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BEST TACOS IN CT...The only guide you need this summer. 

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Wednesday
Jun252014

Espresso Neat to Open 2nd Location in Westport: Coffee by Day, Craft Cocktails by Night

Coffee and cocktail drinkers unite at the latest hotspot in Westport, C.T. From the owner of Espresso NEAT in Darien comes NEAT, the collaborative concept experience where coffee enthusiasts can enjoy Connecticut’s finest during the day and cocktail drinkers can wind down at night. NEAT will be located at 6 Wilton Road in Westport as part of the National Hall re-development. The bar is expected to be open in early August from 7:00 a.m. -12:00 a.m.

Customers will receive the exceptional, distinctive coffees and popular offerings that they have come to expect from Espresso NEAT by day, as well as innovative breakfast and lunch offerings prepared in-house. By night, patrons will be able to enjoy well-tailored cocktails. Both coffee and cocktails will be crafted in the constant pursuit of excellence with regard to ingredients and skillful preparation.

The NEAT bar will have an innovative spirits program including artisanal beer featuring seasonal craft beers and carefully selected wines that allow patrons to “take a trip around the world” in order to expand their palate. A selection of simple and locally cultivated house crafted bar snacks will also be available with new takes on traditional bar food.  There will be live music from local artists with a strong focus on Jazz, Bluegrass and Folk.

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Wednesday
Jun252014

Azuca and Gastro Bar Open Tonight in Stamford

The Grand Opening and celebration of the two newest additions to downtown Stamford occurs tonight as Azuca and Gastro Bar open their doors to the public at 5:30 pm with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony Mayor David Martin.

The brainchildren of Mario Lopez, a co-owner of Wilton's Bianco Rosso, his wife Cristina Ramirez and several brothers, the side-by-side restaurants, Azuca and Gastro Bar are located at 78 West Park Place. The celebration begins at 5:30 pm; reservations for the Grand Opening are not necessary and admission is free.

The four Lopez brothers relocated to Connecticut from Ecuador two decades ago and worked their way up the ranks in the restaurant trade, most recently managing the sleek, Italian-style Bianco Rosso, which opened in 2012 and received a "Very Good" rating from the New York Times.

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Wednesday
Jun252014

Chef Brian Lewis Brings elm restaurant to Millstone Farm

This summer, Chef Brian Lewis brings the tables of elm restaurant to Millstone Farm to share the flavors of the season with a new series of farm dinners under the stars. Millstone’s beautiful landscape will set the stage for a 4-course feast of seasonally-driven cuisine. Each event will begin at 6 p.m. with small bites, lawn games, live music and farm tours for the entire family. See dates below:

Tickets are $35 per child and $135 per adult, BYOB, tax and gratuity included. Limited family-style seating. Reserve at info@elmrestaurant.com or call 203.920.4994. Reservations will be accepted one month prior to each event.  For more information, please visit the event page at www.elmrestaurant.com.

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Wednesday
Jun252014

Old School Pizzeria in Fairfield c/o The Lunch Break Chronicles

Photo: Keith Whamond

Hearst Newspaper's Lunch Break Chronicles is where we often go to find hidden gems in Fairfield County. Brett Mickelson recently visited the latest pizza parlor with a familiar chef—Derek Furino, formerly of Behind the Net in Darien and John Dough's Pizza Bar in Norwalk has moved on to become a partner in Old School Pizzeria in Fairfield. 

Here's the report from Brett:

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Tuesday
Jun242014

And The Winner of the Match Cocktail Naming Contest Is....

Chef Matt Storch and Mixologist, Adam Patrick, have made a decision regarding the summer cocktail that over 150 CTbites readers attempted to name. There were some solid choices out there from people all over CT, but we are pleased to announce that...

The winner of the Match Cocktail Naming Contest is Frank Doherty with his winning name "Da Plane, Da Plane." Get the reference?  

A huge thank you to all those who participated, and we will be back soon with another Cocktail Naming Contest later this summer. 

