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Entries in comfort food (135)

Sunday
May292016

2016 CTbites' Best "10" Burgers in Southwest CT

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY AND HAMBURGER MONTH

The thermometer reads 90-degrees, the trees are in full bloom, the birds are chirping and the air is filled with the fragrant aroma of backyard grilling. It must be time for my Annual CTbites’ Southwest Connecticut Burger Review, now celebrating its 5th anniversary.

This year I again took a slightly different approach. Over the years I have rated, and continually update, every burger I eat in CT on a scale from 1-10. To achieve the highest score, the bun-to-bun experience needs to be flawless; meat, cheese, toppings, sauce, and bun, all must work in absolute unison. There are currently thirteen incredible burgers that received a perfect “10.” From two east coast interpretations of the west coast double-double, to a food truck creation served on an Ube bun to several with bacon-onion jam, all of these burgers were spectacular. The 2016 list includes six new burgers while four from last year's list did not make the cut. The final rankings from the the Winner to number thirteen take into account not only the burgers but also the fries or chips.

Here is the CTbites' list of the Best “10” Burgers in Southwest Connecticut.

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Thursday
May192016

Burger Report: Chef Geoff Lazlo's Burger at Mill Street Bar + Table

Mill Street Bar and Table opened in the Byram neighborhood in Greenwich last October, the brainchild of Executive Chef Geoff Lazlo in partnership with Bill and Leslie King, who head up the organic-centric Back 40 Group. Many in Connecticut know of his work with Bill Taibe at The Whelk in Westport, but his roots with organic gardening and cooking with the finest bounty of the season goes back to his love of gardening and his introduction to the use of these ingredients with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, and Dan Barber at Stone Barns.

While the Executive Chef at The Whelk, his burger received my “Best of…” in 2013 and with his newest adventure firmly established in the Fairfield County culinary landscape it was time to see if his newest creation was as great…IT WAS!

Chef Lazlo’s latest rendition is the “8OZ PASTURED BEEF BURGER,” described on the menu to include house-made mustard, aioli, Cheddar cheese, served on a potato-brioche, and served with hand-cut fries.

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Sunday
May152016

Miro Kitchen Opens in Fairfield With Chef From Hapa Food Truck

With much anticipation and excitement Miro Kitchen recently opened its doors on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. The new eatery is the collective brainchild of Eugene Kabilnitsky, former owner of Tomato and Basil, and Hapa Food Truck’s Chris Gonzales. I recently sat down with the two to talk about the inspiration behind this creative collaboration.

“My wife and I were both working from home and we found ourselves going to the Hapa Food Truck at least twice a week,” Kabilnitsky told me. “We couldn’t get enough! At the time I was set to open another Italian restaurant at this location and was in the process of hammering out details.” But then he started to wonder whether the Hapa concept might work in the restaurant space. He joked that after visiting the truck 100 or so times he shared his idea with Chris, and subsequent conversations led to the current partnership, and Miro, an expansion of the wildly popular Hapa Food Truck, was born.

The best way to describe the cuisine is to say it is a play on Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian street food with an American twist, mixing the exotic with the familiar.

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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
Apr072016

Little Pub Opening in Fairfield on Black Rock Turnpike @ Dolan's Corner

If the "EXPECT BIG THINGS" train station platform signs or the Little Pub "adopt a highway" sign by exit 23 weren't enough of a hint, Owner, Doug Grabe, is happy to confirm that Little Pub is in fact coming to Fairfield's Dolan's Corner this summer.

Located at the intersection of Stillson Avenue and Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield, "Dolan's Corner" was the original hub of Black Rock Turnpike's thriving business district and home to various incarnations of the Angus restaurant for almost 70 years. Grabe told CTbites,

"It's a cute and cozy building in a perfect neighborhood for Little Pub and we’re really looking forward to serving the community. And besides, how could an iconic Fairfield address known as "Dolan's Corner" not have a neighborhood pub?"

Little Pub Fairfield will share the traditional old world charm of our other little pubs with thick plaster walls, hand hewn beams, and antique iron light fixtures. "We have some really great stuff planned and of course, fun is mandatory," Says Grabe. 

Stay tuned for interior photos and opening news as the renovation gets underway. 

