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Monday
Mar182013

5 Ways Kids Can Help Fight Hunger in CT

People often write in to CTbites asking how their kids can get involved in helping the hungry in our local community. We decided to go to the source, Connecticut Food Bank, to see how best to assist in their efforts. It turns out there are quite a few ways kids can get involved.  Here are some places to begin:

Organize a Team to Walk Against Hunger.  We just opened Registration for the 2013 Walk Against Hunger, www.ctfoodbank.org/walk.  There are now four dates to choose from.  There also may be opportunities for young people and families to volunteer at the walk.  It’s truly a fun family event.

Organize a food drive at school, with a sports team/club or the neighborhood, here’s a link to the info. on our site, http://www.ctfoodbank.org/how-to-help/donate-food

Volunteer.  Contact Kim Damien, our Volunteer Coordinator to learn about volunteer opportunities for young people and families. There’s volunteer information the CT Food Bank's volunteer page, or you can contact Kim at kdamien@ctfoodbank.org, or call 203-469-5000.

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Sunday
Mar172013

Must Try: Lao Sze Chuan Chinese Restaurant in Milford 

“How adventurous do we want to be?” Maria asks.  “On a scale of one to 10?”  She’s poring over the menus at Lao Sze Chuan and says it’s so authentic, some of these dishes aren’t found in Chinatown in New York City. Diced rabbit with peanuts. Hot and Sour eel with cellophane noodles. Pork intestines with blood cake.

“We have to have frog’s legs,” she says. “And the clams.” She starts making a list.

Donna and Mark’s list is already on their ipod. They’ve been looking  at Lao Sze Chuan’s menu online since three in the afternoon.  Maria passes me her list. Yes, the spicy ox-tongue and tripe is on it and I’m happy not to make more decisions. The menus – two of them, the main large, multi-plastic-paged booklet and the additional four page menu of Szechuan specialties  -- are overwhelming. Pages and pages of intriguing descriptions like “Silky fowl with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots in casserole.”  

I pass Maria’s list to my husband, who glazes over at the sight of her tiny script of five appetizers and 11 entrees. He passes it to Donna and Mark. They cross-reference against their i-Pod list, and add a couple dishes to the feast. Yes! The pig’s ear. 

There’s nothing like dining with the right group of people at the right place, and our crew of 10 is excited about our adventure to the commercial belly of Route 1 Milford to see if Lao Sze Chuan makes the most authentic Szechuan cuisine in Connecticut.  

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Saturday
Mar162013

The Next Wave in Mobile Food: A Floating Oyster Bar

This is a story about a boat, and oysters, and a new concept in dining...a moveable feast if you will. Once neglected, America's oldest oyster boat is taking on a new role as a floating oyster bar, and it's coming to a location near you. But to make this new culinary concept a reality, this boat needs your help. Here's the whole story....

Two years ago, a typical photo assignment changed the course of photographer Jean Paul Vellotti's life. You might say that was the day he became an accidental oysterman.

When tasked with capturing a local captain for a Whole Foods Market advertising campaign, he visited the East Norwalk-based Norm Bloom & Son oyster firm. There, he climbed aboard a derelict oyster boat to get a better perspective of his subject who was standing on the bow of the immaculately kept Catherine M. Wedmore.

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Saturday
Mar162013

The Drawing Room In Cos Cob Hosts Artist’s Table Dinner Series

The Drawing Room in Cos Cob is excited to announce it’s first Artist’s Table Dinner Series. The Drawing Room is an intimate gem, with a small dining room and garden patio that extends the tiny restaurant in the warm seasons and a newly remodeled art gallery in the space adjacent to the cafe.

“The Artist’s Table”, is a seated, plated dinner, with limited seating, situated right in their beautiful gallery, featuring local farms, artisanal cheeses and fresh, local ingredients, which highlight particular artworks and artists in their current exhibit. This Dinner Series is an exciting combination, bringing together art and food lovers and alike.

The season kicks off on March 24th @ 6:30 PM, when their executive chef, Paul Lockely teams up with Bjorn Eicke of Thomas Henkelmann to artfully create a five course dinner inspired by artworks from the current exhibition “Homeland.” Each course is well thought-out and inspired by the current collection of artwork in the gallery.  (See menu below)  In other words, each dish is based on a piece of artwork. 

