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Eating Out

Get Lunching! Romanacci Cafe in Norwalk: 2 Italian brothers create artisan pizzas, salads, focaccia paninis, crepes & Italian pastries.

Ummmmm.....Tacos..... Run, don't walk to Casa Villa in Stamford if you haven't been. 

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Fresh Finds at FIN Sushi in Fairfield

Some things just NEED to be fresh - my dental hygienist's breath, hotel bed sheets, and most definitely - my sushi. That is why FIN in Fairfield is my pick for outstanding Sushi restaurant in the area. We sat outside for this latest visit, overlooking the Post Road. But the indoor seating is just as comfortable with capacity for about 50. FIN isn't fancy and it isn't trendy. The decor is simple and unassuming and the wait staff is as friendly as they come. But most importantly, the fish - well - it's delish.

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The Making of the MATCH Restaurant Burger 

Start with a patty of locally raised (Roxbury, CT) grass-fed beef. Throw in some bacon-cheddar sauce and sweet and sour onion jam. House it all on a caramelized onion brioche bun. And don't forget those fries.

No, this is not a new burger joint, this is Match's new Thursday Night Burger offer and CTbites was there for its beefy birth.

CTbites sent burger guru, "jfood," into the kitchen with Match Restaurant's Chef Matt Storch to develop this recent menu addition. From concept to reality, we bring you the new Match (SONO) Hamburger. Here's how it went down. 

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Friday Froth: Hop Heaven

Holy Mother of God, do I love IPAs. Hops are as important an ingredient of beer as water, in my opinion. Without any hops you may as well put a plate of dry barley and yeast in front of me - I guess I could do something with it, but it's not really worth the effort. Hops are the spice of beer, I've said it before, and as such India Pale Ales occupy the same space in the temple of my mind as Thai and Mexican food. I will shoulder your grandmother out of the way if she comes between me and a kaeng phet. This week we're going to roll around in IPAs like a freshly bathed dog in a questionable pile of dirt. My tongue's already hanging out, but don't worry, hop-shy readers: there's something for you, too.

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Grilled Marinated Flank Steak via Chef Emilie

Fire up the grill  tonight ... your outdoors will get great with the flavors and the aromas of Grilled Marinated Flank Steak !

Whether you're cooking chicken, burgers, steak, fish on the grill, a tasty marinade gives taste and tenderness to every meat. You can use almost everything you have in your kitchen to make your own marinade. Today, I decided to buy a piece of Flank that I marinated with : Olive Oil, Garlic, Onions, Basil, Thyme, Parsley, dried Herbes de Provence, Barbecue Sauce and few drops of Tabasco. Check out the recipe below.  The result: a serious crowd pleaser. 

La recette de Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

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Shake Shack Opens Today in Westport

Delicious…that’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it.

The ShackBurger: Shake Shack brought its world-famous (yes they have a location in Dubai) offerings to Westport today and I enjoyed one of the best hamburgers, hot dogs and shakes in the area. With all the hype of opening day I felt a bit nervous as I waited with dozens of other customers for my ShackBurger, Shack-cago Dog and fries.

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Tour India with Thali's Chef Prasad Chirnomula


Redding Roadhouse: New Olde School

Redding Roadhouse is hardly a trendy gastro pub. It’s literally Ye Olde School. 

For over three hundred years, there has been a Watering Hole serving up grub and grog to weary travelers at the junctures of Redding and Georgetown Roads in Northwest Fairfield County.   Mark Twain was a regular.  As were MidCentury Mad Men (Is that Dan Draper romancing a client by the fireplace?). 

Indeed, the Roadhouse still offers respite to travelers, though most aren’t just passing by.  Since co-owners Michael and Donna Roberts and Lou Macol gave the place a 21st Century culinary makeover, it’s become destination dining for thousands, from CEO’s to carpenters (Is that Mick Jagger chatting with a fireman at the bar?).  In fact 70 percent of RRH patrons hail from Fairfield’s Gold Coast, not to mention Boston and New York.

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10 Questions w/ Matt Stanczak of Stanziato's in Danbury

Matt Stanczak is chef and owner of Danbury's two-year-old Stanziato's Wood-fired pizza. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, he has worked for the last decade as both a private chef and for restaurants in New York City and Westchester but now, and thankfully for us, he calls Danbury home.

Stanczak’s contemporary take on on the classic Neopolitan pizza is one of the most outstanding in the state. His puffy charred crusts, devotion to local ingredients and seasonality as well as his nightly specials with their intuitive pairings have made me literally pound the table in delight.

1. If you had unexpected guests arriving at your home for dinner in one hour, what would you whip up?

This time of year I'm definitely thinking a fresh Guacamole....Avacodos from my favorite Latino bodega, Lots of freshly squeezed Lime Juice, Onion, maybe a chopped up jalapeno, sea salt, and lots and lots of cilantro! Simple, Fresh, Delicious.

2. What is the last dish you cooked for yourself?

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Mario Batali's Tarry Lodge Opens in Westport July 19th!!

Tarry Lodge Enoteca and Pizzeria opens tomorrow in Westport at 30 Charles Street. For more on this, read our recent interview with Joe Bastianich and check out a few photos and our take from our visit during a Saturday night preview, below.

Very similar to Tarry Lodge, slightly more informal. Pizza and antipasto will be a major component. Lighter style and more grilled items.  We'll adapt our food purveyors so its also done locally. The pizza will also be a focus. Our pizzaioli is Mario LaPosta who will be there full time, he's very talented. 

 --Joe Bastianich 

A quick preview of the Tarry Lodge Enoteca menu reads as Tarry Lodge light. Think greatest hits of its Port Chester location.

An heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad, Tuna Tartare, Grilled Octopus, Porcini Arancini, Baccala "Livornese," and Soft Shell Crabs with lemon aoili are a few of the "Insalate" and "Fritti" offerings. The pastas and proteins look formidable and familiar, a Brown Butter and Sage Gnocchi, Fettucini Carbonara and Goat Cheese Agnolotti with Fennel Pollen are three of the eight pasta dishes and a Whole Branzino, Ribeye (with pepper almond pesto) and Rock Hen Al Matone are just three of eight "Secondi." It seems a fitting, if cautious menu for the launch. The wine list, similar to the menu, is a curated list of Port Chester classics, with the Bastianich label front and center.

Mario LaPosta, Tarry Lodge pizzaiolo

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Tacuba Opens in Branford

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re experiencing a taco moment

The latest in the list of talented Connecticut chefs to jump on the taco bandwagon (or in his case, back on it) is Arturo Franco-Camacho and his wife Suzette, the dynamic pair behind our state’s latest taco joint, Tacuba in Branford. Opening just this past week, Tacuba isn’t exactly in the neighborhood, but trust me when I tell you this is a place you should know about.

The folks behind one of the state’s first taco carts sixteen years ago, the initial iteration of South Norwalk’s Habana, New Haven’s beloved Roomba and upscale Bespoke, they couple is currently running Branford’s Suburban, and now Tacuba and the adjacent wine bar, Swill

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