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Sunday
Mar272016

Rothbard Ale + Larder: Westport's European Gastropub

Rothbard Ale + Larder opened in Westport last November, the second restaurant by Chef Adam Roytman and his business partner, Joseph Farrell. The pair also own Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport. Roytman and Farrell’s original idea was to recreate a German beer hall, but as the concept of the restaurant progressed, the vision was slightly modified to design a restaurant that would offer comfort food based on the regional cuisines of central Europe including Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Alsace, Switzerland, with an occasional side trip to Italy.

Access to Rothbard is a throwback to a 1920's speakeasy, with its unassuming side entrance leading to the lower level. Once inside, you are surrounded by a central European ambience, with its reclaimed wood and brick walls and cement and metal beams protruding from the ceiling. To the left of the entrance is a bar with several high-tables plus nine stools in front of antler-topped beer taps, plus a refrigerator that houses up to 45 traditional and unique European beers including Einbecker, Tripel Karmeliet, Del Ducato, Christian Drouin and Abbaye. Wine, aperitifs, an array of Schnapps and Absinthe are also available. With low-lighting illuminating the entire space, the atmosphere is very European gastro-pubbish.

 

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Rothbard Ale + Larder's Patty Melt Extraordinaire: Find It In Westport

The patty melt was introduced at Tiny Naylors in California in the late 1940s and since its debut, it has experienced an intense and loyal following throughout the country. Described by some as the love child of the grilled cheese and the hamburger, it is, at its essence a pair of beef patties, melted Swiss cheese, grilled onions, all served between slices of buttered-griddled rye bread.

The Patty Melt at Rothbard Ale + Larder is a traditional interpretation with a few nuances. Two small patties were grilled and served between slices of buttered and griddled rye bread with caramelized onions, bacon, and melted Jarlsberg cheese. The bread was cut on the diagonal, and nestled inside each half was a mini-patty, smothered in its accompaniments. The thin patties were cooked to medium, still maintained a pink interior and were rich in flavor. The Jarlsberg cheese was thick, beautifully melted and delivered a wonderful level of creaminess and a deep, rich nuttiness. The caramelized onions were outstanding, sweet and soft from their low and slow preparation and when it intertwined with the mildly salty bacon delivered an incredible balance. People nervous about the bread versus bun…no need to worry, the buttered and griddled bread added great crunch and a delicious salty-butter flavor.

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Thursday
Jan072016

Stuffed Ricotta and Spinach Agnolotti Recipe via Basso Cafe

Let's be real people. When the cold weather rolls in, it's time to dig into some serious comfort food. For us, this generally means braised meat and carbs, preferably pasta. Chef Renato Donzelli of Basso Cafe in Norwalk makes beautiful housemade pasta for his guests, and now you can make it in your own house. Enjoy his recipe for Stuffed Ricotta and Spinach Agnolotti.

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Tuesday
Dec292015

Five of Connecticut's Best Noodle Houses via CT Magazine

College students and twenty-somethings everywhere have long sung the praise of ramen (a Japanese wheat noodle dish). Grab-and-go noodle houses specializing in pho, (a Vietnamese rice noodle soup) have been popular here in Connecticut for some time. However, the love of noodle houses seems to have intensified as a by-product in recent years—along with food trucks, craft beer and facial hair—of the hipster revolution. Kawa Ni in Westport, which specializes in various ramen dishes, opened its doors last year and Mecha Noodle Bar in Fairfield recently announced plans to open a second location in South Norwalk. 

Here are five of our favorite destinations in the state. As always, if we’ve missed your favorite let us know. 

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Tuesday
Dec082015

Bareburger to Open in Harbor Point on December 21st

The second Connecticut location for Bareburger, in Harbor Point, is due to open on December 21st, as the micro-chain-gone-global expands its Connecticut offerings.

Bareburger started in 2009…after receiving rave reviews preparing hamburgers in the kitchen of Sputnik, an underground music haunt in Brooklyn, Euripides Pelekanos founded Bareburger in an Astoria, Queens’ storefront. After bringing his winning formula to thirteen additional NYC locations, Bareburger launched its first location in Ridgefield in 2013 and is now ready to launch its second, Stamford, location. 

In an exclusive interview with CTbites, Pelekanos explained his philosophy and vision as Bareburger first expanded from its single Astoria location into a global chain. “I want all of my products to be organic or as close to organic as possible. From the meat to the toppings to the salads, I want natural or organic; that is my personal preference; that is what I eat.”

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