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Saturday
Mar162013

Invites: Join us for Dinner w/ Bistro Latino & The Wine Mapp 

Join CTbites for a special dinner on Tuesday 3/26 from 7:00-9:00 pm featuring Chef Rafael Palomino's Bistro Latino & The Wine Mapp in GreenwichFour courses plus dessert, all inclusive of tax and gratuity, are each paired with specially selected wines for $75. 

Start off with assorted tapas reception at 7 pm, followed by a 4 course dinner and wine pairings from Greenwich wine merchant, The Wine Mapp, a boutique wine and spirits shop with exceptional choices from around the world. View Menu Below or click here for more info & to purcahse tickets. 

4 course menu from Chef Palomino includes:

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Friday
Mar152013

Friday Froth: Different Shades Of Green

Welly, well, well, my drinking droogies - what's it going to be then, eh? Me? I'm going hybrid for the holiday, and downing a few pints of Black Velvet (I like to make it equal parts Guinness and champagne). It certainly does chase the grey away. But we can't rush into things, oh no. The sight of the crowds, of too much Kelly green, too fast - especially when contrasted with tanning bed orange - presents a shock to the system few mortals can bear. Thus it was that I decided to ease up and down and through a palette of greens in the Costa Rican jungle. To prepare myself for St. Patrick's Day, you see. 

It's a strange feeling, while sipping a cold beer in a palm hut, to find you somehow have wifi. The distraction provided by the ability to check the score of the UConn game is occasionally a welcome one, though, since Costa Rican beers are nearly as indistinguishable from one another as they are terrible. They don't merit much expatiation, so on to the bullet points:

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Friday
Mar152013

Upcoming Events at Yale Sustainable Food Project

Mark your calendar for an impressive schedule of events hosted by Sustainable Food Project at Yale University in New Haven. Among their upcoming events is a talk with Bren Smith of Thimble Island Oyster Co. (recently featured on Lucky Peach's Tumblr), followed by Greek food writer Diane Kochilas, and a foraging tour with the Sustainable Food Project's Justin Freiberg.

The Project manages an organic farm on the campus of Yale University and runs educational programs that support exploration and academic inquiry related to food and agriculture. For more information on their mission and events, visit Yale Sustainable Food Project.

Upcoming Events  @ Yale Sustainable Food Project

Calhoun Master's Tea with Bren Smith of Thimble Island Oyster Co.
Thursday, March 28
Calhoun College Master's House, 189 Elm Street 

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Thursday
Mar142013

Food Truck Fridays w/ Lobster Craft March 29th

 

Thursday
Mar142013

Too Little Thyme’s Pickles & Preserves: Pickling to Perfection

Jane Costello of Too Little Thyme has mastered the art of pickling to perfection.  Based out of her home in Westport, Costello has been sharing her old family pickle and preserves recipes with Connecticut for the past 15 years.  “I am a foodie,” says Costello.  “I am always in the kitchen and I am happy to be turning this hobby into my career.”  

Growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Costello spent her weekends browsing the rows of stalls at the Lancaster Central Market, America’s oldest operating farmer’s market.  “I was used to produce not wrapped in cellophane,” says Costello.  “My mother always had something fresh on the counter.”  It was from her childhood days in the market and in her family garden that Costello developed her love for fresh ingredients.  “It sounds like the old story, but everything I learned in the kitchen was from my mother and grandmother,” says Costello, “including my pickle recipe.”

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Wednesday
Mar132013

Winesday: Elm Restaurant Rhone Wine Dinner 

“Are you here for the wine dinner?” asked a smiling gentleman as I entered Elm Restaurant in New Canaan, shaking snow flurries from my coat.  Before I knew it, he was whisking us away behind the bar, past a few tables, and into a smaller dining room tucked away in the back.  The area felt cozy and intimate.  Four glossy walls framed the small space and a table set for eight sat in the center.  Nearby stood a countertop, where a few more guests could perch while looking into the bustling kitchen.

“We want people to feel like they are at our homes,” explained Chef Brian Lewis. “It’s like the feeling of having close friends over for dinner.”

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