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Entries in Norwalk (171)

Sunday
Feb152015

Mediterraneo in Norwalk ... A Culinary Tour of Southern Europe

Mediterraneo, a ‘destination restaurant’ in the Hotel Zero Degrees on Main Street in Norwalk is a beautiful backdrop for Executive Chef Albert DeAngelis’ culinary tour of the Mediterranean. The aquatic inspired dining room features a large bar area to the left, with several high top tables to augment the bar seating, and to the right is the main dining room. With hardwood floors, white chairs and a large nautical flag painting along the far right wall, the dining area presents a clean and airy feel. The highlight of the room is the floor to ceiling glass wall that overlooks the panoramic, million-dollar waterfall view on the river. From a magnificent French Braised beef “Bourguignon” to a mild Tuscan Prosciutto wrapped rabbit loin to an outstanding Wild black sea bass, the menu at Mediterraneo offers wide varieties of clean flavors and combinations.  Mediterraneo is one of five local restaurants owned by the  Z Hospitality Group.

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Wednesday
Feb112015

Strada 18: Revisiting Classic Italian Comfort Food in Norwalk

I was recently invited to a press dinner at Strada 18 in South Norwalk. The restaurant was eager to share with us their Italian-American Comfort Classics Dinner. With temperatures well below the freezing mark, all the snow, freezing rain and sleet, this is the type of food so many are craving right now. 

A group of about 20 or so writers, editors and bloggers gathered together for this dinner that was prepared especially for us. We started out with the Fried Calamari with Three Sauces, aioli, lemon-lime-jalapeno-cilantro, and marinara. The calamari was tender, flavorful and incredibly crispy and the accompanying sauces complemented them perfectly. We also enjoyed the Arancini, a fried risotto ball stuffed with American farmstead Fontina and served with a tomato sauce. The Arancini was good – but I wouldn’t say it was outstanding or one of the best I’ve ever had.

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Thursday
Dec252014

CTbites Staff & Chef Picks for TOP EATS OF 2014

In terms of eating, the CTbites team of writers, photographers, and chef friends have managed to sample and savor more than most. 2014 has been a stellar year for restaurant openings as Fairfield County and the surrounding areas continue to draw great culinary talent.  Instead of coming up with a top ten list ourselves, we asked the CTbites extended family to share some of their most memorable meals and dining experiences this past year.

Here are our favorite meals and restaurants of 2014. 

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Thursday
Dec182014

CTbites Readers Get Special Gift @ Sugar & Olives Winter Market

CT Bites readers who shop the market get a free gift with a purchase of $25 or more, a seasonal seasoning; a tin of our coffee salt rub (great for roasts or steaks) featuring Gorilla Coffee Beans and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Keep it or gift it, either way it’s a delicious addition to your holiday meal.

This indoor, rain-or-shine market/outing will run every Friday through February (except after Thanksgiving Christmas and New Year’s), offering locally produced edibles, including milk, eggs, cheese, honey flour, grains, produce and meats. More Info Here. 

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Thursday
Nov202014

Chocopologie Re-Opens in Downtown SoNo with Espresso, Dessert & Lunch

Very shortly, Fritz Knipschildt, owner of Chocopologie, will be swapping his old 12 South Main St. location for an up-to-date Chocopologie at 133 Washington St.

The new Chocopologie has maintained some aspects of the old café like the European flair (yes, I’m thinking about the savory buckwheat crepes), the open chocolate-making station, and their trademark exposed brick walls. But don’t be fooled; the light-washed wood flooring, trendy antique furniture, and a simple chalkboard menu point to a decidedly new style. Knipschildt described the new restaurant’s theme as “doing less with more.”

Their “less is more” thinking has inspired their chow as well. Knipschildt and Manager Joseph Trepanowski are not fans of the nuevo, hipster movement, and said that “these hipster places put on good faces but it’s a facade,” adding that they want to be cool but have substance.

A primary focus of the 133 Washington St. location will be the espresso.

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Wednesday
Nov122014

Washington Prime in Sono Launches Sunday Prime Brunch Buffet

Washington Prime opened just a few months ago to rave reviews, and a steady stream of satisfied customers as a result of the visions of owners Robb Moss and Marco Siguenza and the creative innovations of Chef Jared Falco. This past Sunday, at the request of many of their patrons, Washington Prime decided to do something new – the Sunday Prime Brunch Buffet where, for $29.90, you can select from a complimentary Mimosa, Bloody Mary or Moscow mule as you indulge from an incredible buffet. Select from a raw bar, artisanal cheeses, salads, a prime rib and omelet station as well as the traditional fare - a selection of bacon, sausages, French toast, Eggs Benedict, miniature bagels with smoked salmon and the works, assorted pastries and Danishes, yogurt, granola and fresh fruit. 

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Tuesday
Oct212014

Spotlight on The "Local Burger" @ Local Kitchen & Beer Bar in Sono... Delicious

In my continuous and unending search for great hamburgers in Fairfield County, I returned to SONO to sample Chef Dan Kardos’ latest version at LOCAL Kitchen and Beer Bar. Kardos is no stranger to my “Best of” list with previous version from both Harvest Supper in New Canaan and NOLA (at this same location) earning a spot. The interior of the restaurant has been transformed, with more woods and lights plus the rear room (never my favorite) was converted into a Bourbon Bar. The new décor gives a much hipper and fun feel.

Chef Dan’s latest version is named “THE LOCAL BURGER” and includes all natural, humanely raised beef, sautéed wild mushrooms, bacon, Swiss cheese, fronions and black pepper mayo, encased in a Wave Hill bun…served with French fries and a pickle.

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Sunday
Oct192014

Jax & Co. Opens in Sono, from the Owners of Mama's Boy: Breakfast, Lunch & To-Go Dinner 

Whenever the owner of a restaurant that serves great food announces a second location, I am excited to see where this second venture will lead.  After hearing that Greer Fredericks, the co-owner of Mama’s Boy in SONO, was opening JAX around the corner on North Main, I couldn’t wait for my first visit. JAX opened a few weeks ago and currently serves a wide range of breakfast options, plus a tremendous selection of creative sandwiches at lunch. It is also placing the final touches to its soon to be released take-away dinners, and awaiting the delivery of its ice cream machine.

Located just south of the SONO theatre, the interior is completely redesigned, accented with a red painted art nouveau ceiling and lots of wood throughout…it is definitely the sister restaurant to Mama’s Boy.

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Sunday
Oct052014

Q's Restaurant: Vietnamese PHO & BBQ in Norwalk 

What's PHO lunch today? As autumn quietly slinks in, there's nothing like a truly authentic PHO to ease us into the chill that awaits. Head on over to Q's Restaurant at 172 Main Street in Norwalk (the old Valencia Luncheria spot) for the real McCoy. Recently opened (about 3 months and counting) and charmingly tiny, Q's is the love child of husband and wife duo Charles Eaton and XiaoNing Liu. Eaton, a Vietnam Vet, met Liu (a native of Old Nanking Province in China) while he was serving a tour of duty in Asia. Together, they have brought a small menu featuring Pho as well as other Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine to their wee, little kitchen. 

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Monday
Sep012014

Summer's Best Restaurant Openings in Connecticut

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to that glorious season we know as summer. Days filled with warm weather, early happy hours, and treks to the beach are hereby numbered. Thankfully, several new restaurants have opened in Fairfield County and beyond this summer, giving us more than a few things to look forward to as we ease into the seriousness of the back-to-school season.

Here are a few new restaurants that opened this summer we think are worth checking out.

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