The Meatball Shop of NYC & DC is Opening in Westport!

Restaurant Italian Westport Openings Homepage

Stephanie Webster

Westport’s “cool” factor just went up X10. We found out that The Meatball Shop, of NYC and DC fame, is opening in Westport! Cue the celebratory music. Founded by childhood best friends, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, The Meatball Shop opened their first location on The Lower Side in 2010. Since then they have expanded to six locations in NYC and opened their first location outside of this city this past fall in Washington DC. According to their job posting on Craigslist, they are bringing their Balls to Westport, CT this Spring! A reliable source tells us The Meatball Shop will be opening in the old PORT location next to Bartaco.

Their signature balls, go way beyond beef, and are highly customizable. If you haven’t sat down at one of their spots in NYC, the “Balls” menu allows guests to “Choose Your Ball” and then “Pick Your Sauce,” either naked or as a bowl. We’re not talking about beef vs chicken here. Options include: Gluten Free Chicken, Classic, Spicy Heritage Pork, Veggie, Salmon…and even a Maine Lobster. Featured toppings include: Tomato, Parmesan Cream, Spicy Meat, Pesto, Yogurt Dill (to pair with the salmon) and even a Lemon Butter for the lobster. This is ball heaven.

NEW CTbites Hot Dish Podcast Episode: The CTbites Family Edition #1

Interview Features Podcast

Stephanie Webster

CTbites Hot Dish Podcast is back with Episode 2: CTbites Family Edition #1. Break bread (no...literally) with the CTbites team Chez Webster. Join Stephanie Webster, Andrew Dominick, Kristin L. Wolfe and our host, Marysol Castro, for a lively conversation about CT restaurant openings, favorite meals, the issue of "reviewer vs. critic”…all while we polish off a bottle of bourbon.

How do you listen to CTbites Hot Dish?

  1. CTbites Hot Dish is a bi-weekly podcast. To listen, use PODCAST App (or any podcast player).

  2. Search for CTbites Hot Dish or click here.

  3. SUBSCRIBE to CTbites Hot Dish

  4. You can also listen via here

  5. Enjoy at your leisure.

Nibble: Tasty & Boozy Food Events for February 17-24th

Features Events News

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

In honor of National Margarita Day on February 22nd, join Harlan PublickEvarito'sCantikiEl SegundoTablao Wine Bar & Restaurant and Saltwater Sono for a Margarita Crawl!  Enjoy $5 House Margaritas all day long at each location!  ($8 Premium Margaritas will also be available.

Learn how to cook Indian food with Chef Prasad on Saturday February 23, 2019 @ 1 PM. Dishes include Hyderabadi, Biryani & many others. Limited Seating…Email reservation only to

Barcelona Wine Bar in Stamford hosts an “I Dream of Summer Suckling Pig Dinner Party” on Thursday 2/21 from 7-10pm.  Chef Michael Lucente ic cooking up a suckling pig roast, tapas, and serving them with sangria & cocktails to match.  Tickets are $40. 

Artisan West Hartford is unveiling two new “O’Keeffe Cocktails and Cuisine,” in support of The New Britain Museum of Art and Architecture’s new Georgia O’Keeffe installation (running February 22-June, 2019). Sample the gorgeous “Cocktail Art” at Artisan on Thursday, February 21st from 4:30pm-6:00pm at an “O’Keeffe Cocktail Party”.

Ignazio's Pizza (From Brooklyn) Opening in Old Bertucci's Spot in Westport

Restaurant Openings Italian Pizza Lunch Westport

Stephanie Webster

There’s a new pizza joint opening in Westport. “Ignazio’s Pizza will be moving into the former Bertucci’s on the Post Road in Westport. This will be the 2nd location for this thin-crust pizza establishment. The original location is in DUMBO right underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, adjacent to the famous Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s.

The Westport spot may be slightly less scenic than that of DUMBO, but will continue the Ignazio’s tradition of thin crust pies, or “signature round pies.'“ They will also be serving up a slightly thicker crust square pizza, the “Siciliana.” In addition to the pizza menu (which is extensive), they have a full Italian menu featuring dishes including: Estelle`s Meatballs, Baked Anchovies, a Chicory Salad, pasta favorites like Manicotti as well as Calzone.

