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Eating Out

Pho Saigon: Real Pho. Really off the beaten path. 

If you like Italian cuisine (I mean real Italian) and you haven't been to Fortina in Armonk yet, something is ALL wrong. 

 

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Friday
Mar282014

The Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Saturday March 29 is a Charter Oak Beer Tasting in Madison, CT. Summer is becoming closer, why not visit the beautiful shoreline town of Madison and enjoy some locally brewed craft beer? Charter Oak will be sampling 1687 Brown Ale, Royal Charter Pale Ale, the newest release, the Wadsworth India Pale Ale.  Free event. Call 203-801-5218 for more information. 188 Boston Post Road Madison, Connecticut.

Wednesday April 2 is Bistro B’s Spring Wine Dinner at the Bridgeport location.  Menu by Chef Joseph Italiano, 4 course dinner with wine parings.  $50.00 per person plus tax and gratuity.  For information and reservations, call 203-908-4224 or visit www.bistrob.net.

The new Match has been open for just a handful of dinners, but they’re bringing back a beloved friend… Thursday Burger Night! In case you need a refresher, the burger is 7 ounces of aged, ground, grass-fed beef from Saugatuck Craft Butchery, on a caramelized onion brioche bun, smothered with a bacon-cheese sauce and sweet & sour onion jam.  Hungry yet?

Also on Wednesday Muse Paintbar in Hartford will offer “Painting, Wine & Beer, and Good Times!”

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Thursday
Mar272014

Chef Bill Taibe Opening New Asian Restaurant in Westport

If there is any cuisine that is not represented well in Fairfield County, it is Asian, but all of that is about to change. Bill Taibe, Owner of The Whelk and Le Farm, has informed CTbites that he has signed a lease on the old Bistro 88 space in Bridge Square, Saugatuck, and will be opening his 3rd venue by the beginning of summer. What now you ask? Think Asian. 

This new venue will take its culinary and design inspiration from the traditional Izakaya Japanese pubs, which offer a casual dining experience, lots of small tapas-sized snacks, and great drinks. "I've wanted to do Asian since I was at Relish," says Taibe. When asked why Asian, Taibe stated, "In all honesty, it's the food that I gravitate towards most often...and we are always looking to challenge ourselves." "Imagine The Whelk...but Asian." The new venue will be a mix of Japanese and Chinese. "It's our own interpretation of Asian cuisine, but will draw from those regions."

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Thursday
Mar272014

10 Questions for Jeffrey Lizotte of Hartford's ON20

Chef Jeffrey Lizotte is the executive chef of Hartford's acclaimed ON20 restaurant and Connecticut’s only nominee for FOOD & WINE’s annual People’s Best New Chef award [you can vote online through March 31 at 5 pm].

A Connecticut native, Lizotte has been executive chef of ON20 since 2012. A graduate of Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, Jeffrey has worked under chefs David Bouley and Eric Ripert, and completed stages in France at the acclaimed La Tupina in Bordeaux, and the two Michelin-starred La Bastide St. Antoine in Grasse, France. In 2009, Lizotte returned to the nutmeg state as Chef de Cuisine at ON20, becoming executive chef in 2012. The same year, he earned a silver medal at the Bocuse D’Or USA and was awarded Valhrona Best Pastry while representing the U.S in the international culinary competition Trophee Passion.

A talented Connecticut chef, CTbites invited Lizotte to participate in our '10 Questions' column to understand what makes him tick as a chef both inside and outside of the kitchen.  

If you had unexpected guests arriving at your home for dinner in 1 hour, what would you whip up? 

Pasta Carbonara – everyone likes a good pasta dish. It is simple and one of my favorites.

What is the last dish you cooked for yourself? 

 

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Thursday
Mar272014

New Haven Restaurant Week is April 6 - 11, 2014

New Haven Restaurant Week returns Sunday, April 6- Friday, April 11. The 14th installment of the promotion will feature prix fixe menus for lunch ($18) and dinner ($32) at 29 of New Haven's finest restaurants. www.infonewhaven.com/restaurantweek. View a complete list of participating restaurants on Info New Haven or follow NHV Restaurant Week on Facebook.

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Thursday
Mar272014

A Conversation with Tim and Nina Zagat 

Co-Founders Nina and Tim Zagat of the indespensible dining guide, the Zagat Survey, will be visiting the Yale School of Management this Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:45 am. The event is open only to the Yale community but luckily for us, they will be broadcasting it live.  

Zagat has been an essential resource guiding diners on the best places to eat, drink and shop for over three decades using crowd-sourced diner reviews, their own editors, and their well-known 30 point scale.

