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We just keep going back to South End in New Canaan. Here's why...


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

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Friday
Oct172014

Friday Froth Beer Scoop! OEC Brunneis & Something Gneiss 

Beer scoops are the best scoops, and I have a great one for you today. This is the first ever review of Brunneis, the newest beer from OEC Brewing, and it goes on sale at the brewery in Oxford tomorrow, from noon to 7p.m. We're also going to take a figurative look at two more beers: one from this coast that's hard to come by, and one from the North Coast out west which has been all over Connecticut lately. Craft beer's funny like that.

Brunneis is an Oud Bruin-style beer, and has been blended from batches of OEC's strong altbier, a heavy German ale, a brown Belgian-style strong ale, and a rauchbier, or "smoked beer." These beers are then aged in barrels which variously and formerly held whiskeys, zinfandel and fortified wine. Blended together, they result in a double fermented, bottle conditioned, 9%abv ale that presents like a Flemish red, but darker.

The bottles ($13) are 1 pint, 9.4oz., and sport labels which tell their blend number (currently number one), suggested serving temperature and glassware (52º F, snifter), and date of blending (9/29/14 on mine). The baroque artwork on each is (outside as well as in) the work of brewmaster Ben Neidhart.

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Thursday
Oct162014

Black Rock Farmers Market Throws a HARVEST HOOTENANNY Oct. 25th

The Black Rock Farmers' Market is throwing a party to celebrate the closing of the market for the 2014 season. Go shop the market on October 25th from 9-1pm, and then stay for an afternoon of celebration at their Harvest Hootenanny featuring local food, local breweries, and live music, from 1-5pm. Musical guest will be Black Rock's own Oh, Cassius!

Hootenanny Event Schedule 

  • Pig Roast (sponsored by Walrus + Carpenter)
  • Beer Tasting for Charity (Two Roads Brewery and other local breweries)
  • Lounge Area (sponsored by B:Hive)
  • Bonfire
  • Bouncy Obstacle Course
  • Dunk Tank (sponsored by Stoked Progressive Smoke Shop)
  • Haunted House (sponsored by St. Ann Academy)
  • "Corn Hole" Bag Toss Game (sponsored by B:Hive)
  • Live Music from Bedlam Brothers 
  • Square Dancing led by Bill Fischer, the Dance Caller

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Wednesday
Oct152014

An Interview w/ Adam Richman via CTbites' & Serendipity Blogger Lounge

Good times were had at this year's Greenwich Wine + Food Festival as National and local celebrity chefs sat down with Chef Matt Storch and Serendipity Editor, Danielle Manion at the  CTbites & Serendipity Blogger Lounge. Here is the first installment, our interview with the formidable Adam Richman, made famous with his hit show "Man V. Food" on The Travel Channel. 

Adam even has some great local restaurant recommendations!

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Wednesday
Oct152014

Do-It-Yourself Caja China Box Pig Roast via Saugatuck Craft Butchery 

Ever wondered how to roast a whole pig at home? Well so did many of our readers who wrote in after Porktoberfest, looking for a recipe and instructions. If you can get your hands on a pig, it's not actually that difficult...
We asked Ryan Fibiger of Saugatuck Craft Butchery, if he could give CTbites some pointers on a do-it-yourself pig roast using the popular Caja China roasting box. Here's what he said...
The instruction online and on the La Caja China website (http://www.lacajachina.com/whole-pig-worksheet_a/330.htm) are pretty good.  I would use these as a starting point and amend with the following:
  • A 40-50# pig will take ~4hrs, 50-60# ~5hrs, 60-70# ~7hrs, 70-80# ~8hrs, 80-100# (max) ~10hrs
  • Craft always brines the pig and inject the larger muscles two days prior to cooking.  We use the following ingredients in proportions that differ depending on the pit master: (salt, black peppercorn, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, oranges and juice, limes and juice, lots of ice.  Salt is key here, it should be slightly saltier than the ocean to taste)

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Tuesday
Oct142014

Chowdafest 2014 Winners + A "Slurp It Up" Photo Recap

This past Sunday, thousands of chowder loving foodies from all over Connecticut converged at Norwalk’s Calf Pasture Beach to determine the state’s best chowder, soup and bisque at Chowdafest 201436 restaurants competed with soupy entries such including traditional New Englands, lobster bisques, Manhattans, even a chicken pot pie soup. But, in the end there could only be a few winners. 

The very popular Creative Chowder category was exceptionally close as eight restaurants showcased their culinary skills. The Spread from South Norwalk took top honors for their chorizo and shrimp chowder which was also the highest rated entry for the entire event. 

