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Oh, for the love of....10 Unique CT Valentine's Gifts for your loved one. 

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Amuse Bouche: Food News & Nibbles

bartaco is now hosting Happy Hour Monday through Fridays from 5pm - 7pm at the Stamford and West Hartford locations only. $5 specialty cocktails.

Kings Food Markets is hosting a grand opening of their first-ever CT store in Old Greenwich. Tasting begins on 10 a.m. on Friday, September 28,  followed by remarks by Judy Spires, president & CEO of Kings Food Markets, and Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei at 11 a.m.

On October 18th, Stew Leonard's Wines of Norwalk will host a wine and food tasting featuring more than 65 wines and beers as well as a menu of seasonal fare freshly prepared by Stew Leonard’s culinary team.  Tickets are $40 per person and all proceeds will benefit The Norwalk Exchange Club. More Info. 

Aux Delices in Westport has just opened their evening bistro. Dinner is served Tues.-Sat. nights. Check their web site to view the menu and make reservations. 

Burger Craving? Thursday is "Burger Night" at Match in SONO. Read all about making of the Match Burger here. 

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Community Plates Needs Food Runners!

Community Plates is a non-profit organization that has employed one simple idea to address the complex issue of hunger, and in just a handful of months, made a huge impact in our community.  Community Plates connects food to people in need of it, by rescuing good food that would otherwise be thrown away and delivering it to hunger relief agencies in Fairfield County.  Community Plates has 26 food donors stretching from Greenwich to Fairfield, but we need your help to complete the direct transfer of the food to those who need it. 

Food runners drop off food that can be served to local food insecure individuals the same day – if not within just a few hours. We have many food rescue opportunities that we want to add to our schedule but we need more runners in order to add new donors and feed more people. To be involved with the Community Plates initiative, volunteers are asked to commit to just one food run or bin collection a month (15 – 60 minute effort).

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FOODIES Exhibit Opens @ The Westport Arts Center

CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGE TO LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERYThe Westport Arts Center called upon some notable local foodies to select the 70 food-centric works of art displayed at the Foodies exhibit opening last Friday night. Pat Callaghan of Pepperidge Farm, Stew Leonard Jr. of Stew Leonard’s, Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room and Bill Taibe of Le Farm and The Whelk selected from over 170 submissions at this juried show. The result was a delicious exploration of serious local talent. The pieces which ranged from art photography to an over sized corn sculpture can be VIEWED in the PHOTO GALLERY HERE. It's worth a look. See if you can figure out which judges (hint: Bill Taibe) had definite favorites. 

FOODIES is on view through November 4th @ The Westport Arts Center. 


Celebrate 1 Year w/ Sono Baking Co. & John Barricelli

Celebrate With The SoNo Baking Company on 
Sunday, September, 23 @ 
SoNo Baking at A&J's Farmstand 
1680 Post Rd., Westport 
2pm to 5pm

In the words of Sono Baking Company:
We have so many things to celebrate so we decided to throw one big party. John Barricelli's second book, The Seasonal Baker is out and it's getting great reviews.  He'll be on hand to sign copies and talk about his inspiration for the book.  
Sono Baking Co.'s Westport location has already been open for one year!  HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to us!  We've had a great year in Westport but couldn't have done it without you.  So drop in to sample some new fall items as well as some old favorites. We'll be raffling off some prizes:

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Estia Restaurant Brings Greek Cuisine to SoNo

Gavrielides Restaurant Group, the family behind Harbor Lights, Eastside Café, and Overtons, all located in Norwalk, have added yet another egg to their already full basket of food establishments.

Recently opened “Estia”, which shows off the Gavrielides family’s Greek roots, is a welcome addition to SONO’s Washington Street.  It’s official:  This tiny block now proudly boasts a veritable potpourri of cuisine, and with Greek cuisine now on offer, it is fast becoming a diners paradise. Let’s hope Estia, along with its’ neighboring partners in crime can live up to the increasing demand for quality, sophisticated food, so SONO can continue to thrive. 

