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Napa & Co. CTbites Invites Recap...The Importance of Pairing

Owner Mary Schaeffer, with new chef Leonardo Marino, guided thirty lucky diners on an evening of off-the-menu dishes and signature wine pairings for CTbites Invites latest event at Napa & Co. on September 27. An exceptional five-course seasonal pairings menu served to showcase the breadth of the restaurant's food and wine program, the new talent in the kitchen, and some of fall’s best seasonal flavors such as fig, squash and chestnut. Guests even got to take home a bottle of Toast, a sparkling white wine Napa & Co. commissioned for the restaurant.

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Westport Farmers’ Mkt Wrangles Food for the Needy @ Foodie Fest!

Feast on this, Fairfield County foodies! The Westport Farmers’ Market has joined the Gillespie Center/Homes With Hope and Norwalk-based food rescue organization, Community Plates, to create a charitable event of epicurean proportions during Westport’s upcoming Foodie Fest created by the Downtown Merchants Association (DMA).

October 27, day two of the Foodie Fest, WFM, SHSC and Gillespie Center will unite to create a crack culinary team that will host a sale of local flavors at the Gillespie Center. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., area epicureans are invited to learn how to create delicious meals with seasonal ingredients, take home a tasty treat and support a good cause, because proceeds from the event will go to support the partnership program between WFM, SHSC and Gillespie Center.  

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Bonne Nuit Chef to Join Basaran at Picador

Anxious food lovers of New Canaan concerned about the activity occurring behind the covered windows of 15 Elm Street, (the building that formerly housed Harvest Supper), can rest easy. CTbites is pleased to announce that Alan Basaran, owner of New Canaan’s Carpe Diem, is the restaurateur behind the changes. Next month Basaran will open Picador, a Spanish themed restaurant offering both Tapas and entrée sized dishes. Overseeing the kitchen will be a long time New Canaan favorite, Chef Kender Urena, from Bistro Bonne Nuit.


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Ad: Wave Hill Breads Bakery & Cafe is Much More Than Just Bread!

Have you heard? Wave Hill Breads is serving up way more than bread these days. Having recently moved their renowned artisan bakery from Wilton to 30 High Street in Norwalk, owners Margaret Sapir and Mitchell Rapoport launched Wave Hill Breads version 2.0 with a full cafe, serving breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday. This cozy eatery has developed a menu that celebrates local and seasonal ingredients and serves fresh, delicious fare. With WIFI, Java Love coffee, and the smell of freshly baked goods all day long, the Wave Hill Breads Bakery & Cafe is the perfect casual dining spot. Plus, they just won Best of the Gold Coast for Café/Bistro from Moffly Media.

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The Whelk: Bill Taibe's Inspired Seafood in Westport

The last year has given Westport three high-profile (if completely divergent) openings. Danny Meyer's Shake Shack opened its first venture into Connecticut and shook-up the Westport fast food scene and Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened a second Tarry Lodge in Saugatuck, bringing a different twist to traditional Italian restaurants. Finally, Chef Bill Taibe, the James Beard nominee and Owner / Chef of LeFarm opened The Whelk, his second Westport restaurant, on the Saugatuck River, just a short stroll from Tarry Lodge.

The Whelk, named after a sea snail similar to a conch, is primarily focused on seafood and addresses an oddly unexploited niche, a high-end seafood restaurant on Connecticut’s Gold Coast.  For that reason alone, I was especially interested in The Whelk, and thus began my exploration, with multiple visits to this award winning kitchen.

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Invites: 5 Course Latin American Wine Dinner @ Brasitas

Join BRASITAS owner, Jaime Guerrero and Norwalk manager, Fabio Rojas, for an all inclusive special dinner and wine pairing featuring Latin Fusion cuisine on October 23rd from 7:30-9:30 pm at Brasitas Norwalk. This event is $70. VIEW FULL MENU HERE. 

