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Friday
Apr192013

Big News at Le Farm & The Whelk: Chef Changes & More 

CTbites has some big news for fans of James Beard nominated chef Bill Taibe and his Westport restaurants, Le Farm and The Whelk. Guests to both will find exciting changes and a couple of new faces in the kitchen at both of these Westport hot spots. Chef Arik Bensimon (The Spread, Napa) has already settled into Le Farm’s cozy chef's quarters, and Geoff Lazlo (Le Farm, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill Stone Barns) has moved from his post at Le Farm to head the busy kitchen at The Whelk. 

CTbites sat down with restaurateur and chef Bill Taibe to discuss the new starting lineup, and get some insight into the future plans for these immensely popular dining spots. 

When asked why Bill Taibe chose Arik for Le Farm, Taibe smiles and says "I’ve always been trying to get Arik over to Le Farm." Ever since Bill left Napa where Arik Bensimon worked as his sous, he knew he wanted to cook with him again. “We really clicked from day one,” says Taibe.  "Arik has a beautiful elegance and rusticness to his food style. Our food just makes sense together." Having worked together before, the chef and owner already have a strong understanding of each others styles and expectations. Taibe went on to explain that, "sometimes the way I do things is the harder way, and Arik understands, it takes a long time to do things right."  

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Thursday
Apr182013

Little Pub Opens Second Location in Wilton TODAY

Wilton residents, rejoice! Little Pub's second location is now open at 26 Danbury Road in Wilton. They will offer the same fare, and thanks to a much larger kitchen, will also be offering some new items. Check it out and please let us know what you think!

For the latest on their menu and what's on tap, check out littlepub.com and stay tuned to their Facebook page.

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Thursday
Apr182013

Sweet & Simple Bakery Opens @ Fairfield’s Greenfield Hill 

Michelle Jaffee is up and in her new home away from home at 75 Hillside Road long before the sun comes up. There, she’s busily getting ready for the day ahead creating delightful treats for her wholesale clients as well as the for her new SWEET & SIMPLE BAKERY. You may have seen her brand at your local retail grocer, but now Michelle has a storefront of her own, and her selection of cookies, brownies and cakes, which are available on a rotating basis, is growing daily. 

Cookies include, but are not limited to, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, sugar, almond butter and thumbprints. If you’re looking for a cake for a Birthday or other special occasion, Michelle offers golden yellow, chocolate, coconut, banana, carrot, lemon, Red Velvet and strawberry shortcakes, as well as a wide selection of homemade frostings, ganaches and fillings. 

Sweet & Simple isn’t just your neighborhood cookie and brownie bake shop. They are continually adding items to their menu and now offer dinner rolls, and challah.

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Wednesday
Apr172013

Millstone Farm Launches Pig CSA: Pig Lovers Rejoice!

Announcing Millstone Farm's First Ever Pig CSA!

Want to explore your culinary creativity with different cuts of pork? Join Millstone Farm's summer Pig CSA and receive a share of one of their heritage breed Tamworth/Large Black crosses, butchered and wrapped for your convenience.

Millstone Farm's pigs are given the space to roam and express their natural rooting instincts and enjoy a diet supplemented by scraps from our garden.

The cost of a share is $8/lb and will include approximately 20 - 25lbs of various cuts, including roast, chops, sausage and bacon. Shares will be ready by late June or July and a $40 deposit is required for your participation in the Pig CSA.

Email katie@millstonefarm.org to learn more or have your name added to the list. Membership is limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis, so don't wait!

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Wednesday
Apr172013

Recap of Westport Playhouse Kick-Off Block Party

The “2013 Season Kick-off Block Party” at the Westport Country Playhouse was a fun time for all. With three outstanding trucks dispensing delicious food, plus beer supplied by Beaver Beer and ice cream from Shake Shack, it was an enjoyable afternoon.

The crepes from Christophe’s Creperie were fantastic. Both savory and sweet crepes were offered with fillings including ham, brie, turkey, banana, Nutella, honey…there were plenty of choices. Mine included brie, ham and apple. The crepe was as good as you will ever taste. And then the creaminess and slight pungency of the brie, the sweet and crunchy apples and the saltiness of the ham all hit the palate simultaneously. It was just a delight. And I was not alone, as I stood in line at other trucks everyone was raving about the crepes.