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1 Seat Left for Napa & Co. Wine Dinner w. Chef Marino

Only 1 seat left for Napa & Co.'s 5 Course Tasting Menu & Wine Dinner event on September 27th. This special evening features Napa & Co's NEW Executive Chef, Leonardo Marino and owner/sommelier, Mary Schaffer and will take place from 7:00-9:30 pm for $85. VIEW MENU BELOW

Coming Soon to CTbites Invites: Meet the farmer as you Join Chef Robert Troilo and his brother, Peter Troilo of Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines in Darien, for an all American Dinner on October 4th. This very special 4 course Fall Harvest meal features dishes from local farms and purveyors paired with wines from California, Washington State and NY State! Stay tuned for more information. 

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Bartaco Restaurant Offers Gluten Free Menu 

Good news for people with Celiacs Disease or those going gluten free. Turns out...bartaco Restaurant is almost completely gluten free! We sent our roving reporter, 9 year old Maizy Boosin, who suffers from Celiac, to test out the menu. See what she found out below... 

When bartaco opened its first location in Pt. Chester, NY last year, the goal was to serve simple, tasty food in a stylish yet relaxed environment. After having expanded to locations in Stamford, CT and West Hartford, CT, bartaco continues to fulfill its original goal with a considerable bonus:  the vast majority of its menu happens to be gluten free. 

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Last Chance! Bacon Week @ Plan B Burger Bar in Milford

How does Plan B in Milford celebrate its 1-year birthday? With a cake? NO! This meat-loving restaurant celebrates with BACON! Bacon Week runs from September 10th - 16th at Plan B Burger Bar in Milford.  John Brennan, the executive chef was nice enough to invite me to come opening night.  I alerted my cardiologist. Armed with a big appetite and an open mind, I brought my bacon LOVING husband Marc along to help me taste everything on the menu.  The meal began with the 3 signature drinks- all made with bacon infused bourbon. Plan B prides itself on its bourbon selection, and I’m a fan. I tried the bourbon straight and it was really nice, with just a hint of the bacon- nothing overpowering.

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Shake Shack Opens in New Haven

Shake Shack has officially arrived in New Haven. The New York hamburger chain opened its first college outpost, and second in the Connecticut, in the state's Elm City on the evening of September 12 to family and friends. It will offially open to the public on September 13, 2012.

Shake Shack's founder Danny Meyer may have a not-so-hidden agenda for this first foray to college campuses – his daughter is a freshman at Yale. Facing the New Haven green on Chapel Street, Shake Shack is conveniently near the old campus of Yale University. Its location is an auspicious one – it is about a quarter of a mile away from Louis Lunch, often touted as the birthplace of the hamburger. 

The menu is similar to its sister restaurants, with a few signature Concretes including the Skull & Cones Concrete (a play on the University's Skull & Bones secret society), a combination of chocolate and vanilla with shattered sugar cones, and peanut butter sauce and chocolate truffle cookie dough, and the Boola Boola Blue Concrete (a reference to Yale's fight song), a combination vanilla custard with blueberry jam and a lemon pie.

Shake Shack New Haven is now open at 986 Chapel Street in New Haven and will be open daily from 11 am to 11 pm.

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New Canaan's Harvest Festival: Craft Beer & Chef Tastings 

Tickets are now on sale for the first annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 29 at the New Canaan Nature Center!  Held outdoors on the Nature Center’s grounds, the event will feature craft beer tastings, live bands, “local bites” provided by area chefs and outdoor games. This event is open to guests 21 & over with an afternoon tasting sessions from 3pm – 6pm and an evening session from 7pm – 10pm. 

All attendees will receive a tasting mug at the door which they can use to sample a variety of craft beers. Participating brewers are: Berkshire Brewing Company, Charter Oak Brewing Co. - CT, Cisco Brewers, Estrella Damm, GW Beer - CT, Half Full Brewery - CT, Harpoon Brewery, Thomas Hooker - CT, Murphy’s Stout, Palm Breweries. 

Chefs from several area restaurants will provide “local bites” to complement the beer tastings. Roger Sherman Inn, Carpe Diem, Boulevard 18, The Tuscan, Chicken Joe’s, Joe’s Pizza truck, Deep River Snacks, El Rancho de Pancho, Asia Hamachi, Zumbach’s coffee. 

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