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From Masala to Mole: Westport's Oaxaca Kitchen


“From Masala to Mole” is Chef Prasad Chirnomula’s recent gourmet battle cry. The man who revolutionized Indian cuisine in Connecticut with Thali, opens his newest Mexican-inspired concept in Westport in the form of the lively south of the border hot spot that is Oaxaca Kitchen.

Leaving the Indian subcontinent, Chef Chirnomula has fully embraced the flavors of Mexico’s Oacaxa region, an area known for its mole dishes, barbacoa, mezcal and chocolate. The layers of flavors and spice found in Oaxacan dishes, a region often referred to as “land of the seven moles,” evokes a similar feel to the masalas and bright yet rich flavors found in Chef Chirnomula's native Indian cuisine. 

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PHO-nomenal Vietnamese Dinner w/ Chef Matt Storch of Match

Join Chef Matt Storch of SoNo's Match Restaurant on Wednesday April 4 from 7-9 pm for a virtual trip to South East Asia, to learn about and taste the cuisine of Vietnam. Reserve Your Seat Here. 

Inspired by the traditional cuisine of his wife's family, Storch will treat diners to several Vietnamese dishes we know and a few we'd like to know better, such as: Banh Bao Thit Kho, steamed buns with pork belly; Goi Cuon Cham Tuong, rice paper spring rolls with shrimp and fresh hoisin; and Pho Bo, a flavorful beef and noodle soup-like dish. Each course will be paired with rice wines, beer and bubble tea.

Traditional Vietnamese is hard to find in Connecticut. Storch brings his passion for this under-represented cuisine and first-hand knowledge to what promises to be a unique and PHO-nomenal experience not to be missed


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Arethusa To Open Wine Bar in Bantam

As reported by the Litchfield County Times, the owners of Arethusa Dairy in Litchfield County received town approval to open a wine bar in a location adjacent to their retail operation at 822 Bantam Road in Bantam, CT.

The dairy was founded by Manolo Blanik owners George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis who own and operate the dairy which produces milk and other dairy products such as yogurt and ice cream. According to the County Times:

"Approval was given to a proposal for a wine bar in a building adjacent to Arethusa’s creamery in the former Bantam Firehouse, where its farm-fresh milk, ice cream, cheeses, yogurts and more are sold. The wine bar is envisioned as a bistro-style operation that will serve the creamery’s signature cheeses and other light fare."

Read the full story at Litchfield County Times.

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Pizzeria Rosso Expands to Bridgeport & Greenwich

Pizzeria Rosso is opening up not one, but two new locations in Connecticut in addition to their original Norwalk take-out outpost which has been open just under a year. [Read: Pizzeria Rosso Opens in Norwalk, June 2012

Pasquale (Pat) Pascarella is the chef and founder of the successful yet still young pizzeria.  His second Pizzeria Rosso is set to open at 960 Main Street in Bridgeport in just about three weeks. The new Bridgeport location will be open seven days a week and boasts forty seats with two four-pie Baker's pride ovens. The menu will be largely the same, but more of a focus on pizza and less pasta and will be BYOB with the possibility of a future liquor license. With Webster Arena just up the street and the Barnum Publick House opening across the street, Pizzeria Rosso will be open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

A third location will open in Greenwich, giving Pizzeria Rosso the run of Fairfield County.

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Never a Dull Moment: How the Pros keep their Knives Sharp

For this article, CTBites spoke with many of Fairfield County’s top chefs, butchers, and professional knife sharpeners. These pros were very blunt about the knives used in most home kitchens: they are dull.  Especial fancy “trophy-ware.”  

“A cook with a dull knife,” suggests Fairway’s top butcher Ray Venezia, “is like a sharpshooter with a water pistol.”  

Much like a gun slinger out of the Old West, this modern-day Paladin has Knives and Will Travel.  He carries his complete cutting arsenal in a sleek case … but all that's inside are just two gleaming Victorinox Forshner rosewood knives -- a 6" boning blade and a 12" cemeter –  a steel and whetstone. 

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HUGE WUSTHOF Inventory Sale in Norwalk

For cooks and home cooks looking for great deals on fine cutlery, the Wüsthof Outlet in Norwalk is having their bi-annual inventory sale, from Thursday, March 22 to Saturday March 24.  You’ll find knives, knife sets, and accessories. 

At last Fall’s sale, I fell for the Culinar line of stainless steel handled knives – basically forged from a single piece of steel – as beautiful as they are high-quality.   

Be careful while checking things out.  Despite a dozen signs warning customers to be careful amongst the hundreds of sharp knives, I, of course, speared myself and had to deftly pay with a single hand while keeping a sliced finger in my pocket, rather than bringing embarrassment upon myself, in the store. 

Selection was great in the Fall (if you’ve never been to the outlet, it’s worth a stop under any circumstance).  Regular discounts on the store models, overstocks, and discontinued models are 40% to 70% - with an extra 20% for the sale. 

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Italian Wine Dinner at Blue Lemon in Westport

Join Chef Bryan Mulcarney for "A Taste of Italy" Wine Tasting Dinner Presented by CDI and Blue Lemon on Wednesday, March 21st 2012, 7pm

The Menu

Causa of Maine Lobster with Avocado and Mango Vinaigrette

Donnachiara Fiano di Avellino

Pear and Endive Salad with Baby Arugula, Caramelized Walnuts, Gorgonzola Cheese, and Champagne Vinaigrette

Donnachiara Sante Falanghina

Homemade Ravioli Stuffed with Braised Veal, Root Vegetables, Grana Padano and White Truffle Oil

Donnachiara Aglianico Irpinia 

Seared Filet Mignon with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic Mashed Potatoes And Cognac, Green Peppercorn Sauce

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Help the Hungry: Join Millstone Farm's “Glean Team” 

The Millstone Farm “Glean Team” made its first visit to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County on Friday, February 24 with a donation of 32 pounds of spinach gleaned from The Hickories, a family-owned farm in Ridgefield, Connecticut. 

Gleaning at The Hickories was the first of what Millstone’s patrons and farmers intend to be a regular occurrence throughout the 2012 growing season. The goal of Betsy and Jesse Fink, owners of Millstone Farm, is to gather and train a volunteer task force that will harvest fresh food offered up by local farmers and deliver it to those in need. 

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Stew Leonard’s: "Taste of CT" Wine, Beer & Spirits Tasting

Stew Leonard’s Wines of Danbury invites customers to a complimentary “Taste of Connecticut” wine, beer and spirits tasting on Saturday, March 31 from Noon – 7:00 p.m. 

This tasting is celebration of local Connecticut producers who will be pouring samples for customers to taste throughout the day.  The schedule is as follows:  

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MELT Market & Cafe in Bridgeport: Go ahead and MELT

Do you feel the need, the need for cheese? Introducing MELT Market and Cafe, the spectacularly gooey love child of former Westport-based Mirabelle Cheese Shop owners Andrea and Damon Itin. MELT, located in the up and coming section of Bridgeport at the corner of Lafayette Circle and Fairfield Ave is sleek and spacious with high tops as well as regular tables for seating and warm inviting color tones. The 2,200 square foot space seats plenty but if tables were pushed aside, this could be a fantastic place for a private function. But enough about things spatial, on to the celestial - this is a cheese lovers' nirvana -

What's for sale ? MELT is the purveyor of European as well as local cheeses

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