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

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Friday
Sep142012

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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Thursday
Sep132012

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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Wednesday
Sep122012

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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Wednesday
Sep122012

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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Tuesday
Sep112012

Nutmegger Cheese & Wine Festival September 23

Calling all cheese lovers! The Working Lands Alliance will proudly host the inaugural Nutmegger Cheese and Wine Festival, a fundraiser to protect Connecticut’s farmland and to support quality childhood nutrition.  The Festival will be held on Sunday, September 23 from noon-4 p.m. at the Jones Family Farms, located at 120 Beardsley Road in Shelton, CT. It will feature samples of Connecticut’s best cheeses and wines, vineyard tours, hayrides, cheesemaker talks and book signings, and include special guests who will talk about cheese. Participating Vendors Include:

Cheesemakers: Arethusa Farm & Dairy, Beltane Farms, Butterfield Farm Company, Cato Corner Farm, Ladies of Levita Road, Meadow Stone Farm, Sankow Beaver Brook Farm.

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Tuesday
Sep112012

Blues & BBQ Festival Recap: Got Meat Anyone?

On Labor Day weekend, 7 talented chefs joined CTbites at the Blues & BBQ Festival in Westport. Under a blistering sun, they grilled, chopped, and demo'ed dishes for literally thousands of admiring fans. The CTbites Chef Demo Tent was rocking thanks to the efforts of: Chef Matt Storch of Match Restaurant in Sono; Pietro Scotti of Da Pietro's in Westport; Chef Rob Troilo of Nicholas Roberts in Norwalk; Chef Joe Wolfson of Terrain in Westport; Chef Helton DaSilva of Barcelona RestaurantFestivities Catering and Chef Judy Roll of Tabouli Grill.

Missed the event, or just want to see the chefs in action?  VIEW OUR BBQ FESTIVAL CHEF DEMO TENT PHOTO GALLERY 

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Monday
Sep102012

"Foodies" Opening Party & Night Market @ WAC, Sept. 14

Foodies Descend on the Westport Arts Center for a Delectable Reception on September 14 

The connection between food and art shares such a long thread throughout humanity; it winds its way back to our cave dwelling days. Art has come a long way since those early drawings, and so has our food supply. To celebrate this lasting connection, and its progress, The Westport Arts Center will host an Opening Reception and Night Food Market for its upcoming exhibition, “Foodies.” On Friday, September 14th from 6 - 8pm, the Arts Center on 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, will become an art and food gallery featuring local artists’ works and local chefs’ creations.

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Sunday
Sep092012

Olio Restaurant Opens in Springdale, Stamford

Olio - [oh-lee-oh] (noun) - a dish of many different ingredients

Olio Restaurant, off the beaten path in the Springdale section of Stamford, represents the epitome of a “Hidden Gem.” Located in the space that formerly housed Bella Luna, Chef/Owner Steve Costanzo and his business partner Moira Hyland bring over 36 years of experience to this underserved neighborhood. After two months, the residents are viewing Olio as their local culinary answer to downtown Stamford.

Costanzo graduated from the New York Restaurant School and worked in many area restaurants including Baang, Long Ridge Tavern, and Quattro Pazzi (Executive Chef). Hyland is a graduate of the Chef's Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, The duo brings their passion and energy to create an eclectic and inviting menu and environment to their dream restaurant.

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Sunday
Sep092012

CT Food Bank Awards CTbites "Hunger Action Hero"

September is Hunger Action Month and CTbites was greatly honored to be awarded the Hunger Action Hero Award for Media Advocacy by the Connecticut Food Bank. 

CT Food Bank distributes 33 tons of food to those in need EVERY DAY, and you may not realize it, but in Fairfield County, the need is great. 

Help support the CT Food Bank's efforts during Hunger Action Month and every month. To find out how to help, especially during the upcoming holiday season, go to the Connecticut Food Bank's web site. 

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Friday
Sep072012

Half Full Brewery Opens in Stamford Tomorrow!

Four years after Conor Horrigan decided to make the leap from regular working stiff to found his own brewery, the dream becomes a reality this weekend in Stamford. Half Full Brewery will be open for tastings and tours tomorrow, September 8 from 12 – 2p.m. Tours of Fairfield County’s newest brewery commence at 12:30 and 1:30, and visitors will have the option to buy filled growlers and take home a generous portion of Half Full’s signature brew: Bright Ale. 

The crew at Half Full describe their venture thusly:

The Half Full Brewery is a “lifestyle” brewery that came to life after Conor decided to quit his day job and travel Europe and the concept behind our brewery is as simple as its name and motto sounds:  whether your glass is literally or figuratively “Half Full”, you can “look forward to more…”

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