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Entries in SONO (18)


Match in South Norwalk to Reopen This Week: Opening Cocktail Party Thursday

After months of planning and a sleight of hand two week renovation, Match restaurant in South Norwalk is poised to reopen this week with a blow-out opening cocktail party celebrating the new Match on Thursday, March 20 at 5 pm. Beginning Thursday at 7:30 pm, reservations will be accepted for dinner with business as usual for SoNo’s beloved restaurant.

Match opened up its still very dusty doors to CTbites over the weekend before the reopening, giving us a behind the scenes look at what to expect from the new Match, from its décor (purple!), new brand (relaxed and modern), to its new menu (more is more) and glimpses of a handful of reimagined and darn good looking dishes.

A steady fixture in the Fairfield County dining scene with chef/owner Matt Storch at the helm for the past fourteen years, Match has built a loyal following and a menu of popular dishes along the way. In fact, when Match first announced it would close temporarily for renovations, many people reacted with equal parts fear and excitement, worried they would lose their beloved dishes such as Carpetbaggers and Wasabi Tuna (or was that just us?), but also looking forward to the restaurant’s facelift.

Here's what to expect...

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NOLA Oyster Bar Temporarily Closed - To Re-Open in April

For our readers who are calling to reserve a table at NOLA Oyster Bar to enjoy the fantastic cuisine of Chef Dan Kardos, please have a little patience. The restaurant is temporarily closed.

Over the last few months Kardos has been overseeing the cuisine at both NOLA and Local Kitchen and Beer Bar in Fairfield. Given the rapid success and crowds that flock to Local, the decision was made to modify the menu and focus at NOLA to more align with Local. According to Kardos, “Our new Fairfield restaurant has been silly busy. We're going to make NOLA more like that.” With Kardos guiding the cuisine it should be another exciting new culinary adventure.

With the anticipated re-opening scheduled in a couple of months, stay tuned as CTbites follows these changes at NOLA Oyster Bar. 

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NOLA Oyster Bar - Revisiting An Excellent Seafood Spot in SONO 

CTbites re-visited NOLA Oyster Bar a few months after its opening to enjoy some of the newest additions to the menu. Chef Dan Kardos is clearly in charge of the kitchen and his culinary talent is evident as he creates some of the most delicious cuisine in Fairfield County.

The Seafood Tower, a dedication to cold shellfish (plus tuna), was the first course served to our table. The generous portions included Cherrystone clams, snow crab legs, Copps Island oysters, shrimp, and charred Hamachi crudo. A house made mignonette sauce accompanied the oysters. All of the items on the Tower were delightful. The crudo was marinated in white and dark balsamic vinegar plus a combination of lime and tangerine juices; it was tantalizing. The crab legs and shrimp were sweet with just a touch of seasoning to emphasize the natural flavors. The Copps Island oysters were a little bitter with very little salinity, but the addition of the mignonette sauce drastically changed the flavor profile from bitter to delicious.

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Culinary Gifts @ Clarke Culinary Center in South Norwalk (sponsored post)

Culinary Gifts? No Problem.

Tucked inside Clarke, New England's Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom and Test kitchen in South Norwalk, is a culinary boutique that every foodie will want to visit - Savoir Fare. This is the perfect place to purchase unique holiday gifts or a new set of champagne flutes for entertaining in your own home. 

With a name that is creatively based on the French for "knowledge of food," Savoir Fare offers an evolving collection of cookware, bakeware, stemware, cooking tools and fine French linens. 

With an impeccably curated assortment from these fine brands, you are assured that only the highest quality items are in this collection:

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Fritz Knipschildt & Team Chocopologie Add New Nordic Dishes to Menu

Surrounded by candles on a wet Tuesday evening in April, Master Chocolatier, Fritz Knipschildt, of Chocopologie, and his talented Danish born and trained chefs; Christian Wilki and chef/manager, Christel Marie Moerck introduced 35 CTbites guests to the Nordic cuisine of their homeland, Denmark. 

Inspired by the New Nordic Cuisine of Scandinavia, and Rene Redzepi's "World's Best Restaurant," NOMA in Copenhagen, this special 12 course meal turned into an amazing four hour event curated as part of the CTbites Invites program. 

The evening itself was so well received, and so much fun for the chefs and the guests, that this Chocopologie creative team was inspired to offer as part of their new Fall menu some of the traditional Nordic dishes and techniques they had been trained in and missed preparing here in the United States.  

