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Entries in Specialty Market (93)

Thursday
Jan062011

Local Find: Vande Rose Farms Artisan Bacon

In my family, bacon reigns supreme. As a dinner party guest or Webster clan member, you will find bacon fat, lardon, or bacon strips, in almost every dish coming out of the kitchen. For this reason we have made it a full time to job to cull the Fairfield County market in search of great tasting bacon. Recently we came across a find that is worth noting as you head out on your next shopping trip in search of cured pork.

Cooks Illustrated did an exhaustive taste test of artisan bacon in 2008, ranking Vande Rose Farms Artisan Dry Cured Bacon, Applewood Smoked at the top of the list. Brands it beat out were Applegate Farms, Niman Ranch, Nodine's, and North Country Smokehouse. Previously we had to satisfy our pork craving by mail ordering our Vande Rose bacon, but we found it at Balducci's in Westport for $8.99 (It is not sold at their Greenwich location). This is significantly less expensive than the mail order price from Vande Rose. Stock up...but leave a few boxes for us. 

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Tuesday
Dec072010

Fairfield County Winter Farmer's Markets

The sounds of the Farmer’s Market change with the seasons. The “mmm’s” in June when the strawberries arrive; the “ooh’s and ahh’s” in July when the tomatoes make their entrance; finally, the sad, sighing “uh’s” in the fall as the weather chills and the markets draw to a close.

This year, thanks to the unabated demand for local produce and the persistence of some devoted market managers, we can enjoy a new season of sounds at our local Farmer's Markets. 

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Monday
Dec062010

Fairway Wines & Spirits Opens in Stamford Dec. 15th. 

As if the opening of the renown grocery mecca Fairway Market wasn't enough to make a foodie faint, Fairway Wines & Spirits (689 Canal Street), a 6,500 square foot store will open on Wednesday, December 15th next door to the new Fairway Market (699 Canal Street).

The shop will feature approximately 2,500 wines, more than 600 varieties of spirits from around the world and over 500 different specialty and traditional beers.  Need assistance? A highly qualified staff of specialists and sommeliers will be on the premises to help customers with their wine and spirit selections.

Let's talk wine:  Wine selections will include the large national brands, local wines, kosher wines, organic and biodynamic wines, sparkling and dessert wines and a variety of esoteric wines from smaller vineyards. Fairway also intends to carry wines from different parts of the world that will be exclusive to Fairway Wines & Spirits.

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Saturday
Nov062010

Whole Foods Market Re-Opening Party in Westport

For anyone who shops Whole Foods Market's Westport location, you've likely noticed a bit of work underfoot. Renovation has been going on for months to transform Westport's Whole Foods into their classic prototype, no longer bearing any resemblance to the Wild Oats from whence it came. 

The facelift is complete and in honor of this "re-opening" Whole Foods Market will be hosting a celebration on Wednesday, November 10th from 4:00pm-8:00pm at the newly renovated store located at 399 Post Road West in Westport.  Whole Foods Market will offer storewide holiday tastings, turkey carving demonstrations, door prizes, and live music from local singer/songwriter Bern McWain.

5% of the total sales for the day will be donated to The Connecticut Food Bank. 

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Sunday
Oct312010

Belgique Chocolatier Opens in New Canaan

Chocoholics pay attention! Next time you have that hankering for serious chocolate,  run over to treat yourself and your best friends to the extraordinary Belgian style, hand filled, preservative free chocolates at Belgique Chocolatier.

Belgique is familiar to some chocolate lovers in Fairfield County who have enjoyed the chocolates, fine pastries and ice cream at Susan and Pierre Gilissen’s first location in Kent, CT. After searching for a storefront in Fairfield County, they landed on a jewel of a space set back from Elm St. in New Canaan.  This location opened in mid-September and is 100 % about the chocolate.  Before opening in Kent in 2001, Chef Pierre Gilissen served as Executive Chef and Manager at the Residence of the Netherlands Ambassador to the U.S. in Washington, D.C.  There,  he prepared all meals, receptions and teas for the Ambassadors, their families and up to 1,000 guests.  His passion for chocolates began during his years there.