Chef Parra will introduce each dish, while Fabio will expertly pair each course with wines from the extensive wine list at Brasitas, featuring wines from all over the world including Argentina, Chile and Spain. 


Crema de Calabaza y Coco, a roasted pumpkin-coconut and lemongrass bisque, toppped with toasted pepitas and maple syrup.

Followed by Ensalada con Higos Rellenos; Garrotxa cheese stuffed Black Mission Figs wrapped in Jamon Serrano.

Lechon con Pozole; Slow roasted suckling pig, red chile Pozole, Avocado, Crunchy Cabbage and Tortilla "Polenta."

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Friday Froth: Hopstacle Course

"Brain Blaster," huh? I crinkle the plastic bag in my fingers and stick my nose in once more to inhale the pungent aroma of the dried green buds it contains. "Its only sounds like 'Brain Blaster'," says Brendan Kingston. "There's no way anything with a name like that gets past the FDA." I drop the bag and pick up a small glass of brown beer. The beer's real name is An Braon, meaning "The Tasty Drop," which is appropriate. We're not here to discuss the forest here, though: we're looking at the trees. Well, vines, to be precise. I'm sitting at the first in a series of educational tasting classes conducted by B. United International, and hosted by Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford.

Every day, CTBites chronicles the myriad ways in which we're lucky to be living in Fairfield County during the current food (and beer) renaissance in America

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Shacktoberfest Kicks off October 12th @ Shake Shack

RAISE YOUR STEINS, SHACKTOBERFEST IS HERE! Ein Prosit!  Let’s toast to good times -Shacktoberfest kicks off TOMORROW (10/12) at Shake Shack.

This annual event celebrates Oktoberfest as only Shake Shack can. This year’s Shacktoberfest runs from Friday, October 12th–Sunday, October 21st at all Shake Shacks (except ballparks and international locations).

Get ready for souvenir glass bier steins filled to the brim, delicious Schaller & Weber brats and sausages griddled crisp, and delectable Bavarian-inspired frozen custard creations.

The 2012 Shacktoberfest menu features:

- Shacktoberfest Bier Stein: Fill it with your choice of Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest or ShackMeister Ale; 25 oz., yours to keep. $10.00 | Refill: $7.00

- Cheddar Brat Burger: All-natural hamburger topped with a griddled cheddar bratwurst, crispy ShackMeister Ale marinated shallots and ShackSauce. $7.50

Spicy Brat: Andouille sausage griddled and served with German-style slaw. $5.25

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John Dough's Pizza Bar Opens in SONO

With very little fanfare, John Dough’s Pizza Bar opened in SONO in the space formerly occupied by O’Neill’s Pub and restaurant at 77 North Main Street. The brainchild of Bill Ferguson and Chef Derek Furino, John Dough’s focuses on one thing and one thing only…New Haven style pizza, well maybe with a few salads on the other side of the menu, 

For those who have enjoyed Furino’s creations at Behind the Net in the Darien skating rink, the new location will offer the same pizza with an increased number of toppings. The new location also serves 12 beers on tap, offer numerous TVs to watch your favorite sporting events, plus a little after pizza coffee from Zumbach’s Coffee of New Canaan.

Stay tuned as CTbites plans a pizza outing for a more detailed review of Furino’s creations.

John Dough's 77 N Main St, Norwalk, CT 06854 (203) 956-7676

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Martel Restaurant & Stew's Wines Team Up for Champagne Dinner

Who doesn't love a good wine dinner? And don't bubbles make it just a little bit better?

Stew’s Wines in Norwalk is hosting a Duval-LeRoy Wine Champagne dinner on Thurs, Oct 25 with Martel Restaurant in Fairfield (  This four course menu features a tasty menu paired with the perfect Duval-LeRoy champagne. The event starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $85/pp.  To purchase tickets, readers can call restaurant manager Marty Levine at 203-292-6916 and he’ll take a reservation for the event. 

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