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CTbites' Catering Guide to summer Clambakes & Pig Roasts. Let these guys plan your next party!

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Westport Votes YES to Pop-up Cafes via Daily Westport

This just in from The Daily Westport...

WESTPORT, Conn. – More outdoor seating areas may be popping-up in downtown Westport this spring. On Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a policy that allows the creation of pop-up cafes and pop-up seating along certain one-way streets.

This new policy will permit merchants along Main Street and other one-way roads to install on-street cafes or seating areas in converted curbside parking spaces outside their businesses. The policy was created by Planning and Zoning Commissioner Howard Lathrop and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jennifer Johnson, with help from Assistant Town Attorney Gail Kelly.

“If you look at the policy, we wanted to make it broad enough not to exclude retail businesses from doing this,” said Johnson after the meeting. “This will actually allow both pop-up cafes and pop-up seating.” --Vanessa Inzitari

Read the full article here. 

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Food for Thought Event in Danbury

Danbury's Food For Thought 2012 will be held on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the showroom of Connecticut Kitchen & Bath,  87 Mill Plain Road, Danbury, CT. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased by contacting Joann Cueva at 203-743-5565 or

In addition to highlighting the Danbury area's food scene, the event will host a lively discussion about the latest food, restaurant & cooking trends with a special guest food critic & News Times Managing Editor Jackie Smith as well as (yours truly) Amy Kundrat, Executive Editor of CTbites.

This networking and food-centric event hosted by the Women’s Business Council will showcase a variety of the Danbury area's food scene, including: Basilico, Brasilis BBQ,  Brio Tuscan Grill, Hanna’s Middle Eastern Restaurant, Jay’s at the new Crowne Plaza, Koo Neo-Japanese Cuisine, Matrix Banquet & Conference Center, Mezon Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Molly Darcy’s Irish Pub & Grill, Pito’s Q - Shortcut to Puerto Rico, Stew Leonard’s, Victoria’s Wood Fired Pizza, VIVO! Bar & Grill & others.

Food for Thought is a great way to support local business as well as get to know the Danbury area's food scene. Hope to see you there.

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The Stand Juice Cleanse: 5 Days Without Food

Can a diehard food lover survive 5 days without solid food?

I love food.  I love to eat it…raw food, cooked food, gourmet food, diner food, farm-to-table food, bar food.   My first paychecks came from restaurants – seating or serving those seeking food. Decades later,  I now earn my living taking photos…and yes, you guessed it, the subject matter of which is, quite often, food. So how in the world did a food-lover like me end up committing to spend 5 day chewing exactly none?

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Cheese Tasting w/ Chef & Author Jason Sobocinski

Love cheese? Want to know more about it? Want to taste some? Chef, TV personality, and cheese cookbook author Jason Sobocinski will talk about cheese, offer samples, and sign copies of his book, Caseus: Fromagerie Bistro Cookbook, on Friday, March 30, from 7-9 pm at a private home in Westport. Proceeds from the event, which costs $35 per person, will support Library programs.

Sobocinski is host of “The Big Cheese” on The Cooking Channel and owner of New Haven’s award-winning bistro and cheese shop Caseus. Wine will be provided by Black Bear Wines & Spirits of Westport. Register online.
For more information, contact Cindy Clark, 203.291.4824,, or

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"Outstanding In The Field" in CT: Tix on Sale March 20

On Tuesday, March 20th, the first day of spring, tickets will go on sale for the 2012 season of Outstanding In The Field. This year's dinner will take place at the Waldingfield Farm in Washington CT on September 15, 2012.

Outstanding in the Field visits orchards, beaches and vineyards. At Waldingfield Farm, we have a site where we can all be out standing in the field. The other meaning of Outstanding in the Field is outstanding as in the best. This year at Waldingfeild Farm, guest chef Joel Viehland of Community Table will return to prepare another late summer feast. Joel is truly one of the best.

"Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls." Their mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.

The Details:

WHEN: Saturday September 15, 2012

WHERE: Waldingfield Farm, Washington, CT

PRICE: $220.00, Tickets can be purchased on their website. 

