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Entries in Specialty Market (118)


Garelick & Herbs Opens in Southport: Prepared Food, Eat In, Smoothies, Noodle Bar & More! (sponsored)

Garelick & Herbs Southport have opened the doors at 3611 Post RoadAfter 23 years of happy success in the original flagship store in Westport, G&H opened their entirely unique space a few steps up the Post Road at the Westport/Southport border.

Owners, Jason and Paola, have always had the philosophy that good food creates a good mood, but now Garelick & Herbs is adding good space – Vaulted ceilings, and a light filled atrium designed to look like a barn made of glass, set the tone that the G&H Southport location will be THE destination for daily gourmet good food. The modern-industrial eclectic vibe lends itself to Fairfield County aesthetics.

It is almost 10,000 square feet on 2 levels, more than double the size of their former flagship store. The marketplace is accented with an exciting new juice and smoothie bar, an antipasto bars to graze in or take out and expanded breakfast and lunch options. Our noodle bar adds a wonderful spice and flavor. The in-house bakery will be downstairs at this location, so be prepared for the wonderful aroma of signature items like ruggalach and soft black & white cookies. “We are excited to have the bakery right under our noses”, said Paola Garelick.

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10 Questions with Fjord Fish Market's Jim Thistle 

Oh so many fish in da sea! And that’s only the beginning....what kind of fish do you want to prepare? Do you know how to prepare it? Oh, yeah, and where should you go to get this fish, short of heading out into open waters yourself? And wait, and here’s the $100,000 question: is the fish you are buying everything it says it is? Good grief. It’s almost easier dating and looking for *those* fish in the sea. Well, fear not, CTBites sat down recently with one of the Big Fish out there, Jim Thistle of Fjord Fish Market, and he helped guide us through seemingly murky waters...

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5 Things You Should Know About Bees & Honey via Red Bee's Marina Marchese

With cooler weather around the corner and Rosh Hashanah just past, it’s time to reach for your honey pot. If your summer was full of honey-themed cocktails and BBQ’s, it’s quite possibly still on the kitchen counter but if you enjoy honey “only in my tea when I’m not feeling well” it might be in the darkest corner of your cupboard most likely crystallized. No, it is not spoiled and you don’t have to throw it out. Right now, honey is having a moment as the next artisanal food superstar. Partly because bees are disappearing – you’ve heard about colony collapse sparking a beekeeping craze and partly because honey is believed by many to relieve symptoms of colds and seasonally allergies.

Honey is the only food made by an insect that humans consume and although it was found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, honey can last forever if stored properly – in a cool, dry place, yet it will loose its delicate flavors and health benefits over time. Most people think that honey is honey is honey but it’s not. I’m going to help demystify the flavorful world of honey so that you can be an informed honey connoisseur and navigate your way around the delicious and diverse world of natures oldest and only raw sweetener. 


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Double L Market: Westport's First Farm Stand Turns 30

Lloyd Allen’s Double L Market in Westport is celebrating its 20th year. The market, now in its third location near Hillspoint Road, is the “original” farmstand. Described as “eclectic” it has weathered every storm and outlasted the competition thanks to a very dedicated group of followers. “When you’ve done this for as long as I have you get to know a lot of people and what they want. We want to be able to offer the best!” Allen told me.

“We were a farmstand and farmers market long before anyone else - before it became a thing. We were wild, and on the side of the road, in the open air and having lots of fun doing it.” Although Allen and his staff are no longer on the side of the road, and are now in an enclosed air-conditioned corner store, a little bit of that wildness still remains. “We are still having a great time,” he added. “You meet people who are passionate on both sides of the market - the growers are passionate about producing the best and our consumers are passionate to find and eat the best.”

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Citarella Greenwich - Fresh from the Dock to your Table

“I’ll meet you at the front gate at 5am.”

This email, which I received from Joe Gurrera, the owner of Citarella, required setting the alarm for 3:30am, grabbing two cups of coffee and driving the hour to the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx. Visiting the new Fulton Fish Market was something I have always wanted to do, mingle with the best purveyors of the freshest and best selection of fish, just hours before it arrives at stores and restaurants in preparation for the day’s fare.

The history of Citarella dates to 1912, when a small fish shop opened in Manhattan. Over seventy years later, in 1983, Joe Gurrera purchased the shop and Citarella was born. Joe’s passion for fish started when he was a small boy venturing, in the dead of the night, to the original Fulton Fish Market. It was during these nightly excursions that he educated himself on the various fish and, more importantly, how to choose the best of the best.

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The Uber-Guide to Connecticut’s Asian Markets

“From wonder into wonder existence opens,” said Laozi, the founder of Tao Buddhism.

