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Entries in Norwalk (162)

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.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug172014

Washington Prime Opens in Sono: Bustling Bar & Creative Food

Washington Prime recently opened at the entrance to the SONO “Ironworks” on the corner of Washington and North Water Streets and is already garnering positive feedback and enormous crowds each night. CTbites offered a sneak peek a couple of weeks ago and recently re-visited this high energy and bustling establishment on two separate occasions to sample the food.

Self-described as an Eating + Drinking Well, Washington Prime reflects the collective vision of locals and co-owners Rob Moss and Marco Siguenza. Moss, a native of New Canaan, is no stranger to opening high energy restaurants in Fairfield County, overseeing many over the last ten years. Siguenza is the epitome of the American dream, starting as a busboy at Match Restaurant and now 16 years later one of the owners of Washington Prime, a neighboring restaurant. The kitchen is overseen by Executive Chef Jared Falco, classically trained at the French Culinary Institute. Before moving to Fairfield County, Chef Falco honed his culinary skills at Daniel and WD-50 in NYC. The trio are now working closely to present a vibrant bar scene with delicious interpretations of tradition cuisine.

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Sunday
Aug032014

Taqueria Las Salsa Truck: Simple Tacos in Norwalk

What’s that brightly colored truck parked at the Auto-Zone in Norwalk serving?

As you drive west/south on Route 1 in Norwalk and approach the Avalon apartments on the corner of Belden Ave, take a look to the right into the parking lot of the Auto-Zone. Several days a week, the site will include a colorfully decorated food truck with “Taqueria” emblazoned over the front windshield and a collage of articles, food photos and menus…all to tempt hungry customers into ordering one of numerous tacos, burritos and plates of Mexican inspired cuisine. That truck is Taqueria Las Salsa.

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Thursday
Jul312014

Burger Alert: The Spread "Cheeseburger"- Best Bar Burger in FFD CTY?

Executive Chef Carlos Baez assumed the helm of The Spread in SONO a year ago and the menu now completely reflects his vision of flavor and textural combinations. After a movie we decided to enjoy some of his light bites, and when they asked if I would like to try his new burger combination, I quickly agreed.

Chef Baez's "CHEESEBURGER" starts his fantastic combination with a large patty of grass-fed Kobe beef. He melts a few slices of a mild white Cheddar cheese over the patty and then tops the cheese-covered patty with house-made pickled jalapeño peppers, a few slices of crispy bacon, a little shreaded lettuce, a swath of spicy mayo, all encased in a sesame seed bun. The meat was loosely compressed to maintain its medium grind, and the cheese was a delightfully smooth addition. These two ingredients, alone, would have created a fantastic cheeseburger, but Chef Baez elevated the flavors and achieved a perfect balance of salty-spicy-sour with the pickled jalapeño peppers complemented by the bacon. The addition of the spicy mayo was a great finish. The bun was mild in flavor and did not fight with any of the other flavors. This was one great burger.

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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. 

Click to read more ...

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 ...