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Holiday Catering Guide

Holiday Catering Guide: 14 Restaurants & Traditional Caterers who do it all!

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Norwalk's Open Door Shelter Celebrates "Chopped" Celebrity

Open Door Shelter of Norwalk is hosting a fundraiser event on November 18 from 6 to 9 pm to celebrate the recent appearance of their kitchen manager, Victor Squire, on the Food Network show Chopped.

The event will be held at Aitoro in Norwalk, and will feature a competitive cook off between Norwalk Community College culinary student chefs. Wine and appetizers will be served, and Chef Victor Squire, the Chopped competitor will be on hand throughout the event to meet guests. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased online. All proceeds from the event will benefit the mission and services of the Open Door Shelter in Norwalk.

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Why LeFarm in Westport Closed Its Doors: Q & A with Chef Bill Taibe

Many CT diners were shocked when Bill Taibe announced that LeFarm in Westport was closing its doors after six years. LeFarm was without a doubt one of the most highly celebrated restaurants in Connecticut, a place where local chefs gathered on their nights off and regulars booked a table weekly. So, why did it close? We sat down with Chef Bill Taibe (owner of Kawa Ni and The Whelk) to find out why...

LeFarm was a very successful restaurant right up until the day you closed the doors. Why did you decide to sell LeFarm? It was the right time.  We had met our goals at LeFarm.  It is now time to set our sites on a more focused plan. We want to offer more services.  Create new experiences.  Push ourselves a bit harder.


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Harlan Publick in South Norwalk: Innovative Cuisine with a Tropical Twist

Harlan Publick opened last year in the SoNo Ironworks and immediately became a destination for great food, a vast line-up of beers and an outdoor terrace like none other in Fairfield County. The relaxed interior features a large bar, a dining area with both dining tables and high tops and a room for a private event that features several personalized beer taps, and represents the second for Managing Partner Steve Lewandowski, who is also the Managing Partner at Stamford’s Harlan Social, which has won accolades as one of the best restaurants in CT.

Executive Chef Kamal Rose recently joined Harlan Publick, and his road to this position was less than traditional. Raised on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, he developed his passion for cooking from his grandmother. He moved to New York at the age of 15 and subsequently received an internship at TriBeca Grill. In 2009 he won a $20,000 scholarship in a national cooking competition and earned his diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education. He returned to TriBeca Grill under the tutelage of Drew Nieporent and Steve Lewandowski and last year, Lewandowski asked Rose to join him at Harlan Publick where his newly introduced cuisine exemplifies his Caribbean roots tempered by classical training. 

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Friday Froth: At The Mouthfeel of Madness, Halloween Edition

"Herbert West needed fresh bodies because his life-work was the reanimation of the dead."

In the early 20th century, H.P. Lovecraft's fingers worked to create dread, revulsion, and hysteria. The son of a psychotic father, he was an early prodigy of letters, but more consumed with the hidden secrets being brought into society's focus through chemistry and astronomy. Now regarded as the father of modern horror writing, he was born in Providence, RI in 1890 - the same year and location as Narragansett Brewing Company.

When Lovecraft was a child of ten and fascinated with the cosmos, the solar system stopped at Neptune. That was the end of all known worlds, and the beginning of the black emptiness of space. He soon learned that what we thought we knew was wrong, and new discoveries only served to highlight mankind's total lack of understanding. Physics and astronomy were soon to open "terrifying vistas of reality, and our frightful position therein."

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Weekly Nibble: Day Of The Dead Parties, Brewer's Festival, Lamb Butchery, Wing Fling + More!

Fleisher’s in Westport continues its cooking classes with “Lamb Butchery 101” on Monday November 2.  The class will take you through the butchering of an entire lamb and focus on sourcing and sustainability, knife skills, and basic animal anatomy.  The class includes demonstrations by a Craft Butchery master butcher and tasting of samples. 7pm, $100 pp.

The 2nd Annual Connecticut Craft Brewer’s festival will unfold on Monday November 2 from 6:30-9:30pm. Over 20 Connecticut breweries unite to offer tastes of their signature brews.  Food trucks will be on hand with great local cuisine and proceeds will go toward the Connecticut Beer Guild.  Limited tickets are available.