Westport loves their Italian joints, so bring it on Ignazio’s.

Guide to Gluten Free Dining in Connecticut Via Gluten Free New England

Features Restaurant Gluten-Free Special Dietary Needs Specialty Market Best of CT Homepage

Gluten-Free New England

This comprehensive guide to gluten-free dining in Connecticut is brought to you by Abby Kelly, founder of Gluten-Free New England.

Connecticut has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to gluten-free dining. And, as the number of people avoiding gluten rises at record pace, the number of restaurants working to accommodate them is absolutely skyrocketing. Although this makes going out to eat really fun, it also makes the job of compiling a list of favorites really difficult. And so, we present to you some of our favorite restaurants offering excellent gluten-free options. If we missed one of your favorites, please add your spot to the comments section below.

Chef Matt Lambert Opens Hamilton Park in New Haven

Restaurant New Haven Openings

Amy Kundrat

New Haven can now claim a Michelin-starred chef among its culinary denizens. New Zealand native and Chef Matt Lambert, along with Barbara Lambert and Jennifer Vitagliano, are the team behind Hamilton Park, the city’s newest restaurant. A self-described “neo bistro” with a seafood emphasis, the menu also features house-made pastas, house-cured charcuterie, and a memorable cocktail program by Eben Freeman (formerly of wd~50).

Maple-Parsnip Coffee Cake w/ Nutty Oat & Maple Glaze Topping

Recipe Recipe Dessert

CTbites Team

Ok, Chef Phoebe Cole-Smith of Dirt Farm Road restaurant, you had me at “maple glaze and nutty oat topping.” This recipe is c/o The Westport Farmers’ Market and features all of the goodness of the winter harvest. Sure, we don’t have tomatoes & berries, but we’ve got gorgeous parsnips and maple syrup straight from the tree. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and call this recipe “healthy,” with a hint of dessert.

Chef’s Table Returns To Westport in Old Christie's Location, (Via Dan Woog)

Restaurant Openings Breakfast Lunch Sandwich To-Go Comfort Food

CTbites Team

When Christie’s Country Store closed in December, a shiver went through the Cross Highway neighborhood.

The breakfast/sandwich/grill/grocery place had been around since 1926. It served nearby residents, Staples and Bedford students, and plenty of landscapers and workers nearby or passing through. But it was a non-conforming use, in a residential area. Now it was shut. These things don’t usually end well. Fortunately, this one does.

Chef’s Table is moving in. Rich Herzfeld will pick up right where John Hooper left off.

Valentine's Day CT Gift Guide: Cocktails Kits, Chocolates, Classes, Boozy Treats & More!

Features Gift Guide Holiday Homepage

April Guilbault

Pitter pat, pitter pat. Oh, be still my heart! Although, some might argue that the sound they hear around this time of the year is the sound of pure dread. Embrace this holiday of love and get your cupid on! Back to that pitter pat you are hearing. What to do to surprise your Valentine? There is so much out there beyond the usual bunch of overpriced red roses and glittery greeting card-not that we have anything against glitter, mind you. Behold! We have found cocktail kits, chocolate-making classes, specialty brews and wines. Oh, what fun this day of love shall be! Best part is that so many of these great (lovely?) ideas can be done throughout the year…so that you declare your love again and again and again….

80+ CT Restaurants & Events for Valentine's Day

Features Holiday Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Love is in the air!  Are you feeling romantic?  These Connecticut restaurants, bars, and venues are serving up prix fixe menus, special dishes, and other festivities.  Get your special someone and partake in these dining delights that would make cupid proud.

  1. Homestead Inn, Greenwich: The Homestead Inn will serve a prix fixe Valentine’s Dinner for $90 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

  2. On20, Hartford: At On20 in Hartford, feast on a 6-Course Tasting for $160 per person, which includes beverage pairings.  Dishes include caviar, foie gras torchon, lobster, beef tenderloin, and more. 