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From Masala to Mole: Westport's Oaxaca Kitchen


“From Masala to Mole” is Chef Prasad Chirnomula’s recent gourmet battle cry. The man who revolutionized Indian cuisine in Connecticut with Thali, opens his newest Mexican-inspired concept in Westport in the form of the lively south of the border hot spot that is Oaxaca Kitchen.

Leaving the Indian subcontinent, Chef Chirnomula has fully embraced the flavors of Mexico’s Oacaxa region, an area known for its mole dishes, barbacoa, mezcal and chocolate. The layers of flavors and spice found in Oaxacan dishes, a region often referred to as “land of the seven moles,” evokes a similar feel to the masalas and bright yet rich flavors found in Chef Chirnomula's native Indian cuisine. 

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PHO-nomenal Vietnamese Dinner w/ Chef Matt Storch of Match

Join Chef Matt Storch of SoNo's Match Restaurant on Wednesday April 4 from 7-9 pm for a virtual trip to South East Asia, to learn about and taste the cuisine of Vietnam. Reserve Your Seat Here. 

Inspired by the traditional cuisine of his wife's family, Storch will treat diners to several Vietnamese dishes we know and a few we'd like to know better, such as: Banh Bao Thit Kho, steamed buns with pork belly; Goi Cuon Cham Tuong, rice paper spring rolls with shrimp and fresh hoisin; and Pho Bo, a flavorful beef and noodle soup-like dish. Each course will be paired with rice wines, beer and bubble tea.

Traditional Vietnamese is hard to find in Connecticut. Storch brings his passion for this under-represented cuisine and first-hand knowledge to what promises to be a unique and PHO-nomenal experience not to be missed


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Arethusa To Open Wine Bar in Bantam

As reported by the Litchfield County Times, the owners of Arethusa Dairy in Litchfield County received town approval to open a wine bar in a location adjacent to their retail operation at 822 Bantam Road in Bantam, CT.

The dairy was founded by Manolo Blanik owners George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis who own and operate the dairy which produces milk and other dairy products such as yogurt and ice cream. According to the County Times:

"Approval was given to a proposal for a wine bar in a building adjacent to Arethusa’s creamery in the former Bantam Firehouse, where its farm-fresh milk, ice cream, cheeses, yogurts and more are sold. The wine bar is envisioned as a bistro-style operation that will serve the creamery’s signature cheeses and other light fare."

Read the full story at Litchfield County Times.

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Pizzeria Rosso Expands to Bridgeport & Greenwich

Pizzeria Rosso is opening up not one, but two new locations in Connecticut in addition to their original Norwalk take-out outpost which has been open just under a year. [Read: Pizzeria Rosso Opens in Norwalk, June 2012

Pasquale (Pat) Pascarella is the chef and founder of the successful yet still young pizzeria.  His second Pizzeria Rosso is set to open at 960 Main Street in Bridgeport in just about three weeks. The new Bridgeport location will be open seven days a week and boasts forty seats with two four-pie Baker's pride ovens. The menu will be largely the same, but more of a focus on pizza and less pasta and will be BYOB with the possibility of a future liquor license. With Webster Arena just up the street and the Barnum Publick House opening across the street, Pizzeria Rosso will be open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

A third location will open in Greenwich, giving Pizzeria Rosso the run of Fairfield County.

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Never a Dull Moment: How the Pros keep their Knives Sharp

For this article, CTBites spoke with many of Fairfield County’s top chefs, butchers, and professional knife sharpeners. These pros were very blunt about the knives used in most home kitchens: they are dull.  Especial fancy “trophy-ware.”  

“A cook with a dull knife,” suggests Fairway’s top butcher Ray Venezia, “is like a sharpshooter with a water pistol.”  

Much like a gun slinger out of the Old West, this modern-day Paladin has Knives and Will Travel.  He carries his complete cutting arsenal in a sleek case … but all that's inside are just two gleaming Victorinox Forshner rosewood knives -- a 6" boning blade and a 12" cemeter –  a steel and whetstone. 

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