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.
Entries in Greenwich (59)
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With high-end restaurants like Thomas Henkelmann, Rebecca’s, Jean Louis, L’escale, and Polpo, the Greenwich food scene is hallmarked by special occasion dining. Though lush and lux, the cuisines are rough on wallets and waistlines.
At first blush, Morello’s on Greenwich Avenue seems to be part of that plush world. The setting, a landmark Beaux Arts bank building woven with spectacular arches and ceilings tiled in golden amber by the Catalan architect Rafel Guastavino, Jr, may be the most lavish, sexiest dining space in all of Connecticut. Moreover, the bistro is part of the exclusive restaurant portfolio belonging to international jet setter and billionaire Marlon Abela, a collection that includes Michelin star eateries in London, as well as a Voce in Manhattan and Bistro du Midi in Boston.
In celebration of Kathleen King's new cookbook, BAKING FOR FRIENDS: Over 120 scrumptious recipes from Southampton's favorite baker, Kings Food Markets will host a book signing and Q&A with Kathleen at its Old Greenwich, Connecticut store location on Saturday, October 13th at 12p.m. Guests attending will have the opportunity to meet the author and taste some of Tate's delicious sweets.