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Saturday
May072016

MilkCraft Nitrogen-Churned Ice Cream Opens May 9th in Fairfield 

It's official. Fairfield just became the luckiest town in all of CT. On May 9th, MilkCraft will be opening at 1215 Post Road in the Brick Walk area of Fairfield, selling the creamiest ice cream in the universe. Why you ask? Milkcraft serves Nitrogen-churned ice cream, a process that freezes the cream so quickly that those pesky ice crystals that can form when the ice cream freezes slowly, never materialize. The end result is simply the smoothest creamiest ice cream you've ever tasted, with a mouthfeel like no other frozen confection. 

But wait...it gets better. Milkcraft will be serving their nitrogen- churned dessert in Instagram ready "Creameebun" donut sandwiches, and Hong Kong-inspired "Bubblecones."

More details on Milkcraft coming soon. Get excited CT.   

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Friday
May062016

Recap: Community Plates 2016 "Food For All" Fundraiser

The skies were gray and rainy and the weather was cool and unseasonal on the evening of May 4th. But inside The Loading Dock in Stamford, home to Abigail Kirsch Catering events space, the space was glowing with a warmth and buzzing with activity and enthusiasm. This was the night for supporters, caterers, and restaurants to come together, raise funds, and celebrate the accomplishments of Community Plates, the Fairfield County nonprofit organization that works to ease food insecurity for so many of its residents. Via a technology fueled, direct-transfer system, their team of 315 volunteers (“runners”) regularly pick up and dispatch surplus food from over 46 donors and they have provided more than 8 million meals since its founding in 2011.  

This premier strolling culinary evening highlighted new restaurants, markets and cocktail bars in the Fairfield County area. From lobster and dumplings, to doughnuts, soul food, and craft cocktails, supporters tasted and mingled for a great cause. 

[Photography courtesy of Andrew Dominick & Hey Stamford!]

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Friday
May062016

Friday Froth: Two Roads Nor'yeaster Preview + "Junk Food" Pairing via Marcia Selden Catering

Flowers are popping up everywhere this spring, even in our beer. TomorrowMay 7th, will see a special bottle release at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford, featuring their newest creation, Roads Garden. The spring  Nor'yeaster event will also include limited supplies of Framboise Noir, a black raspberry lambic, and Road 2 Rouen, the brewery's "wild, Franco-Belgian IPA," based on Road 2 Ruin DIPA.

A sold-out, ticketed preview event was held this past Monday, when the brewery's tasting room is regularly closed, and CTBites was able to taste several of Two Roads' smaller production run beers, paired with "re-imagined junk food," via event partner Marcia Selden catering. 

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Thursday
May052016

The Westport Farmers' Market Opens May 19 for 2016 Summer Season!

Thursday, May 19, the Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM) will kick off the 2016 summer season, celebrating fresh, local food and the community that supports us.

WFM cultivates community, nurtures an appreciation of real food and the work that goes into growing it.

WFM has blossomed into a market that boasts 45 vendors, food trucks, chef demos, yoga, organic eats, children’s programming and even a pizza truck. Thanks to thousands of shoppers from all over Fairfield Country, WFM’s Thursday market is a destination not to be missed.

What do we have in store for 2016? Plenty of old friends, along with some new faces. Look for integrated chef involvement, expanded children’s programming, and some gorgeous new Friends of the Market bags and offsite fun and educational events. Join the market at 12:00, high noon, to toast local food with organic green juice donated by The Stand.

Don’t miss the opening day festivities, Thursday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The WFM is located at 50 Imperial Avenue, in Westport.

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Thursday
May052016

Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings for May 9-15

The Jamie Oliver New Canaan Food Revolution returns to the Pop Up Park for the third year running with 18 FOOD STOPS on Saturday, May 14th between 10am – 12.30pm.  This year, the event will be hosted by Food Network star Chef Plum & Chopped Teen champ Hunter Zampa.  Particpants include Baldanza, elm, Locali, South End, Uncorked, Fjord Fish Market, Green & Tonic, and more.  The day focuses on promoting health and bringing families together through food.  

Barcelona Stamford is teaching us how to up our “grilling game!”  On May 11 at 7pm, they’ll showcase marinades, slow cooking, and smoking techniques.  It costs $35 plus tax and gratuity.  Please call for reservations.  

Ordinary in New Haven is celebrating rosé season.  Every week, they’ll feature a new rosé.  The offerings will cover a range of regions and styles.

Harry’s Wine & Liquor market in Fairfield is also celebrating rose.  Harry's Wine School presents “Rose Explosion! 2015 Vintage: the Best Year Ever!" on May 11.  It costs $35.00 per person.

Why should Mother's Day end on SundayThe Local Vault thinks moms deserve a break everyday. That's why TLV is giving CTBites readers a coupon to shop. Offer expires on July 1st. Use "CTBITES10' at check out and receive 10% off your entire order. 

