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Top 10 Craft Cocktails in lower Fairfield County. Go-to spots for killer cocktails. 

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New Haven Restaurant Week: March 22 - 27, 2015

A destination with one of the Northeast’s hottest and growing culinary scenes, New Haven will host the spring edition of its bi-annual NEW HAVEN RESTAURANT WEEK from March 22 – 27, 2015. This twice-a-year celebration of New Haven’s cuisine culture is an opportunity for diners to experience limited-time, discounted menus at some of the city’s most celebrated eateries.    

32 New Haven restaurants will offer special three-course, prix fixe menus for both lunch and dinner. The menus include an appetizer, entrée and dessert for lunch ($18 per person) and dinner ($32 per person). Prices do not include beverages, tax or gratuity (some restrictions may apply). Regular menus will also be offered in addition to the limited-time prix fixe options. Guests are strongly recommended to make reservations in advance.

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15 Places for Great BBQ in Connecticut

Don’t let the subzero temperatures discourage you… CT restaurants are bringing the heat with mouth-watering finger-lickin’ delicious barbeque!  From Kansas-City style to meats fresh out of the smoker, these restaurants have a variety of menu items for you to enjoy.

  1. Bear’s BBQ, Windsor
  2. Wilson’s, Fairfield
  3. Smoke Box BBQ, Hamden
  4. Bar BQ, Stamford
  5. Wire Mill BBQ, West Redding
  6. Bobby Q’s BBQ, Westport
  7. Dinosaur BBQ, Stamford
  8. Walrus + Carpenter, Bridgeport
  9. Q’s Restaurant, Norwalk
  10. Vinny’s Backyard, Stamford
  11. Uncle Willie’s BBQ, West Haven & Seymour
  12. Billy’s BBQ, Bethel
  13. Johnny Utah’s, South Norwalk
  14. Drumstick BBQ, Bridgeport
  15. The Boatyard at Smokey Joe’s, Stamford

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Amore Cucina & Bar Opens in Stamford w/ World Pizza Champion at Helm

I recently had the opportunity to visit the newly redesigned Amore Cucina & Bar on Hope Street in Stamford for a blogger dinner. 

The restaurant interior boasts a warm rustic atmosphere with its combination of exposed brick and distressed wood. The large bar area accommodates thirty people and offers a well thought out wine list with a concentration on Italian varietals, creative cocktails and craft beer. Sixty seats are set up in a casual trattoria style, and during warmer weather a large patio will welcome diners.

The real news here is Owner Bruno DiFabio, a six-time World Pizza Champion, Restaurateur and Television Personality. With eleven restaurants in the US and new ones scheduled to open in London, I assure you that he knows pizza. 

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Battle of the Chefs to Feature Chefs Silvia Bianco, Bernard Bouissou, and Prasad Chirnomula

Chefs Bernard Bouissou (Bernard’s), Silvia Bianco (formerly of Biscotti) and Prasad Chirnomula ( Thali)

Battle of the Chefs returns to Founders Hall on Sunday, May 17, 4 – 7pm. In a culinary showdown similar to Top Chef and Chopped, three chefs will compete for the benefit of Founders Hall. Chefs Silvia Bianco, formerly of Biscotti, Bernard Bouissou of Bernard’s, and Prasad Chirnomula of Thali will compete to create an entree from a basket of surprise ingredients in front of a live audience. A panel of judges, including food critic and writer Jane Stern and wine/cheese connoisseur and business owner Monica Brown of No. 109 Cheese and Wine, will judge the chefs on their creativity, craftsmanship and culinary results. Hosts Amy Kundrat and Stephanie Webster (yours truly) of CTbites, will emcee.

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Harlan Publick & Two Roads Brewing Host "Road Hog Dinner" March 3rd

What’s better than a four course pork dinner? A five course pork extravaganza. And that is what Harlan Publick and Two Roads Brewing Company are hosting with their ROAD HOG DINNER this Tuesday March 3.

Starting at 630...nuzzle up to the bar for a beer reception and then starting at 715 the festivities begin. Owner / Chef Steve Lewandowski and his team will serve five courses of pork including Mongolian Pork Bahn Mi, Crispy Pig Ear Salad, Moroccan Braised Pork Belly, Pok Pok Smoked Ribs, Mangalista Pork Pancetta and a few other surprises. All of the dishes will be paired with special beers from Two Roads Brewing.

