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Entries in Lunch (199)

Sunday
Mar292015

Magee's Curbside: Must Try Breakfast & Lunch in Stamford!

I get this tip that the new place to go for the best casual breakfast and lunch food in Stamford is a small spot at 72 Magee Ave., in the “no-man’s zone” south of I-95 and the Metro-North tracks. On the way to Greenwich one morning I decide to investigate Magee's Curbside.

Here’s the bottom line in an anecdote:

After I show up and rattle the staff by asking them to make a few dishes I can sample and photograph—and ask if the owners are around—I’m sitting at a table talking to co-owners Danny DeGruttola (owner of The Brickhouse Bar & Grill on Bedford Street) and Evan Philippopoulos. A woman comes in and declares that she’s back after Magee’s delighted her with the best turkey burger she’s ever had. (The house-recipe burger was a recent special.)

No, the woman wasn’t a ringer; no one knew I was coming and the owners of the small, bright and cheerful place weren’t even supposed to be there—the food just is that terrific.

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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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Wednesday
Feb112015

Strada 18: Revisiting Classic Italian Comfort Food in Norwalk

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.

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Tuesday
Feb032015

Fairfield gets Freshii! Nutritious Healthy Food For People On The Go

Fairfield has worked its way up the food chain, offering all sorts of great dining opportunities for those with even the most discerning palates. With all the new restaurant openings, there was one thing that was lacking in the town’s culinary offerings; a really good health-food based option. Until now - enter Freshii. 

Sandwiched in between The Fairfield University Bookstore and Chef’s Table is Freshii, recently opened by owner Jonathan Blob who also owns the Westport location. Although word had not yet really gotten out, the restaurant was bustling the two times I went in, first to check it out, then when I returned to chat with Blob. 

The store, long and narrow, airy and bright, evokes a fresh, healthy attitude. Bright green, leaf-colored chairs are neatly lined up against the long counter space on one wall just below a large mirror reflecting the words...EAT. ENERGIZE. from the opposing wall. The light woods and grass-like covered wall lend themselves perfectly to an eatery of this type. A large menu board lists many and varied options. There are choices for breakfast, smoothies, juices, salads, wraps, bowls, soups and burritos.

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Sunday
Jan252015

Road Trip: Chamard Vineyards Farm, Winery, & Bistro in Clinton

How often does one get to visit a vineyard that’s blanketed by crisp white snow, or highlighted by a fiery autumnal backdrop, making it even more magical than it already is? Nestled in the shoreline town of Clinton, about a mile beyond the hustle and bustle of the outlet shops is a charming vineyard that boasts over 20 acres of grapes as well as their bountiful fruit, vegetable and herb gardens. One might not consider Connecticut to be wine country, but Chamard Vineyards Farm, Winery, & Bistro is worth noting. Established in 1983, Chamard’s winning Estate Reserve wines are exclusively made in their winery, and can be enjoyed in their Tasting Room or in their dining room. The bistro offers a creative farm-to-table menu featuring a French inspired American menu.  Their Chardonnay and Merlot are very good.

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Sunday
Jan112015

Lunch Break: Soups & Sandwiches at Wah Lah in Bethel CT

Wah Lah is the ideal lunch location for a cozy cup of soup or a delicious pressed sandwich, with a side of small town charm. A fast-casual restaurant that focuses on the holy lunch trinity of soups, sandwiches, and salads, Wah Lah sets itself apart thanks to its amiable and talented owner-chef Keith Burke, and a well-executed and consistent menu that honors classic and wholesome recipes.

Keith opened Wah Lah in 2010. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, he worked in the foodservice industry for 14 years, traveling across the country before deciding to change his pace and put down roots in the small Connecticut town of Bethel. The fast casual dining concept appealed to him, and he decided to marry that approach to the lunch-friendly category of soups with salads and sandwiches soon following.

Wah Lah’s menu is a list of eight to twelve soups made fresh daily

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Sunday
Jan042015

Lunch @ The New Harvest Wine Bar in New Haven

The New Haven outpost of Harvest Wine Bar is the fifth restaurant for siblings Kleber, Nube, and Vincente Siguenza, the the trio behind Cava in New Canaan, 55 Degrees in Fairfield, Scena in Darien, and sister restaurant Harvest Wine Bar in Greenwich. CTbites reviewed the Greenwich location almost a year ago, and many of the same culinary observations apply to this newly opened New Haven outpost on Chapel Street. I stopped in recently to experience the restaurant’s $19 two-course prix fixe lunch, perhaps one of the best downtown lunch options among New Haven’s fine dining restaurants.

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Thursday
Nov202014

Chocopologie Re-Opens in Downtown SoNo with Espresso, Dessert & Lunch

Very shortly, Fritz Knipschildt, owner of Chocopologie, will be swapping his old 12 South Main St. location for an up-to-date Chocopologie at 133 Washington St.

The new Chocopologie has maintained some aspects of the old café like the European flair (yes, I’m thinking about the savory buckwheat crepes), the open chocolate-making station, and their trademark exposed brick walls. But don’t be fooled; the light-washed wood flooring, trendy antique furniture, and a simple chalkboard menu point to a decidedly new style. Knipschildt described the new restaurant’s theme as “doing less with more.”

Their “less is more” thinking has inspired their chow as well. Knipschildt and Manager Joseph Trepanowski are not fans of the nuevo, hipster movement, and said that “these hipster places put on good faces but it’s a facade,” adding that they want to be cool but have substance.

A primary focus of the 133 Washington St. location will be the espresso.

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Tuesday
Nov112014

The Chelsea in Fairfield Launches New Menu 

Many restaurants update their menus seasonally, but The Chelsea in Fairfield has made some significant changes to the menu...changes so significant that we felt they bear mention.

Chef/Co-Owner Matt Storch says, The Chelsea has made “some really delicious additions to the menu this go around, we wanted to create a unique menu that makes us stand out as having some of the best and most diverse food in Fairfield."  The Chef de Cuisine, Eric Felitto, has worked in The Chelsea kitchen almost since its inception, and has moved up the ranks to assume this new role. Felitto has a great background in Asian Cuisine, and this passion influenced many of new menu items such as the China Ribs & Vietnamese Chicken Soup. For lunch, we loved the bánh  inspired Porchetta Sandwich, slow roasted crispy pork, on a soft roll. Eric has also worked closely with Chef Matt Storch to perfect some of the exciting new dishes you can see pictured above and described below.   

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Saturday
Nov082014

The Granola Bar in Westport Launches Dinner Menu & NEW Kid Friendly Fare

If you love the cozy, familiar space of The Granola Bar for your lattes, lunch or gluten free baked goods, well, you can now love them for another good reason.  Dinner—is served! With beloved Chef Jes Bengtson at the helm of The Granola Bar’s kitchen, a full menu of healthy, delicious items, familiar, new and seasonal, are now available to you and your family Wednesdays through Saturdays.  

Owner Julie Levitt speaks passionately about her mission of bringing a healthier food movement to focus, and the restaurant’s kitchen has no fryers…or even a stovetop!  The produce is organic and whenever possible, locally sourced, a nod to Levitt’s commitment to support local farms.  The menu aims to capture the tastebuds of every member of your family at a favorable price point, so when you have that pang of guilt for not having the time to cook and put dinner on the table, TGB is the locals’ no brainer.

There are some new additions to the menu, such as Candied Turkey Bacon Deviled Eggs, which were divine.

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