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Connecticut's BEST DAIRY FARM ice Cream. This is the only guide you need this summer. 


Swing by South End in New Canaan for excellent "modern tavern" fare in an elegantly rustic setting. Live music on Wednesdays!

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Entries in kid friendly (312)

Sunday
Jul132014

Best Local Ice Cream Shoppes in Lower Connecticut: 2014 Edition

We have expanded and updated last year’s popular roundup of the best ice parlors in lower Connecticut.  

New flavors abound for 2014.  One of our favorite scoop shops melted away, but thanks to our readers, we found a truly magical hidden gem in an unexpected place.  Here's the updated list of BEST LOCAL ICE CREAM PARLORS IN LOWER CONNECTICUT. 

Ice cream fans, don't miss our companion piece, the 2014 Edition of BEST DAIRY FARM ICE CREAM IN CT.

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Friday
Jul112014

Blueberry Season in CT: Here's Where To Pick Your Own

Strawberries are wrapping up their season in CT, but those beautiful blues should be ready to pick in a matter of days. If you're looking for a fun family friendly activity, here's a great guide to CT farms that offer "Pick Your Own" blueberries. Make sure you call the farm before you head over as picking schedules vary daily. 

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Tuesday
Jul082014

Uncle Leo's Not Just Coffee & Donuts in Redding

A top secret doughnut recipe, a father and son business, and a dozen or so different types of doughnuts and New York-style bagels mean that mornings in Georgetown just got that much better, thanks to the arrival of Uncle Leo’s “Not Just” Coffee and Doughnuts.

Norwalk residents Leo Spinelli III (age 22) and his father Leo Spinelli, Jr., recently opened Uncle Leo's in the heart of Georgetown, at 19 Main Street, in the former Swirl Ice Cream location. The shop is a second coming for the father and son and the familiar Spinelli surname, who previously owned Spinelli’s Not Just Bagels in Norwalk that closed in 2009.

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Tuesday
Jul012014

My Signature Dish: Chef Tony Pham of Mecha Noodle Bar, Fairfield Talks Ramen

MY SLURPY SIGNATURE DISH

Ramen Shops in Japan are as plentiful as hamburger joints over here.  Every street boasts a shop.  Yet none are exactly alike, mainly because each is distinguished by the owner’s unique signature dish, his personal  autograph.  In that tradition, Tony Pham has created his own signature dish for Mecha Noodle Bar: a unique interpretation of traditional Miso Ramen.  Here’s the story behind it.

Tony likes to play with contrasts.  And not just the culinary kind.  

Case in point.  Before trying his signature dish, Miso Ramen, take a look overhead at his futuristic Mecha Noodle Bar.  Dangling from the ceiling, an arsenal of over three hundred vertical 2x4’s seem to be aimed directly at every table in the room.  Alien, threatening.  

By design.

Now try  Pham’s dramatic interpretation of a classical Ramen.  No, don’t taste it, slurp it.  Breath in its steamy aromatic bouquet.  Savor the deep, contrasting flavors: mushrooms and miso redolent of the earth, noodles that invoke wheat fields,  a succulent pork belly that also warms and welcomes, counterpointed by the lively spice and heat of scallion and chili oil.  It’s Japanese comfort food,a perfect  contrast after a playful scare. 

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Sunday
Jun292014

Romanacci Cafe in Norwalk: A Slice of Roma with a Casual Flair

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. 

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Sunday
Jun222014

Connecticut's Best Dairy Farm Ice Cream: 2014 Edition

With summer finally here, we have updated and expanded our annual roundup of the best dairy farm ice cream in Connecticut.  

You can’t get closer to farm fresh ice cream than tasting it at farm.  Not only do you see the cows, you whiff them, and that aroma is part of the authenticity of the experience, if not the charm.  Sure, these farms aren’t close by.  But WTD.  They’re “Worth The Drive”   And worth the lick: usually the freshest, creamiest, and most flavorful retail ice cream available in Connecticut.

While Chocolate and Vanilla remain cash cows, dairy farms also offer a greater array of flavors than you’ll find at parlors or in the supermarket freezer case.  In fact, farmers have begun to rival restaurant chefs for sheer inventiveness and culinary dairying-doo.

So, for your and your family’s guilty or innocent pleasures, we submit our favorite cow-to-cone  ice creams …

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Sunday
Jun152014

The Best Tacos in Connecticut: Ultimate Guide 

There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.

Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

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Tuesday
Jun102014

Dad’s & Grad’s Ultimate Grilled Pizza Party w/ Recipes from Marcia Selden

Time to celebrate your special Dad (June 15th ~ Father’s Day) or your fabulous Grad!  There’s no better time to fire up the grill and throw a party.   We've got a great salad to start… our grilled romaine with a blue cheese and bacon vinaigrette. 

Another one of our favorites things to make, at Marcia Selden Catering, are grilled pizzas.  The varieties are endless. It’s a little different and who doesn’t love pizza! This is a rare treat.

As for the pizza, if you don’t want to make your own dough, most stores sell great pre-made dough to make it real simple. Buy (from a good salad bar) or make lots of the toppings.

The best way to set yourself up for success is to arrange all of the toppings in bowls on a table by the grill. Guests can simply choose their toppings and grill up the pizzas on the spot.

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Thursday
Jun052014

Doughnut Day: Best Doughnuts in Fairfield County & Beyond

Friday June 6 is National Donut Day! Yes, it's an actual holiday... it started in 1938 and has been celebrated on the first Friday in June ever since.  Back then, making doughnuts proved a complicated ordeal, with people resorting to wine bottles as rolling pins and metal tins as cutting edges.  Today, however, several CT restaurants have made doughnuts an art form.

As a Stamford resident, I constantly heard people talk about the legendary donuts at the Lakeside Diner.  Their rounds are neither ornate nor revolutionary.  Instead, the old-fashioned donuts taste just like something Grandma would have pulled out of the oven.  The classic cake recipe has a dusting of granulated sugar that pleases children and adults alike.

On the other side of the spectrum, Orangeside of New Haven eschews tradition and bakes up SQUARE donuts.  It started out as an exercise in frugality; traditional round cutters proved expensive and the square shaped reduced the amount of scrap dough.  However, the original design became an instant hit, even recognized by Saveur Magazine as one of the top 50 donuts in the United States.

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Monday
May262014

gingerbitz Bakery Opens in New Canaan: A Sneak Peek

“gingerbitz” is opening its doors in what owners Andrew and Karen Zuckert call the store’s “dress rehearsal” and CTbites and Hearst Connecticut Media Group were invited for a sneak peek and sample several of Karen’s delicious creations.

Described as a bakery and café, gingerbitz is a welcome addition to New Canaan, which has yearned for a local bakery for many years. The longtime dream of New Canaan residents Andrew and Karen Zuckert, gingerbitz represents years of dedication. Karen is well known within Fairfield County for her amazing gingerbread houses that have graced many mantles, as well as featured at numerous holiday festivals. When the opportunity arose to open a bakery in town that would “broader showcase Karen’s talents,” the couple jumped at the opportunity. They painstakingly and meticulously renovated the location, developed relationships with vendors to provide organic products and Andrew embarked on his search for the perfect coffee.

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