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Entries in Stamford (112)

Sunday
Jul202014

Chef Aarón Sánchez Gives CTbites Preview of Paloma Restaurant, Opening in Stamford July 21

I never thought “gourmet” and “Mexican” belonged in the same sentence. Until I had dinner at Zarela's, a Mexican restaurant which had just opened on Second Ave. back in 1987.  A revelation!  Zarela Martinez orchestrated textures and flavors just as artfully and lovingly as the new chefs who were redefining Manhattan’s food scene.  Zarela’s fast became the Nobu of Mexican food, one of the hottest spots in town. There,  I learned the magic of mole and the enchantment that truffles could lend to an enchilada.  

A generation later, Aarón Sánchez, the Food Channel’s charismatic Mexican rock star chef, hopes that his new Stamford restaurant Paloma (opening Monday, July 21st, in Harbor Point) will similarly introduce Connecticut to the fire and the finesse of fine Mexican and Latin American cuisines.  Revelations run in the family --  Aarón  (pronounced "AH-rone") is Zarela's son.

For all his celebrity, Sánchez feels he remains not only in his mother's debt, but also her shadow.

"I honor her because she did it first," he told us when we chatted last week, a comfortable conversation marked by his humility and respect.

"I believe family is at the center of the Mexican experience."

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun252014

Azuca and Gastro Bar Open Tonight in Stamford

The Grand Opening and celebration of the two newest additions to downtown Stamford occurs tonight as Azuca and Gastro Bar open their doors to the public at 5:30 pm with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony Mayor David Martin.

The brainchildren of Mario Lopez, a co-owner of Wilton's Bianco Rosso, his wife Cristina Ramirez and several brothers, the side-by-side restaurants, Azuca and Gastro Bar are located at 78 West Park Place. The celebration begins at 5:30 pm; reservations for the Grand Opening are not necessary and admission is free.

The four Lopez brothers relocated to Connecticut from Ecuador two decades ago and worked their way up the ranks in the restaurant trade, most recently managing the sleek, Italian-style Bianco Rosso, which opened in 2012 and received a "Very Good" rating from the New York Times.

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Sunday
Jun152014

The Best Tacos in Connecticut: Ultimate Guide 

There is truly a Mexican restaurant for everyone. There are the quiet ones that scream “authentic! authentic! authentic!” and then there are the more modern ones with the guac that is “hand-slapped” or “slapped to order.” Excuse me? Was it naww-ghty? Mex goes 50 Shades, I see. And if the recent lime shortage (I can’t think of lime-hijackings without giggling, sorry) has you in a tizzy and wondering just how the heck you and your margaritas are going to make it through the summer, just head to these places. Let them figure out the limes, you can figure out how many drinks and how much lime-infused guacamole to have.

Here's our list of the 16 Best Taco Restaurants & Trucks in Connecticut. Feel free to add your favorites to the list below. 

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Monday
Jun022014

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Launches Rock ‘n Roast on June 4

The countdown is on! Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is launching Rock ‘n Roast: a whole-hog barbecue with live music, this coming Wednesday. 

Here is what you need to know:

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun012014

CTbites' Best Restaurant Burgers in Fairfield County: 2014 Edition

National Burger Month draws to a close.

What better way to celebrate the conclusion of an entire month of enjoying some incredible hamburgers than announcing the 2014 CTbites' winners of the Best Restaurant Burgers of Fairfield County. More burgers challenged last year’s winners and three were successful, Olio, Mama’s Boy and Bar Sugo.

For the second year in a row, the winner is: 

The Whelk– 2014 Best Restaurant Burger in Fairfield County

1 - The Whelk (Westport) – The Whelk Burger combines a blend rich flavored meat, sweet pickles, cry baby Swiss cheese, two varieties of bacon, crisped onions and onion mayo on a brioche bun. The dry aged blend of short rib, brisket and chuck from Craft Saugatuck Butchery was fantastic. The cheese covered, thick patty sat atop two different varieties of bacon that added saltiness and smokiness, while slices of sweet pickles, a slice of frisée and the onion accented mayo brought additional flavors and textures. Sitting atop the plump patty was a handful of crisped onions.

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Tuesday
May272014

Food Trucks Schedule for Veteran's Park Stamford via Hey Stamford!