Skinny Pines offered several combinations. Let’s start with the crust…one of the best crusts in the area, outstanding. The toppings included Dressing Room meatloaf, caramelized onions, chorizo, spinach, red onion, olives, and basil. Each of the ingredients was bold in flavor and the trick was melding them together without one overpowering the others. The tomatoes are sweet and bright, likewise with the caramelized onions. The meatloaf was mild in flavor and the Mozzarella cheese was delicious.

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Tuesday
Apr162013

Burger Blast Roundup: The Prequel to Perfection Part 1

The last year has been filled with brisket, sirloin, Wagyu, chuck and short rib, all ground, seasoned and grilled to various degrees of perfection. The current count of visited restaurants now tops 60, including a wide range of venues. From non-chain fast food, to bars where burgers share the stage with great beers, to restaurants where the burger has become an “underground challenge” to high-end chefs, the list grows from Greenwich to New Haven.

But only the top 10 will be chosen for the “Non-Chain Fast Food and Bar Burgers” and another 10 for the “Restaurant Burgers” lists. Many of those visited and tasted were the result of suggestions we received from our readers. With sixty+ burgers and thousands of fries under our belts (pun intended), CTbites begins this series of prequels to give quick thoughts on several that were enjoyed and others not so much.

Let’s randomly roll through a few selected burgers in CTbites new weekly column…The Burger Blast.

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Sunday
Apr142013

Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen in West Hartford

Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen

Cuisine: American, Tapas, Wine Bar, West Hartford
Price: Small plates range $3.95 - $17.95
Our Highlights: wine, charcuterie, tapas
Hours: Kitchen open Mon – Wed 4-10pm, Thurs: 4-11pm, Fri-Sat: 4-12pm (Bar open late Mon-Sat) Sun: Kitchen & Bar 4-9pm
Online: Official Website | Facebook

 Small plates reach new heights at Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen, where food is anything but secondary. Add 68 wines by the glass and you’re well on your way to finding that perfect pairing. Sister restaurant to The Federal in Agawam, Vinted burst onto the West Hartford dining scene in late 2012 when owners Ralph Santaniello and Michael Presnal launched their newest venture in Blueback Square. A classy vibe, inventive array of modern American tapas, and encyclopedic wine list leaves little, if anything, to be desired.  

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Sunday
Apr142013

10 Course "New Nordic" Dinner w/ Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie

Join us for a 10 Course "New Nordic" Dinner with Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie on Tuesday, April 23rd. 

Inspired by the New Nordic Cuisine of Scandinavia, and Rene Redzepi's "World's Best Restaurant," NOMA in Copenhagen, multi- talented chef, Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie, brings this cuisine exclusively to CTbites Invites, for a special one-night only ALL-inclusive 10 course dinner and wine pairing on Tuesday 4/23 from 7:30-9:30 for $95. Reserve Your Seat Here. 

In November 2004, on the initiative of the Danish chefs René Redzepi and Claus Meyer of the then newly opened NOMA restaurant, chefs and food professionals from all the Nordic countries met in Copenhagen to discuss how best to develop what they called the "New Nordic Cuisine."

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Sunday
Apr142013

Pinot Power Wine Dinner w/ Fountainhead & Fat Cat Pie Co

It’s Fat Cat City’s spring homage to the great grape of Burgundy, Pinot Noir, as expressed through the lens of some of Oregon’s most talented wine artisans. Fat Cat Pie Co. will host a special Pinot Power on Saturday April 20, 2013 @ 7:30 PM in their wine room. The dinner will feature two single-vineyard Patricia Green wines that are rarely seen outside of Oregon as the quantities produced are so minuscule. All of the producers are Fountainhead Selections discoveries, the Fountainhead crew having traveled there long before the region was recognized as world class. View the complete menu below:

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Sunday
Apr142013

Branford Restaurant Week Begins April 14

Always wanted to try a new restaurant but not quite sure where to begin? Restuarant weeks are the perfect opportunity to explore spots new to you, as well as celebrate and support the businesses in some of your favorite towns. Branford is holding their second annual restuarant week, including over twenty restaurants with special menus and prix-fixe meals for the week. 

For more information, visit: http://branfordrestaurantweek.com/

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