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Entries in American (31)

Sunday
Aug172014

Washington Prime Opens in Sono: Bustling Bar & Creative Food

Washington Prime recently opened at the entrance to the SONO “Ironworks” on the corner of Washington and North Water Streets and is already garnering positive feedback and enormous crowds each night. CTbites offered a sneak peek a couple of weeks ago and recently re-visited this high energy and bustling establishment on two separate occasions to sample the food.

Self-described as an Eating + Drinking Well, Washington Prime reflects the collective vision of locals and co-owners Rob Moss and Marco Siguenza. Moss, a native of New Canaan, is no stranger to opening high energy restaurants in Fairfield County, overseeing many over the last ten years. Siguenza is the epitome of the American dream, starting as a busboy at Match Restaurant and now 16 years later one of the owners of Washington Prime, a neighboring restaurant. The kitchen is overseen by Executive Chef Jared Falco, classically trained at the French Culinary Institute. Before moving to Fairfield County, Chef Falco honed his culinary skills at Daniel and WD-50 in NYC. The trio are now working closely to present a vibrant bar scene with delicious interpretations of tradition cuisine.

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Saturday
Jul262014

Washington Prime Opens in SONO: A First Look

The corner of North Water and Washington was alive in South Norwalk this week with the opening of Washington Prime. A soft opening on Thursday led to a throng of over 300 guests wandering in to enjoy the vibrant scene at the bar and the reservation book for Friday filled so quickly, it was shut earlier than expected. This latest addition to SONO is attracting enormous attention and a visit inside and a look at the menu shows why.

The interior includes an enormous “U” shaped bar to unwind and enjoy a beer or one of their specialty cocktails and the dining area that spans the entire length of the right side of the restaurant is heavily focused on woods and foliage. Floor to ceiling windows allow for natural light to illuminate the space, comprised of dark wood tables and “moss” encased booths. All very organic and relaxing.

The ownership of Washington Prime is no stranger to the area. One of its owners, Marco Siguenza, is cousins with the owners of Cava, Harvest, 55 Wine Bar and Scena and worked with them since he arrived in the United States in 1998. The kitchen is under the direction of Executive Chef Jared Falco, spent time in several of Fairfield County’s restaurants over the last two years from Bar Sugo, to The Whelk, and most recently Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge. His opening menu shows a desire to place a modern twist on some classic dishes. 

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Sunday
Jun082014

Farm to Table @ Bailey's Backyard in Ridgefield

Bailey’s Backyard opened in 1999, the brainchild of Chef Sal Bagliavio, who oversaw the kitchen for fourteen years. Wanting to spend more time with his family he hired Executive Chef Forrest Pasternack in early 2013 to develop a farm-to-table menu, focused on locally produced ingredients.

Born and raised in Western Connecticut, Chef Pasternack’s love of fresh ingredients developed at an early age. His childhood included picking vegetables, fishing the waters of Nantucket Sound, and digging clams in Chatham, Mass.: all to enjoy at family dinner. This passion was both enhanced and refined when he graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America. Post-graduation he sharpened his culinary skills at some of New York’s finest restaurants, including Zoe with Chef David Honeysett, the BLT Restaurant Group with Chef Laurent Tourendel, Eats on Lexington with Chef Jeremy Spector, Employee’s Only and The Brindle Room. His passion for the farm-to-table movement inspired his menus at The SOHO Grand Hotel in lower Manhattan and Terra Restaurant in Greenwich. Since joining Baily’s Backyard, he has dazzled guests with creative combinations and bold flavors.

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Thursday
Mar202014

Napa & Company Gets a New Chef: Adam Truelove at the Helm

Since opening in 2006, Napa & Co. has received numerous accolades as one of the best restaurants in Connecticut with a creative and inventive menu. Co-Owner Mary Schaffer told CTbites that her vision from the start has been the “wine country cuisine of Northern California…flavorful, fresh, simply prepared food with its roots based from the European influence of wine growers coming to the area from Spain, France and Italy over the last 100 years.” The restaurant prides itself on “blend(ing) the cultures” of various cuisines. Schaffer also has a keen eye for culinary talent and last year she hired and handed oversight of the kitchen to Executive Chef Adam Truelove.

Chef Adam earned a degree in Mathematics before following his culinary passion and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. After graduation, he honed his skills at Town and Esca Restaurants before returning to the FCI as a Chef Instructor. He relocated to the Fairfield County area as the opening Sous Chef at Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, the Executive Chef at Pine Social in New Canaan and eleven 14 Kitchen in Greenwich as the Chef du Cuisine. Last year Napa & Co. reached out to Chef Adam and asked him to join its team to oversee the kitchen as Executive Chef.

