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Entries in Lunch (202)

Tuesday
Apr072015

Big News at Craft Butchery: Dinner Service, Catering, A New Name & A Merger

Craft Butchery has some very big news. This exclusively pastured, whole animal butchery is expanding their business, their product lines (including catering), and will soon open their doors for dinner service at the Westport location. Also, look out for a new Craft Butchery in Greenwich opening this summer.  

CTbites sat down with Ryan Fibiger, owner of Craft Butchery to get the full scoop. 

This rapid expansion, Ryan explained, “has actually been in the works for some time.” Craft knew they needed to grow to meet demand, but wanted to do so while maintaining their strict philosophy on sourcing and butchering. Fibiger said “We wanted to grow the business, but butchering is a labor intensive process that requires space and talent. It’s hard to replicate.” To speed things along, this old school, full-service, whole animal butchery made the wise decision to merge with Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats in Brooklyn (Ryan’s stomping ground where he learned his trade). As part of this merger, Craft is now the proud owner of Fleisher’s 6,500 square foot processing facility and commissary in Red Hook, enabling Craft to grow all areas of their current business, including Catering, to-go retail offerings, and most importantly, their ability to break down animals on a larger scale. They also have a new name: Fleisher's Craft Butchery. 

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Sunday
Apr052015

Baldanza in New Canaan: Organic and Flavorful

Tucked in the rear of a charming passageway on Elm Street in New Canaan is Baldanza Natural Market Cafe. With a large and diverse organic menu, and a blackboard filled with the names of local purveyors, this small restaurant is fast becoming a local favorite. Owners Sandy and Angela Baldanza opened the café last year serving lunches and an occasional ‘pop up dinner’. Baldanza recently expanded the hours to include regular dinner service and partnered with Chef Kender Urena, who many will remember as the Chef /Owner of Bistro Bonne Nuit. Urena was awarded a Grand Diploma in Culinary Art with outstanding honors from the French Culinary Institute in NYC and was one of Bon Appétit Magazine Top 100 Chefs in America in 2007.

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Wednesday
Apr012015

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Opening in Stamford via HeyStamford!

This just in from our friends @ HeyStamford!

A few weeks back we shared the exciting news about BBQ hot spot Brother Jimmy’s BBQ opening in Stamford downtown.

While the news wasn’t available at the time of that announcement; the team at Brother Jimmy’s have announced their grand opening party! The event is scheduled for April 11th at their new location in Stamford downtown. This special event will feature a special performance by country band Hazzard County starting at 10pm along with drink specials all night long.  to RSVP for the opening, click here.

You may recall that Brother Jimmy’s BBQ is filling the spot recently vacated by Butterfield 8. 

Read full article at HeyStamford!

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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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