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Entries in Fairfield (80)


CTbites Staff & Chef Picks for TOP EATS OF 2013

As food writers, photographers, and chefs, we have the pleasure of eating a lot of really great food. Fairfield County has experienced something of a restaurant explosion over the past year, as new chefs move in and move on, and menus expand. We've endeavored to expand our coverage beyond those borders, seeking to cover more of the state and sharing those experiences that are worth seeking out. Instead of coming up with a top ten list ourselves, we asked the CTbites extended family to share some of their most memorable meals and dining experiences this past year. 

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Mecha Noodle Bar Brings Asian Noodles & Street Food to Fairfield

Post opening tweaks are commonplace during the first few months after a restaurant's opening. With Mecha’s minor changes completed, it now firmly fills the belly rumbling void of Southeast Asian Noodles and street food, popularizing Ramen, Pho and South East Asian comfort food.

Owner Tony Pham, who also owns Pho Vietnam in Danbury, saw an opportunity in Fairfield, to capture the hearts and hungry stomachs of the Fairfield U student bodies by opening a Ramen noodle bar. This small, but cozy, space is an architecturally clean, eye pleasing mix of Modern Asian décor...with a long community table in the center and block style tables around its perimeter. There is some additional seating circling the "bar" with colorful Asian ceramic stools adding some pop and a touch of elegance to this casual space. Pham is committed to keeping his two restaurants a "family affair," and you may be seated, served, or cooked for, by one of his family members! 

When I first visited with Tony in September, Ramen noodles were the main attraction on his menu. Several months later, Mecha’s menu is now representative of Japan’s different regional nuances with the current soup bases including Shoyu, Miso and Chicken.

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Grilled Cheese Eatery Opens in Fairfield: Grilled Cheese Reinvented

Café Lola, the charming French bistro that recently closed its doors after 5 years, has been reinvented with a classic American spin by owners Ivanina and Henri Donneaux.  What is more comforting than the quintessential grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of homemade tomato soup?  These are just a couple of the delicious items being served fresh daily at the Grilled Cheese Eatery, which is nestled among the shops on Fairfield's Unquowa Road near the Old Community Theater.  “Eating habits have changed,” says Ivanina.  “There is less formality when you go out to eat and we wanted to create a place that was more than a special occasion place,” thus the creation of The Grilled Cheese Eatery.  

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Pizza Mecca, Colony Grill, Offers First Ever Salad Pizza!!

For decades, Colony Grill has offered pizza. Pizza (with a capital P) and only pizza.  Delicious pizza, to be sure, with a unique thin crust and lots of available toppings (including the legendary hot oil). But with the exception of veg toppings -- fresh mushrooms, onions, black olives and peppers (stingers and cherry) -- there was no greenery to be found. 

Veg-avores rejoice! Colony Grill is now offering a Salad Pizza.  The signature Colony crust comes topped with fresh mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots tossed with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. Clean and simple.  As it says on the menu, No Cheese, No Sauce. 

Yep, it’s healthy. Good for folks training for the 3rd Annual Colony Grill “Hot Oil” 5K on November 10.  (Until then, $1 for each salad pizza sold will go to race proceeds, which benefit local police and fire department initiatives.)  For those who like clean eating (and we definitely do), this salad pizza is a welcomed addition to the Colony menu board. 

As diligent tasters, we felt we needed more data. 

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Kids Review: Wilson's BBQ via AsherZeats

“It’s no sin to get sauce on your chin.” - Bishop Tutu

Last weekend I got a chance to make the short trek to Wilson’s Barbecue (1851 Post Rd  Fairfield, CT ), to enjoy some incredible Pit BBQ. Wilson’s is owned by Ed Wilson, who has competed in and judged numerous BBQ competitions throughout his life. Ed is an extremely kind man, who goes out of his way to talk to everyone who enters his restaurant. He even happily agreed to sit down and talk to me after my fantastic meal, about what makes his food so good.

He couldn’t be nicer.

When we arrived at Wilson’s we were greeted by Mr. Wilson who said hello and wished us an excellent meal. As I entered the restaurant I noticed the comfy, road-house-esque atmosphere that was filled with memorabilia of his experiences as a chef and owner. When it was time to order, we got a lot!