On Wednesday November 4, Dine with the Authors of The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook, at Artisan Restaurant in Southport.  Chef Frederic Kieffer will prepare a meal from farm fresh ingredients + cash bar. Dinner and a book costs $45 pp or $70 per couple.  Additional books can be purchased for $20.  Reservations required

Stew Leonard's Wines of Norwalk will host its sixth annual Wine, Whiskey and Craft Beer Tasting benefitting the Norwalk Exchange Club on Thursday November 5!  The night will feature over 100 wines, whiskies, and beers along with seasonal foods.  The event takes from 6-8pm at Stew Leonard's food store, located at 100 Westport Avenue in Norwalk.

A Chili Cook Off and Wing Fling will take place on Thursday November 5 in Monroe. 

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Westport Farmers’ Market Heads Indoors Saturday Nov. 14th

As the temperatures start to dip and winter approaches, we must bid a fond farewell to what has been a phenomenally successful summer season. While we continue our Ten Year Anniversary we celebrate the fifth year of our winter market.  We are thrilled to announce the start of the Winter Westport Farmers’ Market which will officially begin on Saturday, November 14 at 10:00am. The market will return for our fifth season at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden on Sylvan Lane in Westport. We will operate Saturday, November 14 – March 12 from 10:00 – 2:00.

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Cooking Behind The Bar: New Culinary Cocktails Welcome Winter @ Harlan Social in Stamford 

“Lately, when I come in to the bar,” Chris Messina admits, “I put on an apron.”   That’s because Harlan Social’s General Manager and Sommelier has been playing with all manner of culinary ingredients to raise the bar on his winter cocktail menu.   

Whether Messina is rendering a slab of bacon for a bourbon infusion …. or reducing a cider that imbues the room with the crisp aroma of Mom's Apple Pie …  he brings the artisanal crafts he mastered in the kitchens of Jean George and Tribeca Grill to the bar at Harlan Social in Harbor Point.  

Consider, for example, his "Beets by Harlan," a crimson confection of rum, bourbon, ginger beer and – wait for it-- beet juice.  So what’s a workaday winter root veggie doing in a sexy nightime cocktail?  

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The Prospector Theater in Ridgefield: A Very Special Movie Theater (sponsored post)

The Prospector Theater is not a typical movie theater; it is special. Not just because their 4 theaters have the best in digital and sound technology and big comfy seats.  The real reason that the Prospector Theater is special is their unique mission to provide educational and employment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities through the operation of a four screen cinema.

The theater offers first-run movies, documentaries, sing-alongs, classics, theme nights – all while they help support the Prospector’s Mission, and help change the lives of underemployed members of society.

In the month of November, The Prospector will kick off our month long celebration of events and festivities to celebrate one year of meaningful employment.

To celebrate, The Prospector will have themed on-the-go menu items at their Star Bar and house made gourmet popcorn for the following releases in November. They will also be serving an assortment of shaken, not stirred, specialty martinis for the premiere of Spectre!  Patrons are welcome to bring these drinks into the movie and enjoy them during the show.  

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Shortbread: The Queen Bee of Cookies Made Sweet + Savory via Marcia Selden

Shortbread is the star of the cookie world—made almost entirely of butter and sugar, we bet you can’t eat just one! Sweet shortbread is perfect for dipping into hot tea while savory ones pair well with soup or are delicious with cheese. Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning shares two of their favorites with us. These cookies won’t last long when you put them out, so be sure to grab one fast before they are all gone!

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New Chef @ elm Restaurant in New Canaan: Enter Chef Luke Venner

Chef Luke Venner has been at the helm of elm Restaurant for several months and was invited to participate at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival as one of the Innovative Chefs. The two small bites that he prepared at the festival were delicious. In hopes that these were reflective of his newly revised menu, CTbites returned to the restaurant to sample other dishes on his recently introduced Autumn menu. The appetizers and entrées that we enjoyed highlighted the inherent flavors of the ingredients utilizing Chef Luke’s balanced vision and delicate touch.

We shared three dishes from the “smaller” section of the menu. 

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