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Thursday
Apr022015

Saugatuck Grain + Grape Launches Wine Education Class Series 

Saugatuck Grain + Grape is going to be holding a series of wine education classes. Classes will be held every other week this spring. The series will cover everything from "Introduction to Wine Tasting, Lexicon, and Labels" to "The World Through Rosé Covered Glasses" as they dive into specific varietals. For those who don't know Mimi and her team, there will most definitely be fun, food and some bad wine jokes in every session.

Classes will be led by Mimi McLaughlin and Jon Carr, the newest member of the SG+G team. There will be nibbles prepared by Mark Hepperman, their in-house chef, so your tummy and taste buds will be happy in a multitude of ways.

Below is a break down of the syllabus, cost and dates. Please call the store to reserve your spot. 

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Wednesday
Apr012015

Local Chef Silvia Baldini Wins Chopped!

Another local chef was successful in winning Chopped this week. Last night Chef Silvia Baldini successfully navigated the April Fool’s style secret ingredient baskets and eliminated three other chefs and was crowned Chopped Champ. Ingredients she was required to re-provision included caramel onions masquerading as a caramel apple and green fondant in the shape of candy. And don’t taste a slice of cake expecting sweet…it was actually meat loaf. 

It was a tight competition until the dessert round when she returned to her Italian roots when spent endless hours with her grandmother in the kitchen. She created Canederli, a bread dumpling that is a specialty of Northeast Italy. They are traditionally made with milk soaked bread, eggs and a touch of flour. Hers were good enough for Judge Chris Santos to proclaim, “This is the best dish of the day.”

So congratulations to Chef Baldini and her repurposing the strawberry soup a la tomato soup and winning Chopped. 

And for our readers who want to dry the Canederli here is the recipe from the chef.

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Wednesday
Apr012015

Danny Meyer, Shake Shack Founder & CEO Union Square Hospitality Group to Speak in New Haven

Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group which founded Shake Shack and popular restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern, Marta, and Union Square Café, will visit Yale on Tuesday, April 7 as the University's 2015 Gordon Grand Fellow.

Meyer will present two talks at Yale that are open to the public and will be streamed live on YouTube. For more information, or to watch live, visit Yale SOM or Yale News.

 

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Wednesday
Apr012015

Food Photo Primer: How to Take a Food52-Style Photo

It's not easy to take a truly great food photograph, but Food52 has some great tips on perfecting your next culinary photo shoot. Whether you are posting to Instagram or just capturing your next meal, here are some rules to live by.

[Video courtesy of FOOD52

Wednesday
Apr012015

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Opening in Stamford via HeyStamford!

This just in from our friends @ HeyStamford!

A few weeks back we shared the exciting news about BBQ hot spot Brother Jimmy’s BBQ opening in Stamford downtown.

While the news wasn’t available at the time of that announcement; the team at Brother Jimmy’s have announced their grand opening party! The event is scheduled for April 11th at their new location in Stamford downtown. This special event will feature a special performance by country band Hazzard County starting at 10pm along with drink specials all night long.  to RSVP for the opening, click here.

You may recall that Brother Jimmy’s BBQ is filling the spot recently vacated by Butterfield 8. 

Read full article at HeyStamford!

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Tuesday
Mar312015

The Legendary Mario's in Westport Sold to Harvest Wine Bar Owners via Dan Woog

This just in from Dan Woog's 06880 blog:

The rumors careening around town are true: Mario’s is being sold.

The legendary restaurant/bar — a Saugatuck mainstay since 1967 — will change hands soon. A new name, cuisine and interior will follow. The deal could be finalized tomorrow morning.

New owners Kleber, Nube and Vicente Siguenza own 5 restaurants in Fairfield and New Haven Counties (including 55 Degrees in Fairfield).

Mario’s: A Westport legend.