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Sunday
Mar022014

Graham Elliot's Primary Food & Drink Opens in Greenwich: Outstanding & Creative Cuisine

Primary Food & Drink, the newest member of Master Chef Graham Elliot’s expanding restaurant group, opened in Greenwich this past December under the direction of Executive Chef and Managing Partner Merlin Verrier. The restaurant is serving some of the most innovative and imaginative interpretations of traditional recipes using unique combinations and ingredients.

With six Michelin stars in his portfolio, Chef Verrier worked under several of the great chefs in America. His culinary experience included stops in his native California, Oregon and Colorado where he was eventually noticed by James Beard Award winner Chef Jennifer Jasinski and promoted to Sous Chef at her Rioja Restaurant. His travels brought him to Chicago in 2008 where his business relationship with Chef Elliot commenced. One month after joining Chef Elliot, he was promoted to Sous Chef and a year later he was overseeing the kitchen as Chef du Cuisine where he received his first Michelin star. Chef Verrier now brings his magical cuisine to Fairfield County.

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Sunday
Nov032013

Post 154 Opens in Westport in Old Post Office Building

CTbites recently attended a press dinner at Post 154 in Westport to sample numerous selections from its award winning Chef Alex Rosado's introductory menu. Overall the dishes were visually artistic in their construct and many presented delicious flavors.

All reviews of Post 154 must include a little history of the building. The 1935 cornerstone outside the entrance commemorates the site’s original purpose as the Westport Post Office, constructed under The New Deal during the Great Depression. Architect Lansing Colton Holden Jr., a World War I flying ace who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, designed the building upon his return from battle. The building’s new ownership redesigned the spacious interior with a combination of wood paneling, flowing drapes and relics from the early 1900’s surrounding the tables. A large U-Shaped bar, with over 250 seats, occupies the entire left side and leads to an inviting patio that allows for al fresco dining in warmer weather.

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Sunday
Apr142013

Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen in West Hartford

Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen

Cuisine: American, Tapas, Wine Bar, West Hartford
Price: Small plates range $3.95 - $17.95
Our Highlights: wine, charcuterie, tapas
Hours: Kitchen open Mon – Wed 4-10pm, Thurs: 4-11pm, Fri-Sat: 4-12pm (Bar open late Mon-Sat) Sun: Kitchen & Bar 4-9pm
Online: Official Website | Facebook

 Small plates reach new heights at Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen, where food is anything but secondary. Add 68 wines by the glass and you’re well on your way to finding that perfect pairing. Sister restaurant to The Federal in Agawam, Vinted burst onto the West Hartford dining scene in late 2012 when owners Ralph Santaniello and Michael Presnal launched their newest venture in Blueback Square. A classy vibe, inventive array of modern American tapas, and encyclopedic wine list leaves little, if anything, to be desired.  

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Sunday
Apr072013

Harvest Wine Bar Opens in Downtown Greenwich

Harvest Wine Bar, located on the lower end of Greenwich Avenue, elevates the restaurant offerings in downtown Greenwich to a much higher level. The Sigueza brothers, Vicente and Kleber, can now add another fantastic restaurant to their portfolio, which includes Cave Wine Bar in New Canaan, Scena Wine Bar in Darien and 55 Wine Bar in Fairfield. A beautiful casual dining space in the front area is dominated by a large brick wall and accentuated with wood tables and chairs.  You can continue walking to the rear of the restaurant and enjoy the long bar or tables, all with views through the large west-facing windows lining the entire rear wall of the restaurant.

Overseeing the kitchen is Chef Eben Leonard who is migrating from Scena Wine Bar where CTbites enjoyed his creativity and culinary talent on numerous occasions. His opening menu combines aspects from southern Europe, with a modern twist, to American classics.

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Sunday
Feb032013

Community Table in Washington CT

In the Litchfield County town of Washington, the two-year old Community Table and its team led by Executive Chef Joel Viehland, stands at the center of a tight network of farmers, foragers and discerning diners. Born from agrarian collaboration rather than co-opting it, Community Table was built around the notion that a restaurant serving its community must not only serves its diners, but act with respectful stewardship of the land. This translates to sourcing seasonally, locally and sustainably, as well as pickling, drying, fermenting and composting.

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Wednesday
Jan302013

Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant Opens This Week in Greenwich

Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant, the latest venture of the Sigueza brothers, Vicente and Kleber, owners of Scena Restaurant in Darien, Cava Wine Bar & Restaurant in New Canaan and 55 Degrees in Fairfield, opens this week in Greenwich at 372 Greenwich Avenue. With large windows beckoning the guests, the modern interior is dominated by wood, stone and leather. Wood-topped tables are all hand-made and surrounded by leather backed chairs. Individual lights descend from the ceiling to create a whimsical touch to the otherwise masculine décor. The rear wall is half glass and sunsets will create an inviting end to the day to enjoy one of the signature cocktails with many of the fruit and vegetable additions juiced on site.

The menu is best described as “food inspired by the American tradition,” a steak house that meets Little Italy and embraces the sea and the farm to table movement.

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