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Happiness is authentic Thai cuisine. We like Ruuthai's Kitchen in Bridgeport. You will too. 

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Past & Present Pizza Memories at Sonny’s

We have all had fond memories as a child. One of mine starts with my dad not being around much. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That doesn’t sound so fond.” Still, once a week, my father would come pick me up and take me out for pizza at Sonny’s in Norwalk.

Every Friday I would know that dinner meant pizza with my dad. He would pull up in his car and I would run out and hop in the passenger seat. The ride was a quick one over to West Avenue. I remember always being excited to pull up anticipating thin-crust goodness.

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Kids Review: Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram

Rebecca is a 7th grader at The Unquowa School in Fairfield, CT. She loves to read, write, draw and cook. This is her review of Ramin Ganeshram's new book, Stir It Up. [Note: Don't miss the great recipe for Coconut Dark Chocolate Cookies below.]

In Stir It Up by Ramin Ganeshram, the thirteen year old main character, Anjali, causes quite a stir when she chances losing some of the most important things in her life.

Anjali loves to cook; she loves working in her family’s roti shop. Her dream is to have her own Food Network cooking show by the age of fifteen. On the other hand, her father wants her to take an entrance exam to get into the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in New York City.

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Pacific Foods Reopens in Fairfield as Saigon Deli

Lovers of Bánh mì, the Vietnamese sandwich, were crestfallen when Pacific Foods (1561 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield (203) 220-9450) closed just a few months after opening.  I’m thrilled to report it’s back, under the same management.  Good news is that this hole-in-the-wall storefront now has three tables for eating in.

As CT Bites previously reported, the menu offers summer rolls, pho and bubble tea, and there’s a small grocery section.  But here’s what you have to order: the bánh mì.  It could be described as a Vietnamese sub.  Like a sub, the classic version combines cold cuts and crisp vegetables. But this light, well-proportioned sandwich is not an over-stuffed meat- feast, and each component reveals the way that the French colonization of Vietnam melded the flavors and cooking techniques of the two cultures.

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Paci in Southport: An Italian Treasure

I know, what’s with a preface to a review?  Is it some admission of not being able to objectively evaluate a place?  Or a built-in excuse for the inevitable “don’t just be a cheerleader for a pricey restaurant” response?  Who knows?  It could be anything - but I do feel like sharing my biases about Paci in Southport.

First, they’ve been open in Southport for fifteen years, about as long as I’ve lived in Westport – so there is a hominess and familiarity to the place that I appreciate.  There aren’t many constants in life, but for nearly a third of my years, Paci has been there.

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Stamford Restaurant Week Starts August 22nd

Mark your calendar. Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks start Monday August 22nd and continues through Monday September 5, 2011. This year, 28 of Downtown Stamford’s restaurants are offering special prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. View the complete list of participating restaurants below:

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Friday Froth: No End To This Summer

Imagine yourself in a favorite summer spot. You might be slowly swinging in a hammock in the cool, green shade of sunlight filtered through leaves. Maybe you're rolling through the waves in a kayak, putting a final coat of wax on your car, or clustered with friends in a horseshoe of beach chairs, pushing sand beneath your feet and turning your face up: squinting your eyes closed in the welcome glare. Keep that feeling. Hold onto the details of it, because fall's on the way, and we want to make this summer last as long as we can. Let's take a look at a few more seasonals to keep within our reach as we hold onto the summer.

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Cherry Grove Farm Dinner with La Zingara

Chef Tommy Giudice of Bethel's La Zingara Restaurant and Executive Chef & Owner Carey Favreau of Glen Arbor Golf Club will host a Farm to Table dinner at Cherry Grove Farm in Newtown on Saturday, August 27 at 6 p.m. Hors d'Oeuvres will be served from 6 to 7 p.m. and dinner will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Seats to this dinner are $120 per person and reservations are required by August 20. Cherry Grove Farm is located at 60 Platts Hill Rd, Newtown, Connecticut, 06470. View complete menu below:

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Napa & Company Recap: Ode to a Blogger's Feast

Sometimes, a culinary experience is so sublime, Calliope is evoked. On Monday evening, 16 bloggers were invited to experience NAPA & CO, featuring their talented Executive Chef Arik Bensimon. We came, we ate, we were inspired. Tiny tidbits were passed, 6 courses were served, and wines were perfectly paired . But prose wouldn't do it justice. Only through poetry and some visual food porn can you, too, feel a part of our pilgrimage to edible rapture:

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Caprese Burger w/ Pickled Tomatoes c/o Parsley Thief

Usually, when I make burgers at home, my toppings are fresh mozzarella, pesto, and tomato. But, for this post, I wanted something more creative than just that. Something worthy of being called a "recipe"...otherwise, I'm basically just telling you how to build a sandwich.

For a twist on the traditional Caprese ingredients, this burger is made with pickled tomatoes. Something that seems to be catching on these least according to all my Food Network TV viewing. The basil and balsamic vinegar elements come in the form of a basil mayo...which works out well for me, as I'm also known to enjoy mayonnaise on a burger. The rest is the usual...forming the patty by hand, between two pieces of wax paper {makes a perfect patty every time, in my book} and searing it in a hot, "salted" cast iron skillet {a method I learned from my MIL}. Lastly, my favorite parts...creamy, salty fresh mozzarella cheese, and a crusty, airy bread, like ciabatta. 

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Back to School with Clarke Culinary Showroom

Summer is winding down and school is nearly back in session. With that sobering news I decided to take it upon myself to reprogram the negative connotation with this time of year and embrace the classroom.

Clarke Culinary Showroom has a terrific line-up beginning late summer and into fall with new classes and a couple of new yet familiar faces such as Prasad Chirnomula of Thali and Michel Nischan.

Clarke's classes are known for their small class size which encourages an intimate atmosphere and the ability for guests to get up close and personal with the chefs. For a chance to win two tickets to a class of your choosing vote in Clarke's contest called "Vote for your Favorite Chef." The full list continues to change daily, so check-back soon as Clarke add classes, chefs and details:

Ice cream and Lollipops with Fritz Knipschildt on August 25; Tuna: Head to Tail with Matt Storch on September 1; Scandanavian Cooking with Fritz Knipschildt on September 15; Hors d'oeuvres with Chef Rui Correia on September 14; A Lesson in Spice with Prasad Chirnomula on September 29; A Special Night with Michel Nischan on October 6; Fritz's Favorite Pies With a Twist with Fritz Knipschildt on October 20; A Night with Chef Rui Correia and Portugese Cooking on October 27; The Freshest Ingredients with Michel Nischan on November 3; The Bounties of the Fall Market with Matt Storch on November 10; and A Winner's Class: The Art of Cooking with Root Vegetables with Fritz Knipschildt on November 17.

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