Closes Its Doors After 8 Years

It is with a heavy heart that we report the Dressing Room in Westport has closed its doors. While we work on the full story, here are the words of Michel Nischan via their web site. Paul Newman and Michel Nischan were pioneers in the farm to table movement. Michel will continue his great work at Wholesome Wave, and we hope to see Chef Jon Vaast very soon. 

"After eight great years and hundreds of thousands of delicious, local and sustainable farm-direct meals, Dressing Room Restaurant has closed. Founded by internationally renowned chef Michel Nischan and the late actor Paul Newman in 2006, the restaurant was Fairfield County’s first farm-to-table restaurant.

We thank our customers who shared our passion and genuine interest in supporting regional growers and responsible farming methods. As a result of their loyal support, and the resulting successful 8-year run of the restaurant, there are now nearly a dozen farm-to-table restaurants gracing discerning Fairfield County palates while supporting Connecticut agriculture.

Dressing Room Restaurant received numerous awards and accolades in the local and national food press, including one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 95 New Restaurants in the World” (2006) and recognition for “The Best Burger in America” by Steve Raichlen, USA Today (2010). This is a testimony to meals made with the best locally grown, artisanal and organic foods. Yet, it reflects only one of Michel Nischan’s many talents.

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Friday
Jan312014

Friday Froth: BigBrew NYC News and Alex Le Rouge

Every once in a while I like to spike the gruel of my disjointed ramblings in this column with some actual news, which is why I'm going to lead off by telling you all about a beer festival that is about to happen a short drive/train ride away pretty soon. The Big Brew NY Beer Festival will have its inaugural event on Saturday, February 8th, at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.The organizers expect 1,500 to 2,500 people, which is positively tiny by beer fest standards, so there should be plenty of access to over 300 beers. General admission tickets are $50, designated drivers get in for $10 (in advance) and VIP tickets, which allow access to more beers, an extra hour of tasting time, and a buffet designed by Chef Anthony Goncalves of 42 The Restaurant, go for $80 in advance, or $90 at the door

All attendees will have the opportunity to discuss beer and food pairing with John Holl, author of The American Craft Beer Cookbook, and are invited to 42 The Restaurant for an after party and a 10% discount on their bill.

I discussed the impending launch of this year's batch of Igor's Dream Russian Imperial Stout in the last edition of Friday Froth,

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Friday
Jan312014

Raise $$ for Community Plates @ Baró Restaurant Grand Opening Fund Raising Event

We love it when local restaurants step up to support a great local cause. Baró Restaurant in Fairfield is doing just that on February 19th, 2014 5:00pm to 9:00pm.  Baró has partnered with Community Plates to donate 50% of ticket sales at their Grand Opening Fund Raising Event to end hunger in the U.S. 

What can you expect at this event? Tons of tapas, tacos and more, signature cocktails from the master mixologists at Baró as well as a silent auction. Plus...Baró + Community Plates = a really fun night. Tickets are $40. We hope to see you there. 

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Thursday
Jan302014

The Spread's Poblano & Corn Chowder with Fresh Crabmeat

Get ready to rumble. Chowdafest is this weekend at the Webster Bank Arena, where 28 chefs will battle it out for "best of," and then Superbowl eating goes into full swing. The Spread in Sono under the direction of Chef Carlos Baez, will be competing for the first year at Chowdafest in the "Creative Chowder" category. Chef Baez may be a rookie to Chowdafest but he certainly is no rookie in the kitchen. 

Check out his very simple and delicious recipe for Poblano & Corn Chowder with Fresh Crabmeat. Make it for your Superbowl party or skip the work and sample some at Chowdafest before the big game. 

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Thursday
Jan302014

Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Darien’s Restaurant Week returns from February 2 through February 6.  Selected restaurants will offer a multi-course meal for a special set price.  Lunch is priced at $12.14 or $18.14 while dinner is $20.14 or $30.14 depending on where you dine (plus tax and gratuity).  Try: Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Bodega Taco Bar, Cesco’s Trattoria, Chuck’s Steakhouse, Coromandel, Darien Social, Estia’s American, Jimmy’s Southside Tavern, Meatball & Company, Rory’s Restaurant, Scena Wine Bar, Tengda, The Goose, and The Melting Pot, and more.  

Tuesday February 4, the Fairfield Cheese Company will hold a fondue class.  Experiment with several different fondue recipes in all their warm and creamy glory. There will be lots of delicious dipping accompaniments and a couple of wine selections to add to the fabulous fondue fun. $45. Info here.

It’s a Sierra Nevada tap takeover at Cask Republic Stamford on February 5th at 7pm.  Guests can taste Bigfoot Barleywine, Torpedo, and Ruthless Rye IPA in the back room. 

Knipschildt Chocolatier (CT Magazine's Best of CT for chocolate) and Wine Institute of New England (CT Magazine's Best of CT for wine appreciation) join forces on February 5th from 7:00-9:00 pm. 

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Wednesday
Jan292014

Sneak Peek at F·I·S·H Restaurant Coming to Stamford

The finishing touches are being applied to F·I·S·H Restaurant in Stamford as it prepares for its grand opening in a few weeks. Housed in the space formerly occupied by Boca Restaurant, the staff is busily preparing to change the focus from small plates to one focused on more traditional offerings of seafood with a smattering of meats and poultry.

