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Eating Out

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 Lunch (181)

Wednesday
Jul232014

New Eli's Tavern in Milford Dazzles With Gastropub Delights via Connecticut Magazine

Eli’s Tavern ups the culinary ante by embracing the gastropub ethos and brining in a talented youngchef, David Brooks, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who did an internship at the legendary Le Bernardin in New York City and previously owned Judie's European Bakery in New Haven (so “the desserts are out of this world,” Fitzsimmons says).

The result of the whole formula is well-priced, delicious and hearty tavern fare that’s executed as beautifully as haute cuisine and kicked up more than a notch from pub fare by the chef’s talent and creative twists.

Consider the Philly Egg Rolls from the Small Plates menu. These variations on the classic Philly cheese steak sandwich—with the egg roll replacing the bread—are packed with super-tender and richly flavored (real) steak, onions and cheddar, and then nicely spiced with chipotle aioli. They’re totally addictive—and go great with any of the 18 craft beers on draught.

Another example is the lobster roll. Lots of even the best lobster rolls out there are filled with knuckle and claw meat, but Fitzsimmons says the Eli’s Tavern version contains precious tail meat. Brooks makes the classic fresh and sublime with his foamed hot-buttered corn sauce, and then tops the lobster meat with crisped tortillas to bring some pleasant crunch into the equation—pairing all of that with a piquant purple slaw (and fries).

Read the complete review on ConnecticutMag.com 

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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Tuesday
May202014

Themed "Pop-Up" Lunches Launch at Match in SoNo Wednesday-Friday

Think Match is great for dinner? For the first time in their 14-year history, Match is launching Lunch, but not just any lunch. Match will be serving a pop-up style themed lunch. Each week Match will be transformed by putting aside the usual menu and letting their chefs get creative to keep your curiosity piqued.  What themes you ask...

Matt Storch writes, "Like tacos? We've got an ode to ‘Taco’s or What?’ coming your way. Crave our burgers? We'll transform into a classic roadside burger & dog joint. Love Italian? We'll pull out the red checkered tablecloths!"

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday May 21, you can join Match three days a week, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:30 am – 2 pm. 

To find out what's on the menu, follow Match on Facebook and Twitter to see what's for lunch! Call or visit Opentable for reservations.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr302014

Harlan Publick to Open in SONO: From Harlan Social Owners 

There is a lot of activity in SONO on the northwest corner of Washington and Water Streets...and this is great news for CTbites readers. Harlan Social’s Managing Partner, Chef Stephen Lewandowski informed CTbites that Harlan Publick, the first sister location to Stamford’s Harlan Social, will open by mid-June. Branded as a less formal sibling, Harlan Publick will feature “global inspired street food” in an atmosphere dedicated to “hanging out, enjoying friends, having a good time and enjoying incredible food.”

Chef Lewandowski described his vision for his new restaurant in an exclusive interview and walk-through with CTbites. Harlan Publick will feature approximately sixty seats in the dining area and another forty-plus in the bar, with the interior space having a “very industrial feel, like a public tap house with lots of exposed wood trusses, three long communal tables, and reclaimed glass panels encasing chicken wire hanging from the ceiling to separate the bar and dining areas.” It will also feature the “Tap Room,” a private room with eighteen seats, three beer taps installed in the wall, and a large screen TV. Reserve the room for a private function or a Sunday sport’s event, choose three beers and pour your own.

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Wednesday
Apr232014

Ted Turner's "Ted’s Montana Grill" Opens in Hartford May 12th

Ted’s Montana Grill, the classic American grill co-founded by media entrepreneur, environmentalist and philanthropist Ted Turner and award-winning restaurateur George McKerrow Jr., announced that a new restaurant would be opening up on 35 Front Street in downtown Hartford on May 12th. The restaurant will be 4,600 square feet and will seat 160 guests.  This is the second Ted’s Montana Grill in Connecticut; the first location is in The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor.

Ted’s Montana Grill serves time-honored favorites in a relaxed setting reminiscent of the 19th century American frontier. The design of the Hartford location is inspired by old western saloons, with all the romance and classic touches that make it feel luxurious, but in a casual, warm way. The décor will feature Mahogany paneling, pressed tin ceilings, brass fixtures and beautiful crown molding.

From traditional comfort food to unique signature dishes, all meals are made from scratch fresh daily - nothing frozen or microwaved. Chefs only use fresh Certified Angus Beef, National Bison Association-certified bison, all-natural chicken and premium seafood. Ted’s Montana Grill also believes in fresh, sustainable, organic and locally grown ingredients.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr132014

Ruuthai’s Kitchen: Real Thai in Bridgeport CT

Word’s out. There’s a new Thai place in Bridgeport worth traveling for. Ruuthai is a little family-run restaurant making authentic Thai dishes. Even better, Ruuthai offers dishes rarely seen in these parts, like mussel pancakes, boat noodles and steamed red curry fish custard. And then there are the desserts. Thai desserts are decidedly weird to Americans. Pork in a dessert? What?! Yes, and it’s good.

Ruuthai has been open almost five months. It’s in a residential neighborhood off North Avenue. The storefront is cheerfully decorated with orange and lime accents, and pink and purple swirly, girly flower stencils. The effect is simple and charming. They’ve added a few more tables recently (they’re getting busier), and they do a lot of take-out, but I believe in eating food when it’s at its best – moments after Def Ruangsikul, head chef, has prepared it.

If you sit down to eat you will probably meet Chef Ruangsikul’s daughter Dif. Dif McGeough is the manager and waitress. She was born in Thailand and raised in the United States, and she’s a knowledgeable and gently humorous guide.

Over the course of several visits, here’s what we’ve tried:

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Sunday
Apr062014

The NEW Versailles Bistro & Patisserie in Greenwich - From the Owners of Méli-Mélo

Almost a year ago, without notice or forewarning, a “For Sale” sign appeared on the window of Versailles Restaurant in Greenwich. At 6:15AM the following morning, Marc Penvenne was driving his usual route down Greenwich Avenue to his restaurant Méli-Mélo when he saw the sign. A few months earlier he started looking at several locations to open a second restaurant and now Versailles was available; he now knew the perfect location. Twenty years earlier, Penvenne was the manager at Versailles and left to open Méli-Mélo with his wife, Evelyne. Now, Marc and Evelyne are the proud owners of both Méli-Mélo and the re-invented Versailles Bistro and Patisserie.

When you enter the reimagined restaurant, the front area is a patisserie, complete with white marble-topped tables, bistro chairs and glass display cases filled with tantalizing pastries. Behind these cases is a coffee bar, serving some of the best café au lait in Greenwich. In the rear, the patisserie opens to a restaurant with bistro style dark wood tables and chairs plus a long leather lined banquette. The walls are adorned with photos of Paris and framed French posters dating from the first half of the 20th century.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr022014

Chef Jon Vaast Joins Sugar & Olives in Norwalk: Now Serving Dinner

There's a new chef in the kitchen at Sugar & Olives in Norwalk. You may recognize the name from his years cooking over at Dressing Room in Westport. It's Chef Jon Vaast, and Jennifer Balin, owner of Sugar & Olives, explains her new hire as "An Organic collaboration between two like minded people." Johnny and Balin have been strong advocates for the local and sustainable food movement, and simply put, want to create a menu with delicious food sourced from within an arms reach of the shop. Every ingredient at Sugar & Olives is seasonal, and comes from a farm near the restaurant. Balin says "whenever possible, she selects ingredients that are also Organic." 

With Chef Vaast at the helm, Sugar & Olives is excited to announce that in addition to their daily weekday service, and one of the best brunches in Fairfield County, they have begun dinner service Thursday through Saturday.

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Saturday
Mar292014

Sono Baking Company Opening Darien Shop on Tokeneke Road

The Sono Baking Company is expanding their bakery mecca and opening up shop in Darien. This Sono institution has just signed a lease for a new shop at 49 Tokeneke Road. The Darien location will feature a cafe serving grab-n go-items as well as a full espresso bar to accompany their wide selection of baked goods, cakes, pastries, cookies and artisan breads. A selection of lunch offerings are also on the agenda, but that is still in the works. Owner John Barricelli says "We hope to be open by the middle of July 2014."  We hope so too. Who doesn't need a good espresso?  

The Darien outpost will be Sono Baking Company's 2nd satellite location beyond the Norwalk mother ship bakery and retail store. 

The Sono Baking Company 49 Tokeneke Road, Darien CT. 

Sono Baking Company and Cafe on Urbanspoon
Wednesday
Mar262014

À Vert French Brasserie in West Hartford: Just Like Paris

Photo courtesy of Julie BidwellFull disclosure: I’m crazy about Paris. For many years, when David and I went to Europe we stopped off to visit his college roommate who lived in an elegant apartment near the Eiffel Tower. The 7th Arrondissement has no shortage of fine restaurants and bistros de luxe, but more often than not we would have an apéritif in the apartment before heading off to a lively brasserie or bistro populaire in the Latin Quarter.

I still love French bistros and keep my eye out for new ones in Connecticut. Some are French in name only, but the minute I entered À Vert, a new brasserie in West Hartford, I was in Paris. The zinc bar, the wine list chalked on the mirror. The pressed-tin ceiling, the white tile and exposed-brick walls—authentic, romantic and real, including the warmth and friendliness that define bistro dining in the City of Light.

It’s all good, but food beautiful food is the overriding reason to dine at À Vert. How could it not be? It’s owned by two chefs who in recent years have been making the Connecticut foodie world sit up and take notice: David Borselle at Bar Bouchée in Madison and Dorjan Puka at Treva around the corner in West Hartford.

Read the full article on ConnecticutMag.com. 

Click to read more ...