The New Haven outpost of Harvest Wine Bar is the fifth restaurant for siblings Kleber, Nube, and Vincente Siguenza, the the trio behind Cava in New Canaan, 55 Degrees in Fairfield, Scena in Darien, and sister restaurant Harvest Wine Bar in Greenwich. CTbites reviewed the Greenwich location almost a year ago, and many of the same culinary observations apply to this newly opened New Haven outpost on Chapel Street. I stopped in recently to experience the restaurant’s $19 two-course prix fixe lunch, perhaps one of the best downtown lunch options among New Haven’s fine dining restaurants.
Entries in Wine Bar (12)
Napa & Co. announced its 2015 Wine Class / Tasting schedule that will span the world and offer classes for the novice, the experienced wine connoisseur and those looking for a deeper understanding of various regions and blends. Prices range from $50 to $120 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and includes up to six different varieties. All classes start at 630PM.
Monday January 12th - WINE 101 - Start the year with an interesting class for the novice wine drinker and learn how to better describe wines and pair each with food. Enjoy 3 whites and 3 reds. $50pp (plus tax and gratuity)
Monday January 26th - Jordan Library Wine Tasting 2001-06 - Jordan is one of the icons of Alexander Valley producing Old World style Bordeaux blends. We will try a vertical tasting of 6 wines and see how well they age, and how they’ve changed. $120pp (plus tax and gratuity)
The work day comes to a close and all I can think is “Holy hell I need a bottle of wine …maybe two… maybe three… who’s coming with me?” But where do I go? What places offer specials? What vibe am I feeling? I instantly start googling “Happy Hour Downtown Stamford” but nothing pops up and suddenly I am in a panic, yes a panic. We’ve all been there many times…so I have compiled the ultimate list to help fellow happy hour enthusiasts.
Personal favorites for each day are:
- Monday - Cotto, with half-priced bottles of wine and delicious tapas it’s the perfect way to ease into a hectic week;
- Tuesday - Lola’s Mexican Restaurant, Taco Tuesday & Margaritas…need I say more?
- Wednesday - Brickhouse Bar & Grill, known to many regulars as “wing night” it’s a low-key, delicious and fun way to finish hump day;
- Thursday – Barcelona, delicious tapas and great deals on a variety of wines, the young and vibrant scene is always served up;
- Friday – Hudson Grille, come for the happy hour and stay for the DJ, just be sure to bring your dancing shoes;
You know how you “just know” when a new restaurant is going to be good? That’s the feeling you get in the first ten minutes at Brick + Wood, a new restaurant and wine bar in Fairfield’s Brick Walk Plaza on the site of the former Ponte Vecchio restaurant. When you make a great find like this, it’s a double-edged sword: You want to share it with friends, but at the same time keep it your secret a little longer. We decided to share. You’re welcome.
On a recent lunch visit, as we perused the distressed-wood and worn-brick decor, an amuse bouche appeared out of nowhere—two crispy crostini topped with fluffy homemade ricotta, sautéed broccoli rabe and imported prosciutto—as if to say, “Let’s get this party started.”
With a hip and lively environment, the Barcelona restaurants have consistently offered bold cuisine, inspired by the Iberian Peninsula accompanied with some of the best drinks and Sangria in the area. Each location adheres to the basic premise that a visit to Barcelona must combine great fun with great food. To continue in this tradition, Barcelona (SONO) recently introduced its new Executive Chef Wayne Homsi. Fresh from his culinary journey throughout Spain, CTbites stopped by to sample Chef Homsi’s new additions to the Spring menu.
Chef Wayne graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and joined The Waldorf Astoria Hotel where he became the youngest sous chef in its history. He subsequently worked at Picholine and then became the opening sous chef at its sister restaurant Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro in New York. He next joined Il Barilotto as Executive Chef and Partner in 2002 before joining Barcelona SONO earlier this year.
The menu at Barcelona offers “Meat + Cheese,” “Tapas” plus a few smatterings of “Paella,” “Meat + Fish” and Mixed Grill.” The Tapas contains bar bites and others that are more closely described as small sharing plates.
