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

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Friday
Aug242012

Friday Froth: Lesson Learned

Your average lemur makes a terrible manservant. Don't ever waste a summer trying. It takes them forever to drag a beer from one room to the next, and you'd think they have dexterous little hands, but I found their laundry folding skills to be incredibly sub-par. Exotic animal friends can be both time consuming and delicious, but a Cornish game hen provides the latter with no need of training or a wee tuxedo. Unless well-dressed poultry is your thing, you monster. But let's put aside whatever predilections you have for Capon in chapeau and return to our subject, shall we? 

In the upper midwest (where the men are men and the women are frozen to something) sits Grand Rapids, Michigan. It has an area of 45.3 sq. mi., is home to the Frederick Meijer Gardens, the DeVos Place Convention Center and many other places you've read about both here and on Wikipedia if you've never been to the place and need something to write about it in your beer column. TRANSITION It is also home to Founders Brewing Company, one of the more significant craft breweries in the United States, at the northeast side of which you can spy Connecticut, where Founders beers can now be, um... found. 

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Friday
Aug242012

Noel Jones Joins Copper Beach Inn in Ivoryton

Highly regarded chef Noel Jones, who left ON20 in Hartford’s Polytechnic Club earlier this month, has resurfaced at Ivoryton’s historic Copper Beech Inn. Named Best Country Inn for 2009-2010 by Connecticut Magazine, the Copper Beech Inn is one of Connecticut’s premier venues for dining and lodging. It’s also one of its prettiest.

Jones says he is excited about being in partnership with the Copper Beech Inn. He will be assuming the duties of Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director. “There will be tremendous talent in the kitchen,” Jones enthuses. “This is one of the best teams I’ve ever assembled.”

Diners can count on Jones’ trademark imaginative and beautifully plated food.

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Friday
Aug242012

Millstone Fall Workshops: Canning Tomatoes & Pickling

Millstone Farms has come up with a way to preserve our seasonal bounty. Summer tomatoes and other vegetables can be enjoyed all winter long with their fall workshops on Canning Tomatoes and Pickling. These workshops take place at the always beautiful Millstone Farm in Wilton, and are led by by veteran farmer Annie Farrell. If you haven't made it out to Millstone yet, this is a great reason to get closer to the source. Information on these workshops can be found below:

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Thursday
Aug232012

White Gate Farm Launches 'Farm Kitchen' Cooking Classes

White Gate Farm in East Lyme, CT, a favorite eastern Connecticut farm stand and Dinners on the Farm venue, is unveiling their new commercial "Farm Kitchen" and a series of cooking classes featuring talented Connecticut chefs. 

The series will officially kick off this Friday at White Gate Farm for what they are calling a "Grand Unveiling" on August 24 at 7 pm ($10 per person). The evening will feature a preview of the hands-on kitchen and farm-fresh hors d'oeuvres, wine and chef's presentations. They will also unveil the full season of classes, dates and participating chefs this evening.

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Wednesday
Aug222012

Don't Miss "Bacon Week" at Plan B Burger in Milford

Plan B Burger knows that everything is better with bacon. Hence, in celebration of their one Year Anniversary, Plan B Milford presents “Bacon Week,” Monday September 10-Sunday September 16th. This bacon bounty includes a full menu of bacon inspired savory and sweet treats including everything from “The Divine Swine” aka “Drop Dead Burger,”  (100% ground bacon burger topped w/ thick sliced bacon, bacon aioli, bourbon bacon red onion jam, and a fried egg all sandwiched in between a grilled cheese) to Bacon Candy Bars and Bacon infused Bourbon cocktails. Did I mention the Bacon Cotton Candy? There's one for the ages. The full menu is below, but if you love pork like I love pork, I'd say make your way over to Milford. 

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Wednesday
Aug222012

It's Hatch Chile Season! Celebrate with Stew Leonards.

If you can't make it to the annual Hatch Chile Festival in New Mexico in early September, this weekend in Norwalk may be a close second. 

Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk is partnering with a family-owned New Mexico Green Chile Company to host a Hatch Chile Roasting demo and tasting for customers on Thursday, August 23 through Sunday, August 26, 2012. Stew's will be selling their fire-roasted or unroasted Hatch chiles, as well as offering samples of fresh salsa made with Hatch chiles. For more information, visit Stew Leonards website or better yet, stop on by this weekend.

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Tuesday
Aug212012

Forte Gelato: "Healthier" Gelato, Now @ Stew Leonard's

We weren’t twenty minutes into our conversation when Adrian Pace took out his I-phone and showed me pictures of his freezer.  “Look there,” he said, touching the screen and bringing up another image of the freezer from a different angle. “Right in the middle of Stew Leonard’s.  Great placement! ”

Wow, I‘m thinking. Most people show you pictures of their kids.

But this is how excited Adrian Pace is about his product, Forte Gelato, a low-fat, protein-enriched gelato.  He’s Italian – that explains the gelato part – but he’s also a lifelong heart patient at Columbia Hospital where he survived half a dozen major surgeries since the age of 5, literally hundreds of smaller procedures, endless medication, loneliness - and after waiting over seven months in the hospital for a donor heart - bouts of hopelessness. He was 37 years old.

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Sunday
Aug192012

Pontos Taverna: Authentic Greek in Norwalk

A well-executed movie night in Fairfield County, which includes eating out before or after the flick, usually requires some skill.  You have to factor in the length of the movie and the distance to the restaurant and hope that there isn’t any traffic along Post Road so you don’t miss the coming attractions or your reservation.

Good news foodies and movie lovers, I have found the antidote to that little problem right in the heart of Norwalk.  I introduce to you, Pontos Taverna (cue the Greek music), serving Authentic Greek Cuisine right next to Garden Cinema.  Next to Garden Cinema you ask? I know, I’ve said it before myself, “What Greek restaurant next to the cinema?”

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Sunday
Aug192012

Chef Demo Tent Lineup @ 2012 Blues & BBQ Festival

Listen up food lovers. CTbites has rounded up some of the area's top chefs for an afternoon of live cooking demonstrations, recipe tasting and general good times. On Saturday, September 1st from 11:30-5pm come on down to the CTbites Chef Demo Tent at Westport's Blues Views & BBQ Festival to meet: 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 Restaurant; Festivities Catering and Chef Judy Roll of Tabouli Grill. 

Chef Demo Schedule

11:30 Festivities Catering (Nicole Straight)

12:15 Matt Storch, The Chelsea/Match

1:00 Helton DaSilva, Barcelona

1:45 Rob Troilo, Nicholas Roberts

2:30 Joe Wolfson, Terrain

3:15 Pietro Scotti, Da Pietro's

4:00 Judy Roll, Tabouli Grill

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Friday
Aug172012

The Winners of the Beach Burger Contest...

A mouthwatering hamburger is one of life’s simple pleasures. And when you can elevate this 100+ year old culinary delight to another level, it makes for great eating. Schedules finally allowed for the tasting and voting for Beach Burger’s CTbites’ Burger and it was a night filled with serious eating, drinking and some tough decisions on which of the entries would win. All of the combinations were brilliantly conceived and each brought a different combination of flavors. There were Italian, Latin, Southeast Asian and good old fashioned Southern combinations in the hamburger finalists plus Caribbean and childhood memories in the milk shakes recipes. After sampling five excellent hamburgers and three delicious milk shakes, the judges were torn between two in each category.

But contests are made for winners, so CTbites is pleased to announce that the new additions to Beach Burger’s menu are:

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