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Wednesday
Mar232016

Cauliflower Gratin: The Perfect Side Dish via Marcia Selden 

Cauliflower is one of our favorite vegetables and it’s definitely having a moment; it’s good for you, full of vitamins and makes a great substitute for potatoes or other starches. Our recipe is perfect for a family meal or holiday, it’s flavorful, creamy and delicious. Enjoy!

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Wednesday
Mar232016

A Short History Of The Retro Cocktail: Post Prohibition Recipes

Bartenders, especially those involved in the “cocktail” world, understand the significant impact that Prohibition has had on the industries surrounding alcoholic beverages. Many consumers, however, are unaware of that impact. National Prohibition was rooted in political and religious belief systems, that sought to temper a vice, and legislate morality to a nation. Any time a product, that is in high consumer demand, is made illegal, a black market is created. Crime increases, violence increases, and eventually, the public demands action. It didn’t take long for the ridiculous idea to be repealed, and when Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, the nation joined together in a collective sigh of relief, and a toast to better times ahead.

Treatises have been written, documentaries have been filmed, and many a scholar has spoken about the nearly decade and a half that The United States of America suffered under the tyranny of Prohibition. What is sorely missing, however, is a definitive study of the decades following its repeal. And, maybe, that is because not much is ever said, outside of our small circle of bartenders, about what life in this industry was like before Prohibition was passed.

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Rothbard Ale + Larder's Patty Melt Extraordinaire: Find It In Westport

The patty melt was introduced at Tiny Naylors in California in the late 1940s and since its debut, it has experienced an intense and loyal following throughout the country. Described by some as the love child of the grilled cheese and the hamburger, it is, at its essence a pair of beef patties, melted Swiss cheese, grilled onions, all served between slices of buttered-griddled rye bread.

The Patty Melt at Rothbard Ale + Larder is a traditional interpretation with a few nuances. Two small patties were grilled and served between slices of buttered and griddled rye bread with caramelized onions, bacon, and melted Jarlsberg cheese. The bread was cut on the diagonal, and nestled inside each half was a mini-patty, smothered in its accompaniments. The thin patties were cooked to medium, still maintained a pink interior and were rich in flavor. The Jarlsberg cheese was thick, beautifully melted and delivered a wonderful level of creaminess and a deep, rich nuttiness. The caramelized onions were outstanding, sweet and soft from their low and slow preparation and when it intertwined with the mildly salty bacon delivered an incredible balance. People nervous about the bread versus bun…no need to worry, the buttered and griddled bread added great crunch and a delicious salty-butter flavor.

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Monday
Mar212016

Local Female Farmer Lecture Series at WCSU

Ashley Kenney, the manager of the Jane Goodall Permaculture Garden on the Midtown campus of Western Connecticut State University, will host a series of lectures in April featuring local female farmers. The Jane Goodall garden is still in its first full year, and as of last Fall it donated hundreds of pounds of its organically grown produce to local food pantries in Danbury, as well as to the students of Western Connecticut State University.

The lectures will take place every Wednesday evening in April and are called "Farm For Yourself" when local female farmers will talk about different areas of their respective expertise. This series is FREE and open to the public and will be held in the lovely Science building on WCSU's campus (right next to the garden!).  In addition to introducing the guests to the permaculture garden, the series will also recognize the work the team is performing in urban, community gardening.

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Sunday
Mar202016

Pho 170 Opens in Middletown: Vietnamese + Thai Cuisine Gets Top Marks

“That’s it,” I overheard a man say with a smile, holding his takeout order as he joked about having come in four days in a row. The word is out downtown...Pho 170, M’town’s newest/latest, is busy. The service is friendly and attentive, showing this new kid on the block is already in the groove, cranking out fresh and delicious dishes—both Vietnamese and Thai.

It’s not been quite three weeks since Viengthong Charonesuk opened the doors to her newest restaurant. And, unlike so many other spots when they first get started, everything’s well under control. Even on a night when they were one person short on the waitstaff, they pulled everything off without a hitch. Vieng hails most recently from Bann Thai in Cheshire, and she’s run restaurants in other locations across the state as well. Little things, like making sure you have extra plates when you share a dish, aren’t overlooked. And it’s always a nice touch when your water glass is refilled before you even need to ask.

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Friday
Mar182016

Taco Loco Launches New Menu in Bridgeport's Black Rock Neighborhood

It’s time for a bit of trivia!  What was Bridgeport’s first Mexican restaurant?  What was the first Mexican food truck in the state?

The answer to both questions is the same and it might surprise you: Taco Loco!  The restaurant, which now lies on Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock, opened its doors in 1982 by bothers Miguel and Louis Tomasio.  Originally, Taco Loco functioned as a small taco shop located on Main Street.  It served inexpensive Mexican Food late into the night.  As demand grew, the business transformed from counter service to a full scale restaurant.  In 1985 Miguel added a food truck and they moved to their present-day location in 1989.  Taco Loco currently seats 100 guests, has a four season patio, and a coveted food truck.

