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Saugatuck Grain & Grape in Westport

Vintage gated tables lined with tequilas and rums, while bourbons and whiskeys are abundantly shelved nearby. I am especially drawn to Jeff Marrons’ corner display of tequila bottles—both of the consumed and collected variety—gathered on a custom riddling rack table. The presentation makes the space feel personal and homey, as if this could be someone’s personal collection. So, I am not surprised to learn that fiancée and owner Mimi McLaughlin has a background in interior design and fashion retail, evidenced in her attention to the smallest details, down to the charming tags, framed signs and chalk drawings at the entrance.

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Cooking for Kids: Camp Fine Dining w/ Chef Paul Desiano 

Camp Fine Dining is a two week camp for teenagers that will run this August led by Paul Desiano, Chef and Owner of Cello (formerly Plate) located in Copps Hill Plaza in Ridgefield.

In the first week, Camp Fine Dining will focus students on basic skills including knife cuts, butchering, sauces, and pasta making.  By the second week, the students and Chef Desiano will brainstorm a 5-course tasting menu. The class will spend the first week preparing and the program will conclude with the students cooking that menu for their families. 

Dates and time: August 16 -18, August 23 – 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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BBQ an’ Crab at House in Norwalk

Barbecue and Crab.  That may not be a combo found in nature, but the two do live together, albeit on separate sides of the menu, at the new  House of Norwalk, a restaurant packed with flavors and patrons, (The name is an acronym for BBQ an' Crab.) 

B.J. Lawless and Buckley Ryan -- founders of the popular Norwalk pub BJ/Ryans -- believed Southern Connecticut needed a great crab and seafood house. However Northern seafooders have trouble surviving the winter, so BBQ not only winterproofs the menu, it conveniently taps into America's hottest food trend.  The ribs also serve as a sentimental salute to the late Norwalk Rib House, Cogburns, which once occupied the same space and where B.J.and Buckley first met and began hatching their restaurant concepts.   

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Meet Antonella! CTbites' Summer Intern Extraordinaire

We have been very lucky to work with a talented young writer and food blogger Antonella Pagani this summer as our first CTbites intern. She has been working hard helping us create our soon-to-be-launched CTbites directory, covering food news and covering her hometown of New Canaan, CT where she lives with her family, when she is not attending school in Florida.

As summer winds down and she is about to take off and head back to Florida, we thought it would be a great time to share what makes this gelato-scooping, squid-ink-croquette eating, Batali-loving food writer tick.

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Gray Goose Owners Opening Upscale Pub in Westport


According to The Feast's Peyton Dougherty, the owners of the upscale pub, Gray Goose, are working on a new venture in Westport. Here's the story via

"Restaurateurs Tommy Febbraio and Kevin McHugh put Southport's dining scene on the map last summer when they opened the uber-popular Gray Goose Cafe in an unassuming cottage-like building on Old Post Road. Now they're poised to bring their eccentric, affordable upscale cuisine to downtown Westport. The pair just signed a lease with developer David Waldman and plan to open up an upbeat English-style pub within the next four months in the historic Sherwood House on Church Lane."

Click here to read article. 


Reheated: Weekly Food News for July 29

In case you missed it: Big openings at Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge and Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack last week in Westport!

New York Times gives “clubby” Stamford favorite Bar Rosso their Worth it stamp of approval - and so do we.

Celeb chef wannabes prepare to get your cook on: Food Network Star is searching for its next kitchen celeb with an open casting call in NYC Friday August 5th. More details via The Feast.

The guys behind Southport’s Gray Goose are bringing “an elevated version” of their popular concept to downtown Westport, scheduled to open this winter. Via Westport News.

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Sono Baking Company is Opening in Westport

Yep...You heard me correctly. The Sono Baking Company is expanding their bakery mecca and opening up shop in Westport. This Sono institution has just signed a lease on the charming new barn at the A & J  Farm Stand, right on the Post Road (seen above). The Westport location will feature a cafe serving grab-n go-items as well as a full espresso bar to accompany their wide selection of baked goods, cakes, pastries, cookies and artisan breads. Owner John Barricelli says "We hope to be open in late August or early September."  We hope so too. A good espresso is hard to come by around here. 

Welcome to the neighborhood.

The Sono Baking Company @ The A & J's Farm Stand 1680 Post Road East, Westport. 

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Saugatuck Craft Butchery Opening in Westport

Ryan Fibiger, a recent graduate of Fleisher’s Grass Fed and Organic Meats’ whole animal butchery program, is bringing his skills to Westport...Saugatuck to be exact. Coming this September, Saugatuck Craft Butchery featuring pasture raised & organic meats will be open for business. Analiese Paik of the Fairfield Green Food Guide recently spoke with Ryan about the shop as well as his meat CSA which will launch before his retail doors officially open.  

Here is the concept in Ryan's own words... 

"Our mission is to bring back the neighborhood butcher with an emphasis on whole animal butchery, education, and the creation of community. We will provide locally raised meats, prepared foods, restaurant wholesale, catering, instructional programs, and an exceptional shopping experience to customers in Fairfield County." 

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Ridgefield Farmers' Market

The Ridgefield Farmers' Market has returned this year in a new location adjacent to the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club just off Governor Street. Open for the past month, this year the market has beefed up their presence with guest chefs and a growing list of regular vendors, that takes place weekly throughout the summer on Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. 

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Kids Review: Bond Grill Hibachi and Asian Bistro in Norwalk 

Carly Monson is our roving 10 yrs old food critic. She hopes to get Fairfield County kids excited about eating in new venues like this one...

Do you love to have fun while eating delicious food? Well, then Bond Grill Hibachi and Asian Bistro in Norwalk, C.T. is the perfect restaurant for you!

I felt very welcomed when I first walked in. Bond looks very modern and most Asian restaurants look very ancient. Bond offers Hibachi and traditional Asia food, we chose Hibachi.  The Hibachi dining room has a totally different vibe (from the main dining area), you feel like you’re in Asia. The walls are painted a dirty green and the texture looks created by hand.

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