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Saturday
Sep212013

Walrus & Carpenter Host Crispin Cider Tasting

Walrus & Carpenter, one of Fairfield County's most exciting new restaurants will be hosting a...no...not wine...not beer...CIDER tasting event, Crispin Cider Tasting Thursday September, 26th. How better to herald the beginning of fall than with the menu below?  Pork, Bourbon, Squash...Take a look.  

For Walrus newbies, the kitchen is led by Executive Chef Paul DiMaria, formerly of the beautiful Community Table in Washington, CT. Walrus and Carpenter is located at 2895 Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport. This is an evening you won't want to miss. 

1st Course – Crispin Original + Cider Cocktails

Fall spiced smoked pork + apple sausage, goat cheese crostini, tarragon aioli, 

cider-red wine reduction

2nd Course – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider

Butternut squash + sweet potato soup, smoked bacon, apples + thyme

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Friday
Sep202013

Westport-Weston Restaurant Week: 23 Restaurants, Dining Deals

Mark your calendars; The Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor the tastiest two weeks of the year during Westport’s Fall Restaurant Weeks -- Sunday, September 29th thru Saturday, October 12, 2013. This biannual event provides the perfect opportunity to take advantage of great savings at Westport’s best restaurants throughout town. 

Twenty-three local eateries will feature exclusive 2-course lunch, and 3-course dinner options (prix-fixe) during the two-week period. It’s an ideal time to discover Westport’s hidden dining delights at savings of up to 40%.  

Participating restaurants are:  323 Main Restaurant & Bar • Blue Lemon • Cru Restaurant and Lounge • DaPietro's • Matsu Sushi • Pink Sumo Café Sushi & Sake Café • Rizzuto's • Sakura Japanese Restaurant • Tabouli Grill • Tarantino’s • Tarry Lodge • Terrain Garden Café • The Mumbai Times • Rive Bistro • Positano's Ristorante • Artisan • Acqua Ristorante • Post 154 • Spotted Horse Tavern • Tavern on Main • Tengda Asian Bistro • The Red Hen at the Westport Inn • Arezzo Ristorante. 

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Friday
Sep202013

Foodie Road Trip: Mystic, CT for Seafood & Sweets

“Cute Connecticut Day Trips.”  Search. Labor Day had left me with an unexpected day off from work, and I’d turned to Google to help decide what to do with the time.  The results came in with a definitive winner: Mystic, Connecticut.  Between an aquarium, a historical seaport, and seaside shops, the town seemed like the perfect destination.

And perfect it was.  In addition to its attractions, Mystic also holds an array of amazing restaurants overflowing with fresh seafood.  After a morning at the aquarium, my friend and I chose a place called “Go Fish” for a late lunch.  It is located in Old Mistick Village, an area of small shops and boutiques meant to feel like a colonial New England town.  We walked into a space adorned with large sea inspired murals painted in vibrant colors- almost Warhol-esque.  There was a beautiful large bar accentuated with rows of shiny glassware.  Even though it was three in the afternoon, several people were enjoying a meal or a drink at the bar.

Go Fish specializes in fresh seafood; ideal for the person wanting to appreciate the coastal milieu.  Specials included an assortment of local raw oysters and jumbo crab legs.  Guests can choose from an array of appetizers, sandwiches, soups, and entrees.  My favorite feature was that full entrees could be ordered as small plates as well.  I decided on a small plate version of their Steamed Littleneck Clams with grilled chorizo

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Thursday
Sep192013

"The Founding of the Food Network: A 20 Year Retrospective" 

The New School will be hosting a panel on "The Founding of the Food Network: A 20 Year Retrospective," on September 27, 2013, from 6-7:30 pm. It is open to the public; there is no charge. For those unable to attend, the panel will be taped and available online. Panel description and speakers below.
 
Speakers include Reese Schonfeld, co-counder CNN and the first president of The Food Network; Joe Langhan, formerly of an executive at Colony Communications, currently President, Media Program Network; Pat O’Gorman, lead producer for new talent and documentaries; and Allen Salkin, author of From Scratch: Inside the Food Network. Moderated by New School faculty member, Andrew F. Smith.
Description: Twenty years ago, the Food Network began broadcasting tapes of old cookery programs. It wouldn’t start live broadcasts for another two months, and when it did, there were not many viewers. From these modest beginnings, the Food Network has grown into one of America’s most successful cable network channel and in process, it has engendered hundreds of other food and cooking shows on cable and broadcast networks, and its culinary competitions have converted food into a spectator sport.

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Thursday
Sep192013

Campari Martini via Saugatuck Grain & Grape

The bitterness of Campari can be overwhelming to a lot of people. This is the reason why if you ask some people if they like it, they'll scrunch their face up and say "No! It's terrible!". While on the other hand, the part of the population that either grew up with sipping Campari after big meals to aid digestion or have had it properly incorporated into a delicious cocktail would disagree. I would fall into the "Campari Lovers" category. Although, there was a time in my life which I couldn't stand the stuff. It was only until I had a couple of sips of a perfectly made Negroni cocktail that I had changed my mind. 

