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Entries in New Haven (78)

Thursday
Nov032016

Dinner At Miya's: Sustainable Sushi + More in New Haven

This is probably as close to “Dinner at The White House” as I will ever get.  On this, the week before the ELECTION, I headed up to Miya’s for their New Haven Restaurant Week 2016 White House Champions of Change dinner. 

Miya’s is a well-known sushi spot a few blocks west of downtown New Haven that has been serving creative and sustainable seafood, foraged ingredients, and plant-based dishes for over 30 years.  James Beard nominated innovative chef/owner Bun Lai, has been creating and cooking alongside his mother for much of the 30 years Miya’s has been open. (See Foraging with Chef Bun on CTbites)

New Havens Restaurant Week, which runs from 10/30- 11/4 gave Bun the opportunity to offer the menu he and his mother created for President and Mrs. Obama at last months White House Champions of Change Dinner. He was one of only twelve Sustainable Seafood honorees and the only chef awarded this respected award. While this menu is only available for a limited time, many of these dishes are available on Miya's regular menu. 

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Thursday
Oct272016

Our First Visit To Donut Crazy New Haven: Open on York Street Today!

If it weren’t for the large neon “Let’s Eat Donuts” sign greeting you as you enter Donut Crazy’s newest location in New Haven, you might think you stumbled into a Yale library. Walls bathed in a Yale blue lacquered paint, a seating area with cozy leather chairs and a couch, and soaring ceilings make the 1450 square foot space seem more spacious and studious than it is. Just beyond this warm welcome is a hub of retail activity and a dining area of small tables, and a well-lit wall of Donut Crazy doughnuts in all their colorful and sugary glory.

“I wanted to give the space a library meets bar feel, not treat it like a typical commercial space, and the blue is a nod to Yale,” explained Donut Crazy owner Jason Wojnarowski.

For those uninitiated into Donut Crazy’s world of over-the-top sugary doughnut confections, this location feels like a giant step forward both in selection and ambiance. All of their baked goods are made in-house in a Donut Crazy Kitchen by an overnight team of bakers. In New Haven, Donut Crazy will offer its typical selection of “Dailies” and “Crazies.”

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Monday
Oct242016

Donut Crazy Opening in New Haven: Outrageous Donuts, Coffee & Breakfast

New Haven is about to get their very own Donut Crazy. On Thursday, October 27th, Donut Crazy New Haven will be opening at 290 York Street, with an opening party from 2-5 pm.  

For those unfamiliar with the Donut Crazy menu, readers should take note that while they offer the traditional breakfast dounghnut you've come to expect at a shop bearing this name, the key word here is "Crazy." These outrageously delicious doughtnuts are straight out of your ultimate food fantasy (or mine, anyway). Creative varietals including: French Toast (Glazed donut sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar drizzled with vanilla and maple icing); PB&J, (filled with grape jelly, topped with smooth peanut butter and chopped peanuts); and my favorite September special, Pumpkin Pie with pumpkin pie filling, spiced icing and shortbread crumbled cookie dip. 

And doughnuts aren't all Jason Wojnarowski, Donut Crazy founder, has to offer. They will also be serving ON TAP nitro coffee, cold-brew coffee, iced teas and chocolate milk using Arethusa Farm’s milk and Shearwater's fair trade Coffee. In addition, they will be serving made-to-order breakfast sandwiches, also available on a glazed donut if you dare! For folks who prefer something more savory, they will have bagels & lox and avocado toast. The bakery team also makes muffins and sconces from scratch and will continue to surprise guests with some really special confections.

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Friday
Oct142016

The Halal Guys Opens in New Haven on The Green 

The iconic New York City food cart turned brick-and-mortar restaurant is open for business at 906 Chapel Street, New Haven

The Halal Guys, which originally started as a hot dog cart in 1990, gained worldwide recognition for its twist on traditional Middle Eastern cuisine.  Known for its secret white sauce and lip-tingling, explosive hot sauce, The Halal Guys has become a staple of New York City street fare.  Those with big appetites can plan on hearty portions of chicken and gyro over rice with salad, consistent with those served in New York City.  All ingredients are delivered and prepared fresh daily.  In addition to the world-famous platters, the New Haven location will be dishing up sandwiches, hummus, fries, and, for desert, baklava.

Drawing from the success of the original, the founders of The Halal Guys decided to open “brick and mortar” restaurants around the nation.  The Chapel Street restaurant is the first in Connecticut.  At least one other is in the preliminary planning stage for an undetermined location in the Stamford area.

