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Entries in Cocktails (127)

Thursday
May262016

Kawa Ni Now Offering Patio Dining in Westport

Great news for those looking for a unique outdoor dining spot as we slowly ease our way into the warmer months. The patio above Kawa Ni is officially open for business. What patio, you ask? It may be stealthy, but overlooking the Saugatuck River, and decked with twinkling lights, this small waterside gem is sure to become a go-to spot this summer.  

Here’s the deal. The deck is available via stairs next door to Kawa Ni and is open on a first come first serve basis. Diners can enjoy the full Kawa Ni menu casually served in takeout containers, kinda like a picnic.  The somewhat hidden door and metal stairs have a vague speakeasy vibe, but it’s really just "another way to enjoy Kawa Ni,” says chef/owner, Bill Taibe. 

Enhancing the patio experience are two familiar faces, guest hosts Carissa and Maddy, from The Stand Juice Bar (Norwalk and Fairfield). They bring with them both their sparkling personalities, as well as some of The Stand’s juices and blends to enjoy while looking into the river. 

Speaking of ramen, there will be a few cold menu additions diners can look forward to in the upcoming summer months. Chef Jeff Taibe has been working on cold soba dishes, as well as hiyashi chuka, or cold ramen, topped with a variety of local seasonal veggies and proteins.  

See you up on the patio…if you can find it. 

Sunday
May082016

Dinner & Craft Cocktails At Sugar & Olives in Norwalk: New Spring Menu

Recently some members of The CTBites team and I had the opportunity to revisit and sit together at Sugar and Olives in Norwalk to try out the new springtime menu. For those of you who have not yet visited (what are you waiting for?!) Sugar and Olives was established by Westport resident, Jennifer Balin, in 2008. Her goal was, and remains, to educate diners and cultivate the relationship between farms and families. She is committed to serving local food, and nearly all the items on the generous menu come from within the state, including milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry and fish, as well as wine, beer and spirits.  This three star Certified Green Restaurant serves brunch five days a week and dinner three nights a week. 

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Thursday
Apr142016

Pizza Surf Club is Coming to Fortina Stamford’s Rooftop

There's a new roof top in town. Andrew Dominick of Food Dudes reports on Fortina's new Stamford "Pizza Surf Club."

Remember when Fortina Stamford opened and they were supposed to open that sick rooftop that overlooks the harbor, but then it never happened? We do too. And it hurt, bad. Dreams of eating pizza while overlooking the water at sunset while thinking about life were shattered… but WAIT!!!!! Something is happening and it’s happening soon!

The food will be different, and if you paid attention to their Instagram feed you may have noticed some eclectic items like hot dog tacos and stuff like bags of Doritos with jicama, carrots, cucumbers, candied peanuts, gummy bears, pickled pork skin, hot sauce, crema fresca, avocado, the obligatory Parmesan, sesame, and lime. That's a mouthful, and perfect drunk food. We've also heard whispers that they'll be whipping up fish sticks, Kobe beef corn dogs, and other super creative grub.That rooftop space will be Fortina Surf Club, basically a concept within (or on top of?) a concept, and it's going to be lit, homies. And with a name like "Surf Club," it's probably what you think it is...Tiki-style cocktails complete with little umbrellas? Yes.

The opening party at Pizza Surf Club goes down at Fortina Stamford (120 Washington Blvd.) on Sunday, April 17 at noon. Take note: Pizza Surf Club will be open daily from 12 p.m. - Close after this Sunday, weather permitting.

Read the full article on Food Dudes. 

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Thursday
Mar312016

Spring Saketini Cocktail Recipe from Kawa Ni

It is rumored that the saketini came into being when chef Matsuda San, arriving in Queens for the World's Fair in 1964, unveiled a primitive version of the cocktail. Craig Ventrice, mixologist for Kawa Ni in Westport uses fresh spring sugar snap peas and a hint of lemon in his recipe, giving a vibrant (and slightly addictive) twist to this classic drink. Can't make it to Westport? Craig has been kind enough to share his recipe below

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Friday
Mar182016

Taco Loco Launches New Menu in Bridgeport's Black Rock Neighborhood

It’s time for a bit of trivia!  What was Bridgeport’s first Mexican restaurant?  What was the first Mexican food truck in the state?

The answer to both questions is the same and it might surprise you: Taco Loco!  The restaurant, which now lies on Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock, opened its doors in 1982 by bothers Miguel and Louis Tomasio.  Originally, Taco Loco functioned as a small taco shop located on Main Street.  It served inexpensive Mexican Food late into the night.  As demand grew, the business transformed from counter service to a full scale restaurant.  In 1985 Miguel added a food truck and they moved to their present-day location in 1989.  Taco Loco currently seats 100 guests, has a four season patio, and a coveted food truck.

Now, in 2016, Taco Loco is about to undergo another evolution!  Miguel, along with his son Zachary Tomasio, are releasing a brand new menu aimed at “authenticity and quality.”  With a background in marketing and a fresh perspective, Zachary is ready to explore the latest trends and additional avenues of business.

