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Holbrook Farm Dinners Summer 2016

Updated July 13 to reflect new dinner dates and chefs.

Holbrook Farm in Bethel will be hosting a series of farm dinners this summer in collaboration with local chefs and farms. Farm dinners will be announced each month, and tickets can be ordered online. June events and chefs have been announced but July and August are forthcoming.

July Dinners

Saturday, July 23

Chefs: Chefs Morgan & Tony (Mezon, Danbury, CT and Mecha, Fairfield & South Norwalk, CT)

Theme: Fresh, locally caught Seafood

Sunday July 24

Chef: Chef Matt Stanzcak (formerly, Stanziato's)

Theme: Fresh, locally caught Seafood 


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Weekly Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings For July 17-23

Chef Danielle Hartog of Paleo & Plate is excited to announce her next private dinner.  It will take place on Friday July 22 at 7pm in Westport.  The evening, aptly entitled “Summer Time Bliss,” features a carrot turmeric shooter, shrimp ceviche, braised short ribs, and peaches and cream.  For the complete menu, additional details, and to reserve, click here. 

Fortina in Stamford invites you to “Chrismukkah in July!”  The zany fundraiser, replete with crazy delicious eats and whimsical winter drinks, takes place July 20 at Fortina Stamford.  The party is being thrown by the Junior Board of Domus, a non-profit organization that serves struggling youth in the region. At their charter schools in Stamford and New Haven, Domus creates programs that allow vulnerable kids to forge a pathway to health, opportunity, and satisfying lives.  John Nealon of Fortina will providing space and labor at no cost while local purveyors are donating product.  As a result, 100% of the proceeds will go to the organization. 

The Stamford Nature Center invites us to learn about “A Day in a Farmer’s Life” every Monday through August 22.  Hands-on programs include milking, grooming, caring for baby animals, and more.  It lasts from 11-11:30am.  The event is free for members or free with gate admission for non-members. 

Rizzuto's Oyster Bar & Restaurant, with locations in Bethel, Westport, and West Hartford, invites you to a lobster feast every Tuesday through August 30

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Stick with the Burgers At Bareburger

The second Connecticut location for Bareburger, in Harbor Point, opened six months ago, its second Fairfield County location (the first opened in downtown Ridgefield in 2013) as the micro-chain-gone-global expands its Connecticut offerings. For an overview of Bareburger and an exclusive interview with its founder, Euripides Pelekanos, click here.

Several months ago CTbites was invited to a media event at Bareburger in Stamford. Downpours and personnel issues left a less than favorable impression of the cuisine. After a three-month hiatus CTbites was invited back and treated to several appetizers, a few burgers and a dessert. Visit number two left a better impression; Bareburger serves very good burgers, with bold flavors and combinations; unfortunately, the appetizers are still a challenge.

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The Nook in Black Rock: Communal Private Dining...The Secret's Out

Along came Carol, and then she opened The Nook, a private dining experience in Black Rock.

The secret is about to get leaked. All who’ve visited The Nook can’t stop singing its praises - they’ll say how wonderful it is. What, exactly, is The Nook? And, if all these people have heard of The Nook, why hadn’t I?

The concept was created by chef and caterer Carol Lentini and her husband and partner Mark Mojcher. Located in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, it is best described as a communal private dining experience. The eatery features one community table set in the middle of a long room offering an artistic and whimsical air with walls painted in a cheery bright pink, on which hang large colorful paintings.

More private dining room, less public restaurant, we felt like guests, not customers. While you wait for dinner you can mingle with the others and introduce yourself; you’ll meet your neighbor and maybe even become fast friends. Two things should be noted - This isn’t the place for a quiet romantic evening out, and it’s BYOB.

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The Dog Days of Summer.  Time to dream of sugar plums, dine on turkey and knishes, sip a hot toddy or two and maybe steal a kiss under the mistletoe.   And it all happens at a one-of-a-kind summer party called “Chrismukkah in July, a Merry Mish Mash that will make the real December holidays happier for a special group of local teens.

The zany fundraiser, replete with crazy delicious eats and whimsical winter drinks, takes place July 20that Fortina Stamford.  (For entry to a bash that only the Fortina boys could concoct, click the ticket link at the end of this article.)

The party is being thrown by the Junior Board of Domus, a non-profit organization that serves struggling youth in the region. At their charter schools in Stamford and New Haven, Domus creates programs that allow vulnerable kids to forge a pathway to health, opportunity, and satisfying lives.    

This year, Domus seniors achieved a 100% high school graduation rate.  (Click to learn more of their amazing success stories.)

