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Entries in Westport (170)

Tuesday
May122015

Michel Nischan: Connecticut’s Humanitarian Chef

As we go to print on this article, chef, CEO and humanitarian Michel Nischan is in Chicago receiving another James Beard Award, as Humanitarian of the Year. This honor has been bestowed on few, including Art Smith, Emeril Lagasse and the late Charlie Trotter. The award signifies Michel’s commitment to making a difference in how and where we buy food, food education, and Wholesome Wave programs that offer affordable access to all consumers, especially the food insecure.

As a longtime Westport resident, I have fond memories of The Dressing Room next to the Westport Country Playhouse. The buzz surrounding the restaurant when it opened in 2006 was driven by the friendship and collaboration between the co-owners, Paul Newman and chef Michel Nischan and their shared beliefs about food. Together they contributed to Connecticut’s nascent farm-to-table movement, not only sourcing from local farms and purveyors, but also listing their products as part of the menu. Paul could be found there many evenings with his wife Joanne, and family and “sightings” were always a treat to patrons.

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Thursday
Apr232015

The Westport Farmers' Market Kicks Off Summer Season May 21st

Thursday, May 21, the Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM) will kick off the 2015 summer season, celebrating a decade of fresh, local food.

For the last ten seasons, the WFM has been cultivating community and nurturing an appreciation of real food, and the work that goes into growing it.

It was June of 2006, when Paul Newman and Michel Nischan planted the first seed, and the WFM welcomed its first shoppers. With 14 vendors present that day, over 500 shoppers showed up to get a taste of something new.

Now, about to embark on its tenth season, the WFM has blossomed into market boasting 45 vendors, food trucks, chef demos, yoga, organic eats, and even a pizza truck. And thousands of shoppers from all over Fairfield Country make the WFM Thursday market a destination.

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Sunday
Apr192015

Simply Delicious: Healthy To-Go Meals @ A Location Near You!

After the Simply Delicious mother-daughter team created a catering company, opened a restaurant, and made two kiosk locations, they have landed in the Westport Weston YMCA, serving on-the-go food and perfecting the art of the “satellite location” business.  

Lauren Peden, co-owner and chef, explained the goal of Simply Delicious is “to offer people on-the-go healthy meals for those that don't have the time to make meals at home.”

Simply Delicious started catering parties six and a half years ago, right after Lauren finished classes at the French Culinary Institute. In a recent interview with Lauren, she said that “friends and other people wanted me to cater their parties, so I decided to make a business out of it.”

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Tuesday
Mar312015

The Legendary Mario's in Westport Sold to Harvest Wine Bar Owners via Dan Woog

This just in from Dan Woog's 06880 blog:

The rumors careening around town are true: Mario’s is being sold.

The legendary restaurant/bar — a Saugatuck mainstay since 1967 — will change hands soon. A new name, cuisine and interior will follow. The deal could be finalized tomorrow morning.

New owners Kleber, Nube and Vicente Siguenza own 5 restaurants in Fairfield and New Haven Counties (including 55 Degrees in Fairfield).

Mario’s: A Westport legend.

Mario’s will remain as it is for the next year. It will then transform into Harvest Wine Bar — similar to the Siguenzas’ restaurant of the same name in Greenwich. Harvest offers modern American custom cuisine with Asian, Latin and Mediterranean influences, plus an extensive wine list. Harvest supports local, organic farms.

Read the full article here.

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Friday
Mar272015

Kawa Ni Bartender Competition #1: Photo Gallery & Recap

Move over "show case showdown," there's a new showdown in town. Jeff Maron, bar manager of Kawa Ni in Westport (and both of the other Bill Taibe's jaunts) hosted the first of six Bartender Competitions where some of the North East's finest BAR-istas concocted some fabulous potions for the judges and guests to imbibe and describe. The goal of this event series is to showcase the art of the craft cocktail and elevate mixology in CT. 

Each 'tender was required to create 5 identical cocktails using one ounce of the sponsored ingredient - in this case, Appleton Reserve Rum, and one ounce of the secret ingredient - in this case Ancho Reyes chili liquor. Other than that, each drink-master was given free reign to embellish, add, adjust and design their signature cocktail. There was even some blow torching of fruit. The end game was to impress the panel of 4 judges, including the lucky winner of the CTBites cocktail naming contest, and Adam Roytman of Walrus and Carpenter (from whence many of the evening's delicious nibbles were provided).

