The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival feels a lot like a rock concert. People from across the state come by bus, train, cab, and car to Roger Sherman Park. This year marked the 4th year of the festival. Although I have attended the event for the last three years, it never gets old. Each year, Greenwich Food + Wine evolves with new guests and changing formats.
This year, the first thing I marveled at was the organization. The number of demonstrations and participants had definitely increased, but guests were evenly distributed throughout the grounds.
As wine correspondent, I enjoyed the food (understatement!) but focused on the wines and drinks served that day. Wine is central to the festival; demonstrations not only include the best chefs, but also revered mixologists and sommeliers.
Here are my selection for some labels to watch:
I arrived early to wander through the main tent, stopping at each of the booths to have a quick chat with the chef and sample their creations. From crudo to bisque to steak, some were delicious and deserve special mention. These were the favorites:
We are in the midst of a craft food and beverage movement. Craft cocktails, craft beer, craft butchers, so why not craft juice? The New Haven-based FreshBev Craft Juicery, best known by its RIPE bar juice and Project Fresh product lines, is seeking to define the craft juice movement, one cold-pressed bottle of fresh vegetables and fruits at a time.
I had the opportunity to visit the New Haven factory (read: I was nosy and curious, so I invited myself over) to meet the folks behind the juice, taste some juice, and was excited to find a Connecticut business succeeding in the emerging and highly competitive juice market. First a little history. In 2008, frustrated by the abundance of preservative-laden shelf-stable cocktail mixers, founders Michel Boissy and Ryan Guimond took to their kitchen to create a natural and fresh juice for cocktails, beginning with everyone’s favorite cocktail staple, the margarita.
Saugatuck Craft Butchery's 2nd annual Porktoberfest came and went this past Sunday in Westport, with great weather, epic pig action and plenty of beer from New England Brewing. People lined up to grab photos and gawk as each beautiful Berkshire pig was lifted out of its Caja China roasting box. Austrian tunes played, kids ate s'mores and a generally good time was had by all. Thanks to Saugatuck Sweets for the seasonal desserts as well as the newly opened Garelick & Herbs for some tasty sides. Enjoy the photos and see you next year.
What's PHO lunch today? As autumn quietly slinks in, there's nothing like a truly authentic PHO to ease us into the chill that awaits. Head on over to Q's Restaurant at 172 Main Street in Norwalk (the old Valencia Luncheria spot) for the real McCoy. Recently opened (about 3 months and counting) and charmingly tiny, Q's is the love child of husband and wife duo Charles Eaton and XiaoNing Liu. Eaton, a Vietnam Vet, met Liu (a native of Old Nanking Province in China) while he was serving a tour of duty in Asia. Together, they have brought a small menu featuring Pho as well as other Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine to their wee, little kitchen.
Westport Restaurant Week returns October 5 – 19! Many of Westport’s beloved restaurants offer prix fixe menus for lunch and/ or dinner.
Napa & Co invites you to take a “trek through South Africa” on Monday, October 6. They will give you tastes from producers like Hamilton Russel, Boekenhoutskloof, Stark Conde, Spice Route, Southern Right and Kanonkop paired with 3 small plates. $55pp (plus tax and gratuity).
Sugar & Olives will teach you to make HORS D'OEUVRES IN A PINCH on Wednesday, October 7. The menu includes rosemary flatbread, quinoa and black bean galettes, polenta "fries," and beef sliders. $80pp, 7-9pm.
On Wednesday October 8, The Spread in Norwalk will hold an Oktoberfest celebration. Chef Carlos will prepare a 5-course meal that transcends the usual brast and wurst... And it even includes beer pairings! $55 per person, reservation required.
Author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman will have a conversation with the Director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project on October 8, 2014 from 6 to 7 pm.
Fall is officially here… and nothing embodies the season as perfectly as the pumpkin! Many of CT’s best restaurants, eateries, and specialty stores are celebrating the arrival of autumn with pumpkin-inspired treats. For fun for the whole family, Chips serves up pumpkin pancakes; Ferris Acres Creamery is serving "Pumpkin Pie" ice cream (pie crust included); while the over 21 crowd can sip on homemade pumpkin vodka at Darien Social, or a Spiced Pumpkin cocktail at Napa & Co.
- Darien Social, (Darien): Housemade Pumpkin Vodka
- SONO Baking Company, (Westport, Norwalk, Darien) Pumpkin Cookies, Pies & muffins
- SBC, (Milford, Branford, Southport) Pumpkin Crème Bruleé
- Ferris Acres Creamery, (Newtown) Ice cream specials include: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cookies and Cream - with crushed Oreos, Pumkpin Pie, Oh Snap - pumpkin w/ crushed ginger snaps
- Stew Leonard’s, (Norwalk, Danbury, Newington) Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
- The Schoolhouse, (Wilton) Kabocha Squash Soup
- Fresh Market, (Westport) Pumpkin Salsa