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Entries in American (58)

Sunday
Jan222017

Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar Opens In Wilton: American Fare with a Twist

Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar is the sort of place you want to wander into on a winter’s day with its warm, welcoming reclaimed wood interior accompanied by the nostalgic aroma of decades-old wood burning ovens and fireplaces. The restaurant, which opened at the end of last summer, greets a steady stream of diners throughout the day and well into the night, as I was witness to when I went to meet owners Cristina Ramirez and Mario Lopez. 

Located in the heart of Wilton and easily accessible from all surrounding towns, Craft 14 offers a fare of traditional American comfort food with a twist. Designed by Cristina, the interior evokes a traditional country ease with a bit of modern urbanity. The generously sized bar, also fitted with reclaimed lumber, lines the far wall of the restaurant. Even though it is just late afternoon, the bar has already started to embrace those eager to end their day early. 

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Friday
Jan062017

Rye House to Add to the Eclectic Port Chester Dining Scene

The folks from Rye House wanted to share some recent updates. This is not a CTbites review but a head's up to restaurants in the area. 

Located in a historical building, circa 1890, whose antique brick façade and grand door arches frame the corner of Willett Avenue and North Main Street in the New York City suburb of Port Chester, Rye House (opened in 2015) is named after the American distilled spirit and the spirit of an American neighborhood tavern. Spearheaded by Our House Hospitality, whose eating and drinking establishments include the original Rye House and Sala One Nine, Tapas Bar & Restaurant, both located in the Flatiron district of New York. Rye House Port Chester pulls no punches – instead, it offers a break from the norm, with good food and drink at the forefront.

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Tuesday
Dec202016

Brunching at The National in Greenwich

Christmas was in the air in Greenwich this past weekend as the town’s Annual Holiday Stroll offered something for everyone: a chance to meet Santa, a ride in a horse drawn carriage, and for me, the opportunity to try out The National’s Holiday Brunch. 

I had not yet been to Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s newest and his first restaurant in Greenwich. The celebrity chef has appeared on The Today ShowGood Morning America, and CBS Morning Show and has starred in many Food Network programs including Chopped, The Next Iron Chef and Cooks vs. Cons, the network’s newest show.  

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Tuesday
Nov222016

Guy Fieri’s Foxwoods Kitchen + Bar at Foxwoods Opens Nov. 25th

Foxwoods® Resort Casino, Big Night Entertainment Group (BNEG) and Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri are excited to announce the opening of Guy Fieri’s Foxwoods Kitchen + Bar at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Friday, November 25 at 11:00 a.m.

This fall, chef, restaurateur, author and host of Food Network’s top-rated show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, is bringing his love affair with food to BNEG’s impressive roster of award-winning dining and entertainment venues which include GEM Italian Kitchen, Nightclub & Lounge, Red Lantern Boston, Red Lantern Foxwoods, Scorpion Bar Patriot Place, Scorpion Bar Foxwoods, High Rollers Luxury Lanes & Lounge, Shrine, and Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge. The new restaurant is located on the casino level of the Grand Pequot Tower. 

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Thursday
Oct272016

The National & Geoffrey Zakarian’s First Year in Greenwich + New Prix Fixe Lunch 

With its new, 3 course prix fixe lunch, The National offers a commodity not always found along “The Ave” in Greenwich: a real bargain.

CTBites was recently invited to sample the new lunch menu, and we’ll fill you in on that delicious deal in a moment. But first, we wondered how the restaurant has evolved since it opened a year ago. So we asked owner and celebrity chef, Geoffrey Zakarian.

"We are never on auto pilot," the restaurateur told us. "And we always listen to the needs and wants of the customers. One change that people are loving is that we put French Fries on the menu. We started with homemade chips, but the fries are a huge hit. Sometimes, it is just those small things that people embrace."

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Sunday
Oct232016

CRAVE in Fairfield: Creative American Fare 

While Crave Restaurant in Fairfield may seem off the beaten path, it is conveniently located adjacent to the Fairfield Theatre Company and combines a hip vibe with a menu offering a wide array of options from a simple Mac & Cheese to a robust Chicken Scarpariello. The brainchild of owners Peter Prizio and Alfonso Cammarota, the owners’ concept was simple; create a restaurant and bar where everyone would feel at home and serve a global menu with bold flavors. The restaurant consists of two rooms. To the left is a traditional dining area with tables and high-tops and to the right is a bar, with large HDTVs and a U-shaped bar. Overseeing the kitchen is Executive Chef Rigo Lino; many will remember Chef Lino from the Mansion Clam House in Westport. His menu combines his Salvadoran heritage with the owners’ Italian roots.

