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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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Wednesday
Mar132013

Connecticut Chili Classic 2013, Presented by Craft Butchery

Get ready all you chili lovin' Nutmeggers. The Connecticut Chili Classic, presented by Craft Butchery,  will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2013 from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM @ SoNo Market Place, South Norwalk. Yeah...you heard right. The challenge for the best chili is on! 

In its inaugural year, twenty five teams will battle for the coveted Connecticut Chili Cup as voted by the public and a panel of local restaurant chefs. This outdoor event will feature live music by several local artists and a bonfire. 10% of profits will be donated to a local food-related charity. The Connecticut Chili Classic (CCC) is sure to become Connecticut’s premier chili competition. Whether you're competing or eating, here are the details:

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Wednesday
Mar132013

What's in Season @ Walter Stewart's Market (sponsored post)

In an era of big box shopping, Walter Stewart’s Market is a breath of fresh (and gourmet) air. A fixture in downtown New Canaan since 1907,  this family run grocery features a great selection of everyday needs for your family, as well as the kind of customer service rarely seen these days. But Walter Stewart's offers so much more than your average grocer.

At Walter Stewart’s you can find artisanal goods from local producers and farms throughout the store, while hard to find specialty goods can be seen in every aisle.  And let’s not forget Stewart’s Spirits. This is a market where the butcher really does know your name, and sushi chefs are waiting to prepare you the perfect dinner. Enjoy your shopping experience and the season at Walter Stewart’s with St. Patty’s, Passover, Easter Goods and a whole lot more. 

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Tuesday
Mar122013

Shares in Sport Hill Farm's Organic Summer CSA Now Available

Shares in Sport Hill Farm's Organic Summer CSA Now Available ORGANIC SUMMER CSA are Now Available at Wakeman Town Farm!  

Interested in getting farm fresh produce while supporting our local farming community?

This is your chance to share in the local harvest from the verdant Easton fields of our favorite farm gal, Patti Popp. Many of you know already know and love Patti and her delicious, local organic produce from her stall at the Westport Farmers' Market. This is your chance to become a member in her organic, summer CSA program without having to drive up to Easton to retrieve your weekly goodies! Pick up your fresh-picked produce every Friday at Westport's Wakeman Town Farm. Register to Reserve Your Share! Deadline to register is March 31.

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Tuesday
Mar122013

The CakeBox Opens "Swoon" Gluten Free Bakery in Ridgefield

The Cake Box Expands and Relocates, Swoon Takes Over:  Gluten free gourmet treats and cupcakes to live for...

As a mother of a child who has Celiac disease and cannot eat any gluten or wheat, I’ve struggled with finding cakes and desserts that actually taste like the real thing. I’ve found some good options at local markets but need an occasional splurge for a special event or party, or just because. Thankfully, there is good news if you’re in Fairfield County: a new gluten-free, nut-free bakery has opened. Soon after Cake Box of Ridgefield moved to its larger location, the same team opened Swoon.

Cake Box owners Robert Byrnes and Jordan Gregory, whose bakery is known for its variety of gourmet cupcake flavors and custom cakes, decided to open a gluten-free and nut-free bakery when Cake Box outgrew their Copp’s Hill Marketplace location. They explain, “We have been making gluten-free treats for customers that requested them. Now that we have a dedicated gluten-free and nut-free location, and can offer our customers the highest guarantee of no cross-contamination with other ingredients that may be problematic for them.  Which means they can relax and enjoy a cupcake like everyone else!”

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Tuesday
Mar122013

Momma's Boy Cook Off @ Aitoro's April 11

With a strong culinary foundation rooted in family history and tradition, local chefs share the spotlight with the women who have inspired them. Published in Woman to Woman Magazine (W2W), “Momma’s Boys” tells the story of 5 chefs and the influence their mothers have had on their careers. Shared recipes, spirited view points, and a friendly competition in the kitchen will be revealed on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in the beautiful kitchens of Aitoro in Norwalk. Tickets can be purchased online for this unique cooking event where guests will have the privilege of meeting the women behind these talented art culinaires and sample the dishes that two-cooks-in-the-kitchen prepare their way. Tickets are $40: http://www.w2wmagazine.com/

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Sunday
Mar102013

Zinc: Modern American Farm-to-Table in New Haven

Zinc has been a fixture on the New Haven green since 1999, well before farm-to-table restaurants became the sought-after reservation.  Even then, Chef Denise Appel was designing plates that changed with the season, and "continued to do so even when people in town wondered if she'd ever make her mind up on a menu," laughs co-owner Donna Curran, who has worked alongside Chef Appel for more than two decades. 

Named for the traditional zinc bars in European bistros, Zinc has successfully become a well-known neighborhood gathering place over the past dozen years. Warm and welcoming for its minimalist design, the restaurant is long and narrow, as expected in an urban setting. Yet with a profound cherry bar, generous seating and plenty of quiet nooks, you know you’ll gladly stay a while.  

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Saturday
Mar092013

Westport Weston Restaurant Week March 10-16

Westport & Weston Restaurant Week returns March 10th through March 16th. This year the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce will be offering a new Patron Reward Program that should entice you to dine more frequently during Restaurant Week. A minimum of three dinners and/or lunches out will make you eligible  to be entered into The Chamber raffle to win gift certificates to your favorite restaurants or tickets to the Westport Country Playhouse’s season premiere, The Dining Room. 

View the list of participating restaurants below:

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Friday
Mar082013

THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE: Gabriele's Italian Steakhouse, Greenwich.

Though CTBites traditionally reviews the food created by gifted chefs in the Back of the House, we thought a story about the talent at the Front might be in order.  So who better to feature than Tony Capasso, the celebrated maître d of Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse in Greenwich and unquestionably the biggest personality on the Connecticut restaurant scene? Actually, Copasso may be more MC than Maitre ‘d.

"My mother tells me that when I was five, I was already meeting, greeting and introducing people to each other in my apartment house," he told us. "I've always been a people person. President of my high school. Captain of the football team, I like people, they like me, and that's what this job is all about."

 

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