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Baro New World Cantina: Latin American Tapas in Fairfield

Craving some Latin American delicacies? Head over to 1229 Post Road in Fairfield and check out the brand-spankin'-new BARO' New WORLD CANTINA, the latest labor of love brought to you by the Reyes family (also owners of MEZON and 2 other restaurants in Danbury.) The wine list is mostly Spanish but the food selection - served mostly "tapas" style - comes from Brazil, Uraguay, Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic where Juan and Richard Reyes and family were born. The decor is welcoming and stylish, complete with a glass-faced ceviche bar which looks onto the bustling and aroma filled kitchen. Dark wood tables and benches, some high tops and a large bar as well as birch branch wall decorations are inviting. But the food's the thing. We'll be back for a more intensive review but here are our first impressions:

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BONDA Takes Dinner Outside: En Plein Air Recap

“En Plein Air” is a French expression which means "in the open air"…and on July 10th and 11th, BONDA Chef/Owner Jamie Cooper braved the threat of thunderstorms and hosted two dinners at the Greenfield Hill Grange #133 in Fairfield, one of only five Granges left in Fairfield County. 

The evenings, both sold out events, featured not only Jamie’s signature style of preparing unique dishes using local ingredients and creative seasonings and pairings, but also the 120-year-old Greenfield Hill Grange, a historic nod to the days when local farmers met to trade or sell their produce and livestock.  The Grange, or officially, The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is a fraternal organization in the United States which encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well being of the community and agriculture, was truly the “original” Farmers Market!  

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Plan B Burger Bar is Coming to Fairfield CT

Plan B Burger Bar has some big news. They are coming to Fairfield this fall in the old Post Office at 1262 Boston Post Road. 

Plan B is an upscale burger bar created by Hartford-based Locals 8 Restaurant Holdings with six (soon to be seven) locations throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. This burger mecca features all-American craft beers, bourbon, and burgers made from beef that is ground in-house daily, always fresh, never frozen, and free of antibiotics and hormones. We like that!

Allie j Gamble, founder and CEO of Locals 8 Restaurant Group explains, “We don’t think of our restaurants as a chain, there is just a lot of us.  Each Plan B location is unique. We build relationships with local farms because the food is always fresher. For example, in Milford, we work with Robert Treat Farm, Bishops Acres, Holcomb and Jones Farms. In Springfield, we draw from incredible local brewers like the Mayflower Brewing Company. We’ll do the same thing at Plan B Fairfield.  We’re excited to partner up with growers in the community and offer specialty items that our other locations won’t feature. It's part of our dream of growing big while remaining small.”

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Mecha Noodle Bar Opens in Fairfield: An Interview w/ Tony Pham

Ramen noodles are having "their moment," and restaurateur Tony Pham, owner of Pho Vietnam in Danbury has just opened a new venture in Fairfield that will have fans of Asian food slurping without pause. Welcome to MECHA. 

Pham, a Vietnamese American who opened Pho Vietnam at the tender age of 21, again uses his raw talent drawing from his years of experience traveling around the world and working in numerous kitchens.  His newest baby, Mecha, located on Post Road in Fairfield is a hip, cozy joint that serves up Ramen as well as Asian street food. Consulting with a master Ramen chef, Tony Pham is placing all bets on this age old Japanese noodle..and we hear Pho is on the way. For a new restaurant aiming directly at the college crowd around Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, it's a perfect match.

Read our interview with Tony Pham below to find out more about Tony's family, the history of Ramen, the meaning of "MECHA," and what inspires Tony Pham. 

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The Pop Shop Market – Making a Pop Up Debut in Fairfield

The Pop Shop Market is popping up in Fairfield this weekend!  The first of 4 yearly Pop Shop Markets will be making its debut at the Fairfield Theatre Company’s warehouse and parking lot on Saturday, June 1st.  People of all ages are invited out to experience the European-style open-air market.  Kelly Scinto, Andrea Espach and Ashley Kane, founders and curators of the Pop Shop Market wanted to create a unique experience unlike any other pop up shop.  “We wanted to plan a fun day; one that would bring shopping, food, drinking and music together,” says Scinto.  

The Pop Shop Market will feature a variety vendors from all over the area, showcasing items such artwork, jewelry, and repurposed furniture by local artists, designers and merchants.  All this shopping will surely leave you hungry!  Or perhaps it is the all the incredible local food that will draw you out this Saturday.  The Pop Shop Market has recruited some of Connecticut’s most popular food trucks!  Grab a lobster roll from LobsterCraft, a meatball grinder from the Local Meatball, some California-style fish tacos from Taco Pacifico, fries from Fryborg, and top it all off with some soft-served ice cream from Cowabunga Food Truck.

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