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Entries in Greenwich (61)

Tuesday
Jun042013

Fortina Restaurant: Casually Hip Italian Opening in Armonk, NY

Fairfield county residents will be soon crossing the border (passports not required)-- into Upper Westchester County's suburb of Armonk, after this week's opening of Fortina.  Chef Christian Petroni, recently Executive Chef of Greenwich's Barcelona Restaurant, is joined by John Nealon, ex-GM of the same provenance and Nealon's childhood friend, Rob Krauss as business partners. Both Nealon and Krauss originally hail from Westport.  Petroni, a local himself, is also co-owner of Cooked & Co., in Scarsdale.

Recalling the many memorable meals he had eaten during his time spent in Italy, Petroni's vision was to bring Italy's simple authentic flavors, cooking methods and presentation to the dishes he serves at Fortina. This vision is executed with the help of 2 wood burning ovens imported straight from Naples, Italy which serve as a focal point in the main dining room. In fact with the exception of just a few menu items, everything is cooked in these fiery hearths...even a pasta dish or two! (And you should hear Petroni when he speaks of his ovens...like a proud new Papa ) 

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Sunday
Apr072013

Harvest Wine Bar Opens in Downtown Greenwich

Harvest Wine Bar, located on the lower end of Greenwich Avenue, elevates the restaurant offerings in downtown Greenwich to a much higher level. The Sigueza brothers, Vicente and Kleber, can now add another fantastic restaurant to their portfolio, which includes Cave Wine Bar in New Canaan, Scena Wine Bar in Darien and 55 Wine Bar in Fairfield. A beautiful casual dining space in the front area is dominated by a large brick wall and accentuated with wood tables and chairs.  You can continue walking to the rear of the restaurant and enjoy the long bar or tables, all with views through the large west-facing windows lining the entire rear wall of the restaurant.

Overseeing the kitchen is Chef Eben Leonard who is migrating from Scena Wine Bar where CTbites enjoyed his creativity and culinary talent on numerous occasions. His opening menu combines aspects from southern Europe, with a modern twist, to American classics.

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Friday
Apr052013

Chef Michael Lucente Launches Barcelona's New Menu in Greenwich

In search of my culinary Dulcinea, I heard there was a new "cocinero" in the town. So, instead of hopping on a faithful nag, I got in my fickle Mini Cooper and headed to the Greenwich Barcelona for the culinary offerings of new head-chef, Michael Lucente. Chef Michael comes to Barcelona after 10 years of experience, starting as a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. He has been Sous Chef at BLT Steak in Westchester and Napa in Stamford and head chef at La Promenade des Anglais in New York. He had the exciting opportunity to Sous Chef on Iron Chef America in April of last year and joined Barcelona Greenwich in November. Greenwich, you're in luck. And so are Barcelona patrons everywhere as the revamping of Barcelona's signature menu is making tapas-cravers everywhere muy feliz.

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Tuesday
Apr022013

The Artists’ Table: Unique Dining @ The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room is a trio of businesses - a design boutique, a café, and most recently, an art gallery - all owned by the husband and wife design duo Kenleigh and Michael Larock.  As designers, they are called upon to combine disparate elements and select accents that will bring harmony to a space. In this regard, The Artists’ Table Dinner was a perfect expression of their work.  The Larocks, along with the Gallery’s Curator, Cameron Schmitz, and the Café’s Chef, Paul Lockely, brought symphonic harmony to their pairing of a five-course dinner with the art in the gallery’s current exhibition, Homeland. 

The attention to detail and care with which the menu and the evening were planned were apparent not only in the way the staff spoke about the process from concept to creation, but also in their genuine level of excitement in sharing the art and the chefs’ inventive interpretations of it.  Chef Paul Lockely, of the Drawing Room, and Guest Chef Bjoern Eiken, of Thomas Henkelmann at Homestead Inn, created 5 dishes each inspired by one of the five artists’ works.

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Friday
Mar082013

THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE: Gabriele's Italian Steakhouse, Greenwich.

Though CTBites traditionally reviews the food created by gifted chefs in the Back of the House, we thought a story about the talent at the Front might be in order.  So who better to feature than Tony Capasso, the celebrated maître d of Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse in Greenwich and unquestionably the biggest personality on the Connecticut restaurant scene? Actually, Copasso may be more MC than Maitre ‘d.

"My mother tells me that when I was five, I was already meeting, greeting and introducing people to each other in my apartment house," he told us. "I've always been a people person. President of my high school. Captain of the football team, I like people, they like me, and that's what this job is all about."