Overseeing the kitchen is Chef Domenico Gurliacci, who also directed the kitchen at Boca. Prior to joining Boca, Gurliacci prepared some delicious Greek cuisine at Kouzina in New Canaan and was a cook at the Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood. As Gurliacci told CTbites, “There were too many restaurants in Stamford offering the small plate concept. We wanted to change it up a bit.”

The menu is designed to appeal to both the lunch crowd as well as those at dinner and features a varied approach. Guests can choose from several Raw Bar offerings or one of the appetizers that range from Lobster Corn Chowder, mini fish tacos, and mini beef empanadas to traditional seafood appetizers of fried calamari or oysters, plus Asian inspired mussels and spicy buffalo shrimp. Sandwich choices include Oyster Po-Boy, Buffalo shrimp, Crab cake BLT, Steak and Gorgonzola and the F·I·S·H burger. Entrées consist of several pan-seared or grilled fish options or F·I·S·H’s modern comfort food interpretations of ricotta gnocchi with lobster; beer battered fish & chips; seafood gumbo and spaghetti with clam sauce.

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Tuesday
Jan282014

Bruno DiFabio of Greenwich's Re Napoli: Next Judge on Food Network's "Chopped"

Connecticut resident Pizza maestro Bruno DiFabio — an owner of 10 artisan pizzerias around the country including ReNapoli in Old Greenwich and Pinnochio Pizza in New Canaan  — has been named as the new judge on Food Network's Chopped.

A six-time world world pizza champion (winner at Euro Disney Mondial de la Pizza and last year's Pizza Expo in Las Vegas), DiFabio is currently working with the Guinness Book of World Records to break the fastest pizza in the world.

Bruno will preside over the Season Premiere of Chopped on Superbowl, joining Amanda Freitag and Alex Guarnaschelli.

Read more about Bruno over at ConnecticutMag.com

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Monday
Jan272014

Sneak Peek at Bistro B Westport


The carpenters, electricians, and plumbers are all busy finishing, and the kitchen and wait staff are preparing for the Grand Opening of Bistro B Westport, due to open next week in the Westport Inn on Post Road East. The restaurant will feature a bar and dining area with 30-35 seats for dinner plus a dining area in the rotunda overlooking the grounds to the rear of the hotel that will seat an additional 50 for private parties and Sunday brunch (which will feature the same menu as Barnum Publick House). The restaurant will also utilize the front lounge with a fireplace where visitors can enjoy cocktails and appetizers.

Guests of Bistro B Westport will enjoy the cuisine of Chef Joseph Italiano. Regulars in the Norwalk area know Chef Italiano as the opening Chef Du Cuisine at Bar Sugo, where he prepared delicious Italian fare, and further east, diners in the Bridgeport know of his talents as the Chef at Bistro B. Chef Italiano, a CIA graduate and veteran of NYC’s 11 Madison Park, is currently finalizing the opening menu. He will use his classical French training to offer variety of cuisines, as he described it, “We will have a little bit of everything.”

The menu will feature small plates that will include several salads, pastas, seafood, sliders and French bistro-classics escargot plus onion soup. The large plates will feature multi-national “bistro” cuisine from the German pork chops with red cabbage, Southern chicken fried chicken, Italian gnocchi with tomato sauce, burgers, to a French hangar steak frites and duck confit. Rotating daily specials will highlight a few fish and meat selections from roasted skate wing to Coute de Boeuf for two.

Stay tuned as CTbites returns in a few weeks to sample Chef Italiano’s cuisine at the new Bistro B Westport.

Bistro B Westport on Urbanspoon
Sunday
Jan262014

The Granola Bar Opens In Westport: Great Coffee & Good Eats

Get your highlighter out and start counting how many times I drop the G bomb in this article. Some things cannot be avoided.

The Granola Bar at 275 Post Road East in Westport has created a lot of caffeinated buzz, as well a bit of traffic congestion in the parking lot of Playhouse Square, right in the heart of Westport. 

Julie Levitt and Dana Noorily, two local Westport moms with years of combined business experience and a passion for food, first co-founded Oats Granola, currently sold at Whole Foods, Stew’s and other select markets around the area.  The success of their product was not enough for these two entrepreneurs who had their eyes on the prize. Continuing down the foodie path with a vision to create a happy place where good, clean food and a little schmoozing can take place, they launched The Granola Bar.

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Saturday
Jan252014

Chocolate, Dessert & Wine Lovers Evening to Benefit Shelter For The Homeless

The Chocolate, Dessert & Wine Lover's 'Tasting' Evening to benefit The Shelter for the Homeless is back! On Thursday, February 6th, over 50 vendors will be serving up an evening of glorious culinary indulgence in the form of decadent chocolates, confections, and mouthwatering baked good, all washed down with fine wines, beer and specialty beverages. Here's the real bonus…You can enjoy your nibbles from favorite restaurants and shops like Bar Sugo, Darien Cheese Shop, Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters, Chocolate Lab, and  Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Cupcakes, knowing that 100% of every ticket sold supports the Shelter for the Homeless programs. 

Check out the complete list of vendors below and we'll see you there!

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