Now, in 2016, Taco Loco is about to undergo another evolution!  Miguel, along with his son Zachary Tomasio, are releasing a brand new menu aimed at “authenticity and quality.”  With a background in marketing and a fresh perspective, Zachary is ready to explore the latest trends and additional avenues of business.

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Friday
Mar182016

Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings for March 21-27th

PEARL at Longshore in Westport is now open for lunch and brunch on Saturdays & Sundays 11-3pm. Mediterraneo in Norwalk opens for brunch March 27th, Sundays 11-3 with $10 bottomless mimosas!

Frank Pepe Pizzeria is celebrating the 10th year of its Fairfield location this March.  To celebrate, they are teaming up with the Susan G. Komen Southern New England in the fight against breast cancer. For donations of $100 or more, Pepe’s will be giving away a free large pizza.  

If you’re eager to learn more about the “History of Food and Wine in Connecticut, head down to the Milford Public Library on March 21.  Authors Eric Lehman and Amy Nawrocki will tell you the story of food in the state and have copies of their new book for sale.  The event is free and open to the public.  

On Monday March 21, Napa and Company in Stamford invites you to “Taste the Dirt!”  Don’t worry… the experience is a pleasant one, focusing on wines from Oregon.  The class includes 6 wines and 3 small plates for $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  The night starts at 6:30pm.  http://www.napaandcompany.com/ 

The Greenwich location of the Fairfield Greenwich Cheese Company will teach you all about charcuterie on Tuesday March 22.  Explore their meet offerings and learn the origins of the processes behind them.  It costs $50 per person and runs from 7-9pm.   

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Thursday
Mar172016

Bidding Farewell to Blue Lemon: Chef Bryan Malcarney Moves On

This week, the local food scene was surprised and saddened to hear of the end April closing of Westport’s Blue Lemon. A long time fixture in Westport’s dining scene, Blue Lemon opened in 2003 joining the then limited restaurant scene anchored by Da Pietro’s , The Mansion Clam House and Tavern On Main.  Back then, Chef/Owner Bryan Malcarney, having lived in Connecticut most of his life, had just returned from a two year stint as Chef de Cuisine at The Straw Hat on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, and jumped at the chance to open his own restaurant. 

I caught up with Bryan on the eve before St Patrick’s Day, while he worked lunch service at his other restaurant, Rory’s in Darien. 

Over a simmering 15 lb. Corned Beef Brisket, Bryan and I talked about his decision to close Blue Lemon and shared with me how life has changed for him and for the local restaurant scene. 

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Thursday
Mar172016

Restaurants To Celebrate Easter in CT: Make Your Rez Now! (2016 Edition)

It’s time to “hop to it and make reservations! The Easter bunny is coming on Sunday March 27 and a number of Connecticut restaurants are serving delicious Easter meals.  Here are 17 places to celebrate the holiday.
  1. Redding Roadhouse, Redding: Redding Roadhouse has seatings for its Easter buffet at 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30. Adults are $38.95 while kids are $19.95. Please note there is no dinner service.
  2. Norwich Inn, Norwich: The Norwich Inn will present an Easter brunch buffet complete with a carving station, omelet station, raw bar, and more.
  3. Match, Norwalk: Doughnut Muffins! Wood Roasted Organic Chicken & Fried Waffles! Seared Wasabi and Sesame Rubbed Tuna! All of this and more is on the menu for Match's Easter brunch.
  4. The Cottage, Westport: Join Chef Brian Lewis for his first Easter brunch at his new restaurant, The Cottage, in Westport. From brunch dishes like Buttered Maine Lobster Eggs Benedict to traditional plates like Lamb Roasted with Garlic & Rosemary, there's something for everyone.
  5. Dinosaur BBQ, Stamford: Dinosaur BBQ in Stamford has Easter Packages should you want to have the meal catered. Get their Pit Smoked Ham along with sides of your choice.
  6. Artisan, Fairfield: Artisan Restaurant in Fairfield is known for its delicious Easter brunch. This year, try dishes like Stonington Jumbo Sea Scallops, Prime Omaha Hangar Steak, and Mandarin Creme Brulee. There are options for adults, young adults, and children.

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Wednesday
Mar162016

Designing The Perfect Family Dinner @ Home...D2 Style


We all love to eat out, but it is also great to stay in with the family and gather round the table for a meal.  Well designed kitchens can promote quality family time.  Eating meals together provides the opportunity for great conversation and togetherness. 

It’s even more meaningful when the kids participate in the preparation of the meal. 

Tips To Create a Fun Family Meal…

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