Voters chose Donovan’s of South Norwalk for their New England clam chowder, winning for the third consecutive year. 

Gray Goose of Fairfield took first place in their first Chowdafest competition winning the Traditional Chowder category for Manhattan and Rhode Island clam chowders only. 

Newcomer Soup Thyme of Monroe won the Soup & Bisque category

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Tuesday
Oct142014

Martha Stewart & Joe Bastianich Coming to Stew Leonard's in Norwalk

There's all sorts of celebrity action going down at Stew Leonard's this month. Martha Stewart & Joe Bastianich will make appearances to sign books and wine at their Norwalk locations. 

Saturday, Oct. 25: Martha Stewart will sign copies of her new cookbook, ONE POT: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More.  Weather permitting, the book signing will take place outside in our Hoedown (under the red & white striped tent). More info here. Photography is allowed, but in order for the line to move quickly, Martha is not able to pose for photographs.

Saturday, Nov. 1: Restaurateur, author, and TV personality Joe Bastianich will visit Stew Leonard’s Wines in Norwalk to sign bottles of his family’s famed Bastianich wines. Stew Leonard's wine specialists will provide samples of select labels from the Bastianich Winery. More info here.

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Monday
Oct132014

The Granola Bar of Westport's Chef Jes @ Westport Farmers' Mkt October 18

The Granola Bar will be at The Westport Farmers' Market this Thursday, October 16th @ 10:30 AM with Chef Jes demoing and serving up her homemade Vegatable Soup (VIEW COMPLETE RECIPE BELOW).

Jes, a 28 year old Rhode Island native, discovered her passion for cooking at a very young age. Throughout her young adult life, Jes traveled up and down the East Coast gaining experience from various restaurants. Last summer, fate stepped in and presented Jes with the opportunity of a lifetime--to become head chef at The Granola Bar. TGB owners Julie and Dana worked closely with Jes to create a spin on healthy meals. 

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Sunday
Oct122014

Restaurant Re-Boot: Bistro 7 In Wilton CT 

Seven is Breno Donatti’s lucky number.    His restaurant, “ Bistro 7”  is located on Highway 7 in Wilton.  “Seven is God's favorite number,” he told us, “And I also got the inspiration for Bistro 7 in the 7th district of Paris in a place called ‘Cafe Central.’”

Well, hopefully we won’t jinx anything by dubbing his re-programed farm–to-fork café in Wilton as  “Bistro 7.1.”   

With a new chef, sous chef, general manager, and a reimagined food and beverage menu,  Donatti has updated his operating system, and from what we tasted at a recent Grand Reopening,  the app is not just new, but vastly improved: less complicated and well-priced.

We began with a Roasted Root Veggie Bisque, blended with slow cooked carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potato, root spices, and garnished with a bacon chip.   Breno claims it’s even better than his award winning Butternut Squash Bisque and we don’t disagree.

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Friday
Oct102014

Heirloom Hosts Gluten Free Dinner with Del Posto's Executive Chef Mark Ladner 

Heirloom in New Haven will be hosting a gluten free dinner with guest Chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto NYC and Iron Chef fame on Monday, October 13 at 7:30 pm. Seats are $125 per person, which includes food, wine, tax & gratuity. The evening has limited availability with only 34 seats, credit card reservtions are required. Please call 203-503-3919.  

Earlier in the day at 4 pm, Chef Ladner will be joining Pasta Flyer in New Haven for a talk at St. Anthony's Hall.

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Friday
Oct102014

Friday Froth: Holy Schnitzengiggles

"I wish it was winter so we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it!"

Beerfest is a movie by Broken Lizard (the Super Troopers guys), who take the "unlikely hero saves the rec center" trope and get it knee-walking drunk in front of horrified loved ones. I'm a big fan. 

The action centers on the proprietors of Schnitzengiggle Tavern, a family of German descendants on a quest to regain both a long lost lager recipe, and America's beer drinking honor. The movie is extravagantly crass, usually leaves me sore both from laughing and a hangover, and MAY have been the inspiration for New England Brewing Company's Schnitzengiggles Festbier. Allegedly.

Schnitzengiggles pours a distinctly brassy color, with a respectably sticky head. There are more hops to the nose than most märzens, and just a light whiff of malt. It is a beautifully smooth, slightly dry lager, and it has a very nice marbling of grainy richness. The hop character comes through in terms of a fruity flavor, rather than the more staid, traditional bitterness, and I'd say that's to be expected from the brewery that brought us Gandhi-Bot and Coriolis. I could and would drink this by the stein, liter, or glass boot.  

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