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Plan B Burgers Presents "Iron Bourbon" Cocktail Competition...Anyone Can Enter!

You’ve heard of Iron Chef? Make way for Iron Bourbon - all the drama, all the emotion, all the suspense but with bourbon and with you as a judge.

On the 2nd Tuesday of every month Plan B Burgers will be hosting a bourbon cocktail competition at a different Plan B location, each month featuring a new bourbon and a new secret ingredient. 

First Round: Tuesday, March 10Plan B West Hartford 138 Park Road.

Want to play? Come as a competitor - the bourbon for March is Knob Creek Rye. Come up with some cool cocktail ideas but leave room for the secret ingredient which will be unveiled at the competition and come and make your drink OR come as a judge and watch the competitors - try all their drinks and pick the one you like the best.

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Maple Sugar Festival @ Stamford Nature Center: Teen Chefs Compete, Tree Tapping, Food, & Fun


Celebrate the sweetness of the maple sugaring season as this annual family favorite returns to the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. Visit the little red sugarhouse on Heckscher Farm and see firsthand how sap is turned into maple syrup. Witness how trees are tapped, see how sap is collected, make a maple-themed craft, go on a scavenger hunt, have your face painted, and sing and dance to live music with Jay and Ray. Additionally, Heckscher WILD!, a new, interactive live exotic animal exhibit on Heckscher Farm, will celebrate its grand opening.

On Saturday, watch teen chefs create delicious dishes using SM&NC maple syrup and vote for your favorite in the First County Bank Teen Chefs Challenge from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm.

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New Canaan to Receive Artisan Marketplace

As announced in The New Canaanite, New Canaan’s local news website, Pine Street is about to receive a new artisan marketplace at 75 Pine Street, the site that previously housed New Canaan Cleaners. The area currently offers some of the best coffee in Fairfield County at Zumbach’s and two outstanding sandwich shops, Tony’s and the Connecticut Sandwich Co.

According to The New Canaanite, the owner of the property, Peter Lane of NCLC, would like to build a marketplace similar to that found in New York’s Grand Central Station. He hopes that the merchants will include a butcher, a baker and a cheesemaker, all of who would create their unique specialty foods. In addition the space will include a few seats and fireplace to relax and enjoy the foods of the artisans.

While no renderings are available at this time, the plan is to demolish and replace the structure with a new one and a half story building and be remain within the current footprint.

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Weekly Nibble: Oysters, CT Beer Summit, Cooking Classes, Stamford Restaurant Week + More

Stamford’s Winter Restaurant week begins Monday March 2 and runs through March 16.  Over 30 Downtown Stamford restaurants will offer special prix fixe options.  Participating restaurants include places like Barcelona, Cask Republic, Tengda Asian Bistro, and more.  Please call ahead to confirm pricing and the dates offered.  

Head over to The Spread in South Norwalk Tuesday March 2 and help raise money for the “Sheffield Island Lighthouse Education Program.” Starting at 430PM Chef Carlos will prepare oysters fourteen different ways. In conjunction with Copps Island Oysters, The Spread team will host an evening filled with Oyster Shooters, Poached Oysters. Oysters Casino, Oyster sliders and their famous BBQ grilled Oysters.

Tuesday March 3, you have your pick of great cooking classes:

Chef Pat Pascarella of Bar Sugo in Norwalk continues his new series of cooking classes with “The Art of Braising” on Tuesday March 3 at 7pm. 

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Holbrook Farm Home Gardening Seminar

Holbrook Farm in Bethel will be hosting "How To Start Your Home Garden," a home gardening seminar on Saturday, March 21 at 9:30 to 11:30 am at the farm, located at 45 Turkey Plain Road in Bethel, CT. Tickets are $30 per person.

The seminar, led by John and Jess at Holbrook Farm, includes best growing practices, and tackling common questions such as: how to amend soils, when to start what plants, how to plan for succession planting, do I start from seed or plants, when can I start planting my garden outside, raised beds or no, and more. A Q & A session will follow.  

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