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CTbites' Chef Demo Tent Sept 5 + 6th at The Blues & BBQ Festival in Westport. 8 local chefs. Ton's of great food for all! View lineup here. 

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Wednesday
Aug122015

The Cake Boss Opening Carlo’s Bakery At Mohegan Sun September 12th

Photo from Buddy Valastro on InstagramCarlo’s Bakery, the setting of the hit TLC series Cake Boss, will open its doors in the Winter section of Casino of the Earth on Saturday, September 12th. Carlo’s Bakery at Mohegan Sun is the brand’s eleventh location and first ever New England venue. The bakery will offer all the same famous Italian pastries and specialty cakes that originated in Hoboken.

Carlo’s Bakery at Mohegan Sun, as it will be formally known, will also introduce The Sweet Room. Unique to the Mohegan Sun location, the Sweet Room is a dessert-only dining concept slated to feature a small menu of decadent Italian-inspired innovations. The Sweet Room will be open from 5:00pm to 1:00am every day.

“Mohegan Sun is such a cool, all-encompassing destination in Connecticut,” said Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery. “Opening a bakery there just seems like a perfect fit for us as we continue to grow our family business and join communities where our fans and their families can make a day out of their visit if they wanted to.”  

What you need to know:

  • WHAT: Grand Opening of Carlo’s Bakery in Mohegan Sun
  • WHENSaturday, September 12, 2015
  • WHERE: Winter section of Casino of the Earth, Mohegan Sun, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382
Sunday
Aug022015

Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield: Gluttonous Carnivorianism

The heck with “Veni, vidi, vici,” my return visit to Hoodoo Brown BBQ in Ridgefield was more we came, we saw, we ordered and man we tried. And when I say we tried…we tried EVERY meat on the menu and we tried to eat every ounce of meat on numerous trays. If this was a gunfight with Hoodoo Brown in the 1870s we would be full of holes, he won.

Armed with a reservation for the “BBQ Room,” twelve of us ventured to Hoodoo Brown. As our group congregated, I placed the initial appetizer order plus a round of beers, sodas and lemonades.  To warm up our appetites, this initial order included two large BBQ Nachos (one with chopped brisket and the other with pulled pork), a dozen Bourbon Teriyaki Wings and a couple of Strawberry and Arugula salads. As we waited, super Pitmaster Nestor Laracuente wandered into the room to offer his humble thanks to all of us for coming and wished us a great meal. He was heading back to Queens for the evening before beginning the return voyage the following morning at 4AM.

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Wednesday
Jul222015

Annabelle's Natural Ice Cream Now Being Sold @ Gingerbitz in New Canaan

In a town that offers the best gelato in Fairfield County, New Canaan has been void of the same quality ice cream. That has now changed as Gingerbitz on Elm Street is now selling scoops of Annabelle’s Ice Cream from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. When I heard the news I headed straight to Gingerbitz to sample.

Nestled alongside the cakes, pastries, woopie pies and the Stumptown coffee, Gingerbitz offers four rotating varieties. With the scorching temperature this past weekend, there were several people lined up to order a cone or a cup of the current selections; Triple Chocolate, New Hampshire Pure Maple Walnut, Raspberry Chocolate Chip and Salty Caramel. A quick look on Annabelle’s website describes the ice cream a “super premium, 16% butter fat, kosher®, natural ice cream with NO additives or artificial colors.”

Each of them were extra-creamy, dense and full of great flavors. The chocolate was my favorite. The richness of the chocolate was elevated by chocolate chunks and a dark fudge.

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Friday
Jul102015

Pick Your Own Blueberries Opens Today @ Bishop's Orchards in Guilford CT

Pick-Your-Own Blueberries is NOW OPEN at Bishop's Orchards in Guilford CT. Today is Opening Day with weekday hours 8am-1:30pmSaturday 8am-4pm, and Sunday 9am-4pm. Blueberry season lasts about 6-7 weeks, up until late August. Blueberry admission is FREE into the field. You MUST pay for what you pick, by the pound. The field location for Blueberry picking is at their Main Orchards located off of New England Road. 

Remember to always call their PICK line before heading out at 203-458-PICK. Weather and crop availability are always a factor so hours and locations can change at anytime. If strawberry season was any indication of what is to come with blueberries, we are all in for a real treat! 

