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11 Places to go Apple Picking in CT...Go pick your own! 

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National COFFEE DAY is Sept. 29th. Here are 12 Places to get Great Coffee in Fairfield County. 

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Wednesday
Sep172014

Fairfield Cheese Company Fall Class Schedule

Fairfield Cheese Company classes are back in session and school has never been this delicious. Whether you are a cheese novice looking for a anintroduction to the basics, or a cheese-aficionado seeking to expand your knowledge on a specific variety, they've got the class for you. 

I jumped at the chance to attend one of these sessions back in October and spent some time with owners Laura and Christopher who lead these entertaining and informative evenings. If you would like some background on Fairfield Cheese Company, check out our review, "Cheese 101."

With wine pairings from Harry's Wine & Liquor, this is the perfect way to break out of that dinner-and-a-movie date night rut. 

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Tuesday
Sep162014

Celebrate The Cocktail Culture @ Napa & Co. October 1st

 

On Wednesday October 1, celebrate incredible libations as Mixologist Eric Ribeiro introduces Napa & Co.’s first installment of the “Cocktail Culture.” From 5-7PM, Eric will combine the flavors of the season with juices, bitters, liquors and condiments in developing ten hand-crafted and unique cocktails that will pair perfectly with Chef Adam Truelove’s amazing culinary creations. The matching of cocktails and food is becoming an experience in Fairfield County and Eric and Chef Adam have worked closely in developing the combinations. Priced at $40 (plus tax and gratuity) this event is sure to please those who are advocates of these new pairings and make converts of those who have not experienced its pleasure to the palate. 

To reserve a spot at this event, call Napa & Co. at 203-353-3319

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Tuesday
Sep162014

Dan Barber Talks on How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement

Photo: Food 52

In a recent interview with Yale's Environment 360, Dan Barber dsicussed the failure of the farm-to-table movement to support sustainable agriculture on a large scale. He tasked "the table that must support the farm, not the other way around."  For the full interview and to listen to the podcast, visit Environment 360.

But I went to Klaas’s farm [in upstate New York] to learn this recipe of wheat and I was standing in the middle of a field and all of a sudden discovered that he was growing very little wheat, and that instead he was growing a whole suite of lowly grains like millet and buckwheat and barley, and leguminous crops like Austrian winter peas and kidney beans. He was growing a lot of cover crops like vetch and clover.

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Tuesday
Sep162014

Top 10 Craft Cocktails in Lower Connecticut

“We've come through the Dark Ages of the Cocktail," observes Gretchen Thomas, Director of Wine and Spirits for Barcelona and Bartaco.. "There was a time here when the spirit of choice was mainly Vodka, and the best we could do was flavor it.”

Though Connecticut may be a bit late to the party, the Craft Cocktail has finally, fully arrived. In fact, the drinks created at many local bars are as artful and artisanal as what's cooking in the kitchen.

Today’s barcraft is almost culinary … reflecting the way we now cook and dine: with fresh seasonal ingredients, locally sourced and often hand crafted.  Re-mixes of the old classics are updated with super premium, small batched spirits and served with stunning visual presentations and precisely balanced flavor constructions.  

“Cocktails have become part of the meal,” notes Jeff Marron, who heads up the beverage programs at Bill Taibe’s restaurants in Westport.  They are enjoyed for flavor and complexity more than potency.

The much celebrated legacy drinks of the Prohibition Era were often filled with unreliable spirits that were masked by powerful mixers.  And the boozy indulgences at Mid-century served as Mad Men escapes more than savored enjoyment.  After Viet Nam, mixed drinks barely survived the counter cultural revolution.   It took a new millennium to revive the cocktail’s pleasurable role in America’s drinking and dining.

Indeed, the eras of Gatsby, Draper and Joplin have long passed, and the Golden Age of Cocktails has come to the Gold Coast. So here’s our toast to the 10 top local Craft Cocktails…  and the men and women who are raising the bar.  Cheers!

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Sunday
Sep142014

The Smokebox in Hamden: New Haven Area BBQ Has Arrived

SmokeBox in Hamden first opened to support the smoked meat habit of its sister restaurant Ordinary in New Haven. Its owners, Jason Sobocinski of Ordinary and Caseus, and Mike Farber of Mikro in Hamden, opened their doors to the public for lunch about six months ago. The kitchen's founding mission was simple, support the partners' network of New Haven and Hamden restaurants as a commissary kitchen with barbecue, and open for lunch if there is demand. 

And demand there is. Smokebox has become a sought after lunch destination thanks to its smoky slow cooked meat forward lunch box approach to barbecue. Also, there is the fact that this is real barbecue. Getting it right requires a constellation of well-sourced materials and ritual: types of woods, cuts of meat, spices or rubs, wet (sauce) or dry, and above all things, timeall things that Smokebox takes very seriously. 

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Saturday
Sep132014

WIN TICKETS to Craft Butchery's Porktoberfest Oct 5th

Craft Butchery's highly anticipated Porktoberfest is back and CTbites will be giving away 4 tickets to this beautiful pig-fest.

