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Sunday
Jan082012

Carpe Diem Opens w/ Northern Italian in New Canaan

Food lovers of New Canaan rejoice! Carpe Diem, a Northern Italian inspired restaurant by Alan Basaran, has opened and the housemade pastas are delicious. As CTBites presented earlier, Basaran, a North Stamford resident and owner of Carpe Diem Restaurant in New York City, is excited about creating delicious Northern Italian cuisine in New Canaan, his wife’s hometown.

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Friday
Jan062012

Bill Taibe's "The Whelk" Opens in Westport in 2 Weeks

Up until yesterday, if you had asked Bill Taibe for the name of his new Westport based seafood restaurant, he'd tell you what he told the town when they needed a name for the phone directory, "The oyster place in Saugatuck." But as of this morning, this seafood haven has been given a brand befitting its waterfront surroundings in Westport's burgeoning restaurant scene. "The Whelk" will be opening in roughly two weeks, and the restaurant is poised for its first round of guests. 

The interior reflects the clean lines of a beautiful ship with beadboard paneling, industrial metals, and warm woods, but despite the seafaring undertones "there is a sense of responsible kitchiness here. We didn't want to go obvious nautical," says Taibe. He describes The Whelk's clean architectural interior as "The South of France meets Maine." Green park bench inspired seating runs the full length of the sunlit dining space and 2 high communal tables stand proudly behind the white marble bar. In keeping with Taibe's passion for local sourcing, everything in the restaurant was made in the USA. 

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Friday
Jan062012

Bombay Chile & Cilantro Chicken via Jeanette's Healthy Living

Lately, I’ve been craving the warm spices of Indian food, and so this week, my kids were treated to a new chicken dish – Bombay Chile and Cilantro Chicken, marinated with lots of warm spices, including coriander, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne. 

This is definitely a dish that can be started early in the day or the night before, then thrown on the grill or broiled just before dinnertime. I marinated the chicken in the morning, cooked everything before I headed out the door to pick my son up from school, and just reheated it as soon as we walked in the door an hour later. Served with a bright Cilantro Sauce, this is a unique, flavorful chicken dish that I will be making again. To go with this spicy chicken dish, I made some Indian Lemon Rice using brown rice, and Spinach Thoran (I had picked up some leafy green vegetables from the local Indian supermarket that were labeled “phoi leaves”, that looked like New Zealand Spinach).

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Thursday
Jan052012

Pinkberry in Greenwich Opens on the Avenue

The largest Pinkberry shop in Connecticut has opened at 369 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, CT. We got to take a quick spin around their newest shop (they are also open in Fairfield and West Hartford), sample the goods and get back in line for more.

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Thursday
Jan052012

Gelatissimo in New Canaan is Very Gelato

The first thing I thought of when I heard “Gelatissimo” was that with a name like this, the place must be authentic. I was not disappointed in learning more about this delightful spot in downtown New Canaan when I met with its owners Andrea and Nuccia.

In Italian, Gelatissimo means very gelato; the supprelative “issimo” is used to exalt a description from standard to the very most, this is something I love about the Italian language, that things can be highlighted, made bigger, tastier or more beautiful - or just the opposite- by adding this sort of supprelative. “Issimo” is reserved for the very most and who doesn’t want more gelato!?

Here, Nuccia and Andrea have done the very best in gelato; their cheery interior is consistently buzzing with happy customers-several appear to be regulars while others are venturing in for the first, but not last time.

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Wednesday
Jan042012

Ambler Farm Maple Syrup Tap-a-Tree Family Events

Maple Syrup Tap-a-Tree

Training dates: Saturday, February 11th from 11am - noon and Sunday, February 12th from 12:30 - 1:30pm.

In this extremely popular program, your family will learn the science and history of maple syruping by being a hands-on part of the process. You will choose a tree at the Farm and hang your bucket that will collect sap. We will boil down the sap in our sugar shack and send each family home with their very own bottle of Ambler Farm maple syrup. Enrollment Limited: This program sold out quickly in previous years so please do not wait to sign up. The number of trees at the Farm is limited, so we are unable to accommodate late requests or wait lists. Classes are $60 per family if members, $65 for non member family. Register here + more information. 

Middlebrook Maple Syrup Program

This 6 week program runs from early February through mid-March. Students in grades 6-8 will meet after school on Thursdays until 4:10. They will tap over 50 trees

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Tuesday
Jan032012

Adam Gopnik Comes to Greenwich 

New Yorker columnist and bestselling author Adam Gopnik will discuss his new book, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food on Wednesday, January 18 from 10 to 11:30 am. The event, presented by JCC Greenwich, will take place at Versailles Bistro & Patisserie, 339 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich.

Over café au lait and croissants, Mr. Gopnik will begins with 18th-century France and carries us to the kitchens of the White House, Barcelona and beyond getting at the heart of our love affair with eating.  Book signing to follow. Admission is $20. Tickets can be purchased at jccgreenwich.org or by sending a check to JCC Greenwich, One Holly Hill Lane, Greenwich, CT 06830. Additional information: 203.552.1818

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Tuesday
Jan032012

Tix to Fork it Over WFM Fundraiser Go On Sale TODAY

Tickets to the Fork it Over Westport Farmers' Market Fundraiser go on sale TODAY. A quick glance at the list of chefs cooking for this event and you'll understand the need for speed. Only the first 200 people to sign up will get seats. Go to the Westport Farmers' Market web site to grab a chair and join us. 

On January 28, 2012 the greenhouse at Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens will be transformed into a “Pop-Up” restaurant with a chef lineup that will make you drool. CTbites got the list and we are happy to share: Bill Taibe of leFarm, Matt Storch of Match, Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Michel Nischan of Dressing Room, and John Barricelli of Sono Baking Company will provide the dessert course. 

Each chef will prepare four dishes, and the entire menu will be paired with inventive cocktails and wine. This is truly an evening not to be missed. 

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Monday
Jan022012

An Evening of BBQ & Craft Brews @ Bobby Q's 

Join Bobby Q owner Bob Le Rose and special BBQ guests and brewers for an unforgettable night of craft brews and BBQ on January 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. This event is priced at $60 per person which includes

This special dining event will feature special guests including the award-winning BBQ pitmasters Steve Z of R2BQ and Dave Conti of Red Planet BBQ and top microbrewers. Bobby and his crew will pair their signature BBQ dishes including pulled pork, burnt ends, ribs and chicken, and a variety of sides with a selection of craft brews. 

If you've ever been to one of Bobby Q's Blues, Views and BBQ events (2011 Poster & Preview) you know this will be a festive and memorable evening. Space is limited and is 21 and over only, and reservations are first come, first served.

If you haven't yet been to a CTbites event yet, make this your first. CTbites Invites are a great way to dig deeper into the local food scene with those who appreciate and seek out great food and experiences like you. Hope to see you there! 

More Info & RSVP

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Sunday
Jan012012

CTbites Top Stories of 2011

Between the explosion of farm-to-table dinners, burger joints, taco bars, pizza wars and new restaurant openings in 2011, there was little time left to be hungry in Connecticut. In fact, it's hard to imagine we did anything else but eat. Below are the top ten most-talked about CTbites news stories of the year and some of the most-anticipated openings of 2012

Feel free to add your own thoughts, observations, as well as predictions for 2012 and Happy New Year from all of us at CTbites.

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