Inspired by other recipes, I tweaked this cocktail to soften the bitterness and bring out more of the beautiful complexity and citrus notes of Campari. The sea salt allows the hidden orange citrus, rhubarb and herbal notes to push forward on your palate. It creates a different experience on the tongue allowing different taste buds to "fire" to highlight more subtle flavors. Simple syrup acts as a smoothing agent. It carries all of these flavors to the back of the throat, softening the bitterness and adding a well place sweetness in this refreshing cocktail. This is a great cocktail for any time of the year for any occasion. 

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Thursday
Sep192013

Upcoming Beer Dinners: Relic Brewing, Stone Brewing, Cask Republic

Relic Brewing has been producing small batches of beer from their location in Plainville for well over a year, and they’ve been at the top of my mental checklist of Connecticut brews to try for some time. They’ve recently given all of us two more reasons/excuses/opportunities to satiate both our curiosity and thirst, starting with their Autumnal Celebration on September 20th. This will be a free event on Relic’s grounds at 95 B Whiting St. in Plainville, and feature local purveyors of wood fired pizza, paella, bratwurst, fries, porchetta and, of course, locally brewed beer. 

The second, possibly more noteworthy, event involves Relic pairing with restaurant 50 West, also of Plainville, for a Belgian beer dinner on October 2. Relic produces several Belgian-style ales, one of which will be paired with five of the six courses at the meal, including some highlights like:

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Wednesday
Sep182013

Guess The Chef...Again!! Win Westport Farmers' Market Swag

We're back with another exciting edition of "Guess The Chef." This round, we are guessing the Chef for the September 29th dinner....

If you follow CTbites, you've likely heard about the upcoming "Fork It Over" underground dinners to benefit The Westport Farmers' Market.  If not, WFM is hosting 4 pop up dinners over the next 2 months with both mysterious locations and guest chefs. We've had so many questions regarding what mystery chef will be cooking on which dates that we thought we'd have ourselves a little fun.

The Guest Chef Cooking on September 29th gave these clues to CTbites. The FIRST PERSON TO GUESS THE CHEF BELOW WINS a basket of fabulous swag from local CT vendors courtesy of The Westport Farmers' Market. Good luck!!

What is your favorite ingredient? 

Eggs. They are so versatile and have many different applications. They can be used in any meal of the day and are found in dishes all across the world. My favorite way to cook an egg is to poach it and then eat it alongside pork belly, braised greens, and toast.

Hobby when not cooking?

Brewing beer. I have been doing it for three years and currently, I'm building an automated system that can brew batches up to thirty-one gallons. My specialties are hoppy IPA's and chocolate stouts. 

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Wednesday
Sep182013

Kids Review: Wilson's BBQ via AsherZeats

“It’s no sin to get sauce on your chin.” - Bishop Tutu

Last weekend I got a chance to make the short trek to Wilson’s Barbecue (1851 Post Rd  Fairfield, CT ), to enjoy some incredible Pit BBQ. Wilson’s is owned by Ed Wilson, who has competed in and judged numerous BBQ competitions throughout his life. Ed is an extremely kind man, who goes out of his way to talk to everyone who enters his restaurant. He even happily agreed to sit down and talk to me after my fantastic meal, about what makes his food so good.

He couldn’t be nicer.

When we arrived at Wilson’s we were greeted by Mr. Wilson who said hello and wished us an excellent meal. As I entered the restaurant I noticed the comfy, road-house-esque atmosphere that was filled with memorabilia of his experiences as a chef and owner. When it was time to order, we got a lot!

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Tuesday
Sep172013

Saugatuck Craft Butchery Moves in Westport w/ New Take-Out Menu & Kitchen

Just a quick hop, skip and a purely sustainable, pasture-fed jump across Riverside Ave is the spankin' new Saugatuck Craft Butchery, now re-opened for business in Westport! Owner Ryan Fibiger and crew are ready and waiting with a crisp, clean, larger locale complete with a larger retail space as well as a complete, working kitchen where fresh, prepared foods are being made for purchase. Head Chef Mark Heppermann and his sous chefs have begun with sandwiches and salads, all made with the freshest ingredients. Meat from well...that's obvious, veggies pulled straight from the earth of the edible gardens - courtesy of Homefront Farmers - that surround the shop, and breads delivered daily from ELI's and Balthazar in NYC. The day we visited, we were pleased to find a Lamb Meatball Sandwich with pickled red onions and house made hummus as well as a gorgeous "Beets Me" salad with Quinoa, watercress and goat cheese. 

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Monday
Sep162013

Your Vote Counts! Connecticut Magazine Readers' Choice 2014

CTbites readers have great taste. So let's help Connecticut Magazine choose the best in Connecticut dining in their annual Readers’ Choice: Best Restaurants 2014. Voting is done online—on the form below—from now through the first week of October and winners will be tallied by early December.

VOTE: Connecticut Magazine Readers' Choice

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