CTbites was invited to a media event where, over the course of the evening, I enjoyed many of the chef’s creations.

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Sunday
Oct162016

The Corner Restaurant in Milford: A Delicious Breakfast Adventure

Photo courtesy of CTWeekender.comAs the name implies, The Corner began as a small mom and pop breakfast place -- just around the corner in Milford.  Back then, nineteen years ago to be exact, Michelle and Amer Lebel mostly catered to the neighborhood, rarely filling their homey 50 seat café.

The eggs, potatoes and toast were damn good. But the star of the show arrived with the Stuffed French Toast: split French bread, filled with fresh, sugared fruit and berries, bathed in an egg batter laced with orange zest, nutmeg and cinnamon, then deep fried to a golden brown and served under a puddle of nutty maple syrup. The luscious confection scored an immediate hit, eventually inspiring a morning menu as adventuresome, imaginative, and playful as any in Connecticut, if not the country.

Today, Michelle and Amer’s creative breakfasts have been featured on network television and celebrated in all manner of social media.

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Sunday
Oct092016

Chef Arik Bensimon Returns at Cafe 47 in Greenwich

Many of us felt a sense of loss when Le Farm closed and Chef Arik Bensimon decided to pursue his other passion and create beautiful wood bowls. His brilliance in the kitchen, combining ingredients and textures as only great chefs can do, would be missed. Quietly and with no fanfare, Chef Arik has re-entered the Fairfield County food scene, at a small café in The Perfect Provenance in Greenwich, where his latest venture again proves his culinary talents in an environment dedicated to luxury and charity. When we spoke to him after the meal we asked him about this intimate space versus some of the larger restaurants he has worked in. He stated that he wanted this size, a place to serve the foods from his past.

The Perfect Provenance is the brainchild of Greenwich resident Lisa Lori, whose personal mission is to ensure every child can smile. All three of her sons were born with a rare condition, one of the prevented them from smiling. Numerous surgeries eventually corrected each and now Lori’s Three Little Bears project donates a percentage of the proceeds from T-shirts and bags to Operation Smile. These products are featured throughout the Perfect Provenance and have raised over $1 million to Operation Smile. The store is a perfect place for luxurious products and cuisine.

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Friday
Sep022016

First Taste: El Segundo Opens in Sono Starring The Spread's Carlos Baez

Recently the CTbites team previewed the menu at El Segundo in South Norwalk, the newest restaurant from the talented partners who created The Spread just up the block. The concept:  Eat the Street. Intersect some of the world’s tastiest street food at the corner of Washington and North Water in SONO. 

What began as a tasting quickly turned into a party ... a coming out party for Carlos Baez, Executive Chef of The Spread, one of the region’s most versatile, yet unheralded, chefs. 

The menu flaunts Baez’ extraordinary range -- a gastronomic tour de force featuring over 3 dozen dishes curated from the boulevards and back allies of 27 countries on all seven continents, including barren Antarctica. (More about that selection later)   

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Sunday
Feb282016

Pearl at Longshore Splashes Onto The Westport Restaurant Scene

After a great deal of anticipation, the newest restaurant to grace The Inn at Longshore, Pearl, opened its doors last Monday. The restaurant’s cosmopolitan appearance isn’t what one might expect in a seaside community.  There are coastal elements of course, repurposed bleached wood lines the wall behind the bar which also houses a recycled glass countertop that’s very much reminiscent of sea glass. But Pearl will never be mistaken for a casual seasonal, seaside eatery; it’s much too stylish for such.  The atmosphere perfectly reflects the personality of the town, sophisticated without being overly formal. Beyond the clean lines of the interior lies the magnificent view of the Long Island Sound. If you’re lucky enough to be there at sunset be prepared to have your breath taken away.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Michael Hazen on a quiet Thursday afternoon. If his name rings a bell, the innovative chef launched the concept for the Bartaco restaurants. At Pearl he sets out to create a menu that is inspirational and reflective of today’s lifestyle, clean and simple with a modern approach. He offers food that is familiar while pushing the envelope just slightly to offer an element of surprise. Chef stressed the importance offering items that are local and seasonal. 

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