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Entries in Greenwich (68)

Sunday
Feb162014

Morello Italian Bistro in Greenwich: Beautiful Food in an Exquisite Setting

Morello Italian Bistro is architecturally one of the most beautiful restaurants in Connecticut and offers equally fine cuisine. The exquisite interior of the landmark building on Greenwich Avenue was designed by Rafael Guastavino, Jr, whose father invented the golden amber tile vaulting system that grace the pillars, herringbone arches and ceilings. Art adorns the walls, and the soft, hand blown white tear-drop shaped glass chandeliers, descending from the ceiling create a beautifully romantic atmosphere for dinner. As we worked our way through appetizers, pastas, entrees and desserts General Manager Jimmy Branigan, Jr. was the perfect host, stopping by the table on several occasions to explain the composition of many of the courses and offer suggestions from the reasonably priced wine list.

While we leisurely perused the menu, we enjoyed the “Prosciutto & Parmesan Fritters.” The large fritters delivered complementary textures and flavors. The crisp exterior was offset by the marvelously smooth interior, which presented a delicious combination of prosciutto and Fontina cheese. The dish was finished with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese which added the perfect level of saltiness to the fried exterior. An order or two for the table is an excellent way to start the meal. 

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Sunday
Jan052014

Valbella: Old School Italian Elegance in Greenwich

I never go to Italian restaurants in Connecticut because I was lucky and spoiled enough to have eaten in Italy - a lot - and I always feel disappointed in the American version of Italian cuisine. So when a friend begged me to review VALBELLA in Greenwich, I was reluctant to say the least. The pastry chef, she claimed, was world renowned and his food art simply had to be reviewed. I did some research and decided to acquiesce. For more than 20 years, the stately, Victorian Valbella has been the archetype for excellent but old school Italian cuisine in the Greenwich/Riverside area, and has successful sister locations in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and Midtown. And I can understand why. It is in no way funky or hip or cool but is extremely elegant and the food, though I am hesitant to admit it, was outstanding. 

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Sunday
Dec152013

ROUGE Brasserie & Oyster Bar Opens in Byram, Greenwich

CTbites recently attended a press dinner at ROUGE Brasserie & Oyster Bar, a brand new dining venture in the eclectic Byram section of Greenwich, owned by the cb5 restaurant group, which formerly owned Bleu on Greenwich Avenue. Chef Josh Moulton returns to cb5 in Greenwich after his role as Executive Chef at the Monkey Bar and Moda in NYC and West Restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu features hearty French bistro fare including classic steak tartare, sautéed foie gras, onion soup gratinee, skate meuniere, poulet en croute, and short rib Bourguignon.

The restaurant, which previously housed the sexy Lolita Cocina (also owned by cb5), was graciously redefined with huge ornate white mirrors, exposed brick walls, elaborate chandeliers, and a more subtle color palette. It's playful but elegant, and the perfect spot for a first date. 

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Wednesday
Nov062013

Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro, Coming to Greenwich via Serendipity Magazine

A Slice of Cake Boss via Serendipity Magazine

Buddy Valastro, the star of TLC’s Cake Boss and owner of the famous Carlo’s  bakery, is opening shop in Greenwich, CT, this fall. He talks to Serendipity about  the sweet life and what to expect at the new site: delicious pastries, over-the-top cakes, and maybe even tv cameras!

Why did you choose Greenwich for your first Carlo’s Bakery out of New Jersey?
I love it here, it’s a great town. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve been able to spend here. There’s so much to do on Greenwich Avenue, and so many families in the area. I knew it would be a great fit for the first Carlo’s Bakery outside of New Jersey. I have friends who live in the Westchester area, so I’ve been able to get to know the area better when I visit them.

Everyone wants to know — will you be working at the new bakery?
Of course, I’m going to be there as often as I can. I’m a hands-on person, and it’s very important for me to make sure that our Greenwich location will meet the same standards I’ve built for Carlo’s Bakery. So, I’ll be here to make sure we’re running smoothly.

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Sunday
Oct272013

CHAR Opens in Byram, Greenwich: A Menu Built to Please

Westchesterites and Nutmeggers...CHAR in Byram is open! 

In the crazy scene that was this year’s Culinary Village at The Greenwich Wine+Food Festival there were a few major culinary stand outs…and one was a Grilled Octopus with Garlic Confit prepared by CHAR. From that single bite I knew that a visit to this Greenwich newcomer was required.

Situated along the river in Byram on the NY border, CHAR is owned by experienced GM, Jimmy Rucova, and his two brothers who also run Dolphin and Cafe Hudson, both in Yonkers. CHAR has a warm, but "cool" interior, with multiple dining spaces all outfitted with beautiful reclaimed wood. The wall coverings are former floor joists from old buildings in Brooklyn and the flooring is water-logged white oak from Alabama. A stone fireplace provides the focal point in the main dining room and antique brass fixtures dot the faux-tin ceiling to provide a casually hip environment. 

But the food is the real news at CHAR.

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Sunday
Oct132013

Sneak Peek at Greenwich's Golden View Firenze

The culinary landscape in Greenwich expands with the recent opening of Golden View Firenze at 249 Railroad Avenue with its owner, chef and menu direct from Florence, Italy. For many years Tommaso Grasso, owner of Golden View Open Bar overlooking the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, visited friends in the US and they recently convinced him to bring his upscale cuisine and vibe to Greenwich. He persuaded Italian chef Francesco Casu to join him from Florence, and the two have created a traditional and authentic Tuscan menu.

Entering the restaurant, you immediately feel the European influence in the décor. The sleek black and white tables and chairs were imported from Italy and the walls are all adorned with paintings also imported from Italy. The entire space has an inviting European hip ambience and is spacious for the forty guests who will dine on traditional Tuscan cuisine. The entire rear of the dining area is dedicated to the stainless steel kitchen with a Chef’s Counter for four lucky guests.

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Friday
Aug022013

Green & Tonic Opens in Greenwich: Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free 

Green & Tonic Opens Second Location In Greenwich with foods that find their power in both taste and healing.

As a California native who has spent the last 17 years living in Connecticut, I know health food in its many forms. I also know junk food disguised as health food. I’ve eaten my share of overpriced twigs and sprouts on tiny plates, overcooked veggies flavored with too much salt and oil, “natural” juices loaded with sugar and calories, and ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. In other words, you can’t fool me, baby. But when I walked into Green & Tonic after it opened its second location in Greenwich, my doubts quickly vanished. This place walks the walk on healthy food. Oh, and it tastes good too.

Co-owner Jeffrey Pandolfino, a Johnson & Wales graduate with vast experience in the restaurant business, who ran his own operation for many years and also spent time at Pret A Manger, was motivated to serve healthy, organic food for another reason – he knew the healing power of food.

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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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