Taproot & Redding Roadhouse Owners Take Over The Holbrook Farm Business

Features CT Farms Farm Fresh Local Farm CSA Bethel Farm Stand

Maddie Phelps

More than 40 years ago, John and Lynn Holbrook purchased 12 acres of land in Bethel, Connecticut to open their very own family farm. With a mere 2 acres available for farming, the Holbrooks were tasked with maximizing space while remaining environmentally friendly. The rest is history.

While the Holbrooks still own the spectacular farmland, as of this past March, four new faces have joined the farming family. Jeff Taibe, Stephanie Sweeney, and Sean and Erin Reilly decided to tackle the business side of things when the previous tenant opted not to renew her lease. With Taibe and Sweeney owning their restaurant, Taproot, and the Reilly’s owning the Redding Roadhouse, the four decided to merge the Bethel and Redding communities with Holbrook Farm as their link.

MECHA Noodle Bar Opening in Stamford via Hey Stamford!

Restaurant Openings Stamford Japanese Vietnamese Noodles

Hey Stamford!

Driving down Bedford Street recently, you may have noticed some activity taking place in a storefront along the east side of the street. It’s good news for all, because a popular local restaurant is getting ready to open their doors!  

With locations in South Norwalk, Fairfield, and New Haven, Mecha Noodle Bar has dropped a flag in Stamford Downtown!

Known as a noodle lover’s paradise, Mecha serves up Asian comfort dishes, and is widely known for their Vietnamese Pho & Japanese Ramen.  Among other things, they also do riffs on Southeast Asia street foods. The menu is replete with steamed baos, egg rolls, dumplings, spare ribs, and wings.  But do not call them a “fusion” or a sushi restaurant, as they state on their website, they are: American-Vietnamese-Japanese-Thai-Chinese-Korean-New England-Momofuku-Totto-and-Ippudo-inspired.

Read more on Hey Stamford!

Guide To Connecticut Mobile Caterers: Food & Bar Trucks For Your Next Party! (sponsored post)

Restaurant Catering Food Truck Entertaining Best of CT Homepage

April Guilbault

Rolling, rolling, rolling…Get that party rolling…Start food and drinks a flowin’


Hang on to your wagons, folks, we’ve compiled the Ultimate Mobile Caterers Guide for all of your summer (and fall) party needs! Just the fact that the party comes to you gets your soiree off to a unique and fun start. And then it starts dispensing amazing foods and drinks? Yes, we say, sign us up; cupcakes rolled to your doorstep? Check! Beer on tap parked in your backyard? Check! Pizzas, burgers, lobsters and crab cakes saddled up to your house? Check! You are going to have some serious fun with these options. In fact, we think it’s safe to say that your er….party “bar”…will be raised is an understatement. Keep ‘em rollin’ and enjoy!

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters Opening In Westport

Restaurant Westport Openings Coffee Tea And Coffee Local Artisan

Stephanie Webster

Ed Freedman, Fairfield County’s passionate organic coffee roaster, and owner of the successful Shearwater Coffee Bar in the Brick Walk area of Fairfield, has announced the opening of a new location in Westport, on The Post Road. Named One of the 15 Best New Coffee Roasters in America by the popular digital lifestyle magazine Thrillist.com, and bestowed a 92 rating from CoffeeReview.com  for their  Organic Homacho Waeno Ethiopian roast, Shearwater introduced its small batch coffee roasts to Fairfield County in September of 2013 and was soon touted by java junkies, major gourmet food markets, and reputable area chefs as one of the leading coffee brands in the state.

Nibble: Boozy & Delish CT Food Events for Week of May 19-26

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Mystic Cheese Company and the Engine Room present A Cheese & Cocktail Pairing on May 23. Join Jason & Sylvia Sobocinski from Mystic Cheese Co. & Nick Georgetti, Beverage Director for The Engine Room, in Mystic CT as they pair their favorite cheeses alongside classic and original libations. It costs $45 per person and runs from 6-8:30pm.

"Walk the Walk" on The Brick Walk Fairfield takes place on Tuesday, May 21. Check out the area’s best restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. Participants include Brick + Wood, Broadway Method Academy, CT Cookie Company, Island Outfitters, Mecha Noodle Bar, and more.

On Tuesday May 21, Max a Mia hosts a Beer Dinner on the Patio featuring Victory Brewing Company. The evening begins with a 6:30 reception and continues with sit down dinner. Special Guests are Adam Lang and Aron Daniels from Victory Brewing Co with a menu by Chef Stephen Lundgren.

Join the Stratford Health Department and A Pinch of Salt's Raquel Rivera-Pablo to learn how to make easy and kid-friendly recipes using ingredients found in the garden on Tuesday May 21. This free cooking class is appropriate for ages 2-10. Adult supervision is required. For additional questions, please call Kelley Meier at 203-385-4090.

Tony’s at the JHouse Hotel: Come For Tony, Stay For the Fine Casual Dining

Restaurant Greenwich Hotel Italian American

Jessica Ryan

Tony Capasso has developed quite the reputation earning himself quite the following. After spending nearly 20 years at Valbella! and Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse, the veteran Maître d’ now has a steak place of his own at the JHouse, a boutique hotel in Greenwich. Tony is warm, affable and charming. He has a special way with his customers as he circles around to each table offering quick yet challenging trivia questions for all to answer. His eyes twinkle. His smile is infectious. 

