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Happiness is authentic Thai cuisine. We like Ruuthai's Kitchen in Bridgeport. You will too. 

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“Hot” Wine Picks for the Summer 

 JoAnn LoGiurato is a Certified Wine Specialist and the owner of Dancing on Grapes

Deck parties, outdoor picnics, grillin’ and chillin’…. summer is definitely upon us, and so is the summer wine dilemma. What to drink now? Hmm, many people believe that summer is all about white—au contraire! Here are 11 of my favorite wine sips for summer, including a couple of delicious reds and a rosé for those not afraid to “drink pink.” All of them are available at one of your favorite Fairfield County wine shops. If you can’t find the exact wine you’re looking for, ask the merchant to show you something similar—heck, it’s just fermented grape juice.  Taste, experiment, and have fun with it! 

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Boxcar Cantina Bean Cooking Contest

Do you have an unbridled passion for beans? Is there a killer bean recipe that always gets you raves? If so, this Boxcar Cantina Cooking Contest is for you.

The New Mexican restaurant Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich, CT is searching for the best-kept bean recipe. If you're not familiar with their bean obsession, their  “Bean of the Week” program has them experimenting with a variety of heritage beans from Rancho Gordo, available in their restaurant. And with so many bean varieties to choose from, they are on the hunt for an exceptional bean recipe that utilizes at least one Connecticut-grown ingredient. This is where you, dear reader, come in.

In addition to bragging rights, if Boxcar chooses your recipe as “the best bean recipe,” you will receive a $75.00 gift certificate to Boxcar Cantina, a Westport Farmers' Market gift basket, and the winning recipe will be featured on Boxcar Cantina’s specials menu for one month.

The Rules  

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China White Opens in Greenwich w/ Authentic Chinese 

In Fairfield County, finding top notch authentic Chinese cuisine is akin to finding a little night life…it's slim pickings at best. Filling a void, and satisfying his own craving, Greenwich resident Jody Pennette of cb5 Restaurant Group (Lolita Cocina, Red Lulu, Gabriele's Steak House) decided to take matters into his own hands with the newly opened China White Noodle Bar.

Six years in the making, China White, is a sleek, modern restaurant that prepares real Chinese food…the kind you may have experienced in NYC's China Town. Think ‘dumpling noodle house’ meets ‘Chinatown street vendor,’ prepared by real Hong Kong cooks. As if this is not appealing enough, China White takes the menu one step further, featuring natural chicken, local raised pork, grass fed beef, wild caught seafood, cage-free chicken eggs, organic duck, and organic vegetables. The result is clean, classically sophisticated Chinese cuisine with family-style dining and a subtly hip vibe. 


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Reheated: Weekly Food News for July 8th

Upcoming: The Tuscan Osteria & Mercato – restaurant, bar and butcher under one roof – to open soon in downtown New Canaan.

Celebrate France and its food on Bastille Day in Greenwich with complimentary breakfast at Meli Melo on July 14th at 8 AM.

Round up the kids and ramble over to Rowayton for food, music and fun on the river at the 41st Annual Rowayton River Ramble this Sunday, July 9th from 11 AM to 3 PM at Pinkney Park.

Christie's Country Store in Westport is hosting a farmers' market featuring local farmers, vendors, and artisans. Stop by for fresh picks, brunch on the porch, and ice cream from nearby Frosty Bear Ice Cream Gazebo Sundays from 10 AM to 2 PM.

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Friday Froth: Bats, Balls, Pils and Hops

Does everyone still have all their fingers after Monday's festivities? You do? Great, because we should really play some catch. Baseball's midsummer classic is coming up, and those of us so inclined are by now completely engrossed in America's pastime. Even those who don't like the game can't escape the news of Derek Jeter's impending 3,000th hit, and everyone should go to Cooperstown: home of the baseball hall of fame and Brewery Ommegang. 

Ommegang is an American brewery which specializes in Belgian style beers. They're pretty damn good at it, too, having taken top awards from Belgian brewers in Belgian beer contests in Belgium.

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Farm to Feast Book Signing in Ridgefield Today

Ridgefield is the place to be today. Stop by the Ridgefield Farmers' Market then head over to Books on the Common at 404 Main Street for a book signing with Emily Brooks, founder of the Edibles Advocate Alliance and author of a new cookbook, Connecticut Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Books on the Common is located at 404 Main Street and just around the corner from the Farmers' Market which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Read more about the book and watch a video of Emily here.


Get Close to the Source: Easton Farm Tour 2011

Citizens For Easton (CFE) is pleased to announce the 3rd annual Easton Farm Tour. This celebration of Easton's local and sustainable farming community is a self-guided tour taking place on August 14 from 10am to 2pm.  
This free event begins at the Easton Firehouse Green on Sport Hill Road (Route 59) where visitors will sign in and receive a copy of the beautiful Easton Farm Map – “Easton is a Farmers’ Market.” This great guide will serve as your road map and pass to enjoy the many farming delights that Easton has to offer. Farms on the tour include: Aspetuck Valley Apple Barn, Buttonwood Farm, Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens, Gray Friesian Farm, J&L Orchids, Lion Hill Farm, Maple Row Growers, Maple Row Tree Farm, Pee-Wee Horse Farm, Sherwood Farm, Silverman’s Farm, and Sport Hill Farm.

This year we will have food and entertainment on the green. Skinny Pines Pizza will be serving up pies in their mobile wood-fired oven.

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Cocktails: Sangria Flora c/o Barcelona's Gretchen Thomas

We are pleased to introduce a new CTbites contributor, Gretchen Thomas, the Wine & Spirits Director for the Barcelona Restaurant Group. She supervises the largest Spanish wine program in the United States, managing 200 labels from 11 countries, and acts as the lead mixologist for The Barcelona Restaurants. 

Summer months bring lots of outdoor cooking opportunities. As an avid BBQ host, I know that the simpler the menu, the easier it is to relax and enjoy the fun. Firing up the grill and throwing on the hotdogs and burgers is always a cinch, but planning the beverages can often be a frustrating element.

An extremely simple and delicious recipe for Sangria Flora crossed my desk a year ago and it has become a necessary staple at all my backyard gatherings, right up there with the yard games and bug spray. It was introduced to me by the founder of St. Germain, an Elderflower liqueur that is prominent at every real cocktail bar in the country. The recipe was created by the company and its simple – St Germain, dry white or rose wine, and chopped fresh fruit.

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Summer Specials & A New Salad @ Filling Station Co. 

Here's the latest on Filling Station Co's July burger and shake and an introduction to the new Filling Station Co Salad.

The July 2011 Filling Station Special Burger and Shake combines a full flavored hamburger with a sweet flavorful tribute to one of my favorite fruits with the BBQ Cheeseburger and a delicious Peaches and Cream Shake.

The BBQ Cheeseburger includes the Filling Station’s farm-raised cheeseburger topped with house made BBQ sauce, griddled onions, thick cut bacon, and pickled jalapeño peppers. There are several bold flavors in this month’s offering. The Filling Station’s thick cut bacon continues as a favorite of mine and the griddled onions added a nice crispy, flavorful addition. I am usually not a big fan of spicy additions and the jalapeño peepers were a concern, but pickled jalapeños are making an appearance on many menus this summer and I have grown to enjoy the pickled variety.

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Headbanging Hostess: Dinner on a Stick Night

Vanessa David has been throwing dinner parties as the "Headbanging Hostess" for over a year,  feeding some of Fairfield County's hottest bands and featuring their music in her food porn. She recently recieved a Culinary Arts Certificate from Norwalk Community College.

‘Tis the season to be social - summer is here, the sun is shining, the grill is going, is there a better time to throw a dinner party? Well, if you ask me, anytime is a great time to throw a dinner party. I’m the Headbanging Hostess, throwing dinner parties is what I do. But if you’re new to entertaining at home Dinner on a Stick Night just might inspire you to give it a go. 

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