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2016 CT Foodie Gift Guide

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Entries in Stamford (159)

Tuesday
Dec062016

Rye Ridge Deli Opening in Oscar’s Space in Downtown Westport via Westport Now

This corned beef related news just in from WestportNow.

Westport’s Main Street is getting a Deli back. Rye Ridge Deli will open next year in space long occupied by Oscar’s Delicatessen, 159 Main St.

Partners Mike Ventorino and Scott Martin today in the future home of Rye Ridge Deli and Restaurant at 159 Main St..  Partners Scott Martin and Mike Ventorino will open the third Rye Ridge Deli sometime early next year, they said today. Other Rye Ridge Delis – described as a New York Kosher-Style Deli and Restaurant—are in Rye Brook, N.Y. and Stamford.

Oscar’s closed in August a week before the death of longtime owner Lee Papageorge after a 42-year presence on Main Street. “I got a lot of calls after it closed, asking me to take a look at it,” said Martin, an eight-year Wilton resident. “We signed the lease around Halloween.”

Read the full story on WestportNow.

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Sunday
Dec042016

Outrageous BBQ at Mason Dixon Smokehouse in Stamford

World-class BBQ returns to CT with the homecoming of renowned pitmaster Nestor Laracuente, who is overseeing the kitchen at Mason Dixon Smokehouse in Stamford. When I heard that Nestor was teaming up with Mason Dixon, I was ecstatic, the mounds of his perfectly prepared meats that I raved about at Hoodoo Brown were indelible etched in my memory. Would Mason Dixon fill the void that I have felt for months? Bottom line…yes, the food is spectacular.

Laracuente is a soft-spoken lover of meats and Southern rock who spent years perfecting his craft. After leaving CT last year, he returned to Brooklyn where he spent time with his buddy at Beast of Bourbon in Bed-Stuy. His time was spent experimenting with new rubs, new dishes, waiting for the right opportunity for his return to Connecticut. His newest venture, of which he is part-owner, opened a few weeks ago and it is slowly expanding the menu. 

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Wednesday
Nov302016

The Fez, Moroccan in Stamford Gets An Update: Belly Dancing, Live Music and Great Fare

Ever since its debut in 2010, The Fez in Stamford made a name for itself as an eclectic hotspot.  Around the corner from Napa and Company and across the street from Barcelona Wine Bar, the Fez offered an alternative experience: nightclub vibes, live music, crimson walls, esoteric wines by the glass, and Spice Route cuisine.  When it closed its doors in the summer of 2015 for renovations, its followers (including me!) didn’t know what to expect.  I recently had the opportunity to visit The Fez 2.0 for myself.  They invited me to participate in a five-course Chilean Wine Dinner, and I eagerly accepted.

It turns out that The Fez 2.0 is largely the same- and I mean that in the best possible way.  New owners Fred and Nancy Laist embraced the original features that defined The Fez in its previous era.  The menu includes many of the same items.  Live music remains at the forefront.  (They are already booked up Thursday-Sunday through March of next year!)  Kristen tends the bar.  The interior, though expanded to include more seating, continues to feels small and intimate.  The stage remains at one end of the restaurant, with a handful of tables and booths in front of it.  Red walls still complement dark wood and varied upholstery.

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Sunday
Nov202016

Soul Tasty Opens in Stamford: Southern Food from the Soul to the Table

Fairfield County offers some of the best food in the country, from trucks to fine dining, and when a restaurant serves food from the soul, it is special, it is uplifting, it makes you overjoyed. Every now and then I visit a new place that fits all these categories. Stephanie Webster, my CTbites partner, and I were looking for a new place for a lunch meeting and we chose Soul Tasty...we wanted to see what the buzz was about. It is located on Main Street in Stamford at the end of a dead end that doubles as the entrance to a pedestrian bridge and parking is incredibly difficult, have patience, it is worth it.

Soul Tasty is the brain-child and dream of Chef Jean Gabriel, Jr. When you walk in, you can feel the love. The walls are brightly painted, a little graffiti on the rear counter pronouncing FEED YOUR SOUL and a colorful menu above the hot trays holding the products of the chef’s homage to the Southern recipes of his grandmother.

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Friday
Nov182016

The Brunch Box Food Truck: Get Your Breakfast & Lunch on In Stamford

The Brunch Box opened several months ago, delivering numerous breakfast and lunch sandwiches at locations around Stamford, with occasional visits to surrounding areas and private parties. Jimmy Marcella, a Stamford native developed the concept of The Brunch Box after a lifetime of preparation; as far back as he could remember he wanted to own a restaurant. As a teen Jimmy worked at a local Italian deli in Westchester, scrubbing dishes, mopping floors, stocking soda, eventually prepping, making chicken cutlets and chopping parsley by the case. He saved his money for his self-education, Omakase at 16, elegant dining at 18. He subsequently worked at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan, toured with his manager and eventually returned to Stamford; he was now ready to fulfill his dream. Jimmy decided to start with a food truck, where he could experience that personal one-to-one interaction with each customer. He thought that “Brunch” was the differentiator from the other food trucks in the area and The Brunch Box was born.