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Wednesday
May042016

Recap: Paleo + Plate Pop Up Event

Westport realtor Judy Michaelis launched her Pop-Up Chef Series with a cocktail party at a listing in Wilton, CT last week, highlighting Chef Danielle Hartog's new Paleo friendly personal chef & catering service Paleo + Plate.

Chef Hartog developed a special menu for the evening, focusing on fresh ingredients and innovative Paleo preparation. Guest mingled throughout the space while the hors d’oeuvres offered in the open plan kitchen included: Asian Meatballs in a Cashew Sesame Sauce, Deconstructed Shrimp Guacamole, Grilled Vegetable Lollipops, Bacon-Wrapped Avocado with fresh aioli, Pistachio Chicken Skewer with a strawberry glaze and Spring Gazpacho Shooters. Paleo Watermelon + Cucumber margaritas surprised many guests -- “Are these Paleo?” while Paleo brownies and cookies rounded out the evening.

Chef Hartog holds monthly Paleo dinners at her studio in Westport and offers private chef service in-home as well. Her concept is centered around the Paleo style of eating and she describes her food as “bold on taste and high on health; food that is whole, unprocessed, seasonal, nourishing and exciting."

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Wednesday
May042016

Cafe Dolce in Norwalk: Exceptional European Handcrafted Desserts, Coffee & Lunch

Some cups of coffee begin in Africa. Others in South America. This cup of coffee began, so to speak, in...Hungary. Norbert Dudas and Zoltan Bona, two friends who were hospitality and culinary students back in the day, eventually made their way to the United States. They pinpointed Fairfield County in particular, looking for a place to set up shop and show people what they could do. The result is the convivial, welcoming Cafe Dolce in Norwalk with its decidedly European atmosphere. 

Said one regular customer on my recent trip there “It’s the best kept secret...but not for long, I’m sure!”. At that, she threw her hands in the air, cradled and shook her head as she embarked on her snacking quandary (oh, the peril!)...which treat to enjoy?

This cafe, with its steaming cup and rolling pin logo (a nod to their coffee and baked goods, of course), has “hand-crafted” written all over it.

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Wednesday
May042016

The New Milks: Dairy-Free Recipes by Local Author Dina Cheney

Copyright © 2016 by Dina Cheney from THE NEW MILKS: 100-Plus Dairy-Free Recipes for Making and Cooking with Soy, Nut, Seed, Grain, and Coconut Milks, published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.The New Milks, a new book just released from local author Dina Cheney, is the first comprehensive resource about plant-based, vegan, or alternative milks. The book includes 113 recipes dairy-free and kosher recipes, and most are wholesome (many are vegan). The New Milks is a great resource for those who are lactose-intolerant, have dairy allergies, or who follow vegan, paleo, kosher, low-cholesterol, hormone-free, or low-sugar diets. From familiar varieties, such as almond, soy, and coconut, to exotic types, like pistachio, millet, and tiger nut, readers will learn about the full range of incredible plant-based milks.

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Tuesday
May032016

HAPA Burger is Creative, Bold and Delicious 

Almost a year ago I visited Hapa Food truck and ordered three tacos. Little did I know that the smiling face of owner Chris Gonzales, who prepared those delicious tacos was hiding an incredible talent of delivering bold, balanced and creative cuisine. After I finished the tacos he told me I needed to try the burger. I was too full at the time and told him I would come back. Shame on me for waiting a year. Since that time Hapa has developed quite a following and Chris recently opened Miro Kitchen in Fairfield, and a colleague who visited Miro told me it was fantastic.

Well…fast forward and I recently returned to Hapa for the burger. The smiling face of Chris was replaced by an equally smiling and friendly face of his wife, Nicole. I ordered the HAPA burger with fries and she asked if I liked Brussels sprouts, of course I do.

The HAPA burger consists of grass-fed beef topped with pork belly, Vermont cheddar, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, house aioli, encased in HAPA’s signature ube bun.

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Tuesday
May032016

Latte Art Throwdown at NEAT Westport. And The Winner Is…

I had no idea.  Like most people, I enjoy a good cup of coffee.  My personal preference being a latte, the Americanized version of a cappuccino, but with a more densely foamed steamed milk. 

So when I was invited to represent CTbites as one of three judges at this past weeks Latte Art Throwdown at NEAT Westport, frankly I envisioned a couple local baristas serving up some prettily topped lattes.  Hearts, Flowers, Tulips, etc.

Little did I know, but being a barista has taken on a new respect in the coffee world.  Third Wave coffee, Single origin, specialty coffee, French Press, pour overs and simple are words that have crept into our vocabulary as true coffee aficionados seek out the best baristas in local independent coffee houses. 

NEAT is one of the original boutique coffee houses in CT, opening its first location in Darien, and in the last year coming to Westport in the former Vigilante Fire House on Riverside Ave. 

This past week, they hosted their first Latte Art Throwdown, a judged bracket style competition not for the faint of heart barista. 

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