Mario’s will remain as it is for the next year. It will then transform into Harvest Wine Bar — similar to the Siguenzas’ restaurant of the same name in Greenwich. Harvest offers modern American custom cuisine with Asian, Latin and Mediterranean influences, plus an extensive wine list. Harvest supports local, organic farms.

Read the full article here.

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Monday
Mar302015

Tix on Sale for Community Plates "Food For All 2015" Fundraiser May 7th

 Community Plates, the technology-fueled, direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending food insecurity in America, is thrilled to present their signature fundraiser, “Food for All.” 

Food for All, in keeping with Community Plates’ forward thinking and innovative methodology, is an event like none other in the area. The high octane evening features Fairfield County’s newest restaurants and artisans, in addition to Food for All’s popular craft cocktail bars spearheaded by creative mixologists. An added highlight this year is the Dessert Café, which will feature sweet treats and libations. Attendees will be treated to a special surprise upon their arrival by one of Community Plates’ legacy restaurants, setting the tone for a delicious and celebratory evening. Purchase Tickets Here.

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Sunday
Mar292015

Magee's Curbside: Must Try Breakfast & Lunch in Stamford!

I get this tip that the new place to go for the best casual breakfast and lunch food in Stamford is a small spot at 72 Magee Ave., in the “no-man’s zone” south of I-95 and the Metro-North tracks. On the way to Greenwich one morning I decide to investigate Magee's Curbside.

Here’s the bottom line in an anecdote:

After I show up and rattle the staff by asking them to make a few dishes I can sample and photograph—and ask if the owners are around—I’m sitting at a table talking to co-owners Danny DeGruttola (owner of The Brickhouse Bar & Grill on Bedford Street) and Evan Philippopoulos. A woman comes in and declares that she’s back after Magee’s delighted her with the best turkey burger she’s ever had. (The house-recipe burger was a recent special.)

No, the woman wasn’t a ringer; no one knew I was coming and the owners of the small, bright and cheerful place weren’t even supposed to be there—the food just is that terrific.

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Friday
Mar272015

Friday Froth: A Look At Beer'd Brewing

I like to let my face grow its own sweater for the colder months. Having a glossy layer of man-fur dulls the teeth of the winter wind, people seem to like my more avuncular look, and growing a beard takes slightly less work than shaving every day, so technically I'm conserving the planet's resources. You're welcome

I've noticed the delicate liquid measurements, tweezing of botanicals, and arguing over the perfect shape for a single unit of ice has lead many adherents of cocktail culture to treat their faces like overly manicured topiary. There will always be respect and, above that, love in my heart for those who create finely constructed, strong and delicious cocktails, but an enthusiastic ransacking of my home will never turn up a single tin of mustache wax. 

When I met Aaren Simoncini of Beer'd Brewing in Stonington, he was wearing a shirt that said "beer is art"and his beard didn't look like an aluminum foil swan full of lo mein. We nodded at each other and I approached.  

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Friday
Mar272015

Kawa Ni Bartender Competition #1: Photo Gallery & Recap

Move over "show case showdown," there's a new showdown in town. Jeff Maron, bar manager of Kawa Ni in Westport (and both of the other Bill Taibe's jaunts) hosted the first of six Bartender Competitions where some of the North East's finest BAR-istas concocted some fabulous potions for the judges and guests to imbibe and describe. The goal of this event series is to showcase the art of the craft cocktail and elevate mixology in CT. 

Each 'tender was required to create 5 identical cocktails using one ounce of the sponsored ingredient - in this case, Appleton Reserve Rum, and one ounce of the secret ingredient - in this case Ancho Reyes chili liquor. Other than that, each drink-master was given free reign to embellish, add, adjust and design their signature cocktail. There was even some blow torching of fruit. The end game was to impress the panel of 4 judges, including the lucky winner of the CTBites cocktail naming contest, and Adam Roytman of Walrus and Carpenter (from whence many of the evening's delicious nibbles were provided).

Click to read more ...