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Valentine's Gift Guide

Oh, for the love of....10 Unique CT Valentine's Gifts for your loved one. 

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Westport Farmers' Market Opens Dec. 8th @ Gilbertie's

This just in from The Westport Farmers' Market...

"When One Farmers’ Market Door Closes Another One Opens! As the temperatures start to dip and winter approaches we must bid a fond farewell to what has been a phenomenally successful summer season. However, we are thrilled to announce the start of the Winter Westport Farmers’ Market which will officially begin on Saturday, December 8th at 10:00am. The market will return for our third season at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden on Sylvan Lane in Westport.

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Cotto Wine Bar and Pizzeria Opens in Stamford

There’s a new kid in town, Stamford that is, and its name is Cotto Wine Bar and Pizzeria. Husband and wife Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi have teamed with Chef Kevin Kraklio to create a traditional Italian menu (with a few exceptions) that includes a wide variety of Tapas, entrée-sized dishes and pizzas. Located in the space that formerly housed Tappo, the trio first transformed the interior into a sleeker space, with a front-to-back Italian marble topped bar along the right wall, black-and-white photos adorning the left wall, a curved wood-planked ceiling and an enormous gas fired pizza oven in full view in the rear. Raised in Rome, Cotto represents Claudio and Silvy’s first restaurant in the United States, while Chef Kraklio takes the helm of the kitchen after attending the French Culinary Institute and working at restaurants throughout Italy.

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Pink Sumo Opens in Westport w/ Former Nobu Chef

Why Pink? Why Sumo? I'm not sure that I understand the restaurant's name (as it conjures up images of a very large, pony-tailed wrestler in fuchsia bikini bottoms) but there is no mistaking the quality of the food at Westport's latest Sushi and Sake cafe, PINK SUMO! Located at 8 Church Street, across from the YMCA and the colossally popular Spotted Horse, PINK SUMO suits the cozy, subterranean space that formally housed Manolo and, before that, Zest. Those restaurants couldn't seem to make it work in this location but I am pretty sure that PINK SUMO is here to stay. Here's why...

For starters, PINK SUMO'S owner, Skye Kwok, is doing it right by employing former NOBU Sushi Bar chef Eric Cheng to run the kitchen. With great expertise and aplomb, Cheng presents each dish as a work of art. And as the painter chooses the best oils for her art, Cheng uses the highest quality sushi-grade fish purchased by Kwok (also owner of SWEET BASIL in Fairfield) from YAMA, the renowned Japanese fish purveyor in New Jersey. Experienced chef, high quality fish and charming, newly popular location are certainly the ingredients for success. 

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Friday Froth: Ripple

Imagine yourself as the stone. Years of erosion - wind, sand, and tumbling through the water over other rocks - have erased your crags. Once an infinitesimal part within the slowly creeping monolith whole of the sea floor, you've become a matte-smooth egg, now just a few grams in mass, warm and dry in the sun. You are lifted, hefted easily by a child whose other hand is held by an adult. You arc through the air with the throw - in sunlight and shadow as you tumble - to land with a small splash on a wavelet. Ripples spread outward and above you as you flutter down to join the sea floor once again. 

You are the ripple, moving outwards. Behind you nest concentric rings, flowing towards but never catching you as your diameter grows. They wane, but you travel without drag, somehow separate from everyday space, and unslowing. Still just a small ring, but you're growing, and sweep up a canal in Stamford, Connecticut. Your diameter grows, and sweeps over a writer, contemplating a Half Full Rye IPA

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Olive Oil Tasting w/ Olivette: Things I Never Knew... 

Since I attended a 2-hour olive oil tasting at Olivette, co-sponsored by The Fairfield Green Food Guide, I am deeply ashamed of my olive oil buying habits and I promise to be a better person.

I thank Alina Lawrence, co-owner and general manager of Olivette, an olive oil and vinegar tasting room and specialty foods store in Darien, for her inspired decision to invite professional olive oil taster Arden Kremer to host the tasting. I thank Ms. Kremer for her patience with my sweetly stupid questions, and I will change my ways before someone sees what I am pouring on my salad. 

Historically, I have bought olive oil that comes in a bottle that has lots of Italian writing on it in squirrely script, maybe some pictures of olive trees. Also, sometimes there is a sale on industrial-sized cans of olive oil which I know will last me years because I live alone and do not use olive oil for any purpose outside of the kitchen.

