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Pho Saigon: Real Pho. Really off the beaten path. 

If you like Italian cuisine (I mean real Italian) and you haven't been to Fortina in Armonk yet, something is ALL wrong. 


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Entries in Darien (34)


Fairfield County Chef's Table

After several years of immersing ourselves in the Fairfield County dining scene as partners and editors of CTbites, we had the opportunity to trade pixels for print. We are very excited to announce the launch of our book, Fairfield County Chef's Table, featuring over 50 restaurants and recipes, now available at your local book store and online

The book, published by Globe Pequot Press, was written by Amy Kundrat (yours truly), the executive editor and partner at CTbites. The photography is by none other than CTbites founder and editor in chief Stephanie Webster. It is the culmination of the many years we have been writing about and photographing the Connecticut food scene. This two year project was a blast to work on, and we only wish we could have included 50 more of our favorite restaurants. For more information, please visit our website.

A special thank you to all the chefs, restaurant owners, farmers, friends, CTbites contributors, and CTbites readers who shared their time, expertise, and support. We hope you enjoy the book, experiment with the recipes from some of our favorite restaurants, and share it with your friends and family!

Book Signings

Barnes & Noble, Milford: April 27 @ 1 pm

Barnes & Noble, Westport: May 17 @ 1 pm

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The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s (sponsored post)

The restaurant of The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s is a gem hidden at the fringes of Darien, Connecticut.  The restaurant marries the subtleties of Italian cuisine with the boldness of an American Steakhouse to create a dining experience unique in its balance and complexity. Each menu selection is made from the freshest of ingredients and designed to tantalize the palette.

A core tenant of The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s is to serve only the best food and the best food starts with the best ingredients.  Vegetable dishes, such as the restaurant’s stuffed zucchini flowers, are made from homegrown and hand picked vegetables to ensure maximum freshness. Seafood is purchased live whenever possible and, in the case of the restaurant’s blue point oysters, sourced locally and brought to the restaurant directly from the Tallmadge Brother’s boat in Norwalk.  Beef, which the Restaurant’s staff butchers and ages in house to produce the best possible flavor and texture, is always prime Certified Angus Beef. This commitment to quality ingredients extends not just to the restaurant’s dining customers but also to the weddings and other events The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s hosts and caters.

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Meatball & Co. Opens in Darien

Meatball & Co., in Darien, was in “soft opening” mode last week in anticipation of next week's "official" opening and CTbites stopped by to taste a few of their meatballs. The main entrance is in the rear of the building and I decided to sit on their patio and enjoy the beautiful weather. The menu is separated into numerous sections so please listen carefully as the server explains the various options.

I chose an assortment of sliders including a Beef with Cheesy Goodness, a Spicy Pork with Pesto and the special of the day, a Buffalo Chicken Slider. Each was served on a delicious and sweet brioche bun from Kneaded Bread in Port Chester.

Chef / Owner Joe Criscuolo showed a deft hand in both the texture and the flavors.

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Coffee Classes at Espresso NEAT in Darien

Everyone has their favorites, and Espresso NEAT is definitely one of our favorite coffee places here at CTbites. Now with two locations (Darien, and a small shop in Greenwich), their devotion to the craft of caffeine delivery is bar none.

In addition to fueling their customers, they are also offering a series of educational classes for the month of May

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Bodega Taco Bar Opens in Darien

The upscale, inspired Mexican street food and vibrant bar scene that Bodega has ushered in to Fairfield, has migrated south, opening in Darien this past weekend. The trio behind the original Bodega—Michael Young, Luis Chavez and Mario Fontana—have continued to perfect a brash menu that embraces the Americas, skewing from South America to North, and settling centrally on Mexico. In a markedly larger setting, the new Darien outpost has successfully duplicated much of the same menu, from antojitos to mezcal, with a few noteworthy additions. Bodega will be officially open starting Monday, November 12 at 5 pm for dinner, and will be open 6 nights a week Monday through Saturday, and open for lunch and brunch beginning January 6, seven days a week.

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Rhubarb Kitchen: Cooking School, British Style, in Darien

As if on cue, the day I attended class at the Rhubarb Kitchen, a cooking school with an emphasis on all things British, the sun disappeared and the weather turned appropriately overcast and drizzly. A perfect backdrop for learning about the delights of the very English ritual of Afternoon Tea.

But first, a little about the women who run this show. Rebecca Binks (aka “Becs”) grew up in Kent and learned the highlights of English food from her grandmother, mom, and eight aunts. A former banker and world traveler who has lived in France and Spain, Becs landed in New York City where she met Lisa McMullan. Lisa, an Irishwoman, grew up surrounded by lush farmland and her culinary path is inspired by a true farm to table experience. Lisa practiced as an optometrist, but her love of food always lingered in the background.

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Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant in Darien

Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant in Darien has been serving top notch, modern interpretations of Italian cuisine under the direction of Executive Chef Eben Leonard for close to 3 years. It is one of three restaurants owned by brothers Vicente and Kleber Siguenza (a fourth is schedule to open in Greenwich later this year) including Cava Wine Bar in New Canaan and 55 Degrees Wine Bar and Restaurant in Fairfield. 

Chef Leonard traces his culinary passion to his early childhood in Chatham, New York when he prepared monthly dinner menus for his mother. As a teenager, Chef Leonard met his first mentor, Chef Urs Bieri, at the Elm Court Inn in Massachusetts, when Bieri hired him to work as a “chef” at the age of fifteen,

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Bodega Taco Bar to Open in Darien

According to the Lunch Break Chronicles, Bodega Taco Bar will be opening in Darien at 980 Post Road this fall.

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Thursday Night Throwdown @ Espresso NEAT

Interested in showing off those latte art skills? Or perhaps you just want to learn the basics and sip your way through a fun evening. Either way you are in luck. Espresso NEAT in Darien is hosting their inaugural Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT) Latte Art Competition on July 12. A $5 buy-in will get you into the evening's event. This first event of the season is a customer invitational (everyone is invited). Prizes and sponsors to be announced.

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Estia's American Opens in Darien: Breakfast & Beyond

When restaurateur Colin Ambrose decided to follow his wife and three daughters and return to Fairfield County from the eastern end of Long Island, he brought with him a reputation for delivering creative farm to table cuisine. As the former owner/chef of Estia’s in Amagansett and the current owner of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, Ambrose is celebrating his Darien homecoming by opening his latest restaurant, Estia’s American. After Ambrose settled on the location that formerly housed Ole Mole, he immediately set to create a rustic Americana décor that included American flags created from book spines, relaxing beach paintings and his personal collection of cookbooks and novels, including several by his uncle Stephen Ambrose.

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