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Entries in Pasta (9)

Monday
May202013

PastaPresta Opens at the SoNo Marketplace

The SoNo Marketplace—with its hive of local food purveyors, artisans,  weekly farmers’ market, and plans for a summer beer garden—may be best argument to never set foot inside a supermarket again. I was recently lured back to the Marketplace by the opening of PastaPresta, a new fresh pasta vendor anchoring the entrance of the market’s vast 50,000 square-feet.

One evening of fresh pasta and market nibbles, and a closer look at the people behind the market later, I was reminded why this culinary hub deserves a regular visit and why, despite its recent vilification, gluten is good (maybe great).

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Tuesday
Mar192013

Cotto Winebar & Pizzeria in Stamford: Menu & Kitchen Changes

After a brief bout of Musical Toques, Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi --  owners of Cotto’s Winebar and Pizzeria in Stamford -- have convinced veteran Chef Greg Depelteau to come aboard and expand their imaginative menu of small plates and pizza.

Depelteau, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, is in total simpatico with the Ridolfis’ insistence that a dish, especially a small plate, should be driven by primary flavors.  “These days a lot of chefs overdo things,” Greg contends and we agree.  “Too many flavors confuse the diner.“

Cotto’s simple take on hanger steak, a cut prized for its flavor, makes the case.  After marinating the muscular cut overnight in herbed EVOO, Depelteau quickly grills the meat on a blazing hot sheet pan to achieve a hard sear, while maintaining a surprisingly tender, rare interior. A

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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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Thursday
Feb072013

Tutto Pasta in Fairfield: Fresh Pasta & More Made Daily 

When Harry’s Liquor Store and the Fairfield Cheese Shop decided to tear down the wall they shared between them, customers could wander back and forth, tasting wine and snacking on crackers and cheese.  It was the perfect symbiosis of oenophiles and cheesemongers. It couldn’t get any better. But yeah. It could. And it did.

Brothers David and Andrew Tavolacci, who sold fresh pasta and sauces at their little and much- loved store in Georgetown, made a smart decision to move to Fairfield and share the parking lot with Harry’s. Now we can shop for the trifecta of food – wine, cheese, and pasta – without re-parking the car.

Tutto’s is where you go to purchase fresh pasta and home-made sauces, Wave Hill Bread, pesto, soups, and a variety of specialty foods.

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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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Sunday
Nov112012

Quattro Pazzi: Molto Popular... In Stamford & Fairfield CT

"Good food. Good prices. People will come." That was the recipe for success my Russian Grandfather formulated when he opened his world-famous Indianapolis delicatessen a century ago.

Biagio “Gino” Riccio must have channeled Grandpa. His jam-packed Quattro Pazzi restaurants in Stamford and Fairfield are testimony to what happens when you serve delicious fare at fair prices. People flock … making QP one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Connecticut. (In fact, over 5000 CTBites readers voted Quattro Pazzi as the best Italian in Fairfield Country.)

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Sunday
Oct282012

Bar Sügo Opens in Norwalk w/ Authentic Italian

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.

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Tuesday
Jul242012

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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Thursday
Jul052012

Flour City Pasta: Organic Artisinal Pasta at Your Local Farmers' Market

Farfalle, Fettuccine, Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli, Orzo…..the list goes on, and my heart beats a little faster each time I hear one of these magical words.  That’s what pasta is really, a little bit of magic. It has the power to transport you to your first bite of mac and cheese in your Grandma’s kitchen, to Sunday night baked spaghetti, to home.  Although I am not Italian, pasta has always been a part of my life and my weakness.  This long-lasting relationship began when I was in a high chair, with bowties and butter and has since spiraled to squid ink fettuccine topped with sautéed scallops served in a warm Gorgonzola cream sauce as a college student today. In between, there has been shrimp alfredo, orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sweet sausage, vegetable lasagna, and the classic Bolognese. As I grow, so does this list.

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