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Entries in Lunch (256)


Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar Opens In Wilton: American Fare with a Twist

Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar is the sort of place you want to wander into on a winter’s day with its warm, welcoming reclaimed wood interior accompanied by the nostalgic aroma of decades-old wood burning ovens and fireplaces. The restaurant, which opened at the end of last summer, greets a steady stream of diners throughout the day and well into the night, as I was witness to when I went to meet owners Cristina Ramirez and Mario Lopez. 

Located in the heart of Wilton and easily accessible from all surrounding towns, Craft 14 offers a fare of traditional American comfort food with a twist. Designed by Cristina, the interior evokes a traditional country ease with a bit of modern urbanity. The generously sized bar, also fitted with reclaimed lumber, lines the far wall of the restaurant. Even though it is just late afternoon, the bar has already started to embrace those eager to end their day early. 

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Manhattan's Dig Inn Opens in Rye

Just over the border in Rye...

Dig Inn, a highly successful natural restaurant with 13 locations in Manhattan and one in Boston is opening its first suburban venture on January 12th at 112 S. Ridge Street at the Rye Ridge Plaza. Dig Inn mindfully sources ingredients to deliver wholesome meals at a reasonable price, democratizing good, food. Along with the company's signature menu with farm fresh options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this location will include new and unique features specifically created for Westchester County.

The Rye location will feature family packages, long tables for communal noshing, private nooks for working and reading, and cooking classes with our head chefs. In addition, it will offer an intimate 10-seat chef’s counter, serving vegetable-forward entrees, including mushroom tartare on flax crackers, and black lentils, grilled chicories, and butternut squash conserva…perfect for date night.

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Terra Ristorante Opens Today in Danbury 

Terra Ristorante, a Northern Italian restaurant located in the heart of downtown Greenwich, is opening its second location in Danbury, CT, the eighth restaurant for the Z Hospitality Group. Over twenty-five years ago, founder and owner, Ramze Zakka, opened Terra in Greenwich, the first of his eight eateries, to fulfill his dream of owning a restaurant that serves simple and delicious food in a more relaxed alternative to the already existing white glove and fast casual restaurants. Terra was a bistro that introduced authentic Northern Italian food where guests would feel like they were transported to Florence for a genuine dining experience. Everything from food and beverages to Italian music has been carefully curated to achieve this goal.

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Pho 99: Magic Number for Pho in East Hartford and Wethersfield

My magic number for pho is 99. There are those who say 501 is better. I say, are you sure? Because, though I used to eat there back in the day, now my money's on Pho 99 all the way. Friendly service, clean, and more varieties of spring rolls than anywhere else I know. For me, it’s the pho gold standard. Not to mention, Chef Peter Nguyen is a sweetheart of a guy who takes pride in what they serve in his restaurants. The smiling man with the infectious laugh is the heart, soul, chef and secret recipe holder within the Pho 99 kitchen.

“The soup is a BIIIIIIIIIIIG secret! No one, family even--Mary’s (his business partner’s) husband don’t know! My wife don’t know! My cousins—don’t know! There’s a lot of businesses like us who come ask, what the heck are you doing? Unbelievable! What you put in there? I say, I do the same as you do!” Peter smiles, knowing full well what he does separates him from the pack and is absolutely not the same.


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Rye House to Add to the Eclectic Port Chester Dining Scene

The folks from Rye House wanted to share some recent updates. This is not a CTbites review but a head's up to restaurants in the area. 

Located in a historical building, circa 1890, whose antique brick façade and grand door arches frame the corner of Willett Avenue and North Main Street in the New York City suburb of Port Chester, Rye House (opened in 2015) is named after the American distilled spirit and the spirit of an American neighborhood tavern. Spearheaded by Our House Hospitality, whose eating and drinking establishments include the original Rye House and Sala One Nine, Tapas Bar & Restaurant, both located in the Flatiron district of New York. Rye House Port Chester pulls no punches – instead, it offers a break from the norm, with good food and drink at the forefront.

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Barcelona Wine Bar Opens in Waypointe Norwalk

After 20 years as a Sono institution, Barcelona Wine Bar has moved up the street and officially opened its doors in Norwalk’s new Waypointe complex. Their new home looks and feels much like the creative dining spaces guests have come to expect from Barcelona’s five CT locations, but as SVP Adam Halberg says “ Waypointe will feel familiar, but there are some key areas that make this new location quite unique.” The open kitchen, massive 40 seat bar, and a new menu approach will take their authentic and distinctive Spanish tapas menu even closer to the markets and restaurants of Spain. 

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Brunching at The National in Greenwich

Christmas was in the air in Greenwich this past weekend as the town’s Annual Holiday Stroll offered something for everyone: a chance to meet Santa, a ride in a horse drawn carriage, and for me, the opportunity to try out The National’s Holiday Brunch. 

I had not yet been to Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s newest and his first restaurant in Greenwich. The celebrity chef has appeared on The Today ShowGood Morning America, and CBS Morning Show and has starred in many Food Network programs including Chopped, The Next Iron Chef and Cooks vs. Cons, the network’s newest show.  

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Hidden Gem: El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant in Bridgeport

The first thing to do when you sit down at a sturdy wood table at El Paraiso Mexican Restaurant is order an agua fresca.  These icy fruit drinks are made to order; the grinding blender drowns out the Mexican t.v. and music, and soon you’re sipping the most refreshing beverage. My favorite is the melon or watermelon, depending on what they have in the kitchen. Mango is sweeter. I haven’t tried the tamarindo. 

El Paraiso is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Bridgeport. It’s on Madison Avenue, near Capitol. The white gates covering some of the windows make it look closed, but inside, especially on weekends, El Paraiso is bustling and welcoming, the room filled with families with children. The waitresses smile. Speaking Spanish is an advantage, but by no means necessary. 

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Art’s Deli in Westport Soon to be Winfield Street Italian Deli 

More exciting Westport deli news from WestportNow.

Westport’s iconic Art’s Deli at 13 Post Road West, near the intersection of Riverside Avenue, is under new ownership. 

Art’s Deli, 13, Post Road West, will become Winfield Street Italian Deli. 

Breno Donatti, the new owner, also owns Norwalk’s Winfield Italian Deli, 69 Winfield St., and, since February, Winfield Street Espresso & Panini Bar, 4 Railroad Place, across from the Westport Metro-North Railroad Station in Saugatuck.

He said the name of the Post Road West business will be renamed Winfield Street Italian Deli once all town-required permits are approved and issued. 

Read the full article on WestportNow. 

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Outrageous BBQ at Mason Dixon Smokehouse in Stamford

World-class BBQ returns to CT with the homecoming of renowned pitmaster Nestor Laracuente, who is overseeing the kitchen at Mason Dixon Smokehouse in Stamford. When I heard that Nestor was teaming up with Mason Dixon, I was ecstatic, the mounds of his perfectly prepared meats that I raved about at Hoodoo Brown were indelible etched in my memory. Would Mason Dixon fill the void that I have felt for months? Bottom line…yes, the food is spectacular.

Laracuente is a soft-spoken lover of meats and Southern rock who spent years perfecting his craft. After leaving CT last year, he returned to Brooklyn where he spent time with his buddy at Beast of Bourbon in Bed-Stuy. His time was spent experimenting with new rubs, new dishes, waiting for the right opportunity for his return to Connecticut. His newest venture, of which he is part-owner, opened a few weeks ago and it is slowly expanding the menu. 

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