Thanks to Hey Stamford! for this update on the Stamford food truck schedule:

That's right, you heard that right! You can now enjoy lunch from some of the hottest food trucks in our area every Tuesday-Thursday(11am - 3pm) in Veteran's Park (Atlantic and Main) this Summer!  There is a great line up of food trucks for your summer lunch:

They've got  tables with umbrellas and music playing for your summer lunchtime get-away!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May132014

Best Burgers in Stamford CT: Celebrate National Burger Month 

It’s National Burger Month. To kick it off, we are launching a series of haunts and restaurants where you can enjoy some excellent burgers. For the first of this series we bring you the “Burgers of Stamford.” From basic bacon cheeseburgers to one with 100% Wagyu beef, each of these bundles of beef offers different flavors, toppings, buns and sides

Last year one Stamford location was included in the 2013 Best Bar Burger category, Dinosaur BBQ’s “Dino Burger Deluxe." Check back next week when CTbites rolls out its 2014 list of Best Bar Burgers. Two Stamford locations earned spots in CTbites’ 2013 Best Restaurant Burger category. The “Harlan Burger” at Harlan Social and Napa & Co.’s “Wagyu Burger.” We recently reviewed a strong contender for inclusion in this year's list with Olio’s “House Burger.” Check out Olio’s burger here, and come back at the end of the month when we unveil “The Best Restaurant Burgers in Fairfield County.”

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Thursday
May012014

Weekly Nibble: Upcoming Food News & Events

Tuesday May 6, Cask Republic in Stamford is hosting a 5C Bluepoint beer dinner.  Cask has invited all 5 of their head chef's from Cask Republic and Ginger Man to lead the evening's culinary journey. Each will throw down a dish of their choice to be paired with a hand-picked Cask Ale from Blue Point Brewery.

Wednesday May 7 is “Mommie Food Fair” at Pellicci’s in Stamford.  Fairfield County Dishcrawl, FC Moms Blog, and City Moms Blog have partnered together for the National Event. The Mommy Foodie Fairs take place in 16 cities across the United States. From a mocktail competition to a create your own chip dip contest, this is an opportunity for moms to meet and mingle.  A number of fun brands will be represented. Tickets can be purchased directly here.

“Wonderful Wednesdays” returns to New Canaan Wine Merchants on Wednesday May 7.  A portion of all sales from the evening will go to benefit Meals on Wheels.

Wednesday is also a class on “Wines of 2010 Vintage” at Harry’s in Fairfield. 

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Sunday
Apr272014

CT Guide to Outdoor Dining: 40+ Restaurants for Summer

There are some ingredients in this world that, when you add them to anything, they pretty much make it spectacular. Bacon, for example. It would probably make a sneaker taste good. “Air” is another ingredient. Air-a bizarre ingredient on an episode of Chopped? No. Air, as in fresh air. Eating outside. Have you noticed that when you eat a lobster roll outside on a deck overlooking the ocean, it makes you happy? Or eat a grilled burger at a picnic table on a warm summer evening?  Or sip a frothy cappuccino at a sidewalk cafe? What is the common ingredient here? Fresh air. Good food combined with a hefty dose of the outdoors.

And lucky for you, we’ve put together a long list of our favorite eateries (40+) that have lovely outdoor dining spaces. 

If we missed an outdoor venue you frequent, please share your find below. 

For more Summer Eats see our Guide to The Best Warm Lobster Rolls on the CT Coast. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr112014

Fairfield County Chef's Table

After several years of immersing ourselves in the Fairfield County dining scene as partners and editors of CTbites, we had the opportunity to trade pixels for print. We are very excited to announce the launch of our book, Fairfield County Chef's Table, featuring over 50 restaurants and recipes, now available at your local book store and online

The book, published by Globe Pequot Press, was written by Amy Kundrat (yours truly), the executive editor and partner at CTbites. The photography is by none other than CTbites founder and editor in chief Stephanie Webster. It is the culmination of the many years we have been writing about and photographing the Connecticut food scene. This two year project was a blast to work on, and we only wish we could have included 50 more of our favorite restaurants. For more information, please visit our website.

A special thank you to all the chefs, restaurant owners, farmers, friends, CTbites contributors, and CTbites readers who shared their time, expertise, and support. We hope you enjoy the book, experiment with the recipes from some of our favorite restaurants, and share it with your friends and family!

Book Signings

Barnes & Noble, Milford: April 27 @ 1 pm

Barnes & Noble, Westport: May 17 @ 1 pm

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