Farm to Table is a word we in CT try not to take too lightly. The current food movement encourages both chefs and diners to choose fresh produce, seasonal vegetables and fruits and locally sourced meat and fish. Parallel Post, in the Trumbull Marriott, and helmed by James Beard nominated chef James Dean Max, believes in strengthening the farming community and engages local purveyors for a majority of it’s ingredients- seafood from Norm Bloom & Sons in Norwalk, CT, Foley Fish in Boston, meats from Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury, CT, dairy from Farmer’s Cow in Lebanon, CT and greens from Gilberties Herb Gardens in Easton and Westport, CT.
Going out for a meal can be an incredibly rewarding experience. There is a reason restaurants are a popular spot for a night out and a number of people proudly refer to themselves as “foodies.” However, it can also be a downright chore. Do I brave the downtown traffic? Where do I park my car? How do I get there? Will there be a table for me?
Lugano Wine Bar and Salumeria, newly opened in Greenwich, alleviates all of those hassles. The Italian inspired restaurant sits just off of exit 6 from I-95 on East Putnam Avenue in Riverside, far removed from the droves of people downtown. It has its own lot next to the restaurant for easy parking as well as a valet service.
Indoors, the space is approachable, yet impressive. When you walk through the front doors, you enter a spacious bar with plenty of seating and room to stand and mingle. Wine glasses elegantly line the bar’s counter, as if inviting patrons in for a drink.
Just off of the bar to the right is a large dining room with high ceilings and a dome that serves as a skylight. It is light and open, lined with large windows. Lugano even boasts a private dining room for special functions, or for guests who prefer a quiet dining experience.
The lovely space was the impetus for the restaurant.
The freshest beer news, delivered weekly, is one of my goals with Friday Froth. Tender, green shoots of hop aroma and flavor, seeded by the brewer, come to full fruition the moment you crack a young IPA, and tend to wilt when left to languish on a shelf. The hop plant is like knowledge that way, reaching its true potential when you use it to water yourself.
Bursting through the dewy soil of Connecticut's beer scene this week was a new leaf in the form of Shower Beer from Kent Falls Brewery. How new are we talking? The five gallon pilot batch sampled by myself and others at the latest Beers At The Beach event in Norwalk was the only one in existence, for now.
On Tuesday July 21, The Weekend Kitchen in Essex presents “Chill’n and Grill’n” with Chef Jenn Magrey. From 6:30-10pm, learn dishes like grilled Succo-Squash salad, planked captain Cod filets with herb lemon butter sauce, and Greek chicken. It costs $75 per person.
On Tuesday nights, bring your own bottle of wine to accompany a Chef’s tasting menu at Morello Italian Bistro in Greenwich. There will be no corkage fee for guests enjoying the special menu (guests not ordering it will be charged a $25 corkage fee.)
Starting July 23, City Limits Diner is bringing BBQ to Westchester with a special menu including dry-rubbed ribs, sides such as braised greens, and homemade desserts. The summer specials last until August 6.
Thursday July 23 is Uinta Night at Cask Republic New Haven.
If there is one sound that can make you think of a hot summer day, it is the clink of ice in a big, tall glass. Ka-chink, clink, clink. Does a fizzy sound follow on the heels of those ka-chinks? Is there a ker-plop of a citrus wedge tumbling into that cool pool of refreshing, fizzy goodness? Ahhhh...and this is the sound that follows all of those...Ahhhh. Hello, icy cold craft beer, hello tart and tingly gin and tonic, hello creamy pina. It’s so nice to see you again.
To make you overflow with summer lovin’, we have found spirit shops around the state that will put the ka-chink-clink-clink in your future...
Chef Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave CEO and Founder, joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama, WGBH, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a judge in the fourth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge early this year.
The aim of the lunchtime challenge is to promote culinary education and healthy eating among youth across the country. On July 9 and 10th, Chef Nischan participated in a day-long welcome event for the 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners, demoing some of his favorite, affordable and healthy recipes, and attending the Kids “State Dinner” at the White House.
The news seems to just get better and better for Connecticut beer lovers.
As of this month, growler sales are legal in Connecticut at bars and restaurants. Growlers—64-ounce or 32-ounce (half growler) jugs that are filled with draft beer—have long been a popular take home option at Connecticut breweries (when filled properly without excess air, growlers preserve the draft flavor of a beer). However, until now, in Connecticut the only place to get growler fills has been at breweries.
Though a clear boon to beer enthusiasts, the law change raises some complex questions for elite beer bars about pricing (if they charge $7 or $9 a pint for premium craft beer, how much would a growler fill cost?), quality control (an improperly filled growler does not keep beer fresh long at all) and staffing (can they afford to have an employee filling growlers on a crowded Friday or Saturday night?). As a result of these and other questions, Connecticut beer bars seem split on whether or not to proceed with growler fills.
Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford just opened a new craft beer and bourbon bar at its current space. Originally the plan was to have 72 beers on tap but when news of growler sales being legalized hit, owner Gerard Robertson upped it to 85 tap lines.
Tix On Sale for Westport Farmers’ Market 2nd “Mystery” Fundraiser w/ Chefs Arik Bensimon, Matt Storch, James Cooper & Geoff Lazlo
Four spectacular events to celebrate the seasons. These special events will be filled with the best chefs, farmers and food around and will occur once a season (spring, summer, winter and fall) to highlight the delights of each season. What more could a locavore ask for? Tickets for the next event can be purchased on July 15th here.
The locations for the next event are top secret but CTbites has the line-up of chefs for the July 26th event...and they are good! Matt Storch, James Cooper, Geoff Lazlo and Arik Bensimon and a few special guests that will be left to surprise and delight.
When Sal and Forrest invite you to a summer tasting menu, you say yes first and ask questions later. That would be Sal Bagliavio, owner of Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield, and Forrest Pasternack, the restaurant’s executive chef. The two have been the creative force behind the restaurant’s New American menu since its reinvention just two years ago.
The story of Bailey’s actually goes back to 1999 when Sal, a chef himself, renovated the then coffee shop into a beloved Ridgefield restaurant that he ran for over a decade. Eager for a new chapter but happy to remain in Ridgefield, he reimagined it as a New American restaurant driven by seasonal ingredients and local purveyors in 2013. Over the past two years, Bailey’s has solidified its place in the Fairfield County dining scene thanks to the adventurous culinary spirit of Chef Pasternack and the dedication of Bagliavio.
Miya's Sushi in New Haven, led by Chef Bun Lai, is launching a first-of-it's-kind CSA/Fishery set to launch this August. Membership includes a monthly delivery of 6-8 servings of seafood for 5 months at a cost of $800, with delivery included (free to New Haven area, additional costs may apply to regions beyond). Here is the announcement and details from Bun Lai:
Miya’s Sushi is thrilled to announce the first installment of the member-driven Allies in Sustainable Food. This first season will be limited to a dozen memberships, beginning in August and ending in December of 2015.
By being a member of Allies in Sustainable Food, you are supporting the experimentation and research of a small, local, innovative restaurant. Due to high food and labor costs, Miya’s operates on a thin margin, so your financial support will go directly into the development of our most groundbreaking off-the-menu approaches to sustainable eating.