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Tuesday
Nov132012

Calling All Pepperheads: Salemme Peppers

If you are the type who scoffs at the red pepper flakes provided at the local pizza parlor, screwing off the top to be able to pour the maximum number of flakes on your slice while saying loudly enough for tables nearby to hear, “Ha!  You call this hot?”, then you really need Tom Salemme.

Along with his extended Italian family residing in and around Cheshire CT – and to be fair, Brooklyn - Tom keeps the Salemme tradition going. It started a couple of generations ago, great-great-grandparents growing peppers for their own use, but friends and neighbors had to have some, too. 

The tradition lived on long after the first and second generations passed away and the family farm was sold. Salemme peppers stayed, sowed and harvested on local farmland owned by T&D Growers, dried in nearby greenhouses, and, finally, the tiny peppers are plucked by hand from the dry plants at long tables in Tom Salemme’s backyard on an autumn afternoon.

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Tuesday
Nov132012

The Mind of Chef Debuts on PBS

For a limited time on PBS.org, you can stream the first four episodes of the PBS series narrated by Anthony Bourdain, The Mind of a Chef. The focus of the first season is chef David Chang of Momofuku fame who takes the viewer on a tour of a few of his favorite things including ramen, the chef's love of pig, his path as a chef and Spain. 

In the series premiere, "Chang dissects the roots of his passion for ramen dishes and tsukemen on a trip to Japan." The episodes capture the playful curiousity of Chang and insight into what makes him tick as a chef. The editing and background music may be a bit wonky, but the episodes are as addictive as the MSG-laden instant ramen that Change demonstrates how to eat raw.

The first four series on now on PBS.org until November 23. 

Watch The Mind of a Chef - Preview on PBS. See more from PBS.

Sunday
Nov112012

Quattro Pazzi: Molto Popular... In Stamford & Fairfield CT

"Good food. Good prices. People will come." That was the recipe for success my Russian Grandfather formulated when he opened his world-famous Indianapolis delicatessen a century ago.

Biagio “Gino” Riccio must have channeled Grandpa. His jam-packed Quattro Pazzi restaurants in Stamford and Fairfield are testimony to what happens when you serve delicious fare at fair prices. People flock … making QP one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Connecticut. (In fact, over 5000 CTBites readers voted Quattro Pazzi as the best Italian in Fairfield Country.)

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Sunday
Nov112012

Bodega Taco Bar Opens in Darien

The upscale, inspired Mexican street food and vibrant bar scene that Bodega has ushered in to Fairfield, has migrated south, opening in Darien this past weekend. The trio behind the original Bodega—Michael Young, Luis Chavez and Mario Fontana—have continued to perfect a brash menu that embraces the Americas, skewing from South America to North, and settling centrally on Mexico. In a markedly larger setting, the new Darien outpost has successfully duplicated much of the same menu, from antojitos to mezcal, with a few noteworthy additions. Bodega will be officially open starting Monday, November 12 at 5 pm for dinner, and will be open 6 nights a week Monday through Saturday, and open for lunch and brunch beginning January 6, seven days a week.

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Saturday
Nov102012

Visions of Gingerbread @ The Stamford Museum Opens Nov 17

CTbites is proud to be the media sponsor for Stamford Museum and Nature Center's “Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects” exhibition. 

Every year, I buy one of those boxed gingerbread house kits and my kids and I go at it. We glop it together with that glue-like petroleum by-product substance that they call icing, we decorate with the stale jelly beans and mini gum balls they provide, and we call it a day. It’s fun and the kids enjoy it. Do yours? If so, head to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center (SM and NC) this month and next to see how the pros do it. “Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects” is the name of the exhibition that the museum is presenting as both a showcase for local bakers and as a fundraiser for the SM and NC.

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Friday
Nov092012

Friday Froth: What's New?

Every day is like waking up in a new place when you're a beer fan. The craft beer scene continues to hit higher plateaus. Brewers and beer artisans no longer seem content to simply produce a great beer in a recognizable style, they're reaching out into the realms of winemaking, distillation and cooking just to see what they can offer, what they can contribute to zymurgy. I've mentioned the experimental barrel-aging going on with B. United's Zymatore Project, but every stumbling step seems to put me mouth to mouth with a pint of inspired brewing. It's like the Seattle music scene in 1990, or Parisian cafes in 1870: artists are communicating with artists, experiencing each others' product, and reconsidering what they can produce. 

