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Discover Bethel Restaurant Week Starts February 24 

Discover Bethel Restaurant Week is Back!

Visit Bethel from February 24 - March 2, 2013 for the town's second annual Restaurant Week.  Several Bethel restaurants will be offering special discounts and prix-fixe specials for lunch and dinner. 

Participating Restaurants:

Stella Restaurant and Bar - 213 Greenwood Ave: Lunch Special - $10 or $15 prixe fix menu (includes appetizer, entree, tiramisu and coffee) and Dinner Special - $30 prix fixe menu (includes appetizer, salad, entree, tiramisu, coffee and glass of house wine)

Daily Fare - 13 Durant Ave (Free Coffee or Scone with any lunch purchase)

Sycamore Drive In Restaurant - 282 Greenwood Ave (10% off total bill)

Sal'z Pizza - 211 Greenwood Ave. Greenwoods Grille and Ale House - 186 Greenwood Ave

O'Neills Sandwich and Coffee Bar - 114 Greenwood Ave

LaZingara Restaurant - 8 PT Barnum Sq

Lebanese Cuisine - 23 Stony Hill Rd

LaFortuna Restaurant - 37 Stony Hill Rd

Putnam House Restaurant - 12 Depot Place

Ruzzuto's- Stony Hill Road

For more information, visit

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Winesday: Best Wines from the Mohegan Sun Winefest

There’s a lot to wine about at the Mohegan Sun Wine Fest.  I watched in horror as my printer spewed out 16 pages of wines that would be featured over the course of the weekend.  The annual event is an exercise in diversity; exhibitors bring everything from the commercial to the exclusive, the traditional to the innovative.  There are wines with long-lasting legacies and bottles that haven’t even hit shelves yet.

Fortunately, I carefully siphoned through all of the offerings to bring you a report of the very best the event had to offer.  Armed with my 16 page list, I diligently worked my way through the tables, asked questions, and sampled the wines.  (Don’t worry, there was a significant amount of spitting involved!)

It’s difficult to compare wines, especially with such an extensive range available.  How can one compare an expensive Napa Valley Cab to a fruity white made for casual drinking?  To solve the predicament, I broke my explorations down into categories.

In this first installation, I feature Robust Reds, Wonderful Whites, and Wines to Watch.  In Robust Reds and Wonderful Whites, my aim is to focus on quality.  Some of these wines might come off as a bit of a monetary splurge, but they drink beautifully.  Wines to Watch also hinges on quality.

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Bar Rosso Wild Game Dinner on March 6

Bar Rosso in Stamford will host their first annual Wild Game Dinner on March 6, 2013. Cost is $120 per person. To reserve a table, email or call 203.288.8640.

Game Dinner Menu:


Fig Marmelade, Wild Boar Prosciutto Wine Pairing: Barbera D’Alba Pio Cesare


Stained with Chianti in a Braised Rabbit Ragu Wine Pairing: Nero Di troia, Botromagno


Braised Wild Boar and Truffle Butter Wine Pairing: Nero Di troia, Botromagno


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2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists: Chefs Bill Taibe & Bun Lai

Congratulations to Chefs Bill Taibe and Bun Lai on their nominations for Best Chef: Northeast for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists. For the complete list visit:

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8 To The Bar Snack Bars: Raising the "Bar" in CT

Finally, A healthy nutty snack that is doesn’t taste overpoweringly of high fructose corn syrup! I’m talking about the new 8 To The Bar snack bar that a pair of Connecticut cousins have recently brought to Fairfield county markets.

Made of a medley of eight different organic nuts, oats, dried fruit, honey and coconut, the bar has a great taste and texture. I particularly love the sour cherries that give the snack a tanginess, which, married with the sesame and coconut and the crunchiness of the nuts, translates to a taste that is deliciously more-ish.

The bar hits the mark for post exercise recharging. I tried my first bar after a five-mile run and found it both satisfying and energizing (not to mention delicious) – a fact that local fitness studios have cottoned on to. The bars are now available at Joyride, Kaia Yoga and the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport.

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The Winner of the Cocktail Naming Contest Is...

The wait is over. South End Restaurant has reviewed the 75 creative entries in the Cocktail Naming Contest, and a winner has been named: 

Mighty Aphrodite is the winning cocktail name and will be featured on South End's cocktail menu.

Congratulations to Jodie (who needs to contact us to receive her prize). 