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Sunday
Mar132016

Baked and Sauced: Vintage Food Truck Serving Craft Cocktails & Dessert

Approaching this gleaming 1968 Airstream, one is met by the two welcoming, smiling souls who commandeer this shining new-fangled-but-vintage food truck. You also can’t help but remember a particular (vintage?) REM song...Shiny Happy People! Or at least, that’s what stuck in my head (and I believe I just showed my age)-how could it not?

Waiting to find just the right Airstream and then taking the better part of a year to refurbish it themselves with ol’ fashioned grit and many a YouTube instructional video, Kathy and Michael McGovern have launched Baked and Sauced, a food truck like none other in our fair state. This once shag-rugged, pleather-filled Airstream has now been lovingly strung with sparkling lights, adorned with sweet flowers in Mason jars that sit upon the serving window, and a charming seating area that serves as a lounge for guests. Picture your ultimate grown-up clubhouse and you get the picture. Add to this charm the fact that this Airstream has...a liquor license. 

Serving saucy desserts and craft cocktails, this truck is serving to the over 21 crowd (and bring I.D., they card)!

 

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Wednesday
Feb242016

Behind The Bar: "Healthy" Cocktail Recipes from Mixologist Adam Patrick

Alcohol is a poison. Well, that escalated quickly. But, let’s face it, it’s delicious, we like drinking it, and as long as we are responsible, in its consumption, there’s nothing wrong with a little fun. But, in this new era of gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, fair trade, free-range, everything, trends are making their way into the alcoholic beverage world, as well. And, as the makers of all things cocktail, we need to embrace the fresh and healthy, as well as the indulgent. 

I take the same approach to cocktail design that I take to cooking a meal. Always source, and use, the best ingredients you can. Remember, “garbage in, garbage out.” While pasteurized, from-concentrate, juices are easy to obtain, squeezing, or juicing fresh, is always preferable. But the effort doesn’t stop there. Freshly picked strawberries, grown locally, should be chosen over store-bought. Citrus can be easily found in the supermarket, but a local market, or small distributor, will always have fresher, more vibrant products. A good rule of thumb is to think small, and work your way larger. Using fruits and foods in season, will always lend a better product, than not. Seasonal cocktail menus (as well as food menus,) at restaurants and bars, change seasonally for this reason. A strawberry margarita looks out of place on January’s drink list, but lands right at home in July.

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Friday
Feb052016

Happy Hour at Basso Café in Norwalk

Basso Café exudes an easy intimacy that comes with a chef-owned restaurant whose reassuring presence is felt both in and out of the kitchen. Chef Renato Donzelli has built a loyal following of customers at his Norwalk restaurant who come for both his creative Italian-meets-South American dishes, as well as his charming hospitality and boundless energy. And now, they are coming for a newly added bar menu and cocktail list.

During a recent renovation, Basso Café invested in a new bar area with seating for about twelve, and a special menu of cocktails and snacks, thanks to a hard-won liquor license after eight years in business. Although you can still BYOB, Chef Donzelli has crafted a happy hour menu that can be enjoyed Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 pm, as well as a mini happy hour from 11 to 12 noon each day for lunch.

A self-described “hot blooded Italian” who grew up in Venezuela, Donzelli focuses his creative energy on a menu that blurs the lines between dishes from those two countries, creating his own unique cuisine. “I start from the back,” is how Chef Donzelli explains his approach to his menu. The new cocktail and wine list are meant to compliment the food, and long-time diners will be rewarded with a solid selection of shaken and stirred, classic and contemporary cocktails, as well as wine and beer.

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Wednesday
Feb032016

Behind The Bar: 3 Winter Cocktails from Mixologist Adam Patrick 

Egg Nog (Jeffrey Morgenthaler version)

Behind The Bar is a new column from bartender Adam Patrick who has graced the bars of venues such as Walrus & Carpenter, Luxe, Match and Can Tiin. He will explore trends, recipes and the cocktail culture from both the front as well as behind the bar. 

One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is, “I won’t tell the story the way it happened, I’ll tell it the way I remember it.” It’s from the late-nineties film adaptation of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Ethan Hawke delivers the line in the opening monologue.

There’s something about nostalgia that adds a touch of humanity to our lives. The real world, the world we exist in day to day, can be overwhelming and unforgiving. Take your job, your family obligations, traffic jams, mortgage, credit card bills, your dog destroying your new carpet, and view it all in aggregate, and things can steam roll out of control quickly. And yet, when we look at the past, we find it difficult to remember the mundane, the run-of-the-mill, even though those experiences dominate our lives. Sure, we can generally recall tragedy, or loss, but more than not it’s memories of our childhood, or a long lost love, or a favorite pet, that we gaze back at longingly.

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Wednesday
Jan202016

Cask Republic in South Norwalk Reinforces a Resurging Neighborhood's Destination Dining 

Washington Street, the epicenter of South Norwalk and a resurging dining scene, welcomes another new dining experience worth exploring. Cask Republic is a modern take on the communal tavern, now open at 99 Washington Street, formerly occupied by The Gingerman. The new restaurant delivers on its tavern promises with chef-driven comfort food and drink – American at its culinary core with an abundance of global influences.

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