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Tuesday
Jun242014

Ridgefield High School Student Christopher DiFabio Spins Pizza Pies for a Cause

Ridgefield High School Junior Christopher DiFabio will take over the pizza kitchen at ReNapoli in Old Greenwich on June 28 at 3 pm for an hour-long pizza-making competition to raise money for the charity Full Courts Peace. DiFabio will will race the clock, making as many pizzas as possible within the hour. He is asking for sponsors to pledge a dollar for each pizza produced. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Christopher is the son of six-time world pizza champion Bruno DiFabio, owner of 10 pizzerias around the country including ReNapoli and Pinocchio pizzerias in Wilton and New Canaan.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the building of a basketball court in Havana, which he plans to visit in the fall. He is asking for sponsors to pledge a dollar for each pizza produced. Connecticut residents interested in supporting the cause can contact christopherdifabio@aol.com or Bruno@pizzascience.com, or drop by ReNapoli to submit a pledge. All pledgers are invited to attend a pizza party reception at 7pm, where Christopher and Bruno DiFabio’s award-winning pizzas will be served.

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Monday
Jun232014

Rooftop Fireworks Party hosted by The Spread SoNo July 3rd

Avoid the traffic and the crowds and help celebrate Independence Day on THURSDAY JULY 3rd* from 6:30-10 pm on the rooftop in SoNo hosted by the boys of The Spread. For $65 pp, you get FREE parking, passed appetizers, full dinner, sangria, Thimble Island Beer and American Harvest Vodka drinks, and admission to the best fireworks in CT, viewed from the roof of the N Water St Parking structure across from Maritime Aquarium! View the complete menu below:

Supported by the The Norwalk Parking Authority, and presented by Spread Out Catering, The Spread Executive Chef Carlos Baez will create a special menu just for this event, and there will even be an after party just down the street at The Spread with live music.

Grab some friends and party till you are red, white and blue in the face! 
There is even discounted pricing available for groups of 6 or of 10. Group of 6 gets over 10% off, and groups of 10 over 15% off!

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Sunday
Jun222014

Connecticut's Best Dairy Farm Ice Cream: 2014 Edition

With summer finally here, we have updated and expanded our annual roundup of the best dairy farm ice cream in Connecticut.  

You can’t get closer to farm fresh ice cream than tasting it at farm.  Not only do you see the cows, you whiff them, and that aroma is part of the authenticity of the experience, if not the charm.  Sure, these farms aren’t close by.  But WTD.  They’re “Worth The Drive”   And worth the lick: usually the freshest, creamiest, and most flavorful retail ice cream available in Connecticut.

While Chocolate and Vanilla remain cash cows, dairy farms also offer a greater array of flavors than you’ll find at parlors or in the supermarket freezer case.  In fact, farmers have begun to rival restaurant chefs for sheer inventiveness and culinary dairying-doo.

So, for your and your family’s guilty or innocent pleasures, we submit our favorite cow-to-cone  ice creams …

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Friday
Jun202014

Win Two Seats to Napa & Chef Elizabeth Falkner Pizza Party

Win 2 tickets to Napa & Co. when Chef Adam Truelove and Owner Mary Schaffer welcome celebrity Chef Elizabeth Falkner on Friday June 27th for "THE FRIDAY NIGHT PIZZA PARTY" from 6 to 9pm.

Just place a comment on this post and CTbites will randomly choose a winner to receive two tickets to this incredible event. Contest closes on Wednesday June 25 at 9PM Eastern.

See what this night has in store for you here.

 

THE WINNER IS MITCHELLS!!!!  CONGRATULATIONS.

 

Friday
Jun202014

Secrets of a Supermarket: The Science of Selling

There exists an arcane branch of psychology dubbed “Supermarket Science." To uncover the secrets of how and why we buy our groceries, researchers treat a supermarket floor as a behavioral lab. They track such factors as our route through the store, our eyeball movement in the aisles, even our conversation at the checkout counter. As a result, nothing in a supermarket is there by happenstance. 

So how much does a supermarket play the customer?  Encourage you to buy more?

To find out, we asked Robert Reinisch the manger of Stamford's Fairway market to candidly talk about his store’s selling strategies. We chose Fairway not only to take advantage of Reinisch's openness and passion to do well by his customers, but also because it’s a food-centric supermarket. No banks, no pharmacy, no kitchenware, not even a loyalty card (another window on your personal buying habits.) 

We asked Robert about the first axiom of Supermarket Science: “The more time spent in the store, the more money spent in a store.” 

"Absolutely we want the customer to spend as much time as possible here," Reinisch allowed. "Our average shopping trip lasts about an hour."

 Wow, that's 50% longer than the national average of 40 minutes.  What’s Fairway’s secret?  Appealing to a customer’s basic emotions.

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