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Tuesday
Jul092013

Aye Cukarumba! Cocktail Recipe from Barcelona Restaurant

Last Spring, CTbites ran a cocktail naming contest with Barcelona Restaurant. The drink in need of a name would debut on Barcelona Restaurant's Cocktail Menu, and has become one of their classics...the Aye Cukarumba! Yes...that is the name, not an exclamation. With zesty citrus, lightly sweet St. Germain, and a dash of Hellfire Bitters, this drink has it all going on, and now you can make Barcelona's Aye Cukarumba! cocktail in your home. Here are the ingredients for this unique and excellent addition to any party...or forget the party, and just make one for yourself tonight.  

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Tuesday
Jul092013

Guide To Cooking Classes in Connecticut 

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day, but TEACH him to how to bone, saute and dress up that fish, well, that’s another story. The school year has come to a close for our under-21s but we know that you hunger (pun totally intended) to learn something new...in the kitchen. Cooking classes abound in our area; some will teach you how to make the perfect french macaron (not to be confused with the American macaroon with two “o’s”), cooling summer soups or regional delights that transport you without standing in pesky security lines. Don your best apron, raise a spatula and proclaim this the summer that you learn some rockin’ cooking skills and new recipes! Summer school has never looked so good.

Here is CTbites' Guide To Cooking Classes For Adults & Kids for 2013...

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Monday
Jul082013

The Cronuts™ Craze Comes to CT @ Stew Leonards

If you are a foodie, by now, you have likely heard about the legend of the Cronut™. If you're a foodie and have been hiding under a rock and have not yet heard about the pasty hybrid taking the food obsessed world by storm, you should read this. The Cronut is a half croissant, half doughnut created by Chef Dominique Ansel in May of 2013, and since their launch, New Yorkers have been waiting in line for hours (or paying scalpers) to get one of these decadent dessert items, making it the most viral (and hyped) indulgence to date.

Although I did not manage to get one of these during a recent trip to NYC, I'm pleased to announce that the rumors are true...all four locations of Stew Leonard's are selling their own version of the complicated Cronut, named "Cro-Dos!"  The word "cronut" is trademarked by AnselHalf croissant and half donut, these babies are 162 layers of butter and dough deep fried to golden perfection. And you don't have to wait in line for HOURS to buy them! $3.99/2 pack. Available now here at Stew's! I particularly enjoyed their hash tag: ‎#ohyeswedid

Kudos to the bakers at Stew Leonard's.

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Sunday
Jul072013

Rive Bistro Opens in Westport: A Bistro with a View

Rive Bistro, a restaurant serving French fare with a beautiful view opened recently along the banks of the Saugatuck River in Westport. As you approach the restaurant you are greeted by an awning-covered deck that seats 40-50 guests with full southern exposure. The interior features a cozy, glass enclosed dining area with a 180-degree view of the river as well as a fireplace for a romantic evening when the weather turns cold.

Chef /Owner Eric Sierra brings years of experience to Rive Bistro. Many will remember that he was the chef at Westport’s Bistro des Amis before he relocated to Il Palio in Shelton. I recently attended a dinner at Rive Bistro where Chef Sierra’s presented an array of flavors from every section of the menu.

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Friday
Jul052013

Don't Miss: "Hey Bartender" Documentary at Avon Theater July 10th

"It takes 50 to 60 tries to get a cocktail just right," says Stephen Carpentieri, owner of the classic neighborhood hangout, Dunville's in Westport, and cast member in the new HEY BARTENDER documentary released this Spring. "Cocktails are seeing a Renaissance." Hey Bartender tells the story of the bartender in the era of the craft cocktail and documents its comeback. Viewers will get a glimpse into the world’s most renowned bartenders and access to the most exclusive bars in New York City. Meet mixologists such as Jim Meehan from PDT in NYC, winner of the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Bar Program and Dale DeGroff, or "King Cocktail," as he is known in the industry, with commentary from Graydon Carter, Danny Meyer and Amy Sacco.

Hey Bartender will have an exclusive screening in Stamford at the Avon Theatre on July 10th. After the screening, there will be a Q&A that will include Westport natives Douglas Tirola (the director), Susan Bedusa (the producer), and Stephen Carpentieri (cast member/owner of Dunville's) as well as other filmmakers and cast members.  The screening and Q&A will be at the Avon Theatre and the after party will be at Dunville's in Westport.