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Thursday
Feb122015

Award-Winning Author & Food Critic Mimi Sheraton in Conversation with Chef Matt Storch

Mimi Sheraton, award-winning author and former restaurant critic for The New York Times, will be at the Westport Public Library on Saturday, February 28 to discuss her new book, 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover's Life List.

Sheraton's appearance will be a conversation with Matt Storch, chef and owner of Match Restaurant.

About Mimi Sheraton

Mimi Sheraton is a journalist, restaurant critic, lecturer, IACP and James Beard Award–winning cookbook author, and the woman about whom famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten declared, “Her knowledge knows no bounds, her glossary of flavors is ultimate. Her opinion is like gold.” The former restaurant critic of the New York Times,

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Sunday
Feb082015

The Whelk's Burger - Still Outstanding

The 2015 “Dry Aged Beef Burger” prepared by Chef Anthony Kostelis begins with a 7-8 ounce patty topped with sweet pickles, Bella Bantam cheese, bacon and onion mayonnaise, all encased in a buttery brioche. The meat was deep and rich in flavor, perfectly seasoned and compressed slightly to maintain the grind of the meat. It was juicy in the middle of the burger but a little dry at the edges. The Bella Bantam cheese from Arethusa Farm was outstanding, melted atop the patty. It was mild with a slight nuttiness, a great complement to the burger. The bacon at The Whelk was one of the best I have tasted in years, with a incredible smokiness and also added a little crunchiness to the burger.

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Tuesday
Feb032015

Fairfield gets Freshii! Nutritious Healthy Food For People On The Go

Fairfield has worked its way up the food chain, offering all sorts of great dining opportunities for those with even the most discerning palates. With all the new restaurant openings, there was one thing that was lacking in the town’s culinary offerings; a really good health-food based option. Until now - enter Freshii. 

Sandwiched in between The Fairfield University Bookstore and Chef’s Table is Freshii, recently opened by owner Jonathan Blob who also owns the Westport location. Although word had not yet really gotten out, the restaurant was bustling the two times I went in, first to check it out, then when I returned to chat with Blob. 

The store, long and narrow, airy and bright, evokes a fresh, healthy attitude. Bright green, leaf-colored chairs are neatly lined up against the long counter space on one wall just below a large mirror reflecting the words...EAT. ENERGIZE. from the opposing wall. The light woods and grass-like covered wall lend themselves perfectly to an eatery of this type. A large menu board lists many and varied options. There are choices for breakfast, smoothies, juices, salads, wraps, bowls, soups and burritos.

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Thursday
Dec252014

CTbites Staff & Chef Picks for TOP EATS OF 2014

In terms of eating, the CTbites team of writers, photographers, and chef friends have managed to sample and savor more than most. 2014 has been a stellar year for restaurant openings as Fairfield County and the surrounding areas continue to draw great culinary talent.  Instead of coming up with a top ten list ourselves, we asked the CTbites extended family to share some of their most memorable meals and dining experiences this past year.

Here are our favorite meals and restaurants of 2014. 

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Sunday
Dec212014

VESPA Opens in Downtown Westport with Italian Inspired Fare 

Here's the buzz- VESPA (Italian for WASP) has arrived in Westport, so get ready for the sting. Perfectly situated on the corner of Post Road and the Saugatuck River, the brand spankin-new haunt from Westporter Bobby Werhane and his partner Kevin Lalumiere of Experience Hospitality Group shares its patio space with Bar Taco and nuzzles up snugly to the water's edge. VESPA is the group's second local restaurant (NEAT opened recently, right across the lot) and it's poised for success. 

We were invited to a "friends and family" soft opening where we enjoyed a large cross section of the very approachable and creative Italian inspired menu, prepared by Werhane's allstar kitchen team. Executive Chefs, Brian Reilly (Greenhouse Tavern and Noodle Cat) and Craig Wallen (Spasso and sous chef at Gramercy Tavern) work alongside Pasta Chef, Laura Bonechi (Jean-George's The Inn at Pound Ridge), and, by the way...her hand-rolled pasta is seriously crave-worthy. 

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