  3. The Cottage, Westport: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a loved one at The Cottage on February 14, where they’ll be presenting a special four-course, prix-fixe dinner prepared by Chef Brian Lewis and his team, with extended hours from 5:30pm – 10:30p.

  4. Harlan Publick, Norwalk: At Norwalk’s Harlan Publick, dine on a 3 course prix fixe menu for $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  As a romantic bonus, sip on a complimentary glass of prosecco upon arrival.

Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events For February 4-10

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Wakeman Town Farm welcomes Chef Carlos Baez of El Segundo and The Spread on Thursday February 7.  Join them for an intimate dining experience in Tim's Kitchen, featuring a four-course winter menu.  $100 pp. Limited seating. First-come, first served. BYOB. 

Bobby Q’s & Co. has partnered with Letizia’s Pizza to create a Pulled Pork Pizza that will be sold throughout February at Letizia’s.  All Proceeds raised from the purchase of this pie will be donated to “Filling in the Blanks,”  an organization that provides meals to kids in need on weekends.  Go forth and eat pulled pork pizza!!

On Monday February 4, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford hosts “Food & Film: Crazy Rich Asians.”  The evening begins with a screening of the hit moves at 4pm and continues with dinner catered by Mill Restaurant Group.  Tickets start at $60. 

Chef Prasad of India Kitchen invites you to a cooking class on February 9 at 2pm.  Start by discussing the regions of India and the menu for the day.  Then, cook for about 2 hours before having an early dinner and open Q & A with Chef Prasad.  $95 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  Email to reserve.

The Seaport Association hosts “Taste of the Seaport Restaurant Tour Card.”  Enjoy deals at participating restaurants as well as buy-one-get-one entrees for just $50 per card.  Proceeds benefit the Sheffield Island Lighthouse. 

Taste of Fairfield- WinterFest: Photo Recap

Features Events

Jessica Ryan

Another amazing Taste of Fairfield - WinterFest took place this past weekend at Fairfield's tony Brooklawn Country Club. A sold out event, over 500 people sampled, sipped and grazed the afternoon away, enjoying all the wonderful food and beverage provided by local restaurants, specialty markets, winemakers, craft brewers and others served. Guests enjoyed signature dishes, bite sized nibbles, and decadent desserts in addition to curated cocktails and specialty beverages. WinterFest also served up plenty of entertainment, from comedy to bowling in the club's spectacular 6 lane bowling alley. Plans are already being set in motion for next year's event... So stay tuned!

CTbites Hot Dish Podcast Launches TODAY w/ Chef Tyler Anderson

Features Openings Podcast inter Celebrity Chef Homepage

Stephanie Webster

It’s official. CTbites is launching our first original podcast, “CTbites Hot Dish.” Obviously, we all love to get the inside scoop on all things culinary. CTbites Hot Dish takes you behind the scenes with CT chefs, farmers, bartenders and local food activists. Our host, Marysol Castro, broadcast journalist, NY Mets PA announcer and all around ball buster, will serve up a saucy look into the CT food scene. She will be joined by a rotating cast of CTbites crew including myself in our CTbites Family episodes, where we will shoot the sh#t on the latest CT food news. This is gonna be fun people. (And yeah…it’s explicit.)

This week, we sit down with Chef Tyler Anderson, Top Chef, Punk rock singer, baseball player, and owner of Millwright’s, Porron & Piña, and The Cook & The Bear (+ a new spot coming soon…you’ll need to listen to find out more). LISTEN HERE. Many thanks to our launch sponsor, Norwalk Now, where Norwalk businesses come together to bring you their city in real time.

