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2016 CT Foodie Gift Guide

Over 20 great local CT gifts for your favorite food lover.

Our Sponsors

We Wrote A Book!

Sunday
Nov202016

Soul Tasty Opens in Stamford: Southern Food from the Soul to the Table

Fairfield County offers some of the best food in the country, from trucks to fine dining, and when a restaurant serves food from the soul, it is special, it is uplifting, it makes you overjoyed. Every now and then I visit a new place that fits all these categories. Stephanie Webster, my CTbites partner, and I were looking for a new place for a lunch meeting and we chose Soul Tasty...we wanted to see what the buzz was about. It is located on Main Street in Stamford at the end of a dead end that doubles as the entrance to a pedestrian bridge and parking is incredibly difficult, have patience, it is worth it.

Soul Tasty is the brain-child and dream of Chef Jean Gabriel, Jr. When you walk in, you can feel the love. The walls are brightly painted, a little graffiti on the rear counter pronouncing FEED YOUR SOUL and a colorful menu above the hot trays holding the products of the chef’s homage to the Southern recipes of his grandmother.

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Sunday
Nov202016

Chef Susanne Berne's Ginger Cake with Poached Pears, Dark Rum Zabaglione and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

In our ongoing hunt for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert, we sought out Chef Susanne Berne, who is, quite simply, one of the finest pastry chefs around. When she is not imagining treats for Match Restaurant, she is developing new ideas for Donut Crazy's doughnut lineup. She has shared her recipe for Ginger Cake with Poached Pears, Dark Rum Zabaglione and Cinnamon Whipped Cream. Enjoy!

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Saturday
Nov192016

14 Places For Great Holiday Pies in CT 2016

Holiday season is heeeere, with its feasts and parties, and let’s be honest, you can’t really have too much pie, now can you? Note: with the brief exception of a kooky aunt who, after a post-Thanksgiving bout on the tread mill, did wearily proclaim “Too....Much....Pie!” but that’s another story for another time. So where to go for the best pies with the flakiest crusts, sweetest streusel toppings and the most flavorful fillings? We’ll be happy to tell you. Get those dessert plates ready and, um...you might want to loosen that belt.

Here are 14 places to buy great holiday pies in CT.

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Friday
Nov182016

Nibble: CT Food Events for Week of Nov 21st - Nov 28th

This Thanksgiving consider GIVING to a hungry neighbor who can't feed themselves. DONATE to CT Food Bank or Community Plates

After 20 Years The Loft in South Norwalk will announce it’s final Last Call on Saturday night November 26th after a closing party celebration.

Fleisher's still has turkeys available to order for your Thanksgiving table!

On Tuesday November 22, learn how to put a Spanish twist on traditional Thanksgiving dishes at Barcelona West Hartford.  The class runs from 7-9pm and costs $29, plus tax and gratuity.

Try Happy Hour at Harlan Social!  Monday-Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm, enjoy $5 craft beers and $6 wines by the glass.  This offer is at the bar side only.

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Friday
Nov182016

The Brunch Box Food Truck: Get Your Breakfast & Lunch on In Stamford

The Brunch Box opened several months ago, delivering numerous breakfast and lunch sandwiches at locations around Stamford, with occasional visits to surrounding areas and private parties. Jimmy Marcella, a Stamford native developed the concept of The Brunch Box after a lifetime of preparation; as far back as he could remember he wanted to own a restaurant. As a teen Jimmy worked at a local Italian deli in Westchester, scrubbing dishes, mopping floors, stocking soda, eventually prepping, making chicken cutlets and chopping parsley by the case. He saved his money for his self-education, Omakase at 16, elegant dining at 18. He subsequently worked at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan, toured with his manager and eventually returned to Stamford; he was now ready to fulfill his dream. Jimmy decided to start with a food truck, where he could experience that personal one-to-one interaction with each customer. He thought that “Brunch” was the differentiator from the other food trucks in the area and The Brunch Box was born.

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Thursday
Nov172016

“The Super Vegan”-- Two Boots Pizza from NYC brings its Unique Pies to Stamford

As a card-carrying carnivore, I entered Two Boots with some misgivings. This quirky, new pizzeria in Stamford’s Harbor Point was celebrating World Vegan Month, prompting manager Roberta Petit to invite CTbites over for a tasting of The Super Vegan, a totally plant-based "pizzaextravaganza.”    Nothing on the pie comes from a creature.

‘Za without juicy sausage?  Or gooey cheese?  C’mon, this is Connecticut.

"We’re talking salad on a crust," I mumbled to myself as I sat down with Roberta. My immediate resolution: to earn a positive review, the pizza would have to be "great" in its own right, not a pie that was good – as it were -- for a vegan pizza  

No handicaps. No excuses. Nothing less than a party in my mouth.

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Wednesday
Nov162016

Food 411: Name The Restaurant That Served This!

 

The first person to name the restaurant that served this dish wins CTbites Swag!

Wednesday
Nov162016

Behind the Scenes at Chop Shop Cooking School (sponsored)

About six years ago, I began teaching cooking classes out of my home in Westport. Long after culinary school, a couple of years catering at Abigail Kirsch and many years catering on my own, the classes became a perfect way for me to share my love of food and cooking. Initially it was mostly friends and acquaintances but word quickly spread and before I knew it I was booking 2-3 classes a week from people all over the tri-state area. Here is a behind the scenes look at Chop Shop Cooking.

A cooking class usually starts with an email: “I’m interested in a cooking class in December… “

Sometimes they have already done some homework and looked at my demonstration class schedule and it’s very straightforward:  “I have 2 people and want to sign up for the Holiday Bites class on Thursday the 8th.” Easy! Great! Done! 

But more often, people like to create their own, tailored experience.

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Tuesday
Nov152016

Maple Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe via South End's Chef Martschenko

While many of our readers have family traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving, we, at CTbites, feel it is important to add a newcomer to the recipe box each year. For 2016, we offer you a classic developed by South End's Chef Nick Martschenko. His recipe for Maple Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie may become your family's go-to dessert. If you decide to cook this in your home next week, let us know what you thought.  

Maple Praline Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe

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Tuesday
Nov152016

Food & Design: A Modern Traditional Thanksgiving w/ The Local Vault, D2 Interieurs & Watson's Catering (sponsored)

Thanksgiving is around the corner and it's time to start thinking about ways to make it a special one. While the holiday is a time to honor traditions, we should also feel free to create new traditions, create new memories and update the way we celebrate! 

Whether this is your first chance at doing Thanksgiving your way or you are a seasoned host why not make some modern updates to the way the holiday is done? From stylish home décor in a mix of vintage and contemporary to Thanksgiving dishes served up mindfully with healthy, locally grown ingredients, we have the dish on how to make your holiday a Modern Traditional one the whole family will love. 

Following these tips from The Local Vault, D2 Interieurs, Watson's Catering and CT Bites will make the moments so you can create the memories!   

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