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Friday
May102013

Mama's Boy Southern Table & Refuge Opens in SONO

With little fanfare, Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge, the newest addition to the SONO food scene is slowly opening its doors. Based on traditional Southern hospitality and cuisine, the restaurant will deliver the comfort food of the south combined with a relaxed atmosphere.  As the website states, “Mama’s Boy is putting the “South” in South Norwalk.”

The interior has been completely redesigned. Using woods and material from an old water tower from Florence, South Carolina, owners Greer Fredericks and Ami Dorel created a warm environment from top to bottom. The lighting is soft and inviting, the music gives a perfect background through various genres and the service is straight from Charleston, friendly and incredibly helpful. Upon entering you can choose a seat at the long bar or one of the tables along the wall with a long comfortable banquette. In the rear is a second dining area that is guarded by two windows that were reclaimed from Al Capone’s summer residence. This dining area features a traditional “mirror wall,” you have to see it to completely understand and appreciate.

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Thursday
May092013

The Beer Garden @ Harbor Point Stamford Opens Tonight

Break out the sun dresses, deck shoes and whatever you consider to be your drinking pants, because we're about to do this al fresco, baby. The Beer Garden @ Harbor Point officially opens tonight in Stamford.

The brand new space sits beside a bubbling fountain in Stamford's rapidly gentrifying Harbor Point, and overlooks the canal. The open spaces of the surrounding boardwalk, aluminum facia, and large angular windows help to set it apart from the gleaming glass cubes of the surrounding commercial areas. The Beer Garden is designed to be as open as possible, with sectioned glass doors that fold away to let breezes blow through the large, indoor bar on the ground floor, and those large tilted windows - slightly reminiscent of a ship's bridge - let the beams of sunsets to come flood into the smaller, upstairs bar. But most people won't be coming here to hang out inside. 

Sleek light poles dot the area just outside the main bar and illuminate several picnic tables on a broad boardwalk which extends well over a hundred yards south toward the end of the point, providing views of the harbor entrance and The Crab Shell across the canal. I heard talk of a water taxi shuttling revelers between the two locations as the weather warms. The easiest way for most people to head to this spot on the point is to drive down Pacific, but those who prefer to motor their way up from the Sound can dock at one of an eventual 14 boat slips allocated for The Beer Garden's patrons. 

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Thursday
May092013

Get a "Taste of the Marketplace" in Ridgefield this Weekend

The Marketplace at Copps Hill Common is hosting the first ever "Taste of the Marketplace" this Saturday, May 11 from 11am to 2pm. Ridgefield's culinary gem of a neighborhood will showcase the restaurateurs, vendors and small shops that make this a destination for the area foodies. The Marketplace is located at Copps Hill Common on Danbury Road in Ridgefield, CT.

Featured restaurants include: 109 Cheese and Wine (also hosting classes in their NEW space this weekend), Ridgefield Organics, Ross' Bread, Ridgefield, Prime, Swoon Gluten Free Bakery, Southwest Café, The Cutting Board Café, Bartolo ...

Read the full story over at Hamlet Hub

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Thursday
May092013

UPDATE: American Craft Beer Week in CT 

You may have already seen our original post on American Craft Beer Week in Connecticut, and we'll keep you updated as we learn about more events. 

Our first update comes from the folks at The Ginger Man in South Norwalk, who have recently announced a week's worth of food and beer specials. Highlights include The Great Wall of Hops (Mon.), wherein IPAs will take over the brass wall of taps, followed by a home brew demo night on Tuesday. Thursday will feature barrel-aged and vintage beers, Friday's special is a bucket of five American craft beer cans for $20, half price large-format bottles of the same for Sunday, and a cask ale and BBQ event on the patio for Saturday. See complete details on food and drink specials below the jump. Cheers.

Second, the folks at CT Beer Week have a massive list of updates on their events page here. Scroll down for a list of 35+ events and specials around the state. Mouse over each individual event, and a bubble will pop up with links and details.

Wednesday
May082013

Community Plates Launches in New Haven: Sign Up to Rescue Food

You’ve heard us talk about Community Plates before. In fact, CTbites readers make up almost 80% of Community Plates’ volunteer driven work force delivering rescued food to those in need in Fairfield County. Well now we need to reach out to our New Haven readership to do the same. Community Plates has recently announced their New Haven launch and they need your help. 

Community Plates is a non-profit organization that connects food to people in need of it, by rescuing good food that would otherwise be thrown away and delivering it to hunger relief agencies. Community Plates has lined up food donors in New Haven and is adding more every day, but they need your help to complete the direct transfer of the food to those who need it. They are hoping to sign up 100 food runners by the end of May 2013. Be a part of the solution and sign up here. 