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Tuesday
Oct042016

Mecha Noodle Bar Opens in Downtown New Haven

Mecha Noodle Bar, which opened its first restaurant in Fairfield in 2013 and later its second site in South Norwalk in 2015, opens its third location in the heart of downtown New Haven. Located at 201 Crown Street, this 2000-square-foot spot will offer the ultimate comfort food in New Haven appealing to students, residents, business people and families alike with its menu of Asian comfort food options at affordable price points.

For those not already familiar with the menu at Mecha Noodle Bar, the menu features signature dishes such as ramen and pho as well as other flavorful selections such as steamed baos and a well curated selection of Asian plates borrowing from Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese traditions. The menu has been created to soothe, nourish, sustain and inspire – at a modest price. 80% of the core menu in New Haven will be similar to its sister locations with the remainder of the menu debuting new dishes with a Mecha twist. And of course, “Slurping is encouraged” as clearly stated on the menu.

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Sunday
Oct022016

Veg-Centric Dinner Series at ROÌA in New Haven: Heirloom Tomatoes

Up the steps off the city streets of New Haven, you may feel transported to another time and place. A space that somehow manages to feel elegant, yet contemporary and welcoming at the same time. This could only be ROÌA, where its elaborate high ceilings and attention to a bygone era’s architectural detail make a striking first impression. But they only set the stage for you to be further impressed with the sights and flavors about to arrive at the table.

CTbites first visited ROÌA for its grand opening back in 2013—grand being a most fitting descriptor. We were thrilled to return and experience a dinner featuring summer’s bounty of the local heirloom tomato, in one interesting configuration after another. And just one in the “veg-centric dinner series” Chef Avi Szapiro has offered since last year, when they first showcased asparagus, followed by summer squash, then tomato.

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Tuesday
Jul192016

Foraging with Chef Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi in New Haven

To Forage:  The word forage means to use wander or search for food or provisions. 

So when I was invited to James Beard nominated and passionate foraging chef, Bun Lai’s farm in upstate Connecticut for lunch, I half expected we would forage for much of our meal.  

When I saw on Instagram that Bun and his friend, Greg Grinberg from Actual Food had been diving the prior day for clams for lunch, I knew I was in for a treat. 

Chef Bun Lai is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming and eating and sources much of the food he serves at his New Haven sushi restaurant, Miya’s, from his own gardens, from the wooded forest around his 10 acre farm in Woodbridge, CT and from Long Island Sound.   His popular restaurant has been a New Haven destination for over 35 years, originally opened by his mother, who is still involved today. 

To visit with Bun is a lesson in locally sourced produce, with no pesticides or flavor or color enhancements.  He and Greg described foraging as, “the most natural way of eating… the “gathering” part of the hunter/gatherer”. 

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Friday
Jul082016

New Haven's Historic Bar Reopens: Welcome Back Anchor Spa

It's back.

Anchor Spa, one of New Haven's most iconic drinking establishments has been brought back to life thanks to Yale alumnus and restauranteur Karl Franz Williams (67 Orange Street, Solomon & Kuff). Renovated with an emphasis on evoking the 1930's spirit of the original Anchor Spa while infusing the space with thoughtful modern touches, Anchor Spa is poised to take its place among Connecticut's most stylish and storied bars.  

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Friday
Jun172016

Friday Froth: A Trip To Barcade New Haven, Video Games + Beer

Maybe it's just the freshness of a mind before it reaches pickled adulthood, but childhood memories seem more permanent. I can't remember breakfast on most days, but I recall hopping on bikes with a few friends, ditching our mother-mandated helmets, and riding down to Vic's Variety on Paradise Green in Stratford to buy Crybabies and play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a stand up, four player arcade game. 

Nintendo and Sega Genesis had killed video game arcades as dead as iTunes killed record stores until four guys in Williamsburg thought "What if we bring them back, but with beer?" That was 2004, and in the ensuing years the Barcade franchise has spread around New York, to New Jersey, Philly, and now, New Haven. It was once again time to get my Hadouken! on.

Travel time driving to Barcade is variable, in my case 3 hours in traffic. But by the time I arrived I was seriously ready to blow something up. Centipede, Galaga, Punch Out, four player X-Men and Ninja Turtles, Ms. Pac Man... take your pick, they're all still 25-cents to play. 

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Sunday
Feb212016

Jitter Bus Coffee Truck: Now Rolling in New Haven

I happen to think you can’t have enough coffee options. Helping me test this hypothesis is the city of New Haven, and newcomer, Jitter Bus Coffee. Unlike its bricks and mortar competitors, Jitter Bus is a bus serving serving single origin coffee solely from Connecticut roasters with a selection Whole G baked goods.

Like its name proclaims, the business is housed within a former (and slightly aging) school bus painted jet black and retrofitted with an espresso maker, all of which can best be described as “appropriately grungy,” led by a young trio of seasoned barristas: Dan Barletta, Paul Crosby, and Andrew Mesioiris.

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