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Holiday Catering Guide: 14 Restaurants & Traditional Caterers who do it all!

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Entries in Lunch (216)


Beloved Hamptons Sustainable Chef brings Estia’s to Darien

For two decades, former Darien restaurateur Colin Ambrose has been at the forefront of the sustainable food movement, originally in Amaganset, and now in Sag Harbor, Long Island with his popular café, Estia’s Little Kitchen. Here, the practice of growing his own fruits and vegetables on the restaurant’s property, and obtaining the rest of the ingredients from local farmers whenever possible, was never a gimmick. It was simply how he chose to source his food in order to maintain the high standards he set for the restaurant.

The second incarnation of Ambrose’s beloved restaurant concept is coming to Darien in the form of Estia’s American, a charming café that will offer breakfast, lunch and a juice bar, then transform itself into an urbane restaurant and bar for dinner service. Located in the newly developed brick walk section of a busy downtown, Estia’s American intends on filling a niche in the culinary landscape with its simple, clean, vibrant foods

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Rodizio Grill in Stamford: Healthy Eats @ a Brazilian Steak House?  

As the gauchos paraded by our table brandishing huge spears of juicy, caramelized proteins in a non-stop moveable feast, I had a question:

                  "Can you eat healthy in an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steak House?"

It was a concern I imagined many a health or diet conscious CTBites reader might harbor, especially if a friend or significant other was suffering a severe steak jones and insisted on a visit to Stamford's new Rodizio Grill, an authentic Brazilian Churrascaria in the space formerly occupied by Houlihans.

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EDO: Korean Fare in Norwalk

In the window of Edo there’s a New York Times review from 2004 that touts the virtues of Edo’s sushi, but that’s not the reason why we came. Sushi or Japanese food is not the reason to go to Edo. Sure, its name is Japanese, but we were there for the Korean fare. Like so many Asian restaurants in Fairfield County, Edo tries to squeeze multiple cultures into a single venue which isn’t always for the best, but go to Edo for the Korean dishes. You'll be happy you did. 

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Jake’s Wayback Burgers Opens in Stamford

Whenever a new place that is dedicated to hamburgers opens in my ‘hood I just cannot resist the magnetic field that pulls me to give it a try; and I could not resist when Jake’s Wayback Burgers opened in Stamford. 

I arrived early enough to avoid the lunch-rush and ensure that the staff could focus on my order. True to my first-visit tradition, I ordered a cheeseburger (a little over 3 ounces of meat) with bacon and grilled onions ($3.19), a small order of French fries ($1.99) and a small (listed on the menu as 12 ounces) chocolate shake ($2.89). Each item is made to order so I watched as the hamburger hit the grill, the fries plunged into the fryer and the shake whipped in the mixer.  

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From Masala to Mole: Westport's Oaxaca Kitchen


“From Masala to Mole” is Chef Prasad Chirnomula’s recent gourmet battle cry. The man who revolutionized Indian cuisine in Connecticut with Thali, opens his newest Mexican-inspired concept in Westport in the form of the lively south of the border hot spot that is Oaxaca Kitchen.

Leaving the Indian subcontinent, Chef Chirnomula has fully embraced the flavors of Mexico’s Oacaxa region, an area known for its mole dishes, barbacoa, mezcal and chocolate. The layers of flavors and spice found in Oaxacan dishes, a region often referred to as “land of the seven moles,” evokes a similar feel to the masalas and bright yet rich flavors found in Chef Chirnomula's native Indian cuisine. 

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MELT Market & Cafe in Bridgeport: Go ahead and MELT

Do you feel the need, the need for cheese? Introducing MELT Market and Cafe, the spectacularly gooey love child of former Westport-based Mirabelle Cheese Shop owners Andrea and Damon Itin. MELT, located in the up and coming section of Bridgeport at the corner of Lafayette Circle and Fairfield Ave is sleek and spacious with high tops as well as regular tables for seating and warm inviting color tones. The 2,200 square foot space seats plenty but if tables were pushed aside, this could be a fantastic place for a private function. But enough about things spatial, on to the celestial - this is a cheese lovers' nirvana -

What's for sale ? MELT is the purveyor of European as well as local cheeses

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Elm Restaurant Opens March 20th in New Canaan

CTBites readers and residents of New Canaan who are eagerly awaiting Chef Brian Lewis’ cuisine at elm Restaurant will soon enjoy this new addiition to the New Canaan culinary scene. Elm's much anticipated opening is scheduled for March 20 to coincide with the first day of Spring. 

The facade of the building and the interior space has been beautifully updated to reflect a sleek and minimalistic architectural style. The feel of the restaurant is airy and open and offers ambiance that is warm, relaxing, and stylish. The layout includes a large, handsome pewter-covered bar separating the main dining area from the less formal bar seating.  A Chef’s Table with a view into the immaculate kitchen can be quickly enclosed behind sliding glass panels for a private dining experience for up to twelve guests. And if you like to watch, grab a chair at the four-seat tasting table where Chef Lewis will prepare and present special menus to lucky guests.

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An Oasis of Naked Greens Arrives in SoNo

A healthy and convenient take on fast food, Naked Greens is a welcome respite from South Norwalk’s palate-busting dining scene. Chilled shelves stocked with salad greens and a salad bar filled with an array of natural ingredients, stands as the core of a signature made-to-order salad and wrap-filled menu. Soups complete the healthy trifecta, as steaming cauldron-like containers, a harbinger of its Soup Alley not-so-recent-past, stand along the counter offering a selection of hot soups made fresh daily.

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Wave Hill Breads Serving Breakfast & Lunch in Norwalk

Wave Hill Breads recently moved their renown bread baking mecca and opened a new cafe in Norwalk, heralding a new “must eat” venue to add to your Fairfield County foodie dance card. At their new location on 30 High Street, Wave Hill Breads is baking way beyond their notorious three-grain pain de campagne which graces the tables of some of the finest CT restaurants and markets. The cafe features 20 seats for eat in dining with sandwiches (on Wave Hill Bread of course), soups, muffins, pastries, tea and coffee, as well as wi-fi. And if you just want to stop in for a loaf of that pain de campagne, just knock on speakeasy-esque “Back Door Bakery” around back (no password necessary). 

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Christophe's Crepe Truck in Fairfield: Ooh La La! 

Food trucks have been a growing trend for the last few years. The L.A. Times reported on one of the first food trucks to gain massive popularity, a fusion of Korean, Mexican, and barbecue back in 2009. And a recent article from USA Today about food trends in the U.S. hailed the food truck, what was once the “roach coaches” for construction workers at lunch time, as the hot new thing. 

But the street-side vendor is certainly nothing new. New York City has been rife with dirty water dogs. And, you can’t turn a corner without bumping into a falafel stand. Roam the urban alleyways from India to Vietnam and some of the tastiest foods can be had from street vendors. Although, be sure to bring your Pepto-Bismol with you. 

Here in Connecticut, we’ve got coffee trucks, cupcake trucks, even a cheese truck. Quel surprise! Fairfield is now home to a freshly made crepe and waffle truck., Christophe's Crepes


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