When we asked Fortina's Christian Petroni to share an Easter recipe, he turned to an Italian classic...his mother. Much of Petroni's culinary inspiration is derived from a richly food-centric childhood just outside of Naples, and this Easter recipe is no exception. Christian's mother's cooking can often be spotted on the menus of Fortina Pizza (Armonk, Ryebrook & Stamford coming soon), and now on CTbites. Thanks to Fiorella & Christian Petroni for sharing a little bit of their holiday with this ultimate comfort food Recipe for Easter Pie. What type of "pie" you ask. This recipe features: salami, sweet provolone, ricotta and eggs...enough said.
Entries in Italian (84)
I recently had the opportunity to visit the newly redesigned Amore Cucina & Bar on Hope Street in Stamford for a blogger dinner.
The restaurant interior boasts a warm rustic atmosphere with its combination of exposed brick and distressed wood. The large bar area accommodates thirty people and offers a well thought out wine list with a concentration on Italian varietals, creative cocktails and craft beer. Sixty seats are set up in a casual trattoria style, and during warmer weather a large patio will welcome diners.
The real news here is Owner Bruno DiFabio, a six-time World Pizza Champion, Restaurateur and Television Personality. With eleven restaurants in the US and new ones scheduled to open in London, I assure you that he knows pizza.
I was recently invited to a press dinner at Strada 18 in South Norwalk. The restaurant was eager to share with us their Italian-American Comfort Classics Dinner. With temperatures well below the freezing mark, all the snow, freezing rain and sleet, this is the type of food so many are craving right now.
A group of about 20 or so writers, editors and bloggers gathered together for this dinner that was prepared especially for us. We started out with the Fried Calamari with Three Sauces, aioli, lemon-lime-jalapeno-cilantro, and marinara. The calamari was tender, flavorful and incredibly crispy and the accompanying sauces complemented them perfectly. We also enjoyed the Arancini, a fried risotto ball stuffed with American farmstead Fontina and served with a tomato sauce. The Arancini was good – but I wouldn’t say it was outstanding or one of the best I’ve ever had.
In celebration of his new book, America: Farm-to-Table, and of the opening of Tarry Lodge in New Haven, Mario Batali will visit the Yale Sustainable Food Program and join its director, Mark Bomford, in conversation on Friday, January 23 from 3 to 4 pm at the Whitney Humanities Center 53 Wall St. New Haven, CT 06511. This event is open to the public but seating is limited. Visit the YSFP website for more information on this event.
Batali will also host a three-course lunch at Tarry Lodge, for $85 per person on January 23. For details or to purchase tickets, visit the Tarry Lodge website. If tickets are sold out, contact the restaurant to be added to a wait list: (203) 672-0765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the buzz- VESPA (Italian for WASP) has arrived in Westport, so get ready for the sting. Perfectly situated on the corner of Post Road and the Saugatuck River, the brand spankin-new haunt from Westporter Bobby Werhane and his partner Kevin Lalumiere of Experience Hospitality Group shares its patio space with Bar Taco and nuzzles up snugly to the water's edge. VESPA is the group's second local restaurant (NEAT opened recently, right across the lot) and it's poised for success.
We were invited to a "friends and family" soft opening where we enjoyed a large cross section of the very approachable and creative Italian inspired menu, prepared by Werhane's allstar kitchen team. Executive Chefs, Brian Reilly (Greenhouse Tavern and Noodle Cat) and Craig Wallen (Spasso and sous chef at Gramercy Tavern) work alongside Pasta Chef, Laura Bonechi (Jean-George's The Inn at Pound Ridge), and, by the way...her hand-rolled pasta is seriously crave-worthy.
You know how you “just know” when a new restaurant is going to be good? That’s the feeling you get in the first ten minutes at Brick + Wood, a new restaurant and wine bar in Fairfield’s Brick Walk Plaza on the site of the former Ponte Vecchio restaurant. When you make a great find like this, it’s a double-edged sword: You want to share it with friends, but at the same time keep it your secret a little longer. We decided to share. You’re welcome.
