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Entries in French (31)


Picador Opens in New Canaan: Tapas

The culinary landscape of New Canaan now includes the vibrant cuisine of the Iberian Peninsula with the opening of Picador, the second restaurant of owner Alan Basaran. Located on Elm Street in the space formerly occupied by Harvest Supper, the interior’s décor offers a warm and inviting environment as backdrop to the region’s vibrant cuisine. Copper-topped tables and a wrap-around leather-covered banquette fill the entire back and side walls with additional copper-topped tables with dark leather chairs occupying the remainder of the space. The walls are adorned with plates, mirrors and sconces; reminiscent of the region.

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Behind the Scenes @ Isabelle et Vincent Bakery in Fairfield

It’s 8am on a Friday and we’re here to observe the inner workings at Isabelle et Vincent, aka The French Bakery in Fairfield. Eight a.m. is nowhere near the dark morning hours one would associate with a baker’s schedule, and yet there’s plenty going on even at this “late” hour. In one corner of the kitchen, a wide galley space behind the counter lined with ovens, a gigantic standing mixer, and speed racks of measured flour and finished pastries, strawberry tarts are being assembled. The scent of fresh berries, an enormous pile of ruby red, hit us before we even laid eyes on them. In fact, the entire space is a feast for the senses. Piles of baguettes, stacks of macarons in a rainbow of color, glistening apple tarts, fondant covered eclairs, and savory quiches...close your eyes and just imagine a symphony of freshly baked bread, butter, sugar, fruit, and chocolate. It’s incredible.

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Boulevard 18 French Bistro Opens in New Canaan

Un autre grand restaurant Français ouvre dans New Canaan. Oops, I got ahead of myself. What I meant to say was another noteworthy restaurant, Boulevard 18, a French Bistro and Wine Bar, officially opened last Friday in New Canaan and the food is well worth a night out.  

The 62 Main Street address has been transformed into a little bit of Paris by owners Steven Semaya, Luciano Ramirez, Henry Rosenbaum and Chef/Owner David Raymer (Strada 18 in Sono).

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Fine Dining in Disguise at Oceanview Café in Norwalk

Oceanview Café is your typical diner. They serve breakfast and lunch with the common bacon, eggs, home fries and toast, and burgers, you get the idea. It is not a big place, with 8-10 tables, tops. Decorations of marine life and fish nets echo the area of its location but postcards from France that peer at you through the glass on the tables offer a subtle hint to what Chef Jean Paul Pauillac is all about. French cuisine.

Every Friday and Saturday night, from 5:30-9:00 p.m.,Pauillac, who once worked at Maxim’s in France (as did Wolfgang Puck) and La Grenouille, turns his modest diner into a French culinary experience. After his friends pleaded with him to cook up some French classics, the idea caught on and the semi-secret menu began. And what’s even better than this "underground restaurant", are the prices, the ability to BYOB, and more importantly, the food.

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Bistro/ Gastro Pub Boulevard 18 to Open in New Canaan

Boulevard 18 is scheduled to open during the latter half of January 2012 on Main Street in New Canaan. The restaurant will offer a French Bistro / Gastro-pub experience from the décor, to the beer and wine selections, to the traditional fare offered in Parisian bistros. The second venture by the team of Chef David Raymer, Steven Semaya, Luciano Ramirez and Henry Rosenbaum, Boulevard 18 will maintain the same philosophy as its sister Italian café restaurant, Strada 18 in SoNo, of quality food at quality prices.

Chef Raymer described Boulevard 18 as “going back to my roots.” After leaving college to form a rock band in NYC, Chef Raymer supported his life as a musician by gaining experience and working his way up the ladder in the kitchens of several of New York’s glamour restaurants, including Joanna’s Restaurant and Gotham Bar and Grill.

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Caroline's Crêperie Opens in New Canaan

Walk under the blue awning and into the open doors of Caroline’s Crêperie and you’ll feel as if you’re walking into Caroline’s very own French home. With the warm, helpful service and Caroline herself standing at the helm making crêpes and welcoming clients into her buzzing restaurant, you can’t help but be charmed by this new restaurant on New Canaan's Elm Street. 

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Bon Appetit Cafe & Creperie Opens in Fairfield 

I didn’t much pay attention to the new blue awning located next to Billy’s Bakery on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield until I was asked to cover a new restaurant opening.  An Easton resident, I spend a good bit of my time there and I have always been disappointed by the lack of quality restaurants in that part of town.  Until now.  

I was running late for my lunch with Stephanie and fellow CTBites contributor Sarah Green, parked on the side street next to Billy’s and ran down the blue awning-covered stairs to the back of the building where Bon Appetit Cafe & Creperie had just recently opened. One has no idea what’s in store until one sits down to read the menu.  I was thrilled to learn that the food had been ordered without me. I truly would not have been able to decide on my own!

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Grilled Marinated Flank Steak via Chef Emilie

Fire up the grill  tonight ... your outdoors will get great with the flavors and the aromas of Grilled Marinated Flank Steak !

Whether you're cooking chicken, burgers, steak, fish on the grill, a tasty marinade gives taste and tenderness to every meat. You can use almost everything you have in your kitchen to make your own marinade. Today, I decided to buy a piece of Flank that I marinated with : Olive Oil, Garlic, Onions, Basil, Thyme, Parsley, dried Herbes de Provence, Barbecue Sauce and few drops of Tabasco. Check out the recipe below.  The result: a serious crowd pleaser. 

La recette de Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

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Celebrating Bastille Day in Connecticut

On Bastille Day, everyone is a little bit French. Each year on July 14, citizens of France, francophones and francophiles across the globe celebrate La Fête Nationale or Bastille Day, France's independence day that commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Here is where you can go to celebrate this national French holiday, including a Supper Club, Street Fairs, and a Country French Buffet.

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Fine Dining For Less at a Westport Landmark: Da Pietro’s 

Once Le Chambord vacated its location on the Post Road (you have to be a true townie to remember it), Da Pietro’s staked its claim as Westport’s standout “classy joint” from the late 1980s on, and today is like the town’s elder statesman in the restaurant realm.  A seamless fusion of French and Italian cuisine, a tour de force of European refinement and classic technique, Chef Pietro Scotti’s repertoire has evolved with the times, but his establishment is still a benchmark of classic fine dining in the area, and he's still in the kitchen. 

Happening by Riverside Avenue recently you might have seen a chalkboard sign subtly advertising DaPietro’s weekday lunch and dinner prix fixe deals. For real?  Yes, $12.00 gets you a two course lunch, three courses for $15.00, and at $33.00 for dinner (drinks excluded), you can enjoy a three course meal and be privy to the chef’s wonderful creations. 

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