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Friday
Jan042013

Pasta Bolognese in Fairfield County Roundup: Part I

Mangia, Mangia Mangia…and Mangia again.

Pasta Bolognese..a dish so embedded in the DNA of Italian culture that the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for "classic Bolognese ragù" with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. The recorded recipe calls for beef from the plate section, unsmoked pancetta, carrot, celery, onions, tomato purée, meat broth, dry wine, milk, salt and pepper, plus a small amount of cream as an option to finish the sauce. There are numerous variations and nuances in the design, flavor, ingredients and most importantly the partner on the plate, the pasta, traditionally a taggliatelle.

What started as a simple idea within CTbites to find and recommend a few good Pasta Bolognese dishes in Fairfield County took a life of its own as more suggestions led to more great sauces, which led to, well more great sauces. Over the last several weeks, the two of us have enjoyed some great Pasta Bolognese preparations (and several that were not so good) to give our readers a list of recommended restaurants that serve delicious versions of this traditional Italian fare. It is not all encompassing, is listed alphabetically and we look to our readers to offer other suggestions of restaurants that serve their favorite Pasta Bolognese to be included in next year's search.

And this is only part 1…there were too many for just one list of recommendations, so stay tuned for part 2 in the near future.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Thursday
Jan032013

Four to Participate In “ARTISAN IRON CHEF DINNER”

On January 21, four local culinary favorites, BAR SUGO, CRAFT BUTCHERY, FAIRFIELD CHEESE COMPANY and SAUGATUCK GRAIN & GRAPE will team up for an “Iron Chef” inspired artisan dinner to be held at Bar Sügo.

Four days before the event, Craft Butchery will choose the meats or poultry that will be the “secret” ingredient and inform both Bar Sügo and the Fairfield Cheese Company. Fairfield Cheese Company will choose an equal amount of cheese to complement the meats and poultry and then Bar Sügo will have five hours to develop a full five course menu. Next, Saugatuck Grain & Grape will pair wines and cocktails for the each of the courses.

Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details and how to reserve limited spaces to this special January event.

Wednesday
Jan022013

6 Great Cleanses to Start the New Year Right

What could be more appropriate for a CTbites article than to paraphrase a Shakespearan play whose title contains a tasty pork product? HAMlet, at his existential and post holiday binge worst probably also asked "To cleanse or not to cleanse...that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the gut to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous feasting, Or to take action against a sea of troubles and, by cleansing, - end them. Don't worry. And don't bother with the nunnery. Instead, get thee to one of the establishments listed below and sample a cleanse to rid yourself of post-food-orgy regret.

Start the new year by taking care of your body with one of these 6 great cleanses:

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Tuesday
Jan012013

Little House Molasses Snow Candy via "Fix Me A Snack"

The other day, we finally made Molasses-On-Snow Candy from The Little House Cookbook. And let me tell ya that nothing enlivens a snowy New England day like playing with molten sugar! 

Last winter, books from the Little House series dominated our bedtime reading. I don’t recall reading them as a child so I was enjoying them as much as the kids were. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s retelling of her childhood transported us back in time. 

Given our heartfelt connection to the Ingalls family, it’s unclear who likes the whole idea of making foods out of the Little House Cookbook more, me or the girls. Either way, they did a spectacular job making molasses candy. Nobody had to go to the hospital with third degree burns. Another successful day of parenting!

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Monday
Dec312012

CTbites Staff Picks for TOP EATS OF 2012

It's that time again...time to reflect on the year that has passed, and look forward to what is yet to come. For the food obsessed in Fairfield County, 2012 was a stellar year. The restaurant scene literally exploded with some very notable openings, and 2013 promises to continue the trend. 

As we say good bye to 2012, we asked the CTbites Team to list the restaurants at which they spent the most time eating throughout the year. What you see below are the STAFF PICKS for TOP EATS OF 2012.

Let us know your favorite spots as well.