MilkCraft Now Open in New Haven w/ Nitrogren Infused Ice Cream & Soft Serve! (+ Milkcraft Truck!

Restaurant ice cream Openings New Haven Fairfield West Hartford Dessert

Brett Levy

I wouldn’t have expected the steady stream of customers this past Wednesday afternoon at Milkcraft, all lining up for nitrogen infused ice cream despite the chilly temps outside. And yet, after tasting my P B & J Roasted Banana in the signature Bubblecone, I understand the customers’ urgency. Who needs hot chocolate when one can delight in these fresh, chef driven flavors honoring the winter season? The Bourbon Breakfast and Smokin’ Choco de Leche and will hold me over until the summer just fine.

Rejoice, New Haven residents. You can now enjoy Milkcraft in New Haven! The New Haven location (280 Crown Street) is the largest of the locations to date, at 1500 square feet.

Westport Farmers’ Market Summer Season Starts May 23rd!

Features Farmers Market Westport Local Artisan Local Farm Specialty Market

CTbites Team

Mark your calendars for the start of the Westport Farmers’ Market on Thursday, May 23rd, from 10 to 2 at 50 Imperial Avenue. Whether you are on a break from work, have a day off with kids, or are meeting a friend to shop, this season’s market has something for everyone. “We work hard to make the Westport Farmers’ Market a weekly destination for the community,” said Lori Cochran-Dougall, Executive Director. “We’re really excited with the result this year! We’ll have all of the vendors and activities that people love plus some new vendors and programs to add to the mix.” 

Cafe Silvium in Stamford: 18 Years And Still Topping The CT Italian Scene

Restaurant Italian Stamford Lunch Homepage

Andrew Dominick

Cafe Silvium has been open nearly 18 years. I first heard about it six months ago. Yeah, stuff like that happens. I couldn’t possibly know about every single restaurant in this part of Connecticut, could I?

What bugged me about Cafe Silvium is the number of random people who dropped it in casual conversation. And there was no collusion here. Every mention of it came from different aspects of my life or from loosely connected friends. The first whispers of Cafe Silvium came from a Bumble match. No, we didn’t ever meet up for a meal there, in case you were wondering.

Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events For Week of May 12-19

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Wakeman Town farm and Marcia Selden Catering are teaming up for a Spring Dinner on the Farm.   On Tuesday May 14, Robin and Jeffrey Selden will be teaching participants a seasonal three-course meal, plus three signature cocktails. Then, sit down together to enjoy the feast! 

“A Taste of Hope Street” takes place on Wednesday May 15 in Stamford.  Restaurants along the street, like Vinny’s Backyard, Olio Restaurant, and Amore Cucina & Bar will have samples.  There will be beer, wine, and entertainment as well.  Proceeds go to Healing Hearts. 

ARTISAN Restaurant, Tavern and Garden is kicking off the summer season on its patio by uncorking its private label Rosé wine at its annual Kick-off Garden Party in West Hartford on Thursday, May 16th from 6-8 PM.  Experience the spectacular outdoor setting while enjoying Artisan Rosé wine and craft cocktails from the cash bar, along with complimentary hors d'oeuvres in the picturesque Artisan garden. 

Our House in SoNo hosts Casino Night on Friday May 19.  $25 includes Poker/Roulette, a Raffle, Give-aways, and Paparazzi.  Opt for the 7-8pm VIP All Inclusive with Hors d'oeuvres and vodka bar plus 1000 casino chips. 

On Saturday May 18, Hunt Hill Farm hosts “Fermentation Magic” with Cheryl Paswater.  From 12-3pm, learn about the process and taste foods using the technique.  It costs $90.  On Sunday, join them again for “Foraging and Feasting” with Hayden Stebbins.  Hunthillfarm.org 

Meet The Author Of Heirloom Kitchen: Food & Books & Drinks OH MY...TONIGHT! (sponsored post)

Author CT Authors Events Cookbooks

Kristin L. Wolfe

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for the author/chef and New Canaan resident whose new book is a gorgeous example of what great food and community can do; it can honor and inspire. She has done just that in an homage which highlights 45 immigrant women from across the country, including six living here in Connecticut, and their special connection to their native culture. Heirloom Kitchen shares 100 recipes  beginning from Gass’ native Italy, several in Europe, Africa, Asia, Central & South America and the Middle East. 

Marcia Selden Caters Vera Wang's Collection Launch (sponsored post)

Features Catering Events

CTbites Team

For Marcia Selden Catering, a night of wedding magic with Vera Wang was the perfect way to kick off wedding season. Here’s how Selden’s team created a picture perfect menu in celebration of Vera Wang’s new Spring/Summer 2020 collection.

The elegant décor and details were breath taking, arranged by PartySlate and YSD Events.  As guests approached the entrance of the Weylin, known as the most exceptional event space in NYC, they were greeted by a quartet of violinists and a team of beautiful servers offering bubbly. 

Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. in Mystic: "2 Brothers Who Love Real Good Pizza"

Restaurant Pizza Mystic Lunch Italian

Brett Levy

Nestled alongside I-95N in Mystic, CT, you will find what many say is the best pizza in New London County. Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. is the perfect place for a pit stop and quick bite. The restaurant is named after a tour guide, Mango, who the owner met on vacation. Connecticut is known for its New Haven pizza. However, this pizza, in my opinion, can compete with best of them, and is why the restaurant was packed on Easