Entries in Norwalk (194)
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.
Word of mouth, and great word at that, brought me to The Spread, a spanking new dining hot spot in Sono. Two months young, the restaurant is the result a partnership of four guys, all with two decades-worth of bar and restaurant experience combined, plus one young and very talented chef, Arik Bensimon. Formerly the Executive Chef of Napa & Co., Chef Arik brings the food in this rustic yet hip joint to a level of excellence and seriousness not seen in Fairfield County in some time. The Spread’s menu is global in scope. It represents a range of cultures--Arik’s Moroccan background and French training, the partners' of Costa Rica, Italy, and France with a dash of New York and California in the mix. Indeed, the menu is all over the place, locally sourced and international, but somehow this eclectic mishmash works. Though dishes are simply titled on the menu, they are, in fact, complex and beautifully executed.
What is all that activity on the corner of Washington and Main Streets in SONO? CTbites has discovered that SBC Restaurant and Brewery will open its fifth location in the space formerly occupied by Wasabi Chi. Currently name NOLA, SBC's Bill Dasilva told CTbites that the new restaurant will be an Oyster bar with “twists on traditional seafood from New Orleans to Maine” in “a very casual, comfortable and cool” atmosphere. The opening is targeted for February 2013.
Overseeing the kitchen will be long time favorite to many in Fairfield County, Executive Chef Dan Kardos. Chef Kardos began his culinary career with SBC while a teenager and worked in several Fairfield County restaurants over the last few years including Napa & Co., Harvest Supper, @Bar Rosso, and most recently with Chef Bill Taibe at The Whelk.
When a recipe called for whole uncleaned squid, I knew that the ingredient would be difficult to find. However, I did not expect it to be impossible. After 4 grocery stores, 4 markets, 6 restaurants, multiple phone calls and exactly 0 success, I began to think otherwise. Fortunately, a friend with ties to the food industry gave me a little tip as I was about to surrender: Pagano’s Seafood in Norwalk. Sure enough, they had plenty of whole squid for purchase. I started on my recipe within the hour.
It turns out that Pagano’s is greatly respected in both the restaurant community. They provide fish to some of the area’s most popular dining destinations including The Homestead Inn, Quattro Pazi, Napa and Company, Barcelona, Match, The Spotted Horse, and Bartaco. They even serve restaurants and markets in Massachusetts and New York. When I asked Allen Pagano, a founder and owner, why Pagano’s was so sought after, he chuckled and responded simply, “Because we’re the best.”
A week prior to the official opening on Saturday December 1st, SoNo Market Place decided to sponsor a soft opening on November 23rd and I decided that tasting some good local food was a whole lot better than fighting the crowds at the mall.
All of the food purveyors were in full test-mode and my first stop was Flat White Coffee to taste the coffee described to CTbites by owner, John Palino, back in September. This was a creamy blend of rich coffee and steamed milk, a brand brought over from New Zealand, and one that should meet with great success in CT.
But it's not just about coffee at SoNo Market Place. With over 20 food vendors and eateries, this European style market is poised to be a foodie destination. Guests lined up at Wise Guys Pizza for New Haven style pies; Norm Bloom served up fresh oysters and clams straight from the Norwalk waters, and Fish & Chips were on the menu from Gotta Nibble. Caterering company, Festivities, has a permananet spot here with their take-out biz, "Party Express." Local specialty purveyors and well known brands such as Knipschildt Chocolatier, Wave Hill Breads, and Nothin' But Granola have also opened shop at the market.
When you enter Basso Café you feel transported to a warmer climate with the vibrant colors and art of the Mediterranean. The green walls are adorned with large colorful paintings depicting various culinary delights and the dark wood tables are inviting and offer a calming respite from the hustle and bustle of the day. At the helm of the Basso Café is Owner / Chef Renato Donzelli, who is proud that his dream still thrives after opening at the worst possible time at the beginning of the financial crisis in September 2007. A loyal following and favorable word of mouth allowed him to weather the crisis, and his strong menu has given him continued success.
Born in Venezuela and raised in Naples, Italy, Chef Renato’s cuisine focuses primarily on Mediterranean flavors with a Venezuelan influence.
For More information or to make a reservation: CALL: (203) 956-7134 or EMAIL: email@example.com
Bar Sugo is located at 102 Wall St. Norwalk, CT 06854
The culinary landscape of downtown Norwalk improved significantly with the opening of Bar Sügo, offering Italian cuisine that Chef/Owner Pat Pascarella’s describes as “food that Italians eat every day.”
Bar Sügo’s menu features a wide variety of cicchetti, e primi, and meatballs as well as larger servings of pasta and pizzas to accompany several beers on tap, including Allagash White, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Strubbe Pils or Thornbridge Raven, or one of the numerous bottles of wine. The interior features a large red and white tiled floor, a copper-topped bar, rustic walls covered with large canvassed photos, with one wall dedicated to displaying the restaurant’s diverse selection of wines…the setting allows for a vibrant atmosphere to complement the delicious food. Chef Pat will prepare variations of Italian cuisine using fresh, flavorful ingredients and keep the price of each of the dishes under $20.