 

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Wednesday
Feb272013

Pasta Bolognese in Fairfield County Roundup: Part II

Déjà vu all over again so…Mangia, Mangia Mangia…and Mangia again...

We recently recommended several places that are serving up delicious Bolognese and promised more. So here is our second, and last, installment of 2013 Recommended Pasta Bolognese of Fairfield County that includes two slight variations of the traditional sauce, one with chicken and another with oxtail. Let the games begin...and let the lipitor flow for these 2 brave diners who sampled Bolognese from all over Fairfield County. 

From Cotto in Stamford to The Spread in SoNo to Louie's in Cos Cob, we bring you tasting notes on 10 more Bologneses. 

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Wednesday
Jan302013

Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant Opens This Week in Greenwich

Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant, the latest venture of the Sigueza brothers, Vicente and Kleber, owners of Scena Restaurant in Darien, Cava Wine Bar & Restaurant in New Canaan and 55 Degrees in Fairfield, opens this week in Greenwich at 372 Greenwich Avenue. With large windows beckoning the guests, the modern interior is dominated by wood, stone and leather. Wood-topped tables are all hand-made and surrounded by leather backed chairs. Individual lights descend from the ceiling to create a whimsical touch to the otherwise masculine décor. The rear wall is half glass and sunsets will create an inviting end to the day to enjoy one of the signature cocktails with many of the fruit and vegetable additions juiced on site.

The menu is best described as “food inspired by the American tradition,” a steak house that meets Little Italy and embraces the sea and the farm to table movement.

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Sunday
Jan202013

Bistro Latino: Chef Rafael Palomino Comes to Old Greenwich

Acclaimed chef, author and restaurateur Rafael Palomino recently opened Bistro Latino in the space first occupied by Boxing Cat Café and then Greenwich Tavern in Old Greenwich.  The vast dining room has been done over in dark wood flooring which is flanked by racked walls that flaunt an extensive portfolio of international wines. 

Palomino won his food-star stripes when he opened Sonora in Manhattan almost two decades ago, introducing Manhattan to Nuevo Latino cuisine, and earning raves from the city’s food critics. Sonora's wild success inspired Rafael to bring his unique cooking style to satellite restaurants in New Haven, Tuckahoe, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Sonora now lives in Port Chester.

Despite its name, Greenwich's Bistro Latino is not really Nuevo Latino since the dishes are more of Spain than Latin and South America.  Rafael has created a menu that features European tapas and paella -- which he anoints with flavors from his Columbian and Queens roots. "Spanish bathed in Picante Style," is how the restaurant describes it.  As a result, Bistro Latino is really more about invention than tradition.  

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Friday
Jan042013

Pasta Bolognese in Fairfield County Roundup: Part I

Mangia, Mangia Mangia…and Mangia again.

Pasta Bolognese..a dish so embedded in the DNA of Italian culture that the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for "classic Bolognese ragù" with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. The recorded recipe calls for beef from the plate section, unsmoked pancetta, carrot, celery, onions, tomato purée, meat broth, dry wine, milk, salt and pepper, plus a small amount of cream as an option to finish the sauce. There are numerous variations and nuances in the design, flavor, ingredients and most importantly the partner on the plate, the pasta, traditionally a taggliatelle.

What started as a simple idea within CTbites to find and recommend a few good Pasta Bolognese dishes in Fairfield County took a life of its own as more suggestions led to more great sauces, which led to, well more great sauces. Over the last several weeks, the two of us have enjoyed some great Pasta Bolognese preparations (and several that were not so good) to give our readers a list of recommended restaurants that serve delicious versions of this traditional Italian fare. It is not all encompassing, is listed alphabetically and we look to our readers to offer other suggestions of restaurants that serve their favorite Pasta Bolognese to be included in next year's search.

And this is only part 1…there were too many for just one list of recommendations, so stay tuned for part 2 in the near future.

Buon Appetito!!!

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Tuesday
Nov202012

NEAT Artisan Coffee Bar Now Open in Greenwich

Good news for people living and working in Greenwich CT. The espresso NEAT we know and love from Darien has just opened a coffee bar in the lobby @ 100 West Putnum in downtown Greenwich. NEAT will be serving beverages, pastries, lunch & sweets. Don't look for a sign because there is none, but you are now "in the know," so just walk on in and they'll make you your favorite NEAT drink just like in Darien.

They be open from 7:30am to 4:30pm during the week, and are offering an assortment of breakfast and lunch items from Wave Hill Breads Bakery & Cafe as well as a selection of Vegan-friendly food items from Green & Tonic.  

Get caffeinated!

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