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Friday
Aug262011

Road Trip: Ballo Italian Restaurant & Social Club @ Mohegan Sun

Restauranteur John Tunney, owner of the popular Mexican restaurant Besito in Hartford, expects to wow you with his 12th and newest restaurant, Ballo. The word “Ballo” is Italian for “dance.”  Diners can expect the usual eating and drinking, but you can do what the name says and dance as well.

Ballo Italian Restaurant and Social Club will join Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Todd English’s Tuscany, and Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino this September. Even though Ballo is still under construction, Tunney’s idea is unique, and when he speaks, you can imagine how original this new restaurant will be from the usual. 

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Thursday
Aug252011

The Schoolhouse Restaurant @ Wilton's Millstone Farm

On a perfectly clear and balmy night last week, 60 diners gathered at Millstone Farm, Wilton, to dine alfresco in the field adjacent to  Betsy and Jesse Fink’s farm house . Tim LaBant, Chef and owner of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale Restaurant,  was focused and in good humor as he checked last minute details and greeted familiar faces. Enthusiastic attendees sauntered down the hill towards one very long, white draped table dotted with glowing candles and jam jars filled with brightly colored  flowers from the fields.   

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Wednesday
Aug242011

Beer Dinners @ The Ginger Man in SoNo

Here's a little something for the beer drinkers amongst us (the ones tired of hearing about all those darn wine dinners). The Ginger Man is offering monthly beer dinners, each featuring 5 beers from a brewery or importer, paired with and used in a 5 course meal. On Monday August 29th at 7:00 The Ginger Man will be featuring Cisco Brewers from Nantucket Massachusetts!

Here's how it works: The evening kicks off promptly at 7pm with the first round of beers, a light appetizer or salad, accompanied by an introduction to the brewery representative and a little history on the brewery.  4 more courses will follow, including a cheese course and dessert.  During each course the guest brewer will share some information about the beer, as well as how it pairs with the food. 

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Wednesday
Aug242011

Making Gazpacho w/ leFarm's Bill Taibe

The wait is over. The tomato harvest is in full effect as witnessed at farmers' markets all over Connecticut. Wondering what to do with all those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes?  Chef Bill Taibe of leFarm in Westport has a few ideas on that front. Join Taibe as he shops the Westport Farmers' Market to select ingredients for a uniquely wonderful Gazpacho recipe. You loved it at the restaurant...now you can make it at home. 

[Video Editor: Greg Robbins ]

Tuesday
Aug232011

elm Sneak Peek @ New Canaan's Restaurant Week

New Canaan’s first Restaurant Week begins August 26th. In addition to the participation of some of my favorite restaurants including Cava, Cherry Street East, Kouzina, and the town’s newest arrival Tuscan, the Ralph Lauren Store will host a special evening on Thursday from 5-9 PM featuring delicacies prepared by Chef Brian Lewis, who will open his new restaurant, elmthis fall. Chef Lewis is currently assembling his list of purveyors as well as overseeing the restaurant’s extensive renovation (more to follow). As he expands his relationship in New Canaan as both a sponsor and a participant in the event, Chef Lewis is thrilled to play a part in this first ever New Canaan Restaurant Week.

Tuesday
Aug232011

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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Monday
Aug222011

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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Monday
Aug222011

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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Sunday
Aug212011

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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Saturday
Aug202011

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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