Yesterday I had a Rogue Chipotle ale. Yes, yes, I know: chipotle has been done, done to death, buried, reanimated in a unholy ceremony using two parts voodoo and one part Guy Fieri's wrist band, and been put down and buried again, but there I was, having to recalibrate what I thought about beer.

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Friday
Nov092012

Don't Miss New Haven Restaurant Week...November 11-16

Recognized for its remarkable restaurants and culinary scene, New Haven will host the 9th NEW HAVEN RESTAURANT WEEK presented by Citizens Bank from November 11 – 16, 2012. This year, 33 of the city’s most sought-after restaurants will open their doors, and their hearts, with prix fixe menus costing $18 for lunch and $32 for dinner. Set menus and prices will include an appetizer, entrée and dessert (tax and gratuity are not included.)

Restaurants participating in November’s NEW HAVEN RESTAURANT WEEK  include: 116 Crown (Bar, Kitchen & Cellar), Adriana's Restaurant & Wine Bar (Northern Italian), Anna Liffey’s (Authentic Irish), Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar (Spanish Wine Bar), Basta Trattoria (Southern Italian), Bentara (Spicy Malaysian), Carmen Anthony Steakhouse (American Steakhouse), Caseus (Fromagerie & Bistro), Christopher Martins (Modern American & Italian), Geronimo (Southwestern), Goodfellas Restaurant (Regional Italian), Heirloom (Coastal Farm), Ibiza (Creative Spanish), Istanbul Café (Authentic Turkish), John Davenport’s (Contemporary American), Kudeta (Asian Fusion), L’Orcio (Contemporary Italian), Miya’s Sushi (Creative Sushi), Oaxaca Kitchen (Contemporary Mexican), Old School Saloon and Bistro (Continental Cuisine),  Pacifico (Nuevo Latino), Press (Artisan Pizza), Sage American Grill & Oyster Bar (Contemporary American), Soul de Cuba Café (Cuban), Temple Grill (American Casual), Thali (Regional Indian), The Cask Republic (American Tavern), The Kitchen Table (Sustainable American), Tre Scalini Ristorante (Regional Italian), Union League Café (Parisian Brasserie), Zafra Cuban Restaurant & Rum Bar (Cuban), Zaroka Bar & Restaurant (Fine Indian) and Zinc (Modern American).

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Thursday
Nov082012

Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets Book Signing with Abby Dodge

Popular cookbook author and baking expert Abby Dodge will be at Fairfield University Book Store to sign copies of her latest cookbook, Mini Treats & Hand-held Sweets. The event will be held on November 11 from 12 noon to 2 pm and will be at the Fairfield University Bookstore located at 1499 Post Road in Fairfield, CT. [Google Map]

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Thursday
Nov082012

Holiday Baking Classes @ Wave Hill Breads

To kick off your Thanksgiving preparations, Wave Hill Breads Bakery & Cafe is offering a series of holiday cooking classes, the first of which is: Pumpkin Desserts Three Ways (plus the Art of Presentation) from 10:00 - 1:00, Saturday, November 17th. Join Executive Pastry Chef Matt Kirshner for an in-depth Pumpkin experience, including lunch in the Café. Matt will be showcasing Pumpkin Creme Brulée, Chiffon Tart, and Soufflé. The class will be limited to fifteen pastry afficionados, and the fee is $100, so if you’re interested, sign up soon - their initial classes filled within hours!  To reserve, stop in or call us at 203-762-9595, or email Wave Hill at info@wavehillbreads.com.  We promise you’ll be a star at your holiday table.

Also, don't miss Family Fun (4+) - Rolling, Baking, Decorating Cookies with Chef Matt Kirshner. Saturday, December 15, 9:30 to 11:30, including lunch, $60 per person.  

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Thursday
Nov082012

BONDA & Peterson Wines Host An "All American Evening"

BONDA restaurant is thrilled to announce the next in a regular series of (irregularly scheduled) events that highlight wine and all else that’s great about sharing the table with good friends, food & drink.

Tuesday, November 13th @ 7pm, join BONDA Restaurant and Peterson Wines Winemaker, Jamie Peterson (as well as Fountainhead Selections and Harry's Wine Market) for an evening featuring four courses and five wines  for “An All American Evening.”  The price is $100 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Check out the menu below:

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