Domus has always enjoyed a productive partnership with the food community.  In the past, their Trafigura Work and Learn program has sold garden and greenhouse produce at local farmers markets and to restaurants like The Whelk in Westport and Columbus Park Trattoria in Stamford as well as David’s Catering.

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Pizza Excellence and More at Mondo in Middletown

Growing up, we had no shortage of good pizza in Middletown. Not surprising, given the number of Italians who call this city home. But over time, many of the old favorites I loved as a kid—Marino's, Giovanni's, D&S (for scacciata)—were no more.

Then Mondo came to town in 2010. “Great, another Italian place,” I thought. And apparently, I wasn’t alone. I recently met with Keith Vibert, owner of Mondo. “Before we were even open, a woman stuck her head in and asked, What kind of restaurant is this going to be? When we told her it was going to be an Italian/pizza place, she threw her hands in the air and walked out.”

But once we had a taste, we were sold. From creative salads and appetizers to panini and pizza, Mondo offers something for everyone. There are no bad choices here. And though it just happens to be my pizza home away from home, people come from everywhere to enjoy a meal with friends and family—or on a date. That’s pretty much what Mondo is all about.

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New Haven's Historic Bar Reopens: Welcome Back Anchor Spa

It's back.

Anchor Spa, one of New Haven's most iconic drinking establishments has been brought back to life thanks to Yale alumnus and restauranteur Karl Franz Williams (67 Orange Street, Solomon & Kuff). Renovated with an emphasis on evoking the 1930's spirit of the original Anchor Spa while infusing the space with thoughtful modern touches, Anchor Spa is poised to take its place among Connecticut's most stylish and storied bars.  

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Three Mason Jar Layered Salad Cups via Marcia Selden Catering

Photo credit - Robin Selden for Marcia Selden Catering

This is an anything-but-boring (and super easy!) way to serve a salad on the go.  Perfect for picnics or beach BBQ’s. Buy a case of inexpensive mason jars at the grocery store and start layering with your favorite ingredients and dressings! 

Kale Shrimp Caesar

Yield: 6 Mason Jars


  • 9 C Shredded Kale (1.5 C per Jar)
  • 3 C Shaved Parmesan (1/2 C per Jar)
  • 3 C Croutons (1/2 C per Jar)
  • 24 21/25 Shrimp, Tail Off (4 per Jar)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 T Lemon Juice
  • 8 T EVOO
  • 3 T Parsley, Chopped
  • 3 T Chives, Thinly Sliced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Caesar Dressing

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Weekly Nibble: CT Food Events & Happenings For July 10-16


Stonebridge Restaurant and Wines and More Milford are teaming up for a 6-Course Wine Dinner on Tuesday July 12.  Dishes include local cheeses, charcuterie, and pine nut pesto salmon.  Some of the wine selections are Mionetto Gran Rosé, Château Les Tourelles de Longueville Pauillac, and Orin Swift Abstract.  It costs $75 per person (tax and gratuity included). For the full menu, wine list, and details, please see:

Fleishers Craft Butchery in Westport is pleased to announce a new Summer Grilling Series!  Each class includes an explanation about cuts of meat, a hands-on burger making tutorial, a look at seasonings and sauces, and of course… eating!  You’ll even enjoy a summer beer.  The first class takes place on Tuesday July 12 at 7pm.  It costs $100 and tickets are available online:

Wednesday July 13 is National Yoga Day.  Celebrate with Half Full Brewery in Stamford at their “Yoga for Hoptimists” evening.  A $16 ticket includes a 50 minute yoga class and open beer taps.  Bonus: Some proceeds will go to help NGO AFESIP Cambodia start a yoga program for women and girls.

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CTbites Invites: Happy Hour on the Kawa Ni Rooftop for $39

Are you still kicking yourself for missing the CTbites Happy Hour on the Patio at Artisan last month?  No worries… CTbites is excited to offer a second chance to celebrate Summer 2016,  this time on the wonderful outdoor rooftop patio of Kawa Ni Westport on Wednesday July 13th from 5:30-7:30 pm      ( Raindate Thursday July 14th )  Buy your tickets here

Overlooking the Saugatuck River, and watching the boats, kayaks and paddleboarders drift by is a special bonus to the evening which for $39 includes Chef Jeff Taibe's creative and delicious appetizers and two beverages of your choice.  Enhancing the patio experience are two familiar faces, Carissa and Maddy, from The Stand Juice Bar. They bring with them both their sparkling personalities, as well as some of The Stands juices and a specialty cocktail blend called "Pick Your Poison", to enjoy while nibbling Kawa Ni's Izakaya appetizers like :

Pork Spring Rolls
Mini Tofu Pockets
Peekytoe Crab Rangoon
Ebi Sticks
Kani Salad
Broccoli Salad

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