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Entries in Norwalk (202)

Thursday
Apr042013

Dan Aykroyd Coming to Total Wine in Norwalk This Saturday

Actor, musician, writer and now distiller Dan Aykroyd will be visiting Norwalk, Connecticut on Saturday, April 6th 2013. Total Wine & More will host Dan Aykroyd for a bottle signing from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Aykroyd, known for his work on Saturday Night Live and in films including Trading PlacesGhostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy, has been involved with producing and distributing wine and spirits for more than seven years. He recently created Crystal Head Vodka (view hilarious promo here) as a result of his fascination with the supernatural. The super-premium vodka is made with water from a deep aquifer in Newfoundland, Canada, blended with selected grains for a creamy and slightly sweet finish, and triple crystal filtered through Herkimer diamonds, which, according to New Age belief systems, embody positive energy and goodwill.

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Wednesday
Mar272013

A Good Beginning for Dino's Pizza in East Norwalk

Located in 101 1st Street in the space formerly occupied by Beach Burger, Dino Sforza is creating very good pizza after only a few weeks. The interior still includes the familiar beach blue counter, tables and chairs and my first order was a half-pepperoni and half-sausage/ pepper.

The crust of the pie was charred in some spots and still dark blonde in others and a quick peak underneath indicated a large variability so the ovens were still going through their normal calibration. The toppings were very generous, plenty of cheese, pepperoni, sausage and green peppers. Almost completely hidden was the sauce.

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Sunday
Mar242013

Nola Oyster Bar Brings Seafood to South Norwalk

Several weeks ago CTbites first announced the opening of Nola Oyster Bar in South Norwalk, described as a seafood restaurant with dishes from Maine to New Orleans. After my initial visit, it is apparent that much of the food is influenced by the great flavors and traditions of New Orleans, but the creative interpretations are singularly of Chef Dan Kardos.

Exposed brick walls, wood and tin columns, and wrought iron rails dominate the interior with white “antique” chandeliers hanging from the ceiling to create a very New Orleans visual. The front area includes a large, arced granite-topped bar that seats 10, plus a large reclaimed “Bankers’ Table” that seats an additional eight guests overlooking the floor to ceiling windows. The center section of the restaurant overlooks the kitchen, plus the rear room is available for regular dining or a private event.  

Nola Oyster Bar is a place for fun, drinks and great food.

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Wednesday
Mar202013

Best Brunch Restaurants in Fairfield County

...is something wonderful to be seen. In between daily meals one and two is something very delightful for you. How Dr. Suess-y, eh? Wedged in-the-between is the one and only: Brunch. With a capital B, thank you very much. Brunch is divine. You can roll out of bed late and into a perfectly wonderful, relaxed meal that begs to be savored. It lingers beyond the lunch hour and helps you cruise effortlessly into dinner. 

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” says a quote that I stumbled upon recently. I think that is pretty darned accurate, especially when it comes to this meal. Here, for you, is a collection of some lovely spots to help you turn this noun into a verb...so go forth and brunch! 

Did we miss one of your favorite Brunch spots? Let us know...

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Wednesday
Feb272013

Pasta Bolognese in Fairfield County Roundup: Part II

Déjà vu all over again so…Mangia, Mangia Mangia…and Mangia again...

We recently recommended several places that are serving up delicious Bolognese and promised more. So here is our second, and last, installment of 2013 Recommended Pasta Bolognese of Fairfield County that includes two slight variations of the traditional sauce, one with chicken and another with oxtail. Let the games begin...and let the lipitor flow for these 2 brave diners who sampled Bolognese from all over Fairfield County. 

From Cotto in Stamford to The Spread in SoNo to Louie's in Cos Cob, we bring you tasting notes on 10 more Bologneses. 

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Friday
Feb152013

Nola Oyster Bar Opens in SONO

With very little fanfare, Nola Oyster Bar will open its doors this weekend in SONO in the space formerly occupied by Wasabi Chi on the corner of Main and Washington. As CTbites announced a few weeks ago the menu will primarily focus on seafood from Maine to New Orleans.

