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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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Thursday
Dec152016

Celeriac Apple Soup w/ Pancetta Recipe via Westport Farmers’ Market 

Come clean. Celeriac is downright intimidating. Just what is that knobby-looking thing and how does one cook with it? Fear not, celeriac is not the province of chef menus only. Armed with a few facts and a killer recipe, you’ll want to run, not walk, to the Westport Winter Farmers’ Market this weekend to pick up the root and impress your friends and family. 

Let’s start with what it is. Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceuem), is a species of celery in the family of plants that includes parsley, carrots, anise, and parsnip. Like many of its cousins, celeriac is a root vegetable that is often harvested during fall when the vegetable is sweetest. Indeed some species can remain underground throughout winter with mulch and protection; this is the reason it is often plentiful at winter farmers’ markets. While the root is most-often harvested when it is about 4 – 5 inches round, smaller bulbs can pack a more sugary punch. And the vegetable can be stored for 4 to 6 months at 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit once purchased. 

Celeriac is delicious sliced and eaten raw but – as Chef Silvia Baldini demonstrates below

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Thursday
Dec152016

Dress Up Your Party with Garelick & Herbs Holiday Platters (sponsored)

This holiday gift alert just in from Garelick & Herbs.

Looking for a delicious present that will be joyously received? Check out one of Garelick & Herbs gift platters...or design your own. Take the guess work out of your next hostess gift. These beautifully curated custom gifts are perfect for any occasion.

Stopping by your friend's for brunch? We have fabulous holiday housewarming gifts. Corporate Clients need a holiday gift? Send over one of our sweet-tastic dessert boxes or a signature Office Munchie Snack Basket. We can even send over a surprise lunch to your favorite client. Also, don’t forget your manicurist and hair stylist! Nothing warms the heart and soul more than something delicious from Garelick & Herbs. Having an impromptu celebration? Going away for the weekend? Your hosts will love our snacktastic gifts–customize salty, sweet, crunchy and colorful.

We have everything you need served up on a platter.

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Wednesday
Dec142016

21 CT Restaurants Open for Christmas Eve & Christmas 2016

Over the river and through the woods… to delicious restaurants we go!  From New Canaan to Essex to Mohegan Sun, some of Connecticut’s best restaurants are hosting holiday festivities on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself.  Be sure to make your reservations early… seats fill up quickly!

  1. Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point, Saybrook: On Saturday December 24, guests can enjoy holiday inspired dishes like Mascarpone-Butternut Ravioli, Ricotta Meatballs, and Srirachi-style Calamari at Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point. On Christmas Day, they will have an extensive buffet from 12-6pm.
  2. Pearl at Longshore, Westport: Pearl in Westport will celebrate Christmas Eve with a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner.
  3. The Whelk, Westport: Open for Christmas Eve dinner with their regular menu and a few specials TBA.
  4. Basso Cafe, Norwalk: On Christmas Eve, Basso Cafe in Norwalk will serve dishes off of its regular menu as well as some newly created dishes prepared specifically for the evening. They will be closed on Christmas Day.
  5. Roger Sherman Inn, New Canaan: Open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they have a special menu in honor of the holiday, which features dishes like a Roasted Filet Mignon and Lobster Thermidore

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Wednesday
Dec142016

Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk Available For Limited Time!

Check the shelves at your local Stew Leonard's TODAY because their first ever Christmas Cookie Millk will be available for a limited time this holiday season. Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk a sweet, creamy milk that has the same flavor as a sugar cookie that's been dunked in milk.  It comes straight from their dairy farms in upstate NY and is free from artificial growth hormones (rBST) and antibiotics.  This milk goes from the farm to each of our stores in as little as 24 hours, and is sold in a ½ gallon glass for $4.99. Stew Leonard's Christmas Cookie Milk is going to go fast. Go grab some now. 

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Tuesday
Dec132016

10 "Must Drink" Cold Weather Cocktails in Lower Fairfield County CT

It’s been a warm autumn, and while we’ll all hope the same for the upcoming winter season, we know it just won’t last. Chilly temperatures are inevitable and let’s face it, your puffy coat, skully, and gloves may not cut it. You need something else to warm up your soul, something that will always be there for you at various bars in lower Fairfield County…Cocktails. 

I recently visited my favorite bars around the county to seek out the best seasonal cocktails. While this is MY list, I did try my best to switch up the flavor profiles and the spirits used, otherwise they’d be all bourbon and whiskey based, or it would be a list of Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs. There are some clear liquors involved, as well as warm beverages and seasonal flavors such as apple, cinnamon, clove, and even carrot. 

I tried my best to include every city or town up 95 from Greenwich to Westport, but that wasn’t the end result. I wanted to go further north but this “research” would’ve stretched into another season. I found that Norwalk and Westport had the most seasonal stuff going on when it comes to booze, so don’t be offended if your favorite bar in your neighborhood didn’t make it. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, I just simply met my quota for this list, and my liver told me to “just stop already.” 

Hopefully this helps with your drinking adventures, and hopefully you have some cold weather cocktail suggestions at your most frequented haunts, because we’re all always looking to warm our souls with good libations.  

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Sunday
Dec112016

Ch'i Public House Opens in SoNo - Exceptional Asian-Inspired Cuisine

Ch’i Public House opened in late November in the space formerly occupied by Ocean Drive and Red Lulu on Washington Street in SoNo. The forces behind the new Asian-inspired restaurant are Rob Moss, Marco Siguenza and Dave Studwell, owners of neighboring Washington Prime. Overseeing the kitchen is Executive Chef Mark Taruna, whose long career spans attending the French Culinary Institute and working as the Sous Chef for Nobu Matsushisa at Nobu. He subsequently joined The Food Network and ran the Iron Chef kitchen where he worked with Morimoto, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. He brings a new level of creativity to many classic recipes with bold flavors and textures, from the simplest dumpling to the most complex sauces.

 

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Friday
Dec092016

Nibble: CT Food Events for The Week of Dec 13-19th

The Beer Collective presents a Brett 101 Class all about Kent Falls Brewery on Tuesday December 13 at 6:00pm.  The evening will include a curated list of Kent Falls beers and a buffet-style offering from their Chefs.  It costs $40 per person and tickets can be purchased online.   

Onyx Moonshine in East Hartford gave empty barrels from their spirits to local Connecticut breweries, who created 15 unique beers aged in the whiskey-soaked wood, which were featured at this summer’s Secret Stash Beer Bash. After the event, it re-filled each barrel with whiskey for aging. Try these 15 beer-influenced whiskies on Tuesday December 13 or Wednesday December 14 from 5:30-8pm.  It costs $35 per person.

Chop Shop Cooking’s December Cooking demonstration classes include wine, water, seltzer and plenty of food.  On Wednesday December 14 from 7-9pm, join them for a Spanish Tapas class or sign up for Thursday December 15 from 7-9pm to learn about fish.  The classes cost $80 per person. 

Go Fish in Mystic is celebrating 50 years of Robert Mondavi wines.  Join them on Wednesday December 14 from 5:30-7pm to enjoy Mondavi wines paired with their tasty dishes.  Please call 860-536-2662 to make a reservation.

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