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Entries in Cocktails (135)


The Cottage in Westport Expands With New Bar & Larger Dining Area

Chef Brian Lewis' The Cottage is spreading its wings just in time for the new year...or rather its footprint, with a beautiful new expanded bar area. Lewis has taken over the adjacent space, once housing a barber shop, and has spent the last few months building out the perfect drink haven. The new bar area will have full service dining at the 10 seat bar alongside creative cocktails, local draft beer and an expanded wine program. Another addition is bartender, Ralph Leon who has been in the business for over 18 years, and has some very exciting new drinks planned for 2017. 


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Barcelona Wine Bar Opens in Waypointe Norwalk

After 20 years as a Sono institution, Barcelona Wine Bar has moved up the street and officially opened its doors in Norwalk’s new Waypointe complex. Their new home looks and feels much like the creative dining spaces guests have come to expect from Barcelona’s five CT locations, but as SVP Adam Halberg says “ Waypointe will feel familiar, but there are some key areas that make this new location quite unique.” The open kitchen, massive 40 seat bar, and a new menu approach will take their authentic and distinctive Spanish tapas menu even closer to the markets and restaurants of Spain. 

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10 "Must Drink" Cold Weather Cocktails in Lower Fairfield County CT

It’s been a warm autumn, and while we’ll all hope the same for the upcoming winter season, we know it just won’t last. Chilly temperatures are inevitable and let’s face it, your puffy coat, skully, and gloves may not cut it. You need something else to warm up your soul, something that will always be there for you at various bars in lower Fairfield County…Cocktails. 

I recently visited my favorite bars around the county to seek out the best seasonal cocktails. While this is MY list, I did try my best to switch up the flavor profiles and the spirits used, otherwise they’d be all bourbon and whiskey based, or it would be a list of Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs. There are some clear liquors involved, as well as warm beverages and seasonal flavors such as apple, cinnamon, clove, and even carrot. 

I tried my best to include every city or town up 95 from Greenwich to Westport, but that wasn’t the end result. I wanted to go further north but this “research” would’ve stretched into another season. I found that Norwalk and Westport had the most seasonal stuff going on when it comes to booze, so don’t be offended if your favorite bar in your neighborhood didn’t make it. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, I just simply met my quota for this list, and my liver told me to “just stop already.” 

Hopefully this helps with your drinking adventures, and hopefully you have some cold weather cocktail suggestions at your most frequented haunts, because we’re all always looking to warm our souls with good libations.  

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Room 112 Opens in Sono: A Modern Day Speakeasy in Connecticut 

Room 112 is shaking up the pulse of the lively SoNo restaurant scene. A modern-day speakeasy with a rock’n’roll edge, and eclectic, modish décor recently opened its doors at 112 Washington Street.  Owner Isaac Patrick Camoro’s vision was clear the minute he walked into the then empty space. 

Room 112 conjures up images of an urban garage meets underground lounge. Eclectic and unconventional this new bar is a truly unique experience; the antidote to the typical Fairfield County bar scene. The main level, framed in exposed brick, offers the perfect canvas for local artists to showcase their talent, thus lending themselves perfectly to the bar’s eclectic furnishings and lighting. Downstairs, a “man-cave” style game room includes a pool table, dartboards, shuffleboard, a jukebox, several HD TVs and a sleek bar.

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Zapata Mexican Restaurant Opens in South Norwalk (sponsored)

Located in the heart of historic South Norwalk, Zapata Mexican Restaurant crafts authentic Mexican cuisine in an area rich in history and vibrant in color, Zapata Mexican Restaurant proudly contributes to this energetic environment. This is our second location, the original is located in Palisades, NY where our family-owned and operated restaurant has thrived for over 20 years. Many of our customers come in and ask why SONO? The answer is simple, SONO lacked an authentic Mexican restaurant with fresh ingredients, amazing margaritas, and smiling faces. Freshness is what we believe in and what we thrive on. We personally choose all our produce, and all of our ingredients. We are in a society where fresh and healthy is key! To ensure the highest quality, we also cook all of our products with olive oil to keep it healthy and always tasting delicious.  

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Johnny Utah's in South Norwalk - A Fun Time with a Side of Food

Fairfield County has some great bars with good old fashioned bar food…wings, burgers, fries, onion rings, cheesesteaks, with a wide variety of beers. Recently, many have expanded the menu to include tacos, chili, ribs, chicken and other down and dirty delicacies. When I received an invitation to join a media event at Johnny Utah’s in SoNo I was curious, since this bar also features a mechanical bull (spoiler…not happenin’).

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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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New Haven's Historic Bar Reopens: Welcome Back Anchor Spa

It's back.

Anchor Spa, one of New Haven's most iconic drinking establishments has been brought back to life thanks to Yale alumnus and restauranteur Karl Franz Williams (67 Orange Street, Solomon & Kuff). Renovated with an emphasis on evoking the 1930's spirit of the original Anchor Spa while infusing the space with thoughtful modern touches, Anchor Spa is poised to take its place among Connecticut's most stylish and storied bars.  

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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. 


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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