Here's what she had to say about how she came up with her name: "Because rosemary was draped around Aphrodite as she rose from the sea. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the 'Rose of Mary' - Wikipedia"

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Krust Pizza & Bourbon Bar in Middletown

We are excited to begin bringing you even more content from across the state of Connecticut, welcoming new voices into our mix, and experimenting with the occassional shorter, more tactical posts. To that end, we are pleased to welcome Emily Cahill, the newest addition to the CTbites team covering one of our favorite new spots in Middletown. - Stephanie Webster + Amy Kundrat

Photo: Nick CaitoKrust Pizza Bar

Cuisine: Wood-fired pizza, Bar
Price: $10- $15
Our Highlights: Specialty pizzas, bourbon and cocktails
Hours: Mon – Closed. Tues-Thur 4pm – 1am, F&S 4pm-2am, Sun 4pm-1am

Wood-fired pizzas, a softly lit interior, and a seemingly infinite bourbon list sets the stage for NoRa neighborhood newcomer Krust. Owners Rich Garcia and Kevin Wirtes introduced the Middletown eatery in mid-January 2013, showcasing a concise but creative menu of beautifully executed artisan pies. Whether it’s the rustic pine paneling, amber glow of bar shelves brimming with bourbon bottles, or smoky aromas permeating the space from the wood burning oven, one thing is evident: Krust is a delicious and welcome addition to Middletown’s bar and restaurant scene.

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Invites: Celebrate CT! An Evening of Craft Beer & BBQ @ Bar Q

Join Bob Le Rose (of Bobby Q's) and CTbites for an evening celebrating "CT's Own!" Enjoy Craft beers from local CT breweries and 4 course dinner of CT BBQ as only BarQ can prepare it on Tuesday 2/26 7 to 9 pm for $40 per person. Buy tickets.

Taste and enjoy an authentic dinner of four courses of original CT BBQ, a dessert of Snickerdoodle Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich, all while washing it down with delicious beers from three local Connecticut micro-breweries, Half Full, City Steam and Two Roads Breweries. 

Menu includes:

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Nola Oyster Bar Opens in SONO

With very little fanfare, Nola Oyster Bar will open its doors this weekend in SONO in the space formerly occupied by Wasabi Chi on the corner of Main and Washington. As CTbites announced a few weeks ago the menu will primarily focus on seafood from Maine to New Orleans.

The previous open interior has been completely redesigned into three dining areas. The bar area features both a long bar with numerous stools for cocktails and dinner, while the two dining areas occupy the remaining space. The rear dining area is convertible for use as a private dining area.

Chef Dan Kardos is overseeing the kitchen and a sneak peak at his opening menu confirms the seafood focus with variety of options. Included are traditional raw bar selections of oysters and clams plus several crudos. “Small Plates” offer several varieties of cooked seafood including braised mussels, an oyster pan roast and several renditions of oysters. The entrées maintain the seafood focus with poached lobster, shrimp and grits, and other grilled and roasted seafood, but expands into a few non-seafood selections that include hanger steak, fried chicken, a combination bacon-cheeseburger. CTbites was told that the menu will expand rapidly over the first few weeks.

Stay tuned as CTbites revisits Nola Oyster Bar in a few weeks for an in depth review.

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Champagne: Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines Says "It's Not Just For Valentine's Day"

Flat screen TV: check. Afternoon game on: check. Matching jerseys: check. Champagne. Check?

If football conjures up images of greasy chicken wings, beer, and people shouting at the television, champagne is equated with glitz, elegance, and a touch of pretension.  It seems impossible that the two would ever exist in harmony.  Recently, Peter Troilo of Nicholas Roberts Fine Wine in Darien, CT proved otherwise.  He and wine distributor Peter Slywka held a grower champagne tasting against a backdrop of Sunday afternoon football.

“Most people think they have to drink champagne for a special occasion.  People should drink it all the time!” Troilo proclaimed.  Slywka nodded.  Then both turned their attention to the TV and let out a whoop as their team complete a play.

Don’t let the laid back demeanor fool you; these guys know their stuff.   Just this year, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article on the boutique wine store, praising it for its carefully stocked shelves.  Troilo’s knowledge has earned him widespread respect in the industry.  Recently he joined forces with New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov to select wines for an event celebrating the launch of the commentator’s book at the Darien Library.

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