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Thursday
Nov172016

“The Super Vegan”-- Two Boots Pizza from NYC brings its Unique Pies to Stamford

As a card-carrying carnivore, I entered Two Boots with some misgivings. This quirky, new pizzeria in Stamford’s Harbor Point was celebrating World Vegan Month, prompting manager Roberta Petit to invite CTbites over for a tasting of The Super Vegan, a totally plant-based "pizzaextravaganza.”    Nothing on the pie comes from a creature.

‘Za without juicy sausage?  Or gooey cheese?  C’mon, this is Connecticut.

"We’re talking salad on a crust," I mumbled to myself as I sat down with Roberta. My immediate resolution: to earn a positive review, the pizza would have to be "great" in its own right, not a pie that was good – as it were -- for a vegan pizza  

No handicaps. No excuses. Nothing less than a party in my mouth.

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Tuesday
Oct252016

Pizza Master Bruno DiFabio Opens Bronx House Pizza in Stamford

Six-time World Pizza Champion / Restaurateur / Food Network Judge Bruno DiFabio added another gem to his pizza crown with the opening today of Bronx House Pizza Pie at 27 Ryan Street. This is DiFabio’s second location in the Springdale section, following the success of Amore Cucina a few blocks away.

Located on the corner of Camp Ave. immediate across the street from Twin Rinks and the Post office, this latest venture is reminiscent of an old-fashioned neighborhood pizza joint with red booths, a long pizza making area for all to watch and after-school teens hanging and waiting for their names to be called.

The menu consists of three sizes of pizza, small, large and Sicilian, with traditional and non-traditional toppings plus a few “Specialty Pies. The Bronx House caught my eye with sausage and pepperoni). Bronx House’s menu also features a few appetizers, salads, “Foot Long Hero’s” (notice they are not called a wedge), and “Italian Favorites” of Spaghetti & Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Chicken Parmesan, Sausage & Peppers and three chicken dishes.

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Tuesday
Oct182016

HAPA Food Truck's Ahi Burger is a Killer Sandwich

When one of the best, young, rising stars in the area stops you as you walk by his food truck and says, “I really want you to try this sandwich,” you take notice. And when that sandwich raises the bar for food being served from food trucks, it deserves special mention. The rising star is Chris Gonzales, the truck is HAPA, and the sandwich is the Ahi Burger. This is one of the best sandwiches I have eaten in quite some time.

The HAPA food truck has been one of my favorites since it opened. The tacos, the burger, the fries, the Brussels sprouts are all out of this world. I never imagined I would write these accolades about a “tuna burger.” HAPA’s combination starts with wild caught yellowfin, furikake crust, edamame, edamame puree, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo on HAPA’s Ube bun.

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Thursday
Oct132016

Food Hall Planned for Stamford's Downtown Post Office Site

Three years ago, the U.S. Post Office on lower Atlantic Street closed. As recently reported in the Stamford Advocate, the 100-year old building will be developed by the Capelli Organization of White Plains and will feature a food hall that will resemble the Urbanspace markets throughout NYC.

According to Capelli’s CEO Bruce Berg, the food hall will include vendors that will sell a variety of food, including pizza, a cheese shop, and may include a full restaurant. CTbites is currently tracking down a few leads on several of the early vendors who have agreed to take space, and if true this will be a diverse and wonderful selection of food. Berg also told a crowd at a recent open meeting that the original building will be restored. 

This is great news to both architecture and food aficionados. 

For the full Stamford Advocate story click here.

CTbites will post more news so stay tuned. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug142016

Nosh Hound Food Truck Rolls into Stamford: Global Cuisine with Deliciously, Bold Combinations

Nosh Hound Eatery is the newest entry to the Stamford Food Truck scene. When I saw the post by my buddy over at Hey Stamford, I was curious. When I read his praise and a menu that really intrigued me, it had potential, and I decided to drive to Stamford and give it a shot.

Nosh Hound is the brainchild of owners Sam Ralbovsky and Maycie Maringer.  After graduating from the Culinary program at Johnson & Wales University and a three-month cross country food inspired road trip, they returned to Sam’s hometown of Stamford, CT. The two young cooks became enamored by the diverse cooking styles they encuntered on their cross country adventure and wanted to show their passion with a menu of “global cuisine experienced through the medium of sandwiches, snacks, and small bites.”

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