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Pho Saigon: Real Pho. Really off the beaten path. 

If you like Italian cuisine (I mean real Italian) and you haven't been to Fortina in Armonk yet, something is ALL wrong. 


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Reheated Food News for April 1

This just in...

Beware of friends trying to force-feed you, a new food trends study predicts human foie gras will gain in popularity in 2012.

The Filling Station announces "Metro North Shake" in new Brake Dust flavor. Will be served in whatever containers are rolling around the train floors that day. 

Lolita Cocina in Greenwich to begin "Extra Romantic Lighting Fridays." Restaurant illumination will go from dim and murky to nonexistent. "Everyone's beautiful when the lights are off," says management. Test audiences responded no change in their ability to read menus.  

Friday Froth Sneak Preview: "White Lightening Beer." 100% alcohol brew nearly impossible to buy unless you have a cousin in Kentucky.

Shake Shack's Westport location will feature a "Lite" Burger for guests counting calories, or saving room for custard. 

Sandra Lee & Anthony Bourdain to collaborate on new Walmart line of tableware. 

Small child attempts to steal 3 foot tall Chocolate Easter Bunny from Belgique Chocolatier in New Canaan. Forced to eat entire rabbit as punishment.

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Dine With Design at The Glass House


The Philip Johnson Glass House is teaming up with five chefs from Harvest to Heat to offer an unforgettable event that celebrates the connection between land and plate. Dine with Design will be held on Saturday, June 11 from 12 to 3 p.m. offering guests the opportunity to explore the 46+ acre Glass House property and taste dishes inspired by the land. Tickets start at $300 per person, and can be purchased online.

Participating chefs and artisans include: Michel Richard of Central Michel Richard; Brian Lewis formerly of Bedford Post Inn; Lee Chizmar of Bolete; Bill Taibe of LeFarm; Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway; Mark Furstenberg of The Breadline, Jasper Hill Farms, Freddy Guys Hazelnuts, Theo Chocolate, Tuthilltown Spirits, Rappahannock River Oysters, Peet's Coffee & Tea.Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT; Freddy Guys Hazelnuts, Monmouth, OR; Theo Chocolate, Seattle, WA; Tuthilltown Spirits, Gardiner, NY; Rappahannock River Oysters, Topping, VA; Peet’s Coffee & Tea

For more information on participating chefs & artisans as well as sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase tickets to the event, please visit The Glass House's Dine With Design website.

CTbites is proud to be a media sponsor of Dine With Design.


Local Find: Nueske's Smoked Bacon 

I recently came out of the closet regarding my bacon obsession. In fact, my passion for the smoked pork has kept me in constant pursuit of good bacon-y finds in our neck of the woods. 

This weekend, I spotted  a brand @ The Fresh Market in Westport that I have only previously found via mail order...Nueske's Smoked Bacon. Smoky with a mild sweetness, this bacon is smoked over apple wood embers for 24 hours (commercial bacon is smoked for about five hours).  It's lean and luscious, and since most of the fat is rendered in the smoking process, Nueske's bacon doesn't shrink like other brands when cooked.

If you haven't sampled Nueske's Smoked Bacon, hightail it over to The Fresh Market's meat department and shell out $5.80.  If you have found Nueske's Smoked Bacon anywhere else in Fairfield County, please share the coordinates below…


Caramel Sea Salt Shake @ Filling Station in New Canaan

CTBites is pleased to present this month’s sneak peak preview of Filling Station’s April 2011 Special Bacon Blue Cheese Burger and its Special Caramel Sea Salt Shake. Although April 1 is normally associated with jokes and pranks on friends and family, the April monthly special burger and shake is neither as it combines some favorite all time flavors.

This month’s Special Burger includes the Filling Station's farm raised 75/25 beef with toppings of thick cut bacon, crumbled blue cheese, crunchy deep fried onions, lettuce, tomato and Worcester sauce infused mayonnaise.

When I visited Filling Station Co. today, the staff was busy experimenting with the timing of their new non-pressed burger technique for the recently announced Stamford location and I asked if I could try the April burger cooked with this new method.  I performed my ritual of cutting the burger in half and saw that the new method produced a perfectly prepared medium rare. My first bite was delicious.

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Dressing Room's New England Lobster & Mussels 

This classic New England dish is featured on the Dressing Room's dinner menu and is one I've always wanted to make in my own kitchen.  Aromatic and satisfying, Chef Vaast's New England Lobster & Mussels is a great recipe for spring entertaining. The Dressing Room uses Wave Hill Bread for dipping, but The Flaxette would do the job nicely as well.  

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A "Kitchen Nightmare" @ Cafe Tavolini in Bridgeport

Gordon Ramsay was spotted (how could you miss him?) this past December filming another soul crushing "Kitchen Nightmare" at Cafe Tavolini, in the Blackrock section of Bridgeport. On Friday March 25th the conclusive drama unfolded at this local Italian eatery. It aint pretty, but what did you all expect? Here's how it went down when Gordon Ramsay came to town.  Watch the full video episode here. 

Did you watch the episode? Tell us what you thought!


Liana's Trattoria: A Taste of Napoli in Fairfield CT 


“I can hear myself speak” was my sentiment shortly after arriving at Liana’s.  It’s kind of nice in this age of lofty wine bars and chic locales to find respite at a place on the cozy side that makes an effort to slow the pace down just a little.  

Despite its small street level space on Tunxis Hill Road in Fairfield, Liana’s Trattoria accommodates a full bar and two high top tables to the left through the entry, with a half wall separating it from the dining room to the right.  The ceilings are low and with lights dimmed the ambience is, dare I say, intimate.  

Liana DeMeglio, who worked for a long time at Pasta Nostra in Sono, greeted and sat us, returning frequently to check on us throughout the meal, while hours before she was in the kitchen making desserts and the ricotta gnocchi renowned by repeat diners.  It’s readily apparent that she’s the lady of the house;

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Shout Out: Best Japanese in Fairfield County?

One of our most commonly asked questions in terms of restaurant guidance is where to go for great Japanese food in Fairfield County (or just beyond)?  There is nothing more sublime than a piece of top grade sushi, but when it is less than divine, it can be a dining disaster.  And we're not just talking about sushi here. Where do you go for great Udon, a well balanced seaweed salad, or inventive maki? Help out your fellow readers, and tell us...

What are the best Japanese Restaurants in Fairfield County? 


Reheated: Weekly Food News for March 25

 Food Expo | A Vernal Epicurean Experience | 

Support locally grown food and meet over thirty exhibitors at the Food for Thought Expo on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield.

Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines hosts "A Vernal Epicurean Experience" — annual fund-raiser and wine tasting — on April 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Equinox Fitness.

SAILS American Grill has expanded their live music line-up to include "Music in the Afternoon" on Sundays from 5 to 7 p.m. beginning on March 27 as well as complimentary snacks throughout the performances.

Barcelona Stamford will host a "Cooking with Offal" class on Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m.  

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Savor Cookies: This Aint Your Average Cookie  

Let’s play the association game.  What comes to mind when you think of pomegranates, black olives, roasted leeks, cardamon, lavender?  First thing to pop into your head?  COOKIES?!  

Once you taste Andre Kreft’s savory shortbread cookie bites you may soon be thinking about some unusual ingredient and food pairings yourself.  Kreft, a self taught artisan baker, launched SAVOR FINE FOODS only six months ago.  He has created 12 flavors for his shortbread  cookie bites that surprise and thrill with prominent flavors.

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