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Entries in Lunch (183)


Pacific Foods Reopens in Fairfield as Saigon Deli

Lovers of Bánh mì, the Vietnamese sandwich, were crestfallen when Pacific Foods (1561 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield (203) 220-9450) closed just a few months after opening.  I’m thrilled to report it’s back, under the same management.  Good news is that this hole-in-the-wall storefront now has three tables for eating in.

As CT Bites previously reported, the menu offers summer rolls, pho and bubble tea, and there’s a small grocery section.  But here’s what you have to order: the bánh mì.  It could be described as a Vietnamese sub.  Like a sub, the classic version combines cold cuts and crisp vegetables. But this light, well-proportioned sandwich is not an over-stuffed meat- feast, and each component reveals the way that the French colonization of Vietnam melded the flavors and cooking techniques of the two cultures.

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Sono Baking Company is Opening in Westport

Yep...You heard me correctly. The Sono Baking Company is expanding their bakery mecca and opening up shop in Westport. This Sono institution has just signed a lease on the charming new barn at the A & J  Farm Stand, right on the Post Road (seen above). The Westport 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. Owner John Barricelli says "We hope to be open in late August or early September."  We hope so too. A good espresso is hard to come by around here. 

Welcome to the neighborhood.

The Sono Baking Company @ The A & J's Farm Stand 1680 Post Road East, Westport. 

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Mario Batali's Tarry Lodge Opens in Westport July 19th!!

Tarry Lodge Enoteca and Pizzeria opens tomorrow in Westport at 30 Charles Street. For more on this, read our recent interview with Joe Bastianich and check out a few photos and our take from our visit during a Saturday night preview, below.

Very similar to Tarry Lodge, slightly more informal. Pizza and antipasto will be a major component. Lighter style and more grilled items.  We'll adapt our food purveyors so its also done locally. The pizza will also be a focus. Our pizzaioli is Mario LaPosta who will be there full time, he's very talented. 

 --Joe Bastianich 

A quick preview of the Tarry Lodge Enoteca menu reads as Tarry Lodge light. Think greatest hits of its Port Chester location.

An heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad, Tuna Tartare, Grilled Octopus, Porcini Arancini, Baccala "Livornese," and Soft Shell Crabs with lemon aoili are a few of the "Insalate" and "Fritti" offerings. The pastas and proteins look formidable and familiar, a Brown Butter and Sage Gnocchi, Fettucini Carbonara and Goat Cheese Agnolotti with Fennel Pollen are three of the eight pasta dishes and a Whole Branzino, Ribeye (with pepper almond pesto) and Rock Hen Al Matone are just three of eight "Secondi." It seems a fitting, if cautious menu for the launch. The wine list, similar to the menu, is a curated list of Port Chester classics, with the Bastianich label front and center.

Mario LaPosta, Tarry Lodge pizzaiolo

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Artisan, Farm to Table Opens in Southport at Delamar

Artisan, a "farm to table New England-inspired" restaurant opens tonight, July 13, 2011 at the Delamar Hotel in Southport, CT.

“We wanted Artisan to feel comfortable, as if you have been invited to enjoy a weekend in the country,” says Chef Kieffer, a native of Paris and resident of Fairfield County. “And we want the food to match the feel of the restaurant; a place that is casual and very comfortable yet that also reflects quality and excellence.”   

Previewing the space during an opening party is a biased occasion, admittedly, but it’s also one of the best ways to understand intentions as well as gauge reactions. Dining experience non-withstanding, mission accomplished Artisan.

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Summer Specials & A New Salad @ Filling Station Co. 

Here's the latest on Filling Station Co's July burger and shake and an introduction to the new Filling Station Co Salad.

The July 2011 Filling Station Special Burger and Shake combines a full flavored hamburger with a sweet flavorful tribute to one of my favorite fruits with the BBQ Cheeseburger and a delicious Peaches and Cream Shake.

The BBQ Cheeseburger includes the Filling Station’s farm-raised cheeseburger topped with house made BBQ sauce, griddled onions, thick cut bacon, and pickled jalapeño peppers. There are several bold flavors in this month’s offering. The Filling Station’s thick cut bacon continues as a favorite of mine and the griddled onions added a nice crispy, flavorful addition. I am usually not a big fan of spicy additions and the jalapeño peepers were a concern, but pickled jalapeños are making an appearance on many menus this summer and I have grown to enjoy the pickled variety.