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Thursday
Jul042013

2013 Guest Chef Lineup @ The Westport Farmers' Market 

Tired of always being in the "front of the house" when you really want to be back in the kitchen watching your favorite chef work? Well here is your chance to see some talented local chefs in action, and you even get fed at the end of the show. The Westport Farmers' Market has a great lineup of Guest Chefs this Summer and all you need to do is drive up with an empty stomach (and a shopping bag if you want to go home with some gorgeous local ingredients).

Chef Arik Bensimon of Lefarm is up next on July 11th, but see the complete list below: 

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Wednesday
Jul032013

Experts Share Their Secrets to Cooking a Perfect Steak at Home

That thick, sizzling steak you’re about to devour is amazing: Behold its marbled, mahogany crust framing a pink, juicy interior that slices like warm butter and literally melts in your mouth..

What makes this magnificent steak even more incredible is that you aren’t dining in a great, leathery New York chop house.  You cooked this baby at home...

Think it’s impossible to duplicate a Peter Luger Porterhouse in your own kitchen? Read on.

After interviewing local butchers, chefs, and food scientists, we have uncovered some of the secrets, tricks and myths of cooking a perfect steak at home.  

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Tuesday
Jul022013

Sake Grilled Salmon w/ Kim Chi Style Pickled Vegetables via Marcia Selden 

At Marcia Selden Catering, this is one of our favorite times of the year. The local farmers markets are in full swing which means great local ingredients.  The fruits and veggies are bursting with color and flavor, and our chefs are always looking for inventive ways to create mouth-watering food for our clients.

In planning an event, our menus are inspired by the seasons, so we’ve come up with a modern Asian menu that uses the best of what’s available right now. Serve these dishes with ice cold sake or beer for best results.

Enjoy our recipes for Asparagus Tempura and Kim Chi Style Pickled Vegetables with Sake Grilled Salmon seen below:

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Tuesday
Jul022013

Fairway Firefighters Food Face-Off: Free Food, Music & Festivities

Come on down to Fairway Market in Stamford to enjoy free BBQ, music and giveaways on Saturday, July 13 at noon.

In lieu of helmets, hoses, and axes, Fairfield County’s bravest will instead don aprons, barbecue tongs, and basting brushes when they compete in Fairway’s Firefighters Food Face-Off.  This grilling “throwdown” will pit firefighters from Cos Cob, Noroton Heights, Westport, and Belltown against one another to prove whose barbecue is best. This will go down on Saturday, July 13 at noon in the parking lot behind Fairway Market’s Stamford store at 699 Canal Street (RAIN OR SHINE). 

The public is welcome to enjoy free samples of the firefighter’s cuisine, as well as music and giveaways. Festivities to Include Customer Appreciation Day With Grilling Contest, Free Food, Music, and Fire Trucks.

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Sunday
Jun302013

Bailey's Backyard: Farm to Table in Ridgefield

Bailey’s Backyard
Cuisine: New American, Farm-to-table
Price: Snacks & Sides $4 to $6 | Greens $10 to $17 | Mains $15 - $29
Our Highlights: Bibb Salad, Pan seared halibut with shitake mushroom arancini, micro basil and black truffle; egg papardelle with roasted lamb ragout
Online: Official Website | Facebook

A thirteen year veteran of the Ridgefield dining scene, Bailey's Backyard owner Sal Bagliavio recently re-opened the beloved restaurant with a farm-to-table mission, a completely renovated space and a new and talented team in the kitchen led by Executive Chef Forrest Pasternack. Why the shift? "It was time for a change," said Sal Bagliavio. "Anyone can go out to eat, anywhere these days, I want to offer our guest a true dining experience based on organic, local ingredients."

The spring menu at the soft opening gave a promising peek at the seasonal creativity to come. Snacks and sides top the menu, offering a variety of small plates such as mable bacon pecans, local grits and roasted brussel sprouts. “Greens” and “Starts” are the showcase for local produce, such as the Connecticut Kale salad and a Bibb Salad. The latter was the highlight of my meal, a medley of textures, temperatures and flavors. Bibb lettuce, local blue cheese, bacon lardon, and parsley are the foundation for a crispy poached egg, an elegant take of a Scotch egg that is poached to perfection. 

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