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Eating Out

We just keep going back to South End in New Canaan. Here's why...

Ummmmm.....Tacos..... Run, don't walk to Casa Villa in Stamford if you haven't been. 

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Tavern in Monroe: Modern Comfort Food in N. FC

Utter the word “tavern” and the mind conjures images of dimly-lit rooms, Hungry-Man portions of protein and white starches, with deep fried renditions of both. Upsell this concept to northern Fairfield County in the hands of two seasoned restaurateurs and you get Tavern in Monroe.

Located on a busy stretch of Rt. 25 just between Newtown and Trumbull, Tavern is already attracting a steady crowd in just under two months of operation. The after-work crowd is drawn to its handsome whiskey barrel studded bar and families clamber to fill the outdoor patio and comfortable vibe with family-friendly menu.   

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Cocktails: The Aviation c/o Barcelona's Gretchen Thomas

Gretchen Thomas is the Wine & Spirits Director for the Barcelona Restaurant Group.

The classic cocktail revitalization is supercharged right now. San Francisco, New Orleans and Manhattan can take credit for getting that ball rolling, and the rest of the US...well we are a little behind as expected, but people are taking notice more and more. Why did the classics ever die out? In my opinion (strong emphasis on opinion), most of the classic drinks are whiskey or gin based, and Americans got sick of those flavors, turned to flavorless spirits, and they have been in fashion until recently. Now, vintage is back!

My new favorite vintage drink is the Aviation.

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Host A Champagne Croquet Party to Benefit EMERGE

EMERGE and Festivities are looking for your help!  

Festivities, known for their top notch special event catering & event planning, is using their business expertise to better the community in Fairfield County...and they need your help. Always wanted to throw a croquet party? Now you can both delight your guests and raise money to benefit EMERGE, a vital program that provides transitional and permanent housing along with mentoring and counseling to women and their children affected by domestic violence located in Stratford, CT.   

On Sunday, September 18 Festivities is asking Fairfield County residents to join them as a host/hostess for a unique and fun afternoon by hosting an afternoon of croquet, fun and libations. At the conclusion of the private events, all our guests will gather at a beautiful private estate in Southport for champagne, dessert and a croquet finale.  We will have the opportunity to hear Donna Jackson, co-founder of Emerge, share her riveting story of how she overcame a personal story of domestic violence to become the force behind her work.

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Ultimate Guide to Making Ice Cream: A Recipe (of Sorts)

Nothing says “Summer” like ice cream.  I make a lot of ice cream – more than we can eat.  I make really great ice cream, if I do say so myself.  So when my sister-in-law asked for an “award winning” ice cream recipe, to use in her local agricultural fair, I was happy to oblige.  I haven’t won any actual awards, but if you follow my instructions, you’ll appreciate my confidence.   Although Eleanore skipped the contest, she said she wished she had entered, if only because the entries all required detailed recipes and, as you will see, mine is nothing if not detailed. 

The key to a great ice cream is its base.  I almost always make fruit ice creams.  While different fruits require different treatments and benefit from different supplemental ingredients, the base doesn’t vary.  

I use a basic Cuisinart one-and-a-half-quart ice cream maker that only costs about $50.  If you like ice cream, it’s the best $50 you will ever spend

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Tim LaBant on the TODAY Show Thursday Aug 11

Tim LaBant, chef/owner of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale will be the guest chef on NBC's Today Show on Thursday, August 11. The current plan is an appearance during the 9:30am segment.
The Schoolhouse tells CTbites that he has 3 1/2 minutes to prepare a meal. Good luck Tim! We'll be watching. 



World Barista Champion Pulling Shots @ espressoNEAT

Coffee + Chocolate + 1 Coffee Celebrity= Fun. What more could you ask for on a Thursday night?

Come to NEAT this Thursday (August 11) at 8pm to meet the World Barista Champion, Michael Phillips, taste delicious coffees paired with chocolate, and enjoy a late night espresso prepared by Michael himself.