Happy New Year from CTbites

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Friday
Dec282012

Cooking Classes w/ "Dinners at the Farm" Chef Rapp

Want to cook effortless, mouthwatering dishes for your guests this holiday season or anytime? Then register today for White Gate Farm's series of Farm Kitchen cooking classes featuring the Dinners at the Farm Chef Jonathan Rapp on January 8, 9 or 10 -- Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday --  3:00 to 9:00 pm. Chef Rapp will be coming down from his red truck where he orchestrates his magical dinners during the summers, allowing for a hands on cooking experience. 

COOKING FROM THE GROUND UP, is Jonathan's simple fresh approach to cooking in season. Learn uncomplicated farm-to-table cooking by first heading out to the fields and greenhouses with Jonathan and White Gate farm manager Susan Mitchell. Gather beautiful organic produce for the evening's four-course menu that students and chefs develop together. Then it's back to the kitchen where the team will prep and cook. Finally, participants will sit down together with some exceptional wine and enjoy the "fruits" of their labor.

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Thursday
Dec272012

10 Questions w/ Chef Mario LaPosta of Tarry Lodge

Mario LaPosta is the self proclaimed "pizza obsessed" Chef @ Tarry Lodge in Westport. Here are a few things you probably didn't know about this pizzaioli whose Margherita pizza placed in the top ten of the world pizza championships.

Plus: Don't miss Mario's recipe for Mussels En Scapece. Marinated Mussels with wine, saffron and red wine vinegar (seen below). 

If you had unexpected guests arriving at your home for dinner in 1 hour, what would you whip up? I would make homemade sauce and meatballs. Sunday sauce is something that my family has been blessed with making exceptionally well; it is easy to make in an hour by substituting meatballs instead of slow cooking beef or pork.

What is the last dish you cooked for yourself? Turkey Chili, in an effort to lose weight so I can fit into a tux on my wedding day, and in honor to watching my Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

What are your guilty pleasures in terms of food? I dream about food 24/7 so everything tends to be a guilty pleasure for me, but I like the combination of sweet and savory; Pork Belly with Apple Mostarda at Tarry Lodge and Foie Gras with Cinco Cebollas at Casa Mono represent this best.

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Wednesday
Dec262012

The Spread Hosts A "Mad Men" New Years Eve Bash

Still trying to figure out how to spend New Years Eve? Hmmm...What would Don Draper do? The Spread is hosting a Mad Men themed event that sounds like the perfect combo of good food and good fun...Here's the lineup.

7-8:30 pm Cocktail hour/Raw bar: Specialty drinks from late 50's/early 60's; Blue point oysters and anything else Chef Arik Bensimon finds fresh from the sea.

9-11 pm 5 course dinner: Black bass carpaccio, Cabbage and chanterelles, Lobster Thermidor, Roast lamb,  Cheese course; Dessert

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Wednesday
Dec262012

DAVIDsTEA Opens in Westport

On the twelfth night of Christmas, my true love brewed for me,” 1 buddha’s blend, 2 matcha matsu, 3 long life oolong, 4 la la lemon, 5 chocolate orange...and so the song goes. New to Main Street in downtown Westport, just in time for the holidays, is DAVIDsTEA, a Canadian company started by two cousins who wanted to introduce the masses to the ancient world of loose leaf tea in a fun, modern environment. Initially successful in Canada with over 80 stores, the cousins decided to set up shop in the U.S. with Westport following the likes of NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.

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Friday
Dec212012

CTbites Invites LAST MINUTE Holiday Gift Ideas!

“Twas the night before Christmas, and all thru the house…you suddenly realized you were short a gift for your loving spouse! ”

Even with Macy’s open round the clock till Christmas, who wants to brave the crowds and fight the holiday traffic?

CTbites Invites is offering you LAST MINUTE Holiday Gift Ideas that you purchase online thru our CTbites Invites website and then insert into a holiday card or stuff in the stockings “hung by the fireplace with care” for future use!

Choose from the following gift items: $100 gift certificate good for dinner at five of our favorite restaurants: Barcelona (all six CT locations), BONDADa Pietro’sMatchThe Chelsea

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