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Tuesday
Dec272016

Falafel Waffle with Israeli Salad Recipe via Marcia Selden 

We’re slightly obsessed with this recipe for Falafel Waffles. They have tons of flavor, lots of color and are a fun and unexpected surprise at any gathering. Whip out that waffle iron and get cooking!

Falafel Waffle with Israeli Salad Recipe

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Friday
Dec232016

Barcelona Wine Bar Opens in Waypointe Norwalk

After 20 years as a Sono institution, Barcelona Wine Bar has moved up the street and officially opened its doors in Norwalk’s new Waypointe complex. Their new home looks and feels much like the creative dining spaces guests have come to expect from Barcelona’s five CT locations, but as SVP Adam Halberg says “ Waypointe will feel familiar, but there are some key areas that make this new location quite unique.” The open kitchen, massive 40 seat bar, and a new menu approach will take their authentic and distinctive Spanish tapas menu even closer to the markets and restaurants of Spain. 

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Friday
Dec232016

Nibble: CT Food Events for Week of December 26- January 1

Every Monday, Shell & Bones in New Haven offers Service Industry Night from 9pm to close.  Partake in 1/2 Price Bottles of Champagne, $3 Beer Specials, $6 Featured White, Rose & Red Wine by the glass, and a late night bar menu until 11PM.  There are also rotating weekly specials… check their facebook page!

On Monday December 26, Two Roads hosts their good friend Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest Liquids. (Yes… that includes Sip of Sunshine!) Two Road’s Master Brewer Phil Markowski teamed up with him to create a limited brew, Typecast Farmhouse IPA, a dry-hopped Farmhouse ale using ingredients from both Vermont and Connecticut.  Sip of Sunshine on draft as well.  The opportunity to try these beers is one day only, so visit the brewery starting at noon.

Mecha Noodle Bar SoNo invites you to their holiday party on December 30 at 10:30pm.  $10 gets you food and two beverage tickets… plus access to a night of live music and fun.  That’s pho sure!

Why not counteract holiday indulgences with a run?  OK, so it’s a beer run.  Half Full Brewery’s Pub Run starts and finishes at the brewery the 4th Wednesday of every month.  The group is of all abilities and ages.  Join them at 7:30pm on December 28.

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Thursday
Dec222016

Organika Kitchen Opens in Southport w/ Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free Menu

Gino and Cathy Riccio have been an integral part of the Fairfield County restaurant scene for the past three decades, but their newest venture – an organic plant-based eatery – is uncharted territory for the couple. While many alleged healthy eateries have been popping up all over the place, Organika Kitchen takes the idea of healthy eating to a new level. I recently sat down the Riccios to learn about the inspiration behind their latest endeavor.

Organika is more than a restaurant Gino explained, “It’s an experience that is as much about the food as it is the customers and the employees.” Organika opened its doors in August to praise from vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. Cathy expanded on her husband’s thoughts. “We felt that we needed to be eating healthier. We grew up eating healthy, but somewhere along the way processed foods started to enter our diets. Now we have all this modified food and heavy-duty pesticides so even when we try to eat healthy we aren’t always.”  

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Wednesday
Dec212016

44 CT Restaurants for New Years Eve & New Years 2016

The countdown is on to the countdown to the year’s end!  As 2016 draws to a close, Connecticut restaurants are ushering in 2017 with epic parties, prix fixe menus, special dishes, and signature cocktails.  Here is the ultimate guide to where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve and the New Year.

  1. Mezon, Danbury: They will offer a 6 course prix fixe menu for $65 per person. Opt for the 6pm or 8:30pm seating. The bar will be open for walk-ins and a special a la carte menu will be available.
  2. The Spread, Norwalk: Visit the Spread in Norwalk for an NYE menu with Hamachi Crudo, Lamb Saddle, Seared Scallops, Veal Confit, and Chocolate Mousse.
  3. Ordinary, New Haven: Bar Ordinary in New Haven is doing something far from "ordinary," a Retro Ski Lodge New Year's Eve Party! Start your evening at the Tundra Bar for a libation then move your way into the Moose Ski Lodge for some warmth by the hearth!
  4. Roia, New Haven: Roia will be serving bites at the bar + all night happy hour. In the dinning room 5 course prix fixe, including truffles, venison, foie, artichokes and other delicacies, plus Jazz quartet playing from 7:00pm onwards.
  5. Pearl, Westport: Chef Mike at Pearl in Westport is preparing a NYE menu. There will also be a DJ, dancing, party favors, and a toast. Plus, kids eat free from 12-7pm!

