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Entries in Norwalk (158)

Saturday
Jul262014

Washington Prime Opens in SONO: A First Look

The corner of North Water and Washington was alive in South Norwalk this week with the opening of Washington Prime. A soft opening on Thursday led to a throng of over 300 guests wandering in to enjoy the vibrant scene at the bar and the reservation book for Friday filled so quickly, it was shut earlier than expected. This latest addition to SONO is attracting enormous attention and a visit inside and a look at the menu shows why.

The interior includes an enormous “U” shaped bar to unwind and enjoy a beer or one of their specialty cocktails and the dining area that spans the entire length of the right side of the restaurant is heavily focused on woods and foliage. Floor to ceiling windows allow for natural light to illuminate the space, comprised of dark wood tables and “moss” encased booths. All very organic and relaxing.

The ownership of Washington Prime is no stranger to the area. One of its owners, Marco Siguenza, is cousins with the owners of Cava, Harvest, 55 Wine Bar and Scena and worked with them since he arrived in the United States in 1998. The kitchen is under the direction of Executive Chef Jared Falco, spent time in several of Fairfield County’s restaurants over the last two years from Bar Sugo, to The Whelk, and most recently Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge. His opening menu shows a desire to place a modern twist on some classic dishes. 

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Sunday
Jun292014

Romanacci Cafe in Norwalk: A Slice of Roma with a Casual Flair

It is a unique place that can transform itself from a casual, family friendly lunch and dinner spot to a young and hip late night stop after a dinner of popcorn at the movies.  Romanacci Cafe (which translates as “From Rome”) on the Norwalk-Westport border is such a place, offering Artisan pizzas, salads, Focaccia paninis, crepes and freshly made Italian pastries. 

Tucked into a strip center on the Post Road, Romanacci is the handiwork of two brothers, Graziano and Maurizio Ricci.  Both hail from Rome, where they attended culinary school and worked alongside their parents as well as in other family-run restaurants.

Graziano migrated to the US almost 18 years ago and eventually oversaw the kitchen in New Haven’s Hot Tomatoes. He subsequently convinced his younger brother, Maurizio, to join him as its maître d’, and they finally chased their dream of owning a restaurant. When the owner of Norwalk’s Osteria Romana decided to sell his business, the brothers decided to purchase the restaurant with the intention of bringing a younger attitude and clientele to complement Graziano’s fresh pastas, breads, and sauces. Osteria Romana continues to thrive with a loyal and regular crowd, outdoor seating and a cozy bar area. 

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Friday
Jun272014

Valencia Luncheria's Carlo Arepa Recipe c/o Fairfield County Chef's Table

If you thought arepa's were our of your reach in your own kitchen, think again. This week we are bringing you a recipe from one of the our reader favorite spots—Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk, featured in Fairfield County Chef's Table—featuring one of their most popular dishes, the Carlo Arepa. 

Valencia Luncheria
164 Main Street, Norwalk, CT 06851 | (203) 846-8009 | valencialuncheria.com

Carlo Arepa (serves 4)

For the chicken filling:

1 (31/2-pound) whole chicken
1 large white onion, julienned
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 poblano pepper, julienned

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Sunday
Jun152014

The Best Tacos in Connecticut: Ultimate Guide 

There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.

Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

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Sunday
Jun012014

CTbites' Best Restaurant Burgers in Fairfield County: 2014 Edition

National Burger Month draws to a close.

What better way to celebrate the conclusion of an entire month of enjoying some incredible hamburgers than announcing the 2014 CTbites' winners of the Best Restaurant Burgers of Fairfield County. More burgers challenged last year’s winners and three were successful, Olio, Mama’s Boy and Bar Sugo.

For the second year in a row, the winner is: 

The Whelk– 2014 Best Restaurant Burger in Fairfield County

1 - The Whelk (Westport) – The Whelk Burger combines a blend rich flavored meat, sweet pickles, cry baby Swiss cheese, two varieties of bacon, crisped onions and onion mayo on a brioche bun. The dry aged blend of short rib, brisket and chuck from Craft Saugatuck Butchery was fantastic. The cheese covered, thick patty sat atop two different varieties of bacon that added saltiness and smokiness, while slices of sweet pickles, a slice of frisée and the onion accented mayo brought additional flavors and textures. Sitting atop the plump patty was a handful of crisped onions.

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Tuesday
May272014

Sono Restaurant Week is Back June 8-13th

Sono Restaurant Week is back this spring with almost 20 restaurants participating in prix fixe menus and great dining deals for lunch and dinner in downtown South Norwalk. Restaurant Week also gives diners the opportunity to check out some new venues in SoNo including: Quartino Trattoria Vineria, Johnny Utah’s (ride the bull while you're there), Sweet Lucy Lynn’s, as well as Dan Kardos' new Local Kitchen & Beer Bar.

Participating Restaurants & Price Points Below:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May202014

Themed "Pop-Up" Lunches Launch at Match in SoNo Wednesday-Friday

Think Match is great for dinner? For the first time in their 14-year history, Match is launching Lunch, but not just any lunch. Match will be serving a pop-up style themed lunch. Each week Match will be transformed by putting aside the usual menu and letting their chefs get creative to keep your curiosity piqued.  What themes you ask...

Matt Storch writes, "Like tacos? We've got an ode to ‘Taco’s or What?’ coming your way. Crave our burgers? We'll transform into a classic roadside burger & dog joint. Love Italian? We'll pull out the red checkered tablecloths!"

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday May 21, you can join Match three days a week, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:30 am – 2 pm. 

To find out what's on the menu, follow Match on Facebook and Twitter to see what's for lunch! Call or visit Opentable for reservations.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May192014

Best Bar Burgers in Fairfield County: 2014 Edition

May is National Burger Month and it’s that time of year again for CTbites to unveil its “Best Bar Burgers of Fairfield County.” The last twelve months brought us several suggestions to try and I tried many of these additional locations. The 2014 list included some outstanding bars and haunts that served delicious burgers, so good in fact that only one newcomer was as delicious. (See complete list below)

Not only was this an outstanding burger, but it earned my top spot as the Best Bar Burger in Fairfield County. 

Bick’s Burgers & Fries – 2014 Best Bar Burger in Fairfield County

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Wednesday
May142014

Chocolate Pancakes with Bourbon Whipped Cream Recipe c/o Fairfield County Chef's Table

Each week we will be bringing you a recipe from one of the restaurant's featured in Fairfield County Chef's Table. We are excited to kick it off with this beautiful stack of pancakes from one of our favorite brunch (and now dinner spots) Sugar & Olives in Norwalk. To sweeten this post, we have invited owner Jen Balin and Chef Jon Vaast to share some of their pancakes at our Westport book signing this Saturday. 

Sugar & Olives
21 Lois Street, Norwalk, CT 06851 | (203) 454-3663 | sugarandolives.com
Owner/Chef: Jen Balin and Chef: Jon Vaast

Chocolate Pancakes with Bourbon Whipped Cream Recipe

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Sunday
May112014

New Chef @ Barcelona (SONO) : Introducing Chef Wayne Homsi

With a hip and lively environment, the Barcelona restaurants have consistently offered bold cuisine, inspired by the Iberian Peninsula accompanied with some of the best drinks and Sangria in the area. Each location adheres to the basic premise that a visit to Barcelona must combine great fun with great food. To continue in this tradition, Barcelona (SONO) recently introduced its new Executive Chef Wayne Homsi. Fresh from his culinary journey throughout Spain, CTbites stopped by to sample Chef Homsi’s new additions to the Spring menu.

Chef Wayne graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and joined The Waldorf Astoria Hotel where he became the youngest sous chef in its history. He subsequently worked at Picholine and then became the opening sous chef at its sister restaurant Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro in New York. He next joined Il Barilotto as Executive Chef and Partner in 2002 before joining Barcelona SONO earlier this year.

The menu at Barcelona offers “Meat + Cheese,” “Tapas” plus a few smatterings of “Paella,” “Meat + Fish” and Mixed Grill.” The Tapas contains bar bites and others that are more closely described as small sharing plates.

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