TO WIN TIX: Post A Comment Below and TELL US WHY YOU WANT TO ATTEND PORKTOBERFEST. Poems and Creativity are Welcome.  

EATS: Craft will be whole-roasting three 100-lb Berkshire pigs, as well as New England Brewing beer-braised bratwurst, kielbasa, sausages and smoked potato salad. Garelick & Herb will be providing delicious non-meaty sides: coleslaw, sauerkraut, pretzels, etc. On the sweeter side, Saugatuck Sweets will be making traditional German desserts.

DRINKS: Beer partner is New England Brewing, and we will be featuring their beers alongside local Oktoberfest options

KIDS: Apple cider and s'mores available for kids

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Saturday
Sep132014

Two Roads Brewing Company's "OK2BERFEST" September 27 & 28th!

It may be known as Oktoberfest but the real fun begins later this September. Stratford, CT's Two Roads Brewing Company will be celebrating their 2nd annual "Ok2berfest" on the grounds of their 100+ year old brewery and it promises to be two days of beer, food, music and… more beer!

Building on the success of last year's event, this year's Ok2berfest will be a must-attend festival for beer lovers. And speaking of beer, Two Roads has brewed up two different Oktoberfest style beers just for the occasion dubbed "Ein" and "Zwei," that honor the Bavarian Oktoberfest tradition that originated in 1810.

And since nothing goes better with flavorful craft beers than good food, great local eats will be served by some of the area's top food trucks. If you've ever been to Two Roads, you'll be familiar with some of the amazing culinary creations area chefs have been serving up in these fun gastro-mobiles!

Tickets are on sale through Two Roads website: www.tworoadsbrewing.com where you will also find more information about the day including band schedule, the food truck line up and other pertinent information. 

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Friday
Sep122014

2014's Chowdafest is October 12th: 36 Restaurants Battle, YOU Vote!

Chowdafest is a culinary competition pitting award winning chefs & restaurants against each other where YOU are the judge! When you arrive, you get a pencil, ballot and spoon. Then slurp down 36 decadent samples of chowder, soup and bisque. It's up to you to determine whose chowda is the best. Chefs will compete in 4 categories: New England Clam Chowder, Manhattan and Rhode Island Clam chowders, Creative Chowder and Soup & Bisque.

We had so much fun last year, we decided to make a short video. Here were the highlights from 2013. 

But this year will even bigger and better! Chowdafest has moved outdoors to Norwalk CT - the Chowder Capital of CT.  It will be held outdoors at the idyllic Calf Pasture Beach which is exit #16 off I-95. Chowdafest remains one of the best deals around. Save $5, compliments of Stop & Shop, when you buy your ticket on-line for just $10 (adults). $15 at the door, $5 kids (6-12) and kids 5 and under are FREE. VIP tickets will be available this year for serious chowdaheads. Kids receive FREE chef hats, stickers and more while supplies last.  Chowdafest will be held rain or shine. Buy Ticket Here.

Every year a large portion of Chowdafest ticket sales go to a local charity fighting hunger in our community. This year Chowdafest will be donating half of its proceeds to Community Plates!

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Friday
Sep122014

Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events for Week of Sept 15th

Chef Aarón Sánchez’s new Stamford restaurant, Paloma has started serving lunch daily on Monday from 11:30-2:30pm. The menu includes dishes such as Chile de Arbol Steamed Mussels with Chipotle Lobster Stock; Ancho Cacao Braised Short Rib Sliders; and Camitas. 

After their success at the Mohegan SunWineFest, Casey Flat Ranch Wines have finally emerged on the Connecticut market!  Join Artisan Restaurant and Brenda Bulllington of Casey Flat Ranch Wines for a 4-course wine dinner Sept.16.  Each dish will be paired with a wine from Casey Flat Ranch.  The intimate yet fun event will include 12 people, so reserve a spot @ 203.307.4222.

Parent Child Resource Center hosts "Food Trucks in the Valley" on Thursday September 18th from 4 - 8 pm (rain date the 23rd) at Shelton Riverwalk. The FREE event includs 15+ food trucks, wine and beer, ciders, live music, a car show, and childrens' activities. Proceeds support PCRC's programs that serve children and families, most of whom suffer from trauma, abuse and neglect. 

The SoWe Food + Wine Fest comes to Southern Westchester County September 19-21.  One of their signature events, The Best Chef Battle, will feature celebrity chefs like Rocco Dispirito, Graham Elliot, Franklin Becker & Dave DiBari.  You can also visit the “Culinary Village” which will feature an array of food and wine for you to try.  For tickets, a schedule of events, and details, visit: http://sowefwf.com/events/ 

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Friday
Sep122014

Nourish New Haven Food Conference on September 19 at Yale Divinity School

Nourish New Haven, the local food justice and sustainability conference with Greater-Yale and Greater-New Haven partners, will take place again at Yale Divinity School on September 19-20, 2014.

Register here. Space is limited.

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