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The Spread in SoNo 2.0…Enter Chef Carlos Baez

Twelve years of apprenticeships and hard work are now benefiting Carlos Baez, the newly appointed Executive Chef at The Spread in SONO. Baez started his career at the age of 19 and gained his culinary experience through diverse roles including a sushi chef; he smiled as he told CTbites, “I was the only Mexican sushi chef in the restaurant”.   He worked as a line cook in two top-rated local restaurants, Le Panetiere (Rye, NY) and Napa and Company (Stamford) before arriving at The Spread as one of its opening chefs.

After a few months in his new role of Executive Chef, CTbites spent an afternoon with Chef Carlos to sample a few of his newly introduced additions to the menu. The menu has a varied approach to the cuisine, with influences from American, French, Italian and Spanish cuisines while adhering to The Spread’s philosophy of offering high quality, locally sourced options, with entrées priced less than $25. I enjoyed many of the dishes but found many of the presentations a little over- or under-seasoned.

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SONO Maritime Cruise and Cuisine Fridays via The Hour

This article was originally published in The Hour. We wanted to share the good news...

For the second consecutive summer, the Norwalk Seaport Association has rolled out its popular Maritime Cruise and Cuisine Fridays. With the components of a relaxing summer vacation, the mini-getaway is designed to showcase the beauty of the scenery in Norwalk's backyard.

The Maritime Cruise and Cuisine Friday, which runs from June 28 through August 30, includes a Norwalk Harbor sunset cruise with the Norwalk Seaport Association leaving from Sheffield Island Dock. Guests then walk one block to Mama's Boy Restaurant, for a three-course meal.

"The cruise was very popular last year. It's very relaxing," said Norwalk Seaport Association president Irene Dixon. "What could be better than sitting on a boat, enjoying the scenery, and inhaling the beautiful ocean air after a long work week?"

Read the full article at The Hour 

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Mama's Boy Southern Table & Refuge: Southern in SONO

Visit Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge in SONO and experience some good old-fashioned southern hospitality and cuisine. The newest addition to SONO offers a Georgian-Carolina cuisine with the flavors and ingredients not seen on other Fairfield County menus; not spicy Cajun or Creole but grits, okra, shrimp, catfish, with a little fried chicken thrown in.

Fairfield County native and owner Greer Fredericks, and her business partner Ami Dorel, bring a southern feel to the décor, and flavors to the menu, from Greer’s years in the South. Overseeing the kitchen is Chef Scott Ostrander who recently relocated from Jacksonville, Florida. His previous restaurant, ‘Town, won the Robert W. Tolf Award for Best New Restaurant from Florida Trend magazine and voted one of Jacksonville Magazine’s Northeast Florida’s Top 25 restaurants. After graduating from the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, Ostrander worked in restaurants from DC to Florida and brings authentic southern cuisine to the Mama’s Boy menu. Ostrander is currently sourcing many of his ingredients from South Carolina while simultaneously building a stable of local farms, vendors and merchants.

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SONO Restaurant "Weeks" Start June 3rd

It's that time of year again. Sono Restaurant Week is back from June 2-16 running for two delicious weeks this year. Why 2 weeks? Scott Beck of Match Restaurant responded "Every year we have gotten feedback from people that wished that we could extend Restaurant Week for an additional week so that they might get to go to more than one place so we decided to give it a try."

"There are 15 restaurants participating this year which is largest number of restaurants we have ever had so everyone is pretty excited" says Beck.  SoNo also has some great new restaurants such as Nola Oyster Bar, Mama's Boy Southern Table, Estia's, and The Spread, for people to try. And, of course all the staples in SoNo are participating again. People can check out the list of all the participating restaurants and their Restaurant Week menus online at www.connecticutrestaurant.

You can view the complete list of participating restaurants below. Happy eating...

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Ten Best Restaurant Burgers: Greenwich to New Haven 2013

One year, hundreds of miles, close to thirty pounds of various cuts and blends of meat, thousands of fries…searching for the ten best hamburgers.

Nestled between Shad Roe, Bahn Mi, Shrimp & Grits, Nonni's Meatballs and Montauk Black Bass was “The Burger.” It was the equalizing dish amongst the best chefs in the area.  As I tasted the creativity that each of the chefs placed into their version of this 100+ year old tradition, I was in awe. The combinations were brilliant, how the flavors balanced and complemented each other, the choices that they made to place their individual mark on this dish, each was unique. 

Most of the meat was sourced locally, many from the same vendor with slight variations in blend and grind...some used a medium-grind while others requested a third, finer grind. Cheese and bacon played a major supporting roll, and the choices varied amongst the chefs.

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