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Entries in New Canaan (81)

Wednesday
Aug032016

Sneak Peek at Spiga Ristorante: New Italian Opening in New Canaan

Many residents of New Canaan have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Spiga Ristorante in the space that formerly housed Barolo restaurant on Main Street. The wait is almost over. In the next two weeks, Spiga will unveil its newly revamped interior, offering a wide variety of Italian cuisine in a relaxed environment. CTbites was invited for a sneak peek and discuss the vision of the restaurant with two of the owners, Dan Camporeale and Rose Dionne. This is the first restaurant for Rose and the fourth restaurant for Dan, who is also one of the owners of Pizzeria Molto in Fairfield. Spiga will be his group’s first restaurant in New Canaan. When I asked Dan why he chose New Canaan he mentioned, “There is no true Italian restaurant in New Canaan. The space has a lot of positives and there is plenty of parking directly across the street.”

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Thursday
Jun022016

INDIA, Farm-to-Table Indian Cuisine, Opens in New Canaan: A First Look

Bold…intense…complex…flavors, these are the words that best describe the menu that Master Chef Prasad Chirnomula is serving at his latest restaurant, INDIA, in New Canaan. Chef Prasad is no stranger to New Canaan, or Connecticut. As the owner/chef of the highly successfully Thali restaurants, he announced several months ago that he was closing his flagship restaurant in New Canaan, desirous of opening a smaller, more intimate, restaurant in town. The interior of INDIA does just that, with a relaxed, sensual feel accentuated with flowing silk curtains engulfing many of the tables.

Chef Prasad invited CTbites to enjoy traditional cuisine from various regions of India, as well as sample many of his creative and inventive renditions from across southeast Asia and Africa. During the visit, this gregarious Master Chef joined us to explain the history, the composition, his vision for the dish as well as the numerous ingredients that were required to meet his high standards. His exuberance was evident in every description, and it translated into each of his creations. After close to twenty different dishes, my appreciation for his talent and the Indian heritage was significantly elevated, this was a culinary adventure. I was also pleasantly surprised when he told us that most are gluten-free, Indian recipes do not thicken sauces with gluten.

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Tuesday
Mar082016

Sneak Peek at INDIA in New Canaan: Chef Chirnomula's Newest Restaurant

The news that Chef Prasad Chirnomula was moving across Main Street to the building that formerly housed Boulevard 18 in New Canaan spread like wildfire throughout the culinary underground in Fairfield County. Locals who enjoyed his cuisine at Thali would once again enjoy the chef’s traditional and inventive Indian creations. What concept would the new restaurant entail? Would it duplicate the feel and cuisine of Thali. 

In an exclusive interview with CTbites, the celebrity chef gave his insight into his vision of the new restaurant, INDIA, from the new concept for the cuisine and the vibe to the exciting collaboration on the cocktails with mixologist Jessica Spector. With an anticipated opening date in mid-April, the chef is already developing a different feel for INDIA.

When Chirnomula announced the closing of Thali, his landmark Connecticut restaurant, he was quick to mention that he was not leaving New Canaan, but was looking for a smaller, more intimate location. The neighboring space at 62 Main was a perfect location and he spoke with the owners of Boulevard 18, who wanted to concentrate on their sister restaurant, Strada 18 in South Norwalk…the timing was perfect. This free-standing building dates back almost 150 years and has housed several outstanding restaurants including L’Abbée and Aloi, prior to Boulevard 18.

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Friday
Dec112015

Donut Crazy to Open in New Canaan via The New Canaanite

As announced in The New Canaanite, New Canaan’s local news website, Donut Crazy has announced its third location and will open in New Canaan, hopefully by the end of the year.

With two location up the Merritt in Stratford and Shelton, the donut shop that features creatively conceived donut combinations named “Cherry Bomb,” “Cannoli,” “Maple Bacon,” the holiday "Noggin Donut" (Eggnog custard filled, rum flavored frosting, sugar, whipped cream topping, with a pinch of nutmeg) and the “Fat Elvis” (Bavarian cream center topped with peanut butter bacon banana chocolate honey), Donut Crazy will occupy the space that formerly housed the Sweet Shoppe and Merle Norman Cosmetics at 4 South Avenue.  

A gourmet doughnut shop with two locations in upper Fairfield County is preparing to serve its savory treats at the former Sweet Shoppe space on South Avenue, mostly recently Merle Norman Cosmetics.