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Little Pub Opening Second Location in Wilton

It’s true...the murmurs, rumbles and rumors are all true! We recently had the opportunity to chat with Doug Grabe, owner of Little Pub, and they are indeed opening a second location. The new location is slated to open its doors in January 2013. The feel and the cuisine will be much the same of what we all have come to know, love and expect at Little Pub. The new spot, conveniently located at 26 Danbury Road in Wilton, will offer the same fare, and thanks to a much larger kitchen, will also be offering some new items. We're hoping that the Shepherd’s pie will be back on the radar, perfect for a cold winter’s night!

We will bring you more on this exciting new opening as the date gets closer. 


Wakeman Farm Winter CSA Sign Up is Now!

Winter is drawing near, and many of us will eat the last of our local, farm-fresh veggies alongside our Thanksgiving turkey. Luckily, with Winter Sun Farms & Wakeman Town Farm in Westport, you get to keep eating Hudson Valley vegetables and berries all winter. You don't want to miss your first pickup. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time! (Here is more info on CSA's and how they work.)

The season kicks off in December, when your share is projected to include: Sweet Corn, Butternut Squash Puree, Green Beans, Peppers, Tomato, Blueberries and Pea Shoots. New this year, our tomato puree comes in a shelf-stable jar.   Sign up at and check Westport, CT as your pickup point.

WinterSunFarms Winter CSA Pickup at Wakeman Town Farm

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Downtown Westport Foodie Fest Recap

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the Northeast, the FIRST Downtown Westport Foodie Fest truly offered the “FUN before the Storm,” during the weekend of October 26th. Over 1000 attendees came out to enjoy the picture perfect Fall weekend and sample craft beers, attend wine and foodie events and stroll Westport’s scenic downtown along the shores of the Saugatuck River.

Foodie Fest featured unique food, wine and beer events throughout downtown Westport and was presented by Westport Downtown Merchants AssociationCTbites and The Sunrise Rotary, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting local non-profits, Connecticut Food Bank, and Homes With Hope thru a Food Drive sponsored by Westport Farmers Market.

The featured event on Saturday was “Biergarten On The Green,” on Veterans Green, a tasting tent of over 30 local craft beers

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SoNo Market Place Opens December 1st in Norwalk

A week prior to the official opening on Saturday December 1st, SoNo Market Place decided to sponsor a soft opening on November 23rd and I decided that tasting some good local food was a whole lot better than fighting the crowds at the mall.

All of the food purveyors were in full test-mode and my first stop was Flat White Coffee to taste the coffee described to CTbites by owner, John Palino, back in September. This was a creamy blend of rich coffee and steamed milk, a brand brought over from New Zealand, and one that should meet with great success in CT. 

But it's not just about coffee at SoNo Market Place. With over 20 food vendors and eateries, this European style market is poised to be a foodie destination. Guests lined up at Wise Guys Pizza for New Haven style pies; Norm Bloom served up fresh oysters and clams straight from the Norwalk waters, and Fish & Chips were on the menu from Gotta Nibble.  Caterering company, Festivities, has a permananet spot here with their take-out biz, "Party Express." Local specialty purveyors and well known brands such as Knipschildt ChocolatierWave Hill Breads, and Nothin' But Granola have also opened shop at the market. 

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Six Main: Elegant Raw & Vegetarian in Chester CT

Six Main will close their doors as of September 27, 2014. From their website announcement: "Thank you to all of our loyal customers for a wonderful 2 1/2 years, and most of all we would like to thank our farmer, Baylee Drown and her team at Upper Pond Farm for providing us with such inspiring food."

Elegantly prepared, nuanced preparations of vegetarian, vegan and raw food dishes are the expert domain of Six Main Restaurant in Chester, CT. Housed in the former Chester Savings Bank, a stately 100-year old landmark situated at the center of this quaint central Connecticut town, Six Main helps to usher in the slow momentum of “contemporary plant-based gourmet cuisine” into the state.  

Open since summer 2012, Six Main is the result of a serendipitous collaboration between owner Bill de Jonge and award-winning raw chef Rachel Carr. Looking for a chef who would hold the same passion for healthy food, de Jonge hired Carr who happened to find herself in the Northeast after many years on the West coast at the helm of the well known Los Angeles raw vegan outpost, Cru. Their partnership also led to the cultivation of de Jonge's Old Lyme home, Upper Pond Farm, for produce specifically raised for the restaurant they were building.

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