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Entries in Lunch (206)

Sunday
Feb052012

Hunan Pavilion: Chinese in Fairfield for 22 Years

I’d been lamenting the lack of good Chinese food in Fairfield County, a complaint I’ve shared with quite a few food lovers here, including a friend who’s a Westport transplant from Singapore. To stop my whining, said friend took me to her family’s favorite Chinese restaurant in Fairfield, Hunan Pavilion. Ever since, I haven’t been deprived of good Chinese nearby, and now neither will you. 

Hunan Pavilion has been in the same Post Road location in Fairfield for 22 years and it’s very good. But to insure a truly exceptional experience, skip over the conventional menu and jump right to the Shanghai Bund Select (or Shanghai New Menu), an edited list of house specialties and an eclectic mix of Shanghai, Szechuan, and Hunan cuisines. Also ask for the menu in Chinese, even if you don’t speak a word of any dialect. The Chinese menu isn’t overly extensive, and if you aren’t shy about it, the staff will patiently translate, and this is where the hidden treasures can be found. 

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Wednesday
Jan252012

Tim’s Philly Steaks Opens in Norwalk

Tim’s Philly Steaks opened on Westport Avenue in Norwalk several weeks ago and I am not one to resist the calling of bread, meat, cheese and grilled onions. So I braved the weather to try one of my favorite sandwiches, and I was not disappointed. 

Many years ago I was taught that eating a cheesesteak is always performed while in “the position.” This entails standing with your legs positioned directly beneath your shoulders, a slight bend forward at the waist, a second bend at the neck with your jaw protruding and always use two hands on the sandwich. The goal is to avoid any of the delicious ingredients landing on your chest or stomach. So when I sampled Tim’s cheesesteak while seated at a table (there are three booths and four tables inside) it was an unusual feeling, but I still assumed “the position” of leaning forward and I successfully consumed the sandwich sans accident 

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Tuesday
Jan242012

Norwalk's Valencia Luncheria is Moving!

Valencia Luncheria customers will never have to wait in line again” says Michael Young, owner of the Norwalk eatery that has achieved cult-like status in the minds and stomachs of Fairfield County diners. After 6 years of arepa driven success, Valencia is growing up and getting bigger...much bigger in fact. Michael Young tells CTbites that Norwalk's Valencia Luncheria will be moving to a new location, possibly as soon on April 1st (no joke) just 600 feet down the street. While the menu and look and feel will not change, the address will.  Put it in your nav systems; 164 Main Street will be the new home to Chef Young’s authentic Venezuelan beach food. 

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Sunday
Jan222012

Cactus Rose Cantina -- Santa Fe Meets Wilton 

“What’s a nice Greek girl like you doing running a place like this?” I ask Maria Pertesis, who with her mother Katrina, has just opened Cactus Rose, a vibrant new Southwestern themed cantina in Wilton.    “My family has owned a Greek diner in Fairfield for almost 40 years,” she offers. “So my mother and I wanted to try something new and exciting.”  

And that’s exactly what these amazing women have wrought.  Under their husbandry, the former Mediterranean Grill in the Wilton Center has blossomed into a fun-filled, warm, and welcoming hacienda. Indeed, the restaurant came up almost overnight, as if itself a desert flower.

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Thursday
Jan192012

The Whelk in Westport: A First Look & Taste

Friends and family were treated to a sneak preview of The Whelk, Bill Taibe's latest venture in Westport on Wednesday evening.  Steeped in the sea with unmistakable flashes of leFarm's seasonal luxury, The Whelk is poised to establish Saugatuck as the culinary center of Westport, and perhaps Fairfield County.

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Friday
Jan132012

Kids Review: The Melting Pot

Lily Schaeffer is one of our junior reporters. She in the sixth grade and lives in Darien.

How many times have you wished you could try something new and different for dinner but you didn’t know where to go or what to get?  The solution is fondue! You can get freshly grated and melted cheese fondue or rich delectable chocolate fondue for dessert at a restaurant right in Darien, The Melting Pot is located at 14 Grove Street.  At The Melting Pot, you will arrive to a beautiful flowing fountain right outside the door and enter the restaurant to find a welcoming modern atmosphere perfect for a chilly fall night.  The friendly staff will greet you and fill you in on the menu options (we chose lightly spiced cheddar fondue).  Another exciting feature is  after you have ordered, your food will be thrillingly made right before you eyes at your table.  You can sit back and dip delectable tidbits in strategically made melted cheese.   Did I mention the dippable items come in a bottomless supply? 

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Sunday
Jan082012

Carpe Diem Opens w/ Northern Italian in New Canaan

Food lovers of New Canaan rejoice! Carpe Diem, a Northern Italian inspired restaurant by Alan Basaran, has opened and the housemade pastas are delicious. As CTBites presented earlier, Basaran, a North Stamford resident and owner of Carpe Diem Restaurant in New York City, is excited about creating delicious Northern Italian cuisine in New Canaan, his wife’s hometown.

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Friday
Jan062012

Bill Taibe's "The Whelk" Opens in Westport in 2 Weeks

Up until yesterday, if you had asked Bill Taibe for the name of his new Westport based seafood restaurant, he'd tell you what he told the town when they needed a name for the phone directory, "The oyster place in Saugatuck." But as of this morning, this seafood haven has been given a brand befitting its waterfront surroundings in Westport's burgeoning restaurant scene. "The Whelk" will be opening in roughly two weeks, and the restaurant is poised for its first round of guests. 

The interior reflects the clean lines of a beautiful ship with beadboard paneling, industrial metals, and warm woods, but despite the seafaring undertones "there is a sense of responsible kitchiness here. We didn't want to go obvious nautical," says Taibe. He describes The Whelk's clean architectural interior as "The South of France meets Maine." Green park bench inspired seating runs the full length of the sunlit dining space and 2 high communal tables stand proudly behind the white marble bar. In keeping with Taibe's passion for local sourcing, everything in the restaurant was made in the USA. 

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Sunday
Dec252011

Rizzuto’s Italian Kitchen in Stamford

Rizzuto’s Italian Kitchen opened in Stamford this past November as the fourth location in Bill Rizzuto's casual Italian dining concept. With restaurants already in Bethel, Westport and West Hartford, tireless and engaging owner Bill Rizzuto chose the Stamford spot (near the Greenwich border) embracing the open space with tri-level dining, a formidable bar and a central beamy oven. Interested to see how they adapted to their Stamford address and eager to try our hand at making our own pizza, we dropped by for a behind-the-scenes look at their kitchen, the new gas-powered pizza oven and what objects of our affection that oven could create for us hungry souls.

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Sunday
Dec182011

Hope Pizza in Stamford: Best Greek Pizza in Western CT?

"Gooey," that's what my late great mother craved in her pizza, and this woman loved food more than any person I've ever known. ("Don't talk to me," she would admonish. "I'm eating."}

Well, Mom would have devoured the pizza at Stamford's Hope Pizza, maybe the best of the thirty some Greek pizzerias hidden throughout Fairfield County. What makes Greek pizza gooey is what distinguishes it from the more heralded Connecticut Italian pizzas. Bearing no New Haven char, Colony heat, Batali chic, much less any passionate defenders or detractors in the food press or blogosphere, Greek Pizza flourishes under the radar, boasting few fancy frills, though, admittedly, more oil.

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