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Wednesday
Mar262014

À Vert French Brasserie in West Hartford: Just Like Paris

Photo courtesy of Julie BidwellFull disclosure: I’m crazy about Paris. For many years, when David and I went to Europe we stopped off to visit his college roommate who lived in an elegant apartment near the Eiffel Tower. The 7th Arrondissement has no shortage of fine restaurants and bistros de luxe, but more often than not we would have an apéritif in the apartment before heading off to a lively brasserie or bistro populaire in the Latin Quarter.

I still love French bistros and keep my eye out for new ones in Connecticut. Some are French in name only, but the minute I entered À Vert, a new brasserie in West Hartford, I was in Paris. The zinc bar, the wine list chalked on the mirror. The pressed-tin ceiling, the white tile and exposed-brick walls—authentic, romantic and real, including the warmth and friendliness that define bistro dining in the City of Light.

It’s all good, but food beautiful food is the overriding reason to dine at À Vert. How could it not be? It’s owned by two chefs who in recent years have been making the Connecticut foodie world sit up and take notice: David Borselle at Bar Bouchée in Madison and Dorjan Puka at Treva around the corner in West Hartford.

Read the full article on ConnecticutMag.com. 

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Wednesday
Mar262014

Make Your Refrigerator Disappear. Integrated vs. Built-In Overlay @ Clarke? (sponsored post)

For CTBites readers, fresh ingredients are key and proper food preservation is the way to maintain them. Three generations ago, Sub-Zero introduced refrigerators and freezers that were the same depth as standard kitchen counters. And they have been improving on the concept ever since. With the exception of those homeowners who love the look of an iconic gleaming stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator (and there are many), most people have long wished they could make their refrigerator disappear, while still keeping food preservation close at hand. 

If your online research or a visit to your kitchen designer has turned up terms like "integrated" and "overlay" refrigeration, you may be like many homeowners who find this choice confusing. In fact, that is one of the questions most often asked of the consultants at Clarke, New England's Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom.

The original Sub-Zero Built-in Refrigerator requires a countertop depth of no less than 26-3/16". With a Built-In Sub-Zero, you can help to disguise your refrigerator or freezer by putting a cabinetry panel (overlay) on the face of the refrigerator, freezer or combination. The face of the appliance will blend with your kitchen, but you will still know it is an appliance.

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Tuesday
Mar252014

Food Trucks & Block Party @ Westport Country Playhouse

Westport Country Playhouse will host a “2014 Season Kick-off Block Party,” on Saturday, April 12, 4 to 7 p.m., offering a fun, party-like atmosphere with food trucks, games and activities for adults and kids, prizes, special ticket offers, and a look at the Playhouse’s “backstage experience.” Admission is free and open to the public.

Three local food trucks, Skinny Pines Pizza, LobsterCRAFT, and Christophe’s Crepes, will be on site with their specialties available for purchase. Beaver Beer will provide a free tasting of their brews, and Shake Shack will offer complimentary custard.

For more information, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport.

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Monday
Mar242014

Little Pub New England Brewery Dinner 

Join us on April 1st @ Little Pub Ridgefield for a New England Brewing Company beer dinner hosted by New England Brewing Company’s partner/head brewer Matt Westfall. The evening will boast a five course beer pairing menu (view full menu below with pairings), a little education, and some general merry making. 

Matt Westfall will discuss the flavor profile, ingredients, and brewing process for each beer while also sharing stories about New England Brewing Company’s journey to becoming one of the region’s most respected and beloved craft brewers.

Our own beer expert, James Gribbon will be on hand to answer any questions about his Friday Froth column or beer in general.  

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Sunday
Mar232014

Bick's Burgers Opens in Danbury

Bick's Burgers opened on Friday, March 7 on Ives Street in downtown Danbury. And while I will save the true burger review for our resident expert, Jeff, here is a very early look at what to expect from Fairfield County's newest burger joint from our quick stop on opening day. 

The Bick's Burger concept is fairly straightforward–a modern take on burgers, elevated with homemade touches, and delivered with a solid 75/25 burger. The business is a partnership between Chef Michael Bick of SomeThings Fishy Catering, and his entrepreneurial son, Ian Bick.

In a nod to its humble diner roots, Bick's embraces the décor of the 50's drive-in diner. A row of counter seating and stools faces the kitchen's flat top griddle, and a black and white checkered floor and red vinyl booths complete this homage.  

There are several homemade touches on the menu. Homemade buns, including brioche, truffle brioche and sesame

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