He might have been speaking of the joys of the table, so central to Asian culture for millennia---and to Connecticut foodies today. 

Almost 160,000 people of Asian descent call Connecticut home, and a considerable number of grocery stores in the state support the diverse cooking traditions of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. True to both their Asian roots and the universal principle of making the best of fresh ingredients, quite often the most modest such store will have a produce section and a fish section---in one case, at least, featuring live fish.

Your guide to the best East and Southeast Asian markets of Connecticut appears below.

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DiFiore Ravioli Shop: Three Generations of Italian Cooking, In Hartford & Rocky Hill

Most people look forward to taking it easy and traveling in their 60s. But at age 62, Andy and Louise DiFiore had a different retirement plan in mind. They opened DiFiore Ravioli Shop on Franklin Avenue, in Hartford’s Little Italy back in 1982.

Their son Don explains, “My parents were always the home gourmet types. Back in those days, they weren’t called foodies, but they had a lifelong love of food. My dad had been an executive in the office machine world almost his whole life in sales and marketing. And he was probably looking at this more as being a retirement thing for income. Just like a little boutique store. But they stayed with it. My dad would be in the store until he was in his late 80s. And my mom stayed in the store till she was 90. She’s 95 now.”

Then, about five years ago, Don’s father was in a nursing home and his mother was getting too old to run the store any longer. They were going to close it. Then Don’s eldest sister came back home from Chicago to help. “She threw the option at me—do you want to do something with it? Geez, I don’t know.”

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A New Era for Bethel’s Holbrook Farm

Founded by John and Lynn Holbrook, Holbrook Farm in Bethel has been family run and operated for the past 40 years. The farm is small by most people’s standards. Although it is situated on 12 acres only two are used for production. From these two acres yield an abundance of produce. While not certified organic, the land is clean of pesticides and herbicides, using plants that attract beneficial insects. Weeds have a special place in the ecological mix as well.

Last week I took a trip up to the farm to meet with Jess Wong, the new manager who gave me a tour of the property. Wong was brought on to manage the property and grow the farm to a new level of productivity. A Skidmore graduate, she dabbled in marketing for a while before realizing that she missed being outdoors and working with her hands. Wong started volunteering at the farm assisting the former manager, handling minor projects and social media

Last December John told her that he wanted to retire and asked if she would run the farm and the market. Wong was elated. She had big plans for the farm which included a new greenhouse and renovating the store. But greenhouses are expensive. Enter Tony Pham and Richard Reyes of Mecha Noodle Bar, and Mezon, and their new program, Eat Justice, a movement of restaurants on a mission to transform taste and tradition to pride and progress.

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Liuzzi’s Gourmet Market In North Haven: A Well-Crafted Bridge to Italian Foodways

Anna Bendiksen is new to the CTbites team. Anna is a former scholar of Russian literature, and a food blogger over at or follow her on Twitter @anna_bendiksen

When Domenico “Dom” Liuzzi talks about artisanal cheesemaking, his eyes light up.

“Quality is what sets us apart from Stop and Shop,” he said in a recent conversation at Liuzzi’s Gourmet Market---not that anyone could mistake his store, which carries over 200 cheeses, for anything other than the Greater New Haven landmark it is.

The cascades of Italian speech in the air, the display cases featuring Liuzzi’s own house-made cheeses, the scent of cured hams and sausages hanging overhead, the attentive staff darting about---all combine to make Liuzzi’s a prime destination for foodies from Connecticut and beyond.

The cheeses for which the store is best known---the result of the family’s cheesemaking heritage stretching over a century---are its burrata (favored by Mario Batali), a caciocavallo (“cheese on horseback,” so named because it is strung in rope to drip dry), and two kinds of ricotta (whipped and large-curd).

Yet the cheese offerings at Liuzzi’s, located in North Haven, don’t stop with these house-made specialties. You’ll also find imported Grana Padano (a cheese similar to Parmesan that is favored by Italian children and a standby in Lidia Bastianich’s new cookbook Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine); Moliterno, a raw sheep’s-milk cheese exquisitely scented with black truffle paste; the best of American artisanal cheeses such as Humboldt Fog; and many more. 

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2015 CT Food Lover's Holiday Gift Guide

“At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” said the incomparable Maya Angelou. Well, we couldn’t agree more! So this holiday season, we know that when you give some of these gifts  that we have found (along with a wide smile, a big hug and happy greetings!), the lucky recipients will surely be feeling the love. Happy them, happy you. Happy holidays, everyone! 

Here are 16 creative and delicious local CT gifts for the food lover in your life. 

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