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Friday
Apr252014

Kentucky Derby Parties @ All Plan B Burger Bar Locations

Saturday, May 3rd is the Kentucky Derby and Plan B Burger Bar will be partying at all locations. We're talking hats, dresses, seersucker, horses and, of course...BOURBON!  They will be celebrating on Saturday, May 3rd from 4-7 p.m. Mint Juleps will be flowing like water. The Plan B chefs are preparing a special Derby menu which you can view below. 

They will be watching the race on all the TV's, and of course no Derby Day party is complete without Raffles, a Best Dressed Contest, and a Best Hat Contest. Bring out your Southern Belle or Southern gentleman with fedoras, fascinators, straw hats, sundresses, roses, pinstripes, pink, and pastels. Anything seersucker will do!

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Friday
Apr252014

Friday Froth: Stone Brewing Beer Dinner + Beer Tasting Notes

Like beer? Like food? No? What are you doing here? Get out. Go back to your breatharian compound. Right: now that they're gone, we can lead off with a bit of news involving both beer and food, as Stone Brewing Co. and The Ginger Man in South Norwalk have announced a beer pairing dinner on Monday, May 12

The five course meal will be paired with five Stone beers, including a cask conditioned batch of their Go To IPA, Matt's Burning Rosids, Ruination, a 2012-vintage Old Guardian barleywine, and a cellared batch of 12.12.12 Vertical Epic, which I reviewed right here in January of 2013. The dinner will be $75/person, and includes tax and tip. For more info, click right hereOn to the reviews...

The last time I slid down the fire pole onto my usual spot at the bar at Ginger Man, I noticed a new beer from Omnipollo on the menu. I quite enjoyed my last encounter with the Swedish brewery, despite waking up covered in reindeer bites and lingonberry jam the next day, so I thought I'd give their Nathalius Imperial IPA a shot. There is an immense hop aroma just as soon as the glass makes its way within reach, like you've just stuffed your head into a bag of Chinooks, which... actually isn't a bad idea. 

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Friday
Apr252014

Chef Jeff Taibe Hosts Restaurant Take Over @ Ecco, May 13th 

Chef Jeffrey Taibe is having a little culinary fun before he starts his job at his brother Bill Taibe's new Asian joint in Westport this summer. On May 13th, Jeff will be taking his chef tools on the road to host a 4 course restaurant takeover at Ecco rooftop eatery and bar (above La Zingara) in Bethel. 

When asked about Ecco, Chef Jeff explained, "Ecco is one of my favorite places around. I'd like to introduce the people of lower Fairfield County to a great beer bar serving really solid food. Plus they have a wood burning oven I will be using in my menu." 

On that topic, Jeff says "I will finalize the menu a day or two beforehand once I see what's fresh at Holbrook." He did mention that he will be preparing a wide variety of dishes and the courses will be broken into: Sea, Garden, Land and Dessert. There will be lots of local products: vegetables from Holbrook; shellfish from Norm Bloom & Son and Taibe will be reaching out local farmers for livestock.  

Details are below:

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Thursday
Apr242014

OEC Brewery Opens In Oxford

Ben Neidhart of Beverage United International, importer of vanishingly rare and obscenely delicious beers from Europe, Africa and Asia, has announced the finalization of his brand new brewery, OEC Brewing, which will open its doors alongside B.United's headquarters facility in Oxford.  A public grand opening party will take place on Saturday, June 7th, at noon.

B.United imports have appeared numerous times in Friday Froth, and I had a chance to tour the facility last year as part of their Nepenthia event. BU has consistently been years ahead of the curve in barrel aging beers in creative and exotic ways as part of the ongoing experiment they call Zymatore, and OEC, while a separate entity, will be able to benefit from the other facilities on site. 

The new brewery, called OEC, for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores or "Order of Eccentric Boilers" (they know their Latin is less than perfect), gives the mad scientist Neidhart family a chance to bring creations wholly their own to the market, along with a tasting room which will feature six taps of OEC beers, B.United imports, and at least one of the ultra-rare Zymatore barrel aged special brews. 

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Thursday
Apr242014

Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Monday April 28, Napa & Co of Stamford presents FAVORITE WINES OF SPAIN.  Explore the dusty, dirty and sultry wines of this HOT region from Priorat, Campo de Borja and Rioja. There will be 6 wines to experience. $50/person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). 

Also on Monday the 28th, Barcelona West Hartford presents “Paella 101.” Join Chef Eric in this class dedicated to the Spanish classic – Paella! Learn how to make this delicious dish and a popular Barcelona favorite. For reservations please call the restaurant at 860.218.2100. $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 7pm.

Golden View Firenze Ristorante and Continental Fine Wine & Spirits will team up for a 5 course Tuscan Wine Dinner of Tuesday April 29.  5 dishes will be paired with 5 different Italian wines.  $70pp plus tax and gratuity.  Call 203-869-0865 to reserve.

Tuesday April 29, New Canaan Wine Merchants invites you to raid their reserve room!  Between 7 and 8:30pm, guests can select 3 high end wines to open, talk about, and taste.  Free event.