The previous open interior has been completely redesigned into three dining areas. The bar area features both a long bar with numerous stools for cocktails and dinner, while the two dining areas occupy the remaining space. The rear dining area is convertible for use as a private dining area.

Chef Dan Kardos is overseeing the kitchen and a sneak peak at his opening menu confirms the seafood focus with variety of options. Included are traditional raw bar selections of oysters and clams plus several crudos. “Small Plates” offer several varieties of cooked seafood including braised mussels, an oyster pan roast and several renditions of oysters. The entrées maintain the seafood focus with poached lobster, shrimp and grits, and other grilled and roasted seafood, but expands into a few non-seafood selections that include hanger steak, fried chicken, a combination bacon-cheeseburger. CTbites was told that the menu will expand rapidly over the first few weeks.

Stay tuned as CTbites revisits Nola Oyster Bar in a few weeks for an in depth review.

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Wednesday
Feb062013

Family Style Sunday Dinners at Norwalk's Strada 18

South Norwalk's Strada 18 restaurant has kicked-off a series of "Family Style Sunday Dinners." These successive winter Sundays will feature pre-determined menus served "family-style"with a set price (ranging from $30 to $35 per person, child pricing available). Reservations are required in advance of each Sunday dinner.

Upcoming Sunday Dinners: February 10, February 24, March 10, March 24. For more information and a list of menus, please visit www.strada-18.com.

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Wednesday
Jan232013

Off the Vine Wine & Spirits Opens in Norwalk

“Come on in. I just finished putting the wine away about an hour ago,” says John Noakes as I enter Off The Vine Wine & Spirits, a wine shop in Norwalk. “I had about 100 cases just sitting in my basement.” 

Off the Vine is a work in progress; a paint brush lies in the corner waiting for use and the shelves have a few empty spaces awaiting bottles.  Still, Noakes is well on his way toward reopening the store in its new location.  The shop, previously situated on the corner of Spring Hill Avenue, is moving across town to Winfield Street.  The space has its own legacy.  It once housed the original location of Fountainhead Wines before it became a part of Fat Cat City on Wall Street.

Off the Vine is a relatively small operation.  Noakes owns and works in the store full-time and has two people who assist him part-time.  The new location is physically petite as well, even more so than the previous shop.   Don’t let the size fool you though.  The shop offers an enviable collection of boutique wines.

“Having a small store poses its challenges, but it makes it so that your taste has to be spot on,” explains Noakes.  He strives to offer only the best products to his customers and tries to find unique, small production wine.

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Thursday
Jan102013

The Great Wall of Stouts Beer Event @ The Ginger Man

Friday
Jan042013

Pasta Bolognese in Fairfield County Roundup: Part I

Mangia, Mangia Mangia…and Mangia again.

Pasta Bolognese..a dish so embedded in the DNA of Italian culture that the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for "classic Bolognese ragù" with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. The recorded recipe calls for beef from the plate section, unsmoked pancetta, carrot, celery, onions, tomato purée, meat broth, dry wine, milk, salt and pepper, plus a small amount of cream as an option to finish the sauce. There are numerous variations and nuances in the design, flavor, ingredients and most importantly the partner on the plate, the pasta, traditionally a taggliatelle.

What started as a simple idea within CTbites to find and recommend a few good Pasta Bolognese dishes in Fairfield County took a life of its own as more suggestions led to more great sauces, which led to, well more great sauces. Over the last several weeks, the two of us have enjoyed some great Pasta Bolognese preparations (and several that were not so good) to give our readers a list of recommended restaurants that serve delicious versions of this traditional Italian fare. It is not all encompassing, is listed alphabetically and we look to our readers to offer other suggestions of restaurants that serve their favorite Pasta Bolognese to be included in next year's search.

And this is only part 1…there were too many for just one list of recommendations, so stay tuned for part 2 in the near future.

Buon Appetito!!!

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