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Entries in Lunch (233)

Sunday
Sep252016

Hidden Gem: Ki Delicia Brazilian Bakery / Deli in Bridgeport Is All Delicious

Beginning her journey as a chef in Switzerland, Ki Delicia’s owner Fernanda Ferreira had the drive and determination to turn her dreams into a reality by coming to America with nothing but a suitcase and two sets of clothes. Fast forward to 2016, and her customer base has grown exponentially with people traveling from all parts of Connecticut just to get a taste of her incredible edibles. Upon visiting this hidden gem, I witnessed customers lining up around the block in their cars just to get their breakfast essentials. As a family run business both her son and her daughter, Clara Gaspar, help out with the intention of helping Ki Delicia thrive. “I think it’s still a hidden gem to many,” says Clara Gaspar daughter of owner Fernanda Ferrara.

When walking into Ki Delicia Bakery and Deli, you are drawn in by the welcoming aroma of Brazilian delights. Travel a few steps more into the building and it feels like home. Almost immediately, I was greeted by Ferreira and her staff who welcomed me into the establishment with a warm and welcoming presence like a mother who invites guests into her humble abode. 

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Sunday
Sep042016

Sarah’s on Main in Portland CT: the “Cheers” of Breakfast

On the corner Main and Commerce in Portland is a cozy place that’s the “Cheers” of breakfast, Sarah's On Main—“where everybody knows your name and you’re always glad you came.” If you’re from either side of the river, don’t be surprised if you bump into old friends—or make new ones. I do both each time I go. Whether you find a spot at the counter or grab a table, there’s fresh and local deliciousness with a spin of creativity, courtesy of Sarah Weeden.

What began as a quest for waffles grew into a steady habit of breakfast—and occasional lunch—at my newest home away from home.

Day one, I realized I’d stumbled into a little gem when I tried the BLT Bennie. Served on toasted brioche, it’s sheer perfection of a Benedict, drizzled with Hollandaise. The hash of the day was summer squash and zucchini, which I requested instead of home fries. Thumbs up all the way around.

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Tuesday
Aug092016

A Taste of Boothbay Lobster Company In Stamford's Harbor Point

As we first reported last year, Boothbay Lobster Company wanted to bring the “wicked fresh" Maine seafood shack experience down the coast to Harbor Point in Stamford. Fade out. Fade in. The evocative new restaurant has just opened. At a recent tasting for the media, CTBites had a chance to discover what has been gained and lost in translation.

For starters, we were curious about the Down East take on Connecticut’s indigenous warm, buttered lobster roll. Before crafting their version, co-owners David Galin and Willie Craig examined and tasted our local renditions. They sampled bread, garnishes, butter portions, even weighed the meat in every roll. At Fairway Market, Galin unexpectedly found a commercial potato bun (Martin’s) that enjoyed great taste and structure. However, it was side loaded, not top cut, like most Connecticut lobster rolls. “I know it’s not totally traditional,” Galin explained, “but a potato roll seemed perfect. In Maine, we love our spuds.”  

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Sunday
Jul312016

TerraSole, A Small Italian Eatery in The Heart Of Ridgefield 

Unless you’re a resident of Ridgefield you might not be familiar with TerraSole, a small Italian eatery in the heart of Ridgefield. But I feel it is my job to extol the virtues of this sleepy little gem that has been part of the town’s landscape since 2007, and is poised to enter its second decade with quiet confidence. I was invited to join a group of writers and editors to visit TerraSole and nearly declined. Am I ever glad I went!

When the weather is nice, diners can now sit outside in the newly completed terrace. The pale blue interior is simple yet charming. It is the food that takes center stage and rightly steals the show. While locals are avid fans, non-locals should take note. This charming yet understated destination is well worth the drive.

Owner Pietro Polini, who hails from Puglia and moved to the states in 1999, infuses the region’s flavors into his dishes.

 

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Wednesday
Jul202016

Sneak Peek at Boothbay Lobster Company in Stamford, Something Wicked Fresh This Way Comes

Every start-up dream begins with two words:  what if?

Once upon a time, David Galin and his buddy George Craig fantasized opening their own unique restaurant. But they were young and fate was very fickle. So each forged a highly successful non-culinary career -- in academics (David) and finance (George).  A generation later, the two pals found themselves fishing up in Maine; and on a sudden whim, once-upon-a-time magically became now.

What if they brought the seaside Maine Lobster Shack experience -- and all its Wharf to Table freshness -- to Fairfield County?  

Voila: The Boothbay Lobster Company, a unique concept restaurant at Harbor Point in Stamford, which opens for real next week.  Galin and Willie Craig  (George’s son, a partner in Boothbay, and himself fresh out of college) offered CTBites an exclusive sneak peek at a dream come true.  

“’Wicked Fresh’ is our pledge,” Willie told us.   Pulled fresh from clean, cold Maine waters, the seafood will be rushed by BLC’s refrigerated vehicle down the coast to Stamford.   “We don’t believe in tanking our lobster,” David added, explaining that holding crustaceans in tanks causes the meat to deteriorate, affecting its fresh texture and taste.   “This is why we source from day boats rather than commercial vessels,” he said.  That way he can guarantee that his lobsters haven’t been stressed for a time in the ship’s hold.

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Tuesday
Jun212016

Solid Choices at Tavern 489 in Glenbrook, Stamford

The newest addition to the Glenbrook neighborhood is Tavern 489, located at 489 Glenbrook Road, sharing the building with the newly relocated and reopened Tawa Restaurant (reviewed here). The building has a long history in the neighborhood, it originally housed the Moosehead Bar decades ago (thank you “Hey Stamford”).

The brainchild of owners Eric Monte and Partner/Executive Chef Regis Saget, Tavern 489 offers an eclectic menu, paired with various beer and wine selections in a rustic environment. The fully redesigned interior emphasizes wood and stone to create an setting reminiscent of an Adirondack mountain lodge, complete with exposed M-Trusses, a canoe dangling from the ceiling, a full front-to-back 18-seat wooden bar, additional wooden high-top tables plus a large wooden “picnic” table, all drawing focus to the imposing floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the rear. The walls are adorned with photos of Ernest Hemingway who, in addition to winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, was, according to Monte, the ultimate outdoorsman, a true man’s man, and his photos fit the rustic, outdoorsy feel that he was striving to achieve. 

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Wednesday
May182016

Judy's Bar + Kitchen Opens in Stamford with Low Country BBQ

Judith Roll, creator of the popular Tabouli Mediterranean Grill in Stamford, felt that the dining neighborhood north of Bullshead was underserved.  “The area needed something a little hip,” she told CTBites recently.  “So I thought, take a chance, and try Barbecue.”

As if by wizardry, wisps of sweet hickory smoke were soon wafting over High Ridge Road, not far from the Merritt, as Judy’s  Bar + Kitchen opened its doors to a diverse (and hungry) local crowd.   

Even though she bills her dinner dishes as “Low Country,” Judith made no pilgrimage to Memphis and Carolina to study the nuances of time, temperature, cuts and woods.  Rather she stayed in the neighborhood and developed her menu out of a culinary sensibility honed at CIA and the kitchens of gifted chefs like Wolfgang Puck. 

“Simple and fresh are my style,” she says.  “Good meat, cooked low and slow, what more do you need to know?” 

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Wednesday
May182016

The Pine Leaf Opens in New Milford with Chef Joel Viehland

 

The Pine Leaf opened this week in New Milford under the leadership of chef/owner and three-time James Beard nominee, Joel Viehland. Located along the Aspetuck River, The Pine Leaf will be serving what they describe as "simple, light breakfasts and fresh, seasonal lunch fare" with a focus on organic and local ingredients. 

For those of us who know and love Viehland's cooking from his time at nearby Community Table, (check out our 2013 restaurant review of CT), this is definitely an opening we have been eagerly anticipating. We look forward to exploring New Milford's newest breakfast and lunch hot spot. In the meantime, check it out and let us know what you ate and what you think!

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Sunday
May152016

Miro Kitchen Opens in Fairfield With Chef From Hapa Food Truck

With much anticipation and excitement Miro Kitchen recently opened its doors on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. The new eatery is the collective brainchild of Eugene Kabilnitsky, former owner of Tomato and Basil, and Hapa Food Truck’s Chris Gonzales. I recently sat down with the two to talk about the inspiration behind this creative collaboration.

“My wife and I were both working from home and we found ourselves going to the Hapa Food Truck at least twice a week,” Kabilnitsky told me. “We couldn’t get enough! At the time I was set to open another Italian restaurant at this location and was in the process of hammering out details.” But then he started to wonder whether the Hapa concept might work in the restaurant space. He joked that after visiting the truck 100 or so times he shared his idea with Chris, and subsequent conversations led to the current partnership, and Miro, an expansion of the wildly popular Hapa Food Truck, was born.

The best way to describe the cuisine is to say it is a play on Pacific, Asian and Hawaiian street food with an American twist, mixing the exotic with the familiar.

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Tuesday
May102016

The Tasty Yolk Food Truck Rolls Into Fairfield w/ Gourmet Breakfast Sandwicheses

Two chefs and a banker walk into a bar…

It sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s actually the start of a “yolk!”  Chefs Eric Felitto and Jason Cade of The Chelsea teamed up with their friend and banker, Michael Bertanza to create The Tasty Yolk food truck located at 4700 Park Avenue in Bridgeport.  Despite the rain, the truck made its debut on Thursday May 5 to lots of customers eager to try their gourmet twists on breakfast sandwiches.

“Every year, we try to figure out how we’re going to make our fortune,” jokes Felitto.  “We finally decided to use our skills and make a food truck.” The trio makes for the perfect team.  Felitto, Chef at The Chelsea, can coordinate with Sous Chef Cade so that someone can attend to the truck while continuing to work at the restaurant.  Meanwhile, Bertanza works just across the street at Fairfield Bank.  It’s easy for them to come together.

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