April 29 is also the 6th Annual Glenlivet/Cigar Dinner @ Max Fish in Glastonbury.  It features cigars from "The Tobacco Shop" on Pratt Street  in Hartford, CT, food, and Glenlivet pairings. $125 per person, not including tax & gratuity. Space is limited, so call for reservations today. 860.652.3474. 6-9pm.

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Thursday
Apr242014

Spring Wine Picks: Austria's Hopler Vineyards, Gruner Veltliner +

It seems as though everyone loves a good Riesling for springtime and summer sipping.  Last year, New York City was just one of the regions to participate in a “Summer of Rieslings” with a number of selections on the High Line and in restaurants. Germany is revered for its remarkable versions of the varietal.

However, a lesser-celebrated varietal promises to satisfy all of your desires as the warmer weather approaches.  Gruner Veltliner, a national grape of Austria, shares Riesling characteristics, but has lighter, crisper, and fresher tones than its counterpart.  On Friday March 28, Fairfield County hosted Christof Hopler, a respected winemaker and owner of Hopler vineyards in Austria.  He presented a selection of his delicious wines to an eager room of wine enthusiasts at South End Restaurant in New Canaan.

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Wednesday
Apr232014

The Farmer's Cow 2014 Farm Tours: Meet Your Local Farmers!

The Farmer’s Cow announces its 2014 Farm Tour schedule and invites visitors to come out to the country and meet the farmer’s that bring you real local Connecticut milk and dairy products.

Locally sourced food is one of the hottest trends in the 2014 culinary forecast according to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association. But what is local? The Farmer’s Cow milk comes from the contented cows of six real local Connecticut family-owned dairy farms, not from six other states.  “Real local” means our farm fresh products get to you faster and that means greater nutritional value and a smaller carbon footprint. 

“If you can visit the farm, then you know it’s real local,” said Robin Chesmer, Managing Member of The Farmer’s Cow.

"We invite families to see first-hand what life is like on a working dairy farm and learn about how we are working to save Connecticut farmland and sustain farming as a way of life.”

The 2014 Farm Tour schedule includes events in every season – winter, spring, summer and fall. Each tour is unique and celebrates a different aspect of what it means to be “real local.” Visitors can meet the cows and calves, learn about dairy farming and sample The Farmer’s Cow milk, ice cream and beverages. Hosted by The Farmer’s Cow farm families, all events are free and fun for all ages.

In case of inclement weather, please check The Farmer’s Cow Event and Facebook pages for updates.

All events are free and no reservations are required.

View the full Farm Tour schedule below:

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Wednesday
Apr232014

Ted Turner's "Ted’s Montana Grill" Opens in Hartford May 12th

Ted’s Montana Grill, the classic American grill co-founded by media entrepreneur, environmentalist and philanthropist Ted Turner and award-winning restaurateur George McKerrow Jr., announced that a new restaurant would be opening up on 35 Front Street in downtown Hartford on May 12th. The restaurant will be 4,600 square feet and will seat 160 guests.  This is the second Ted’s Montana Grill in Connecticut; the first location is in The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor.

Ted’s Montana Grill serves time-honored favorites in a relaxed setting reminiscent of the 19th century American frontier. The design of the Hartford location is inspired by old western saloons, with all the romance and classic touches that make it feel luxurious, but in a casual, warm way. The décor will feature Mahogany paneling, pressed tin ceilings, brass fixtures and beautiful crown molding.

From traditional comfort food to unique signature dishes, all meals are made from scratch fresh daily - nothing frozen or microwaved. Chefs only use fresh Certified Angus Beef, National Bison Association-certified bison, all-natural chicken and premium seafood. Ted’s Montana Grill also believes in fresh, sustainable, organic and locally grown ingredients.

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Tuesday
Apr222014

10 Questions with Gopi Nair of Tikkaway Grill

Equal parts businessman and chef, Gopi Nair is the man behind New Haven's 'fast casual' Tikkaway Grill. The former managing partner of South Norwalk's Coromandel, he is a familiar face to Indian food lovers in Fairfield County and has thankfully extended his reach east to New Haven. His passion for Indian cuisine and dedication to customer service has inspired Tikkaway’s central tenants: a fresh, healthy, and informal take on Indian food.

"I have been thinking that to me the world has two sets of people," said Nair. "Those who love Indian food but can't get enough and more frequently, and those who don't know Indian cuisine and have stayed away from it till now! Tikkaway grill is for both of them."

1. If you had unexpected guests arriving at your home for dinner in one hour, what would you whip up?

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Monday
Apr212014

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo in Fairfield County CT

It is said that Cinco de Mayo originated when Mexican-American communities wanted to commemorate freedom during the first years of the American Civil War.  Now you can commemorate freedom from winter with these awesome Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Here's what's going on at Bartaco, Bodega, Baró, Taco Loco, and more. Ole! 

The Cinco de Mayo celebration lasts for 5 days at Taco Loco in Bridgeport!

Thursday May 1: Get competitive with a taco eating contest at 7pm and a guest bartending mixology showdown at 7:30.  You can sign up for the events on facebook.

Friday May 2: Free tequila tasting from 6-9pm featuring over 15 tequilas. 

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