Luxe Winebar (aka Luxe Modern Wine & Cocktails) at 190 Main Street in Westport will soon re-open on under new ownership. Former owner Robert Reilly has passed the torch to new owner, Dave Morton. The two are working together to make improvements to the menu and interior of the bar, while keeping things the way patrons liked it.
“We had a loyal customer base that was disappointed to see LUXE had closed temporarily,” said former owner Robert Reilly. “Dave and I hope they’ll come back and find LUXE better than ever.
Morton is working to make the setting warmer and friendlier, plus adding on menu items to complement the existing cheese and charcuterie. “The cheese and charcuterie have been well received,” Dave Morton says. “I want to give people even more options to choose from. New items will include desserts and chocolates from neighboring businesses, plus other wine-friendly noshes like hummus and pita chips, and olives.”
Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen
Cuisine: American, Tapas, Wine Bar, West Hartford
Price: Small plates range $3.95 - $17.95
Our Highlights: wine, charcuterie, tapas
Hours: Kitchen open Mon – Wed 4-10pm, Thurs: 4-11pm, Fri-Sat: 4-12pm (Bar open late Mon-Sat) Sun: Kitchen & Bar 4-9pm
Online: Official Website | Facebook
Small plates reach new heights at Vinted Wine Bar and Kitchen, where food is anything but secondary. Add 68 wines by the glass and you’re well on your way to finding that perfect pairing. Sister restaurant to The Federal in Agawam, Vinted burst onto the West Hartford dining scene in late 2012 when owners Ralph Santaniello and Michael Presnal launched their newest venture in Blueback Square. A classy vibe, inventive array of modern American tapas, and encyclopedic wine list leaves little, if anything, to be desired.
In search of my culinary Dulcinea, I heard there was a new "cocinero" in the town. So, instead of hopping on a faithful nag, I got in my fickle Mini Cooper and headed to the Greenwich Barcelona for the culinary offerings of new head-chef, Michael Lucente. Chef Michael comes to Barcelona after 10 years of experience, starting as a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. He has been Sous Chef at BLT Steak in Westchester and Napa in Stamford and head chef at La Promenade des Anglais in New York. He had the exciting opportunity to Sous Chef on Iron Chef America in April of last year and joined Barcelona Greenwich in November. Greenwich, you're in luck. And so are Barcelona patrons everywhere as the revamping of Barcelona's signature menu is making tapas-cravers everywhere muy feliz.
After a brief bout of Musical Toques, Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi -- owners of Cotto’s Winebar and Pizzeria in Stamford -- have convinced veteran Chef Greg Depelteau to come aboard and expand their imaginative menu of small plates and pizza.
Depelteau, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, is in total simpatico with the Ridolfis’ insistence that a dish, especially a small plate, should be driven by primary flavors. “These days a lot of chefs overdo things,” Greg contends and we agree. “Too many flavors confuse the diner.“
Cotto’s simple take on hanger steak, a cut prized for its flavor, makes the case. After marinating the muscular cut overnight in herbed EVOO, Depelteau quickly grills the meat on a blazing hot sheet pan to achieve a hard sear, while maintaining a surprisingly tender, rare interior. A
Parallel Post has launched a "Hot-tail Happy Hour," a week-day cocktail list of of three steamy concoctions that can be paired with their usual happy hour specials, available Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. Although it will take more to transport me from the Trumbull Marriott to the slopes of Val d'Isère, at $7 each, these après-ski cocktails are a nice alternative to the usual glass of wine. In addition to their full menu which I wrote about last week, I have become a fan of Parallel Post's wallet-friendly happy hour menu and this new cocktail addition.
The man behind these inventive drinks is a familiar face to Fairfield County, lead mixologist Greg Genias who is the man behind Barnum Publick House's epic Bloody Mary Bar. For Parallel Post, Greg has created a full menu of original cocktails, featuring many house-made liquor infusions. A native of Jamaica, Greg comes to Connecticut by way of Utah, Greg's preference leans toward classic cocktails like Manhattans and brown liquors served neat. In addition to these new concotions below, don't miss Gregory's Bloody Mary made with an infused spicy vodka and a blend of roasted vegetables.
Parallel Post Hot-tail Menu
Hot Buttered Popcorn: House-blend herbal tea and popcorn-infused rum