Birdman Juke Joint Opening In Bridgeport with Real Soul Food from Top Chef, Chris Scott

Restaurant Openings Bridgeport Comfort Food Celebrity Chef Southern Homepage

Kristin L. Wolfe

“It’s about the chicken…” says Chef Chris Scott (Top Chef Season 15), telling his new Connecticut fan base a story at his sold out Pop Up last Thursday night. And he’s about to knock nutmeggers socks off left and right with what he calls Real Soul Food, not the “gentrified” sort we’ve heard about or tasted before. There’s a story attached to the chicken, to the greens and black-eyed peas; there’s a story about the people who originally brought us the food. Real Soul Food is not just the celebrated dishes we’ve come to know and love. Chef wants everyone to understand the heritage behind this cuisine, and really hear about the ones who toiled long and hard for the meals we know as southern soul food. It’s time we learned about the Birdman; and Chef Scott is just the one to deliver the tale. He is passionate, he is immensely knowledgeable, he is experienced, and he just so happens to be one freakin’ amazing Chef.

Fryday Every Day? Fryborg Truck Opens Restaurant in Milford

Restaurant Comfort Food Milford Food Truck Burgers Hot Dogs Openings Homepage

Andrew Dominick

When food trucks in Connecticut started to become more prevalent, there was one I remembered well. The name “Fryborg” definitely stood out, and the fact that they specialized in hand-cut fries didn’t suck either. I first stumbled upon Fryborg around the time Two Roads Brewing Company opened in Stratford, so that “stumble” was a real one after multiple pints in the brewery’s upstairs tasting room. It was then that Fryborg’s bacon, egg, and cheese fries and their marinara-laden pizza fries perfectly complimented my buzz. If I had to render a guess, I’m not in the minority on similar experiences.  

Nibble: Super Tasty, Boozy, and Fun CT Food Events for Week of January 28 to February 3

Features Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

The Doro Restaurant Food Crawl takes place on Monday January 28.  Begin the evening at Treva for wine and appetizers before heading to Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen for an incredible family meal.  Finish at Àvert Brasserie.  Tickets are $75. 

Taste of Hartford continues through February 3!  Participating restaurants throughout the Greater Hartford area will offer special multi-course, price-fixed menus. 

Now on Tuesday Night, The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood presents “Burgers, Bourbon, & Beer.”  Enjoy one of the chef’s burger creations or customize your own.  Craft beer selections and brown spirits round out this comforting menu.

Bourbon Raw in Norwalk will have a High West Whiskey Dinner on Tuesday January 29.  The evening includes a cocktail reception and 4 course dinner with drink pairings.  Tickets are $70 per person and the event starts at 6:30pm. 

East Rock Brewing Company Opens In New Haven

Features New Haven Brewery Openings Beer Dinner CT Beer

James Gribbon

Pull back the hour hand on the clock of geologic time and the land in what was once New Haven begins to fill in. The sandstone rises up, glaciers come and go again in reverse, and the scenery levels off. The view across the water isn't Long Island - the glaciers pulled that land back with them - it's what will become Morocco. Now spin the clock forward again. The continents drift - ice, then not ice again - and the land erodes away until something seems to rise up again: the traprock scarp we know as East Rock. There's a lot of history here, and the newest bit to crop up is East Rock Brewing Company.

30+ Restaurants & Bars in CT for the Super Bowl: 2019 Edition

Features Sports Bar Super Bowl Bar

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

On Sunday February 3, the Patriots and Rams and facing off in Super Bowl 53!  The game time action is great, but so are the foods that accompany it!  Wings, pizza, ribs, subs… which is your MVP??  These Connecticut restaurants and bars have eat-in and take-out specials to keep you satisfied as you cheer on your team.

  1. The Blind Rhino, Norwalk: For the 4th year in a row, The Blind Rhino hosts "the biggest super bowl pregame party in CT." This year, The Spread & El Segundo are joining the party and doing a mini pop up inside the Rhino. There will also be live music and entertainment provided by Best Trivia Ever.

  2. Bobby V’s, Stamford: Catch the big game at Bobby V's in Stamford. A $45 ticket includes seating with a view of the game from every seat, a buffet, giveaways, and beer specials. VIP Packages available.

  3. Bear’s Smokehouse @ The Stack, New Haven: The Stack, featuring Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ in New Haven, will be offering three “Big Game Packages."