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Entries in Fairfield (89)

Tuesday
Jul012014

My Signature Dish: Chef Tony Pham of Mecha Noodle Bar, Fairfield Talks Ramen

MY SLURPY SIGNATURE DISH

Ramen Shops in Japan are as plentiful as hamburger joints over here.  Every street boasts a shop.  Yet none are exactly alike, mainly because each is distinguished by the owner’s unique signature dish, his personal  autograph.  In that tradition, Tony Pham has created his own signature dish for Mecha Noodle Bar: a unique interpretation of traditional Miso Ramen.  Here’s the story behind it.

Tony likes to play with contrasts.  And not just the culinary kind.  

Case in point.  Before trying his signature dish, Miso Ramen, take a look overhead at his futuristic Mecha Noodle Bar.  Dangling from the ceiling, an arsenal of over three hundred vertical 2x4’s seem to be aimed directly at every table in the room.  Alien, threatening.  

By design.

Now try  Pham’s dramatic interpretation of a classical Ramen.  No, don’t taste it, slurp it.  Breath in its steamy aromatic bouquet.  Savor the deep, contrasting flavors: mushrooms and miso redolent of the earth, noodles that invoke wheat fields,  a succulent pork belly that also warms and welcomes, counterpointed by the lively spice and heat of scallion and chili oil.  It’s Japanese comfort food,a perfect  contrast after a playful scare. 

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Wednesday
Jun252014

Old School Pizzeria in Fairfield c/o The Lunch Break Chronicles

Photo: Keith Whamond

Hearst Newspaper's Lunch Break Chronicles is where we often go to find hidden gems in Fairfield County. Brett Mickelson recently visited the latest pizza parlor with a familiar chef—Derek Furino, formerly of Behind the Net in Darien and John Dough's Pizza Bar in Norwalk has moved on to become a partner in Old School Pizzeria in Fairfield. 

Here's the report from Brett:

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Sunday
Jun152014

The Best Tacos in Connecticut: Ultimate Guide 

There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.

Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

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Sunday
Jun012014

CTbites' Best Restaurant Burgers in Fairfield County: 2014 Edition

National Burger Month draws to a close.

What better way to celebrate the conclusion of an entire month of enjoying some incredible hamburgers than announcing the 2014 CTbites' winners of the Best Restaurant Burgers of Fairfield County. More burgers challenged last year’s winners and three were successful, Olio, Mama’s Boy and Bar Sugo.

For the second year in a row, the winner is: 

The Whelk– 2014 Best Restaurant Burger in Fairfield County

1 - The Whelk (Westport) – The Whelk Burger combines a blend rich flavored meat, sweet pickles, cry baby Swiss cheese, two varieties of bacon, crisped onions and onion mayo on a brioche bun. The dry aged blend of short rib, brisket and chuck from Craft Saugatuck Butchery was fantastic. The cheese covered, thick patty sat atop two different varieties of bacon that added saltiness and smokiness, while slices of sweet pickles, a slice of frisée and the onion accented mayo brought additional flavors and textures. Sitting atop the plump patty was a handful of crisped onions.

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Monday
May192014

Best Bar Burgers in Fairfield County: 2014 Edition

May is National Burger Month and it’s that time of year again for CTbites to unveil its “Best Bar Burgers of Fairfield County.” The last twelve months brought us several suggestions to try and I tried many of these additional locations. The 2014 list included some outstanding bars and haunts that served delicious burgers, so good in fact that only one newcomer was as delicious. (See complete list below)

Not only was this an outstanding burger, but it earned my top spot as the Best Bar Burger in Fairfield County. 

Bick’s Burgers & Fries – 2014 Best Bar Burger in Fairfield County

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Tuesday
May062014

Fairfield Cheese Company Celebrates 5 Years

Five years ago Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo combined their love for cheese and their entrepreneurial spirit and created Fairfield Cheese Company, a bustling cheese shop located in a food loving Connecticut suburb. To celebrate five years of artisanal and farmstead cheese, charcuterie and fine foods, and their popular cheese school, Fairfield Cheese Company will mark their anniversary with a calendar of special events during the month of May. View the complete list of events below:

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Sunday
May042014

The Buzz Truck: Mobile Coffee Truck in Fairfield County

Have you heard the buzz? If you haven’t and you live in the Westport and Fairfield areas you’ll not only hear it but you’ll see it any day now! The Buzz is The Buzz Truck, the brainchild of Jessica and Alex Grutkowski. Sleek, hip and sharp, this handsomely renovated school bus will have tired moms and dads cheering with delight. But it’s not just for parents - this little black bus has something for everyone.

The idea was conceived about a year ago when Jessica Grutkowski wondered why there wasn’t an ice cream truck for grownups. Only her ice cream truck wasn’t going to sell ice cream, it was going to sell coffee. “I was waiting on line for my coffee,” she told me, “and there was this person in front of me placing this ridiculously long order. I knew I was going to be late in picking my kids up from school.” Her eyes kept darting to the clock as she debated whether to ditch the line or not. And that was when the idea of the coffee truck came to her. “I knew right away that it would be called the Buzz Truck.” 

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Sunday
Apr272014

CT Guide to Outdoor Dining: 40+ Restaurants for Summer

There are some ingredients in this world that, when you add them to anything, they pretty much make it spectacular. Bacon, for example. It would probably make a sneaker taste good. “Air” is another ingredient. Air-a bizarre ingredient on an episode of Chopped? No. Air, as in fresh air. Eating outside. Have you noticed that when you eat a lobster roll outside on a deck overlooking the ocean, it makes you happy? Or eat a grilled burger at a picnic table on a warm summer evening?  Or sip a frothy cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe? What is the common ingredient here? Fresh air. Good food combined with a hefty dose of the outdoors.

And lucky for you, we’ve put together a long list of our favorite eateries (40+) that have lovely outdoor dining spaces. 

If we missed an outdoor venue you frequent, please share your find below. 

For more Summer Eats see our Guide to The Best Warm Lobster Rolls on the CT Coast. 

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Monday
Apr212014

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo in Fairfield County CT

It is said that Cinco de Mayo originated when Mexican-American communities wanted to commemorate freedom during the first years of the American Civil War.  Now you can commemorate freedom from winter with these awesome Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Here's what's going on at Bartaco, Bodega, Baró, Taco Loco, and more. Ole! 

The Cinco de Mayo celebration lasts for 5 days at Taco Loco in Bridgeport!

Thursday May 1: Get competitive with a taco eating contest at 7pm and a guest bartending mixology showdown at 7:30.  You can sign up for the events on facebook.

Friday May 2: Free tequila tasting from 6-9pm featuring over 15 tequilas. 

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Wednesday
Dec252013

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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