On a recent lunch visit, as we perused the distressed-wood and worn-brick decor, an amuse bouche appeared out of nowhere—two crispy crostini topped with fluffy homemade ricotta, sautéed broccoli rabe and imported prosciutto—as if to say, “Let’s get this party started.”
Executive Chef Mogan Anthony of Locali restaurant in New Canaan rolled out his fall menu, inspired by the fresh autumn ingredients, and invited CTbites to stop in and sample a few of his new culinary creations.
My favorite of the Small Plates was the “Shaved Local Cauliflower.” The thinly sliced raw cauliflower was tossed with pieces of Medjool dates, cashews, and drizzled with white Balsamic. The earthiness of the crispy cauliflower was beautifully complemented by the sweetness in the dates and the slightly tart balsamic. The cashews added additional earthiness and a delightful crunch.
It is a unique place that can transform itself from a casual, family friendly lunch and dinner spot to a young and hip late night stop after a dinner of popcorn at the movies. Romanacci Cafe (which translates as “From Rome”) on the Norwalk-Westport border is such a place, offering Artisan pizzas, salads, Focaccia paninis, crepes and freshly made Italian pastries.
Tucked into a strip center on the Post Road, Romanacci is the handiwork of two brothers, Graziano and Maurizio Ricci. Both hail from Rome, where they attended culinary school and worked alongside their parents as well as in other family-run restaurants.
Graziano migrated to the US almost 18 years ago and eventually oversaw the kitchen in New Haven’s Hot Tomatoes. He subsequently convinced his younger brother, Maurizio, to join him as its maître d’, and they finally chased their dream of owning a restaurant. When the owner of Norwalk’s Osteria Romana decided to sell his business, the brothers decided to purchase the restaurant with the intention of bringing a younger attitude and clientele to complement Graziano’s fresh pastas, breads, and sauces. Osteria Romana continues to thrive with a loyal and regular crowd, outdoor seating and a cozy bar area.
Finally…the weather has changed…the farms are beginning to produce spring vegetables… and al fresco dining is in full swing. CTbites recently posted a round-up of over forty restaurants with al fresco dining including Locali in New Canaan and many readers added their favorites.
At the northern end of Forest Avenue, aka Restaurant Row, the patio of the newest restaurant addition, Locali, opened its patio, doubled the seating and Executive Chef Mogan Anthony has completely revamped the menu. The new spring offerings include nine predetermined pizza combinations and sixteen appetizers and salads, all for sharing, plus a smattering of pastas. All of these new culinary delights combine bold flavors and textures to highlight the seasonal bounty.
Monday April 28, Napa & Co of Stamford presents FAVORITE WINES OF SPAIN. Explore the dusty, dirty and sultry wines of this HOT region from Priorat, Campo de Borja and Rioja. There will be 6 wines to experience. $50/person (exclusive of tax and gratuity).
Also on Monday the 28th, Barcelona West Hartford presents “Paella 101.” Join Chef Eric in this class dedicated to the Spanish classic – Paella! Learn how to make this delicious dish and a popular Barcelona favorite. For reservations please call the restaurant at 860.218.2100. $29 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 7pm.
Golden View Firenze Ristorante and Continental Fine Wine & Spirits will team up for a 5 course Tuscan Wine Dinner of Tuesday April 29. 5 dishes will be paired with 5 different Italian wines. $70pp plus tax and gratuity. Call 203-869-0865 to reserve.
Tuesday April 29, New Canaan Wine Merchants invites you to raid their reserve room! Between 7 and 8:30pm, guests can select 3 high end wines to open, talk about, and taste. Free event.
April 29 is also the 6th Annual Glenlivet/Cigar Dinner @ Max Fish in Glastonbury. It features cigars from "The Tobacco Shop" on Pratt Street in Hartford, CT, food, and Glenlivet pairings. $125 per person, not including tax & gratuity. Space is limited, so call for reservations today. 860.652.3474. 6-9pm.