Michael is going to be spending a bit of time this week right here in CT, working with NEAT in their constant pursuit of top notch coffee and deilghtful service.  They are thrilled to be able to host him at NEAT.

He'll be working behind the espresso machine at NEAT a bit as well, so look for him on Friday and Saturday. 

Meet Michael Phillips
In addition to being one of the nicest guys you've ever met, Michael also has quite a resume in the world of specialty coffee.  After winning the US Barista Competition in 2009 and 2010, he took home the World Barista Championship in 2010, making him the first (and only!) from the good ol' US of A to ever win the WBC.  Michael ran the training program at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea prior to co-founding Handsome Coffee Roasters earlier this year with two of his cohorts from Intelligentsia.


Asian Treats at Pacific Food in Fairfield

Every once in a while something new comes to town that we just have to explore! This time, it’s Pacific Food on the Black Rock Turnpike that adds a little bit of Asian flavor to the shopping options in Fairfield. We visited Pacific Food recently to see what kind of eclectic goodies we could fill our shopping carts with. After all, it’s about time we started using our wok pans for something worth wok-ing!

Pacific Food is a unique Asian market open almost three months in a small shopping center just as Blackrock Turnpike splits into Tunxis Hill. The small footprint of the grocer packs a punch – offering counter-style favorites such as Vietnamese sandwiches, Japanese-style smoothies in a rainbow of flavors and a decided-upon favorite, traditional Chinese Bubble Tea.

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The Schoolhouse's Tim LaBant @ Ambler Farm

The details of Tim LaBant's Ambler Farm dinner have been announced. On Saturday September 10th, Wilton's very own award-winning chef, Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale in Wilton, will present an organic harvest feast + Ambler's own produce. 

Arrive to cocktails on the Farm. Supper served family-style in the Ambler fields. Tours of this beautiful property will be offered, (one of the oldest farms still in use in Fairfield County) well as other diversions. 

-Roasted multicolored Ambler peppers and eggplant with ricotta, olive oil, herbs,sunflower seeds and grilled Wave hill toast
-Mason jars with pickled beets

-Salad of assorted fresh Ambler Farm tomatoes accompanied with cornbread, Crème fraiche and grilled green onions

-Slow roasted Berkshire pork shoulder
-Summer succotash (zucchini, Summer squash, pearl onion,bacon,peas and corn)
-Confit potatoes with nasturtium, fennel pollen, frisee with goat cheese dressing

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Peace Tree Desserts in Westport: Give Peace A Chance

Contented goats frolicking in green meadows, giving fresh, naturally homogenized milk.  Local, sustainable, organic ingredients.  The leafy Bohdi Tree, symbol of Buddhist enlightenment.  Lovely images to associate with . . . dessert.

Yeah, yeah, kumbayah, you may say.  Get to the good stuff -- the treats, not the trees.  But they go hand in hand at Peace Tree Desserts, according to owner and chef Robyn Eades.  The Peace Tree, inspired by her dog Bodhi, is a fitting symbol for Robyn’s approach to sourcing and creating delicious desserts.  Even the Peace Tree labels are eco-friendly, made from soy ink and recycled paper.

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Grande Burger Opens in Stamford

Sometimes you just want to go out - no specific plans, no goals for the evening besides just wanting to go hear loud music and blow off steam. It would be nice to have a few drinks, you think, but whatever will do: just get me a beer/cocktail/shot, man. Sometimes you're just in an "eat to live" kind of mood, and anything filling will do. Other times you're more discerning, selective: you could really go for a burger, but generic "burger" arriving wrapped in paper won't cut it. For those times, there's the new Grand Burger in Stamford. 

Yes, the former G/R/A/N/D ultra lounge has been re-imagined as a burger place, and the menu is the result of the discerning eye of Executive Chef Nick Bilello, creator of Burger Bar in SoNo.

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