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Entries in Norwalk (177)


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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The Sheffield Island Clambake & Boatride 

Every summer, from June through September, The Norwalk Seaport Association provides an escape from the rush of city life and the exhaustion of a grueling workday. They transport you to the shores of idyllic Sheffield Island, a sanctuary on the sea, truly taking you back to the way summer should be.

The Sheffield Island Clambake got it’s start a little over 10 years ago and has become a much anticipated summer tradition for many families.  The Norwalk Seaport Association is a non-profit organization that has owned, restored, and maintained the Sheffield Island Lighthouse since 1986.  Sheffield Island opens its dock to visitors May through September, inviting them to tour the 142 year old light house, have a picnic, or look for shells along the beach.  

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Best Burgers in Fairfield County: 2012 Edition

“It is the Americans who have managed to crown minced beef as hamburger, and to send it round the world so that even the fussy French have taken to le boeuf hache, le hambourgaire.” – Julia Child

Forget the fish, hold the pasta, toss the vegetables to the side…May is National Burger Month, thirty-one days dedicated to one of my favorite culinary creations …the hamburger. And in honor of this great event, CTbites is please to highlight both the places that were included in the two Recommended Hamburger Lists from 2011 plus additional establishments from my continuous search for scrumptious hamburgers. 

Here (in alphabetical order) is a list of recommended hamburgers from Greenwich to Westport to enjoy during National Hamburger Month.

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Red Lulu's Cinco De Mayo All Day Block Party

The countdown to Cinco De Mayo has begun, and Red Lulu is taking over Sono for a Cinco De Mayo block party. Eat, drink and dance all day with no cover charge at this Cinco celebration, complete with live bands, Mexican eats, and of course...tequila! The parking lot across the street from Red Lulu will be shut down for the day for maximum festivity. Here are the details:

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A Sneak Peek @ The NEW Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk

We recently reported on Valencia Luncheria's highly anticipated expansion plan which has this Fairfield County arepa haven moving down the street to a significantly larger location at 164 Main Street in Norwalk. Regulars wondered if the new place would retain the just stepped off the Venezuelan beachside charm of Valencia 1.0, a tiny spot whose uniquely delicious menu has won over locals as well as Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Loyal patrons need not fear. Owner, Michael Young, recently toured CTbites around the new Valencia Luncheria, and all of the rustic and reclaimed touches, bright colors, and the signature wall of plantains, are still in the house. There are, however, some significant upgrades about which you'll want to know. Here's the rundown on what to look for in the new Valencia Luncheria, currently scheduled to open by the end of May.

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