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Tuesday
Dec202016

Brunching at The National in Greenwich

Christmas was in the air in Greenwich this past weekend as the town’s Annual Holiday Stroll offered something for everyone: a chance to meet Santa, a ride in a horse drawn carriage, and for me, the opportunity to try out The National’s Holiday Brunch. 

I had not yet been to Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s newest and his first restaurant in Greenwich. The celebrity chef has appeared on The Today ShowGood Morning America, and CBS Morning Show and has starred in many Food Network programs including Chopped, The Next Iron Chef and Cooks vs. Cons, the network’s newest show.  

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Sunday
Dec182016

Hidden Gem: El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant in Bridgeport

The first thing to do when you sit down at a sturdy wood table at El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant is order an agua fresca.  These icy fruit drinks are made to order; the grinding blender drowns out the Mexican t.v. and music, and soon you’re sipping the most refreshing beverage. My favorite is the melon or watermelon, depending on what they have in the kitchen. Mango is sweeter. I haven’t tried the tamarindo. 

El Paraiso is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Bridgeport. It’s on Madison Avenue, near Capitol. The white gates covering some of the windows make it look closed, but inside, especially on weekends, El Paraiso is bustling and welcoming, the room filled with families with children. The waitresses smile. Speaking Spanish is an advantage, but by no means necessary. 

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Friday
Dec162016

Friday Froth: Top Beers Picks From BeerConn 2016...Savor The Unexpected

Beer is traditionally kept on ice, so it only makes sense for BeerConn to take place in a hockey arena. Thus it was again as 50 breweries from Connecticut and beyond came together at the arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, where a single ticket included unlimited tastings, and raised money for Kids Need More, a motivational camp for children with life threatening illnesses. 

Two Roads, quickly becoming the most widely known Connecticut beer in the nation after only fours years in existence, was in attendance, along with home state brewers such as Black Hog, Hooker, Relic, Thimble Island, and New England Brewing Company, who showed up with two nationally sought after beers, Coriolis and Locust Reign. 

There's magic, though, in the unexpected, and I was excited to see some Connecticut brewers still in their infancy in attendance, including Brass Works (Waterbury), Fairfield Craft Ales (Stratford), Brewport (Bridgeport) and Hanging Hills (Hartford).

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Friday
Dec162016

Nibble: CT Food Events for Week of December 19-26

Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford hosts a super-sized tap takeover on Tuesday December 20.  New England Brewing, Beer'd, and Kent Falls are all teaming up starting at 5pm.  

On December 22, Ordinary in New Haven invites you to a night with Black Hog Brewing!  There will be vintage hip hop along with drink specials starting at 9pm.

Chop Shop Cooking has a few classes this week.  Try an Asian Flavors Dinner Party on December 21 from 7-9pm or Say Yes to the Dress(ing) on December 22 from 7-9pm.  Classes are $80 per person. 

Cindy Hartog is the Artistic Director of Education of the Westport Community Theatre… as well as a formally trained as a chef and full time kids culinary teacher.  She will offer a Holiday Themed Kids Cooking Class on December 23 from 3-4:30.  Email her at chefcindy@cindyssouschefs.com to secure a space.

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Friday
Dec162016

South Avenue Butcher Opens in New Canaan

New Canaan, Connecticut is excited to welcome an old fashioned butcher shop to its already impressive culinary offering. South Avenue Butcher is the creation of businessmen, long-term friends and Darien residents Dermot Flynn, Alan Griffin and James Farrell. The friends grew up in southern Ireland where rural towns would have a butcher shop and locals would go in for special cuts of meat and advice. The concept, which was inspired by a nostalgic chat at the bar, is a direct nod to their farming heritage and reinforces that consumers care about their meat source. They strongly advocate the community and have plans to support local town events.

The proper old-style butcher specializes in home-made sausages and burgers - they will even make some to a specific family recipe. Heading up the operation is Head Butcher, Michiel Hutten who hails from the Netherlands. He worked at Darien Butcher Shop, and has over 30-years of butchery experience. Inside the store he will serve prime cuts and order in specific meats. The meats are sourced from animals that are free to roam and will be organic wherever possible. 

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