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Friday
Oct012010

Great Gear: Navigating The Cook’s Nook

The Cook’s Nook in Norwalk couldn’t be more aptly named. Twisting through its adjoining rooms, filled to capacity, brings you from one alcove and surprising find to another. As you step into the door, you are faced with a navigation decision: the room straight ahead or to the right? It’s not the last time you’re made to choose, but take heart, there are no bad choices here.  Like being lost in the streets of Paris, winding your way from one enchanting street to the next, your shopping experience is more adventure than errand.

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Wednesday
Sep082010

School is Back in Session @ Fairfield Cheese Company 

Fairfield Cheese Company classes are back in session and school has never been this delicious. Whether you are a cheese novice looking for a an introduction to the basics, or a cheese-aficionado seeking to expand your knowledge on a specific variety, they've got the class for you. 

I jumped at the chance to attend one of these sessions last season and spent some time with owners Laura and Christopher who lead these entertaining and informative evenings. If you would like some background on Fairfield Cheese Company, check out our review, "Cheese 101."

With wine pairings from Harry's Wine & Liquor, this is the perfect way to break out of that dinner-and-a-movie date night rut. If you attend any of the classes below, let us know what you think!

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Tuesday
Jul202010

Ancona’s Market is 90 Years Young

A familiar fixture in Ridgefield for the past ninety (!) years, Ancona’s Market will celebrate their anniversary this Saturday, July 24 with an open house and evening benefit.

The day-long open house will be “in full-swing by noon” and feature activities for children, live music and tasting stations from many vendors including Ola Granola, Simmons Family Farm Yogurt, Arethusa Farms Milk, and Wave Hill Bread. You can also stop next door at Ancona’s Wines and Liquors to sample their usual Saturday tastings from 12 noon to 3 pm and 3 to 6 pm or stroll through what has to be one of the most diverse and well-stocked walk-in coolers around (and also where you’ll find me).

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Thursday
Jul152010

A Truly Excellent Apple Pie @ Stew Leonard's

It's a few hours before your guests arrive for that big family BBQ. You're scrambling to get the prep done before the doorbell rings….and oh no…you realize you forgot the dessert!!  Fear not my brave Fairfield County residents. Stew Leonard's has the perfect solution for you…and you'd never guess it wasn't homemade. 

Named "best pie in America" by Gourmet Magazine as well as the Wall Street Journal (a dubious food critic, but we'll go with it), Stew's is now carrying The Elegant Farmer's "Apple Pie Baked In A Paper Bag." I know what you're thinking. 1. Stew's? Really? and 2. Doesn't the bag go up in flames? Yes and no. 

We were introduced to this gem by a CTbites reader, and had to check it out for ourselves. This Wisconsin based pie shop uses apples fresh from their farm, and they make their pies just how I like them.

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Wednesday
Jun232010

Cheese Wheels: Smile and Say, “CHEESE!”

There’s something udderly amazing going down in Fairfield County.  MOOOOVE over Pizza and  Taco truck and make way for the new cow in town! For the sophisticated palate, Westport’s Mirabelle Cheese Shop is going portable with "CHEESE WHEELS."  Andrea Itin, co-owner (with her husband) of the Fromagerie since 2008, has decided to go mobile, and she’s coming to a Farmers’ Market or private function near you. Here’s the (not-so!) skinny:

No matter what you’re into, there’s curd for you! Headed to your favorite wine shop for a tasting? Don’t be surprised if you see a reproduction 1940’s Tear Drop Trailer parked in the lot. As you pass, wafts of delectable cheese caress your nostrils and you go inside for a glass. As you sip the wine merchant’s favorite red of the month, you will be treated to divine local cheese on top of Isabelle et Vincent’s (1903 Post Road in Fairfiled) crusty baguette. Paired perfectly, cheese and wine are a marriage made in heaven. Another wine, another cheese, and you are in the zone.  

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