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Entries in New Haven (72)


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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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 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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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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Liuzzi’s Gourmet Market In North Haven: A Well-Crafted Bridge to Italian Foodways

Anna Bendiksen is new to the CTbites team. Anna is a former scholar of Russian literature, and a food blogger over at or follow her on Twitter @anna_bendiksen

When Domenico “Dom” Liuzzi talks about artisanal cheesemaking, his eyes light up.

“Quality is what sets us apart from Stop and Shop,” he said in a recent conversation at Liuzzi’s Gourmet Market---not that anyone could mistake his store, which carries over 200 cheeses, for anything other than the Greater New Haven landmark it is.

The cascades of Italian speech in the air, the display cases featuring Liuzzi’s own house-made cheeses, the scent of cured hams and sausages hanging overhead, the attentive staff darting about---all combine to make Liuzzi’s a prime destination for foodies from Connecticut and beyond.

The cheeses for which the store is best known---the result of the family’s cheesemaking heritage stretching over a century---are its burrata (favored by Mario Batali), a caciocavallo (“cheese on horseback,” so named because it is strung in rope to drip dry), and two kinds of ricotta (whipped and large-curd).

Yet the cheese offerings at Liuzzi’s, located in North Haven, don’t stop with these house-made specialties. You’ll also find imported Grana Padano (a cheese similar to Parmesan that is favored by Italian children and a standby in Lidia Bastianich’s new cookbook Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine); Moliterno, a raw sheep’s-milk cheese exquisitely scented with black truffle paste; the best of American artisanal cheeses such as Humboldt Fog; and many more. 

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Alice Waters Speaks on "Slow Food Values in a Fast Food Culture" at Yale on February 2

Photo: Chez Panisse

Chef, author, and food activist Alice Waters will visit Yale University on February 2, 2016 at 4 p.m. to give a talk at the Yale Art Gallery titled "Slow Food Values in a Fast Food Culture." The talk is free and open to the public.

Waters is the owner of the ingredient-driven Chez Panisse restaurant that opened in 1971 in Berkeley, a founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project and a recipience of the National Humanities Medal in 2015.

For more information about the event, visit Yale News.

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Bren Smith, Founder of Ocean Farming Non-profit GreenWave, Awarded Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award

Bren Smith, the founder of GreenWave and Thimble Island Oyster Farm, an ocean farming non profit based in New Haven, has been making headlines recently as the recent recipient of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Challenge. The award recognizes GreenWave's design for the world’s first multi-species 3D ocean farms. The non profit's work aims to restore ocean ecosystems while creating jobs in coastal communities through restorative ocean farmers.

In addition to the New Yorker's "Is Seaweed the Next Superfood?," listen to a recent story on

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Junzi Kitchen Opens in New Haven

Photo: Reed Immer, Junzi Kitchen

A chun-bing (spring-pancake), is traditionally eaten to celebrate the arrival of spring in chinese culture. Its origins as a humble culinary tradition are tied to the Qin dynasty (265 - 240 ad), when chun-bing was prepared with fresh spring ingredients to signal the spring harvest and a return to the land. It’s become a year-round staple in northern China where you can find it in street carts, restaurants, and on sunday dinner tables. And now on 21 Broadway in New Haven at Junzi Kitchen which opened this week.

Junzi co-founders Ming Bai, Wanting Zhang, and Yong Zhao grew up in a transitional time in northeast China when the population was experiencing many modernizations. Instead of growing food on their own, supermarkets became a predominant food source for families out of convenience, but it was clear that something special was being lost in the process.

Nostalgia for the spring flavors of home led the fellow Yale grad students to launch Junzi Kitchen. "I wanted to show people that Chinese food can be simple, healthy, and satisfying, something you can eat every day," said co-founder Yong Zhao. The result is an experience that challenges the way you think about Chinese food.

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Happy Hour at Elm City Social in New Haven

Elm City Social has entered New Haven’s burgeoning craft cocktail scene with an exhaustive and inventive array of cocktails and a variety dining options from mid-day to late night. Venturing into the Elm City Social bar during Happy Hour, I had but a simple mission – to quickly refuel with a cocktail and a few snacks before an evening event. I knew I had come to the right place when I noticed the cocktail menu was equal to, if not greater than, the dining options.

So first, those cocktails. The Rubber Ducky is a shaken cocktail made from a combination of a citra hop-infused New Amsterdam Gin, basil, grapefruit, lemon, with sparkling water. First sip, my eyes quickly narrowing, I found myself put off (turned on?) by the hoppy notes. Second sip, a bit of offense but also wonderment, “how did an IPA get in my cocktail?” From that point until my last sip, I was impressed by the equal parts confusion and compulsion on my palate. Well done. Also, there is an actual rubber ducky floating in your drink. Bonus points for cheekiness.

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City-Wide Open Studios (CWOS) Kitchens: The Intersection of Visual & Culinary Arts in New Haven

Artspace in New Haven is launching City-Wide Open Studios (CWOS) Kitchens this November to celebrate the intersection of the visual and culinary arts. The CWOS theme this year is "Dwelling," and with kitchens is the core of this theme,  Artspace is organizing three special evenings of culinary experiences in their gallery surrounded by 360 small works of art during the CWOS October and November festivities.

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