To be involved with the Community Plates initiative, volunteers are asked to commit to just one food run or bin collection a month (15 – 20 minute effort). It’s simple. Just pick up a few bins at your local restaurant or grocery store and drive them to a receiving agency, such as a food pantry or soup kitchen. 

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Tuesday
May072013

Coffee Classes at Espresso NEAT in Darien

Everyone has their favorites, and Espresso NEAT is definitely one of our favorite coffee places here at CTbites. Now with two locations (Darien, and a small shop in Greenwich), their devotion to the craft of caffeine delivery is bar none.

In addition to fueling their customers, they are also offering a series of educational classes for the month of May

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Tuesday
May072013

Tips for Great Grilled Cheese from Chef Jason Sobocinski of Caseus

King of the Grilled Cheese, Jason Sobocinski is the owner and founder of New Haven's innovative cheese-centric gastropub and cheese shop  Caseus Fromagerie Bistro. Here are his tips for the perfect Grilled Cheese sandwich. 

The crispy and the melty are no more typified than in America's greatest culinary accomplishment, the Grilled Cheese! Who thought up such a wonderful combination, to put bread to butter then heat with cheese till melted? Pure culinary Genius. 

The first signs of what we know as the Grilled Cheese sandwich surfaced around the 1940's. Sliced white bread was used often with cheese melted open faced called cheese toasties in England and was a popular dish to make in U.S. Naval galleys. These toasted melted precursors of what we now know where easy to make and super satisfying...did they come from the English Welsh Rarebit or the French Croque Madame? I'm not sure, but I do know that now more than ever this nostalgic sandwich has become increasingly popular and more and more refined. Is it because it's simplicity and comfort evoking qualities? Again, not sure but I know how to make a seriously great GC and here are some of my tips and stellar condiment suggestion to bolster your next crispy melty endeavor! 

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Sunday
May052013

Top 10 Bar Burgers from Greenwich to New Haven 2013

Over a year ago CTbites decided to create as comprehensive a guide as possible for this year’s Best Burger review. During that time, I visited over sixty local chains, bars, fast food joints, and restaurants, grabbed a seat, looked at the menu and placed my order. Over sixty patties of ground meat were prepared on a griddle, grill, or flat-top, and thousands of French fries were plunged into oil. The meat was seasoned, the rolls were sliced, the toppings were placed on the patty and the fries seasoned.

When each arrived at the table, it was sliced to check for doneness, a piece of meat pulled and tasted and the competition officially added another competitor. Each of the toppings was individually tested and finally the burger, toppings and bun were viewed as a single entrant. Many did not make the grade on seasoning, some failed on doneness, others on taste and others due to toppings. A very simple process for a very simple product, but the sheer variability of my reaction to the end result ranged from a huge smile to a grimace. Some I craved for more, while others earned a few tentative tastes and I asked for the check.

This year we decided to present the burgers in two categories, “Bar Burgers” and “Restaurant Burgers,” believing it unfair to compare a $7-12 burger with a $20+ burger.

With only three repeat locations from the 2012 list, here are the… Top-10 “Bar Burgers” from Greenwich to New Haven. Happy National Burger month!

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Friday
May032013

Dinner Underground in Newtown CT with Chef Plum

I wasn’t sure what to expect as we entered the butcher, but were warmly greeted with a glass of champagne by Chef (Chris) Plum himself and were shown to our table.  Butcher’s Best deli and butcher in Newtown, CT has been transformed twice in 2013 to offer 30 lucky diners one of Plum’s "Dinner Undergound" culinary evenings. I was lucky enough to enjoy night #2.  

Chef Plum is a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America with over 18 years of experience. He has worked all over the east coast in five-star hotels and resorts, as well as small neighborhood restaurants. Plum-Luv-Foods was born in 2006 and since then has brought whole farm foods to families, small parties, Broadway actors, executives, Food Network and network TV

Plum’s happy demeanor shines through his food.  His inventive style and clever riffs show both his appreciation for food and simple enjoyment of offering his guests thoughtfully created dishes.  As each course is served, Plum tells us about where the food is from, his inspiration and why he chose to marry the components. 

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Thursday
May022013

Taste of the Nation in New Haven 2013

Join famed Chef Jacques Pepin as the Taste of the Nation New Haven continues to set the bar on the culinary event scene by bringing over 40 of Greater New Haven's most notable chefs and bartenders together under one roof; providing an exclusive opportunity for attendees to mix and mingle with the area's top chefs while savoring their creative food and drink. The event raises important funds in the fight against childhood hunger.  

Taste of the Nation will be held at The Omni Hotel at Yale on May 22nd, 2013, in the heart of downtown New Haven. Tickets are $85 general admission and $150 VIP admission. VIP guests will enjoy private access to our VIP lounge with specialty cocktails and opulent bites provided by Winvian and sparkling wine by Mionetto.

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