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Wednesday
Dec022015

Basso Café Restaurant in Norwalk Adds Wine Bar + New Menu

Several years ago CTbites visited Basso Café Restaurant on New Canaan Avenue in Norwalk and was very impressed with many of the dishes created by Owner / Chef Renato Donzelli. Since that time Chef Renato has maintained his vision of creating a wine bar to complement the food, and that is now a reality as Basso Café Restaurant is now Basso Café Restaurant Wine Bar.

The interior has been updated with large, vibrant paintings along one wall, smaller modern pieces along the other wall overseeing the 60 seat dining area. The lighting is soft and inviting and acoustical tiles have been installed to reduce the noise level. After the recent receipt of a full liquor license, guests can now benefit from Chef Renato’s pairing of wines to balance the vibrant flavors of his cuisine and the rear of the restaurant now showcases the bar area with a selection of personally selected spirits, including organic vodkas. 

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Sunday
Oct252015

New Chef @ elm Restaurant in New Canaan: Enter Chef Luke Venner

Chef Luke Venner has been at the helm of elm Restaurant for several months and was invited to participate at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival as one of the Innovative Chefs. The two small bites that he prepared at the festival were delicious. In hopes that these were reflective of his newly revised menu, CTbites returned to the restaurant to sample other dishes on his recently introduced Autumn menu. The appetizers and entrées that we enjoyed highlighted the inherent flavors of the ingredients utilizing Chef Luke’s balanced vision and delicate touch.

We shared three dishes from the “smaller” section of the menu. 

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Sunday
Aug302015

SE Uncorked Opens in New Canaan: Snacks & Taps + A Great Vibe

Chef Nick Martschenko’s (South End) newest venture, SE Uncorked, is already creating an incredible buzz throughout New Canaan for its great food and great vibe. Inspired by the speakeasies of the Prohibition era and taverns in the UK and Australia, Chef Nick told CTbites that his vision is for “guests to be comfortable and relaxed in a heavily beverage, comfortable environment with foods designed for a pub versus restaurant theme.” 

Located at 15 Elm Street, both the exterior and interior have been completely redesigned. The brick-faced exterior features a drop-down wood shelf, windows at eye-level  and a wood carved sign announcing “Uncorked” with the familiar South End circle-logo with the additional prelude... “Snacks & Taps.”

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Tuesday
Aug042015

Good2Gourmet - New Meal Delivery Service in New Canaan & Darien

Tired of cooking? Looking for something less expensive than take-out from a restaurant? Then a new venture on Vitti Street in New Canaan, GOOD2GOURMET, may be an alternative. The brainchild of local resident and mother of four, Lisa Strupp, GOOD2GOURMET offers a variety of soups, salads, and entrées for families to enjoy. Teaming with business partner Kevin Schmudde, the two enlisted the culinary skills of Executive Chef Eric Ulbrich to create a menu that includes soups, salads, pastas, and entrées. Customers go to the website (they do not take telephone orders), place their order, choose a 1-hour delivery window (curbside pick-up at the store is also available) and the food will be on the front stoop as requested. Alternatively, customers can visit and purchase a selection of items at the store.

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Tuesday
Apr282015

RIP Gates - 35 Years of Serving New Canaan

Gates opened its doors thirty-five years ago and continues to offer an array of dishes that keep this “elder statesman” on New Canaan’s Restaurant Row bustling seven days a week. The entrance is guarded by ornate gates and once you enter you are immersed into a large, open dining area with walls adorned by murals by Janet Picard, paintings and large terra cotta planters. Wander to the left and you enter the bar with a long oak bar with 12 seats and several booths. Both areas are normally filled with locals partaking of a drink after work, families enjoying dinner and regulars having a good time with friends.

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Sunday
Apr052015

Baldanza in New Canaan: Organic and Flavorful

Tucked in the rear of a charming passageway on Elm Street in New Canaan is Baldanza Natural Market Cafe. With a large and diverse organic menu, and a blackboard filled with the names of local purveyors, this small restaurant is fast becoming a local favorite. Owners Sandy and Angela Baldanza opened the café last year serving lunches and an occasional ‘pop up dinner’. Baldanza recently expanded the hours to include regular dinner service and partnered with Chef Kender Urena, who many will remember as the Chef /Owner of Bistro Bonne Nuit. Urena was awarded a Grand Diploma in Culinary Art with outstanding honors from the French Culinary Institute in NYC and was one of Bon Appétit Magazine Top 100 Chefs in America in 2007.

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