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Sunday
Jul052015

Homespun Mexican at Mexicali Rose in Bethel and Newtown

Mexicali Rose is the type of small town dive you might take for granted if you grew up with it in your backyard (like I did), or you selfishly want to keep it to yourself (like I do). As a kid growing up in Newtown, I knew it was preferable to its Subway strip mall neighbor, but it wasn’t until I logged many thousands of miles of travel and dozens (hundreds?) of taco joints, that I truly saw this place. Homemade tortilla chips, walls covered in a clutter of Mexican folkloric kitsch, a handful of enamel top tables, and one very kind family that owns and runs the restaurant make Mexicali Rose one of my favorite hidden northern Fairfield County gems.

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Sunday
May172015

Camille's Wood Fired Pizza in Tolland

A three hour drive to Boston is best broken up by lunch, preferably pizza, and always with a good friend. This is how I found myself at Camille’s Wood Fired Pizza in Tolland with someone as obsessed with pizza as I am.

A strikingly thin and crispy yet solidly constructed crust forms the foundation for Camille’s 11 or so red and white pies. They range from the classic margherita to their signature Billy’s Bianco, a combination of pistachio, cream, goat cheese, ricotta, truffle honey, red onion (pictured). Their spicy sausage and kale was an excellent lunch partner alongside the Bianco, balanced well with savory sausage, spicy chile oil, and slight bitterness from the kale smoothed out by mozzarella.

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Thursday
May072015

Colony Grill To Open in Norwalk CT @ New Waypointe Site

Colony Grill Development, LLC has reached a lease agreement with CP IV Waypointe BP I, LLC to open a Colony Grill within the newly-constructed Waypointe development, located at 515 West Avenue in Norwalk, CT.

Colony, famous for its thin-crust hot oil pizza, plans to open the location in mid-summer 2015.

“We believe Colony Grill is one of the restaurant linchpins of this project, “said Paxton Kinol, principal at Bellpointe Capital, the Waypointe developer. “We love their pizza, their local authenticity, and their commitment to community as a company. Colony is a tremendous amenity to the Waypointe project.”

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Tuesday
Apr282015

RIP Gates - 35 Years of Serving New Canaan

Gates opened its doors thirty-five years ago and continues to offer an array of dishes that keep this “elder statesman” on New Canaan’s Restaurant Row bustling seven days a week. The entrance is guarded by ornate gates and once you enter you are immersed into a large, open dining area with walls adorned by murals by Janet Picard, paintings and large terra cotta planters. Wander to the left and you enter the bar with a long oak bar with 12 seats and several booths. Both areas are normally filled with locals partaking of a drink after work, families enjoying dinner and regulars having a good time with friends.

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Sunday
Mar082015

Bobby Q’s Pit Stop in Old Greenwich: BBQ & Comfort Food 

We all know Westport’s funky back alley BBQ stop, Bobby Q’s, as a casual place for authentic Kansas City BBQ ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and burnt ends. But did you know that a little over 2 years ago, owner Bob LeRose along with his cousin and Pitmaster/Chef, Joey Boucher, felt the burning desire to open a “grab and go” outpost in Old Greenwich on Putnam Ave (aka Route 1/Boston Post Road) called Bobby Q’s Pit Stop

It was 14 degrees when I pulled into the narrow storefront parking lot, and the unmistakable smell of BBQ hit me the minute I walked through the door.  The open kitchen, high top tables and counter felt welcoming and comfortable.  Sort of like a diner in the south. 

But Pit Stop is really not about BBQ, although one whole page on the menu features Bobby Q’s signature BBQ rib and meat combos, baby back ribs, and BBQ Plates and BBQ sandwiches. 

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Tuesday
Feb102015

The New Blondie Burger at Sycamore Drive In in Bethel

Photo: Ryan Kundrat

Behind every great man is a great woman. And for Dagwood Bumstead, that woman is Blondie

Bethel's Sycamore Drive-in Restaurant, founded in 1948 and famous for its summer cruise nights, homemade root beer, and thin French-style burgers, has introduced the new Blondie burger, a fitting companion for their popular Dagwood burger. And I believe it's about time, the cartoon is named after the blonde bombshell matriarch, afterall. 

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