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Entries in Norwalk (181)


The Spread to Open in S. Norwalk w/ Local Celeb Bartenders & Arik Bensimon

“The SoNo scene has lost a bit of luster and we'd like to help bring some flavor back downtown,” says Chris Hickey, Co-Owner of The Spread opening October 2012.  

Mr. Hickey, and his partners, Christopher Rasile, Andrey Cortes, and Shawn Longyear may be just the men for the job. With strong backgrounds in hospitality and almost legendary careers managing Bar at Barcelona’s SoNo and Greenwich locations, these four partners are poised to create some dining buzz in Michael Young's former Habana location

But, despite boasting one of the largest bars in Fairfield County, The Spread is not just about creative cocktails. Enter the talented Chef Arik Bensimon, most recently the Executive Chef at Napa & Co., and now you’ve got yourself some serious culinary street cred to compliment the talent behind the bar. 

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Estia Restaurant Brings Greek Cuisine to SoNo

Gavrielides Restaurant Group, the family behind Harbor Lights, Eastside Café, and Overtons, all located in Norwalk, have added yet another egg to their already full basket of food establishments.

Recently opened “Estia”, which shows off the Gavrielides family’s Greek roots, is a welcome addition to SONO’s Washington Street.  It’s official:  This tiny block now proudly boasts a veritable potpourri of cuisine, and with Greek cuisine now on offer, it is fast becoming a diners paradise. Let’s hope Estia, along with its’ neighboring partners in crime can live up to the increasing demand for quality, sophisticated food, so SONO can continue to thrive. 

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Shanghai Asian Bistro: Shanghai Opens Second Location in Norwalk

Occasionally, we like to get a few opinions on a restaurant. Here are two shorts from Cathy Siroka and James Gribbon on Shanghai Bistro.

If you’re in South Norwalk and want a simple, easy place to go before a movie or out with the kids – try Shanghai Asian Bistro. They recently opened a second location at 124 Washington St., with their first one in Westport at 1715 Post Rd East.  Owner, John Jiang, had been carefully looking for a second location for years, and has seen such a huge change in the traffic and excitement in downtown Norwalk, and finally felt that “now was the right time.” 

While the menu has the Chinese classics like shrimp with duck sauce and General Tsao’s  chicken, the restaurant also offers an array of other Asian inspired dishes and many ways to customize your order according to your tastes and dietary preferences.  Jiang explains his menu as “all-Asian, not just Chinese, a sampling of the flavors of China, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.”

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SoNo Marketplace Opening Soon in Norwalk

The SoNo MarketPlace is springing to life at 314 Wilson Avenue in South Norwalk and will change how Fairfield County views food markets. The MarketPlace is the brainchild of John Palino, the New Yorker who oversaw the creation of more than twenty restaurants, bars and nightclubs and the host and co-creator of “The Kitchen Job,” New Zealand’s top rated food focused series. The site, influenced by the ambience of the food courts of France “will combine a seasonal outdoor farmers market with a year-round indoor urban marketplace.” Located within the transforming industrial area of SONO, John Palino, Joe Grasso, and Lindsay Sudel, will revitalize the water view property to create a foodie destination with additional shopping. Palino and Grasso are also taking a personal interest in three of the culinary booths: FLAT WHITE COFFEE, the SONO CANTINA, and GOTTA NIBBLE.

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Saffron Indian Cuisine: An Unexpected Gem in Norwalk

To quote a great Donovan song from the '60's, "I'm just mad about Saffron." Now the true meaning behind those lyrics is intended for another type of blog all together -I'll just stick with the restaurant that shares its name with the spice. Saffron, the year old Indian restaurant located at 333 Westport Ave in Norwalk, is the labor of love for "Pinky" Kaur, a native of Northern India. The establishment is modest and seats about 35 guests, but just like the spice, a little SAFFRON goes a very long way. We ordered, (as is our tradition), an extensive selection of the menu, but each dish that arrived seemed more well executed than the one before. This is not fancy Indian; this is authentic North-Indian at its finest. Here's the play by play. 

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It's Hatch Chile Season! Celebrate with Stew Leonards.

If you can't make it to the annual Hatch Chile Festival in New Mexico in early September, this weekend in Norwalk may be a close second. 

Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk is partnering with a family-owned New Mexico Green Chile Company to host a Hatch Chile Roasting demo and tasting for customers on Thursday, August 23 through Sunday, August 26, 2012. Stew's will be selling their fire-roasted or unroasted Hatch chiles, as well as offering samples of fresh salsa made with Hatch chiles. For more information, visit Stew Leonards website or better yet, stop on by this weekend.

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Pontos Taverna: Authentic Greek in Norwalk

A well-executed movie night in Fairfield County, which includes eating out before or after the flick, usually requires some skill.  You have to factor in the length of the movie and the distance to the restaurant and hope that there isn’t any traffic along Post Road so you don’t miss the coming attractions or your reservation.

Good news foodies and movie lovers, I have found the antidote to that little problem right in the heart of Norwalk.  I introduce to you, Pontos Taverna (cue the Greek music), serving Authentic Greek Cuisine right next to Garden Cinema.  Next to Garden Cinema you ask? I know, I’ve said it before myself, “What Greek restaurant next to the cinema?”

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Sono Baking Co: 5 Tips for Perfect Pie Dough

Pie baking is a both a science and an art, and John Barricelli of Sono Baking Company knows all the tricks. John has been baking the old fashioned way at Sono Baking Company since the very beginning, no short cuts, just fresh ingredients and skill that comes from a lifetime covered in flour. 

As part of our Invites program, John Barricelli hosted two "Pie & Dough Making" classes for aspiring bakers. Guests arrived donning aprons and toting rolling pins. Here's what we learned:

5 Tips for Perfect Pie Dough

Tip #1: Calibrate your oven's temperate & make sure that your oven is level.

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Great news for fans of Cortina Pizzeria, Norwalk!  

Chef/ owner Pat Pascarella of Cortina Pizzeria (the former Pizzeria Rosso) told CTbites that he is relocating from the current New Canaan Avenue location and re-opening on Wall Street in Norwalk with a larger menu and plenty of seats. During the relocation the New Canaan Avenue location will close on July 29th with the new Wall Street full-service restaurant scheduled to open in September.

The menu at the new restaurant will feature more than Chef Pat’s delicious pizzas (yes, he will feature the CTbites Pizza). He shared a sneak peak of some of the items he is considering and they include various meatballs, (including a meatball sampler plate), a variety of appetizers and salumi, salads including house-made mozzarella and burrata plus an assortment of pasta dishes. When CTbites spoke with Pascarella, he stated, "I am excited about opening the new location where I can expand the menu and offer more choices to my customers.  I also want to price the menu so everyone can come to the restaurant and enjoy some great food at reasonable prices.

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Respect for Source: The Ritual of Pasta Making at Pasta Nostra in South Norwalk

Joe Bruno’s formula for Pasta Nostra in South Norwalk is simple. Fresh pasta, high quality ingredients, and respect for source. This meticulous attention to detail and devotion to perfection has kept it a Fairfield County mainstay for well over two decades.

To understand how Chef Bruno can maintain this vigilance, we visited on several occasions, spending time in the upstairs kitchen, a basement prep area, in the dining room and even peering into a few cave-like basement rooms where the Italian olive oil and cases of wine are stored. But to truly grasp the soul of this place, we spent most of our time there with an Italian pasta machine in a basement prep area, where the restaurant’s fresh pasta is prepared with care.

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