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Douro: Portugese-Mediterranean in Greenwich

Greenwich: just say that word and you can see fancy convertibles cars slowly driving through the Avenue, white gloved policeman directing traffic, and people carrying shopping bags awaiting for a whistle command to cross the streets. On and surrounding this fashionable Avenue, you will also see lots of eateries, among them Douro, a Portuguese inspired restaurant that opened doors in September of 2009.

With its typical blue tile sign outside the entrance, terracotta floors, and dark wooden tables, Douro might appear to be just another trendy Greenwich restaurant. Good looking people and a good looking staff fill this charming place. Douro sets its standards and fits its West Putman Avenue location like a glove, but this Portuguese/Mediterranean venue  is more than it seems.

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Fine Dining For Less at a Westport Landmark: Da Pietro’s 

Once Le Chambord vacated its location on the Post Road (you have to be a true townie to remember it), Da Pietro’s staked its claim as Westport’s standout “classy joint” from the late 1980s on, and today is like the town’s elder statesman in the restaurant realm.  A seamless fusion of French and Italian cuisine, a tour de force of European refinement and classic technique, Chef Pietro Scotti’s repertoire has evolved with the times, but his establishment is still a benchmark of classic fine dining in the area, and he's still in the kitchen. 

Happening by Riverside Avenue recently you might have seen a chalkboard sign subtly advertising DaPietro’s weekday lunch and dinner prix fixe deals. For real?  Yes, $12.00 gets you a two course lunch, three courses for $15.00, and at $33.00 for dinner (drinks excluded), you can enjoy a three course meal and be privy to the chef’s wonderful creations. 

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Bobby Q's BBQ of Westport Opens Beer Garden

While the rest of us bitch that downtown Westport virtually shuts down before the sun sets, Bob Le Rose, the owner of Bobby Q’s Barbeque & Grill, and the president of the Downtown Merchant’s Association, is slyly doing something about it, turning his popular rooftop bar into a funky Beer Garden, complete with a thousand twinkling outdoor lights, a newly installed garden and a respectable selection of domestic microbrews.

“We’ve been sitting on this terrific asset for six years now,” says LeRose, about the newly opened Bobby’s Rooftop Beer Garden, a rooftop space that has long been the site for live music, well before Bobby Q’s came to town. Though Bobby Q’s had been using the space for live music and private parties, LeRose said he didn’t fully throw his resources behind it until the town started banging the drum for more nightlife. He says, “When P&Z started loosening up their regulations about outdoor spaces, we thought, “Let’s carve out a place in the community that is totally unique.

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New Canaan's Filling Station's June Burger & Shake

The June 2011 Filling Station Special Burger and Shake are a tribute to the upcoming summer season with a backyard favorite Chili Cheeseburger and a delicious Strawberry Maple Waffle Shake.

The Chili Cheeseburger includes the Filling Station’s farm-raised meat topped with cheese, their house-made chili, lettuce, and tomato.  The “chili” is the Filling Station’s Sloppy Joe, which was developed in-house after significant research and development and includes BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar and several other ingredients to allow for a sweet and sour combination that nicely complements the flavors in the organic meat. The lettuce adds a nice crispy element, the tomato accents the tomato-ey based chili and the cheese is an essential part of any hamburger, in my opinion. The lightly toasted bun is still a favorite with a light exterior crunchy and the soft interior. I enjoyed this burger and it is a good way to start to the upcoming summer months.

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Zee Burger in Woodbury: A First Beefy Bite

When news first broke that Carole Peck, our east coast answer to Alice Waters, would be opening a burger joint adjacent to her popular farm-to-table Good News Café in Woodbury, the first thing I did was clear my calendar.

The second thing I did was ask the obvious question. Was this the same Carole Peck who has been running the Café in Woodbury since 1993, hosting culinary trips to France and espousing local farms?

Burgers? Carole, really?

Actually it makes perfect sense that Peck, who has been committed to sourcing locally and seasonally for Good News Café for almost twenty years, would want to widen her spectrum and open a more accessible establishment using the same approach that has won her accolades and a loyal following. Fueled by an extended financial recession, the inexpensive luxuries of the gourmet burger joint formula has been trending in Connecticut. Peck has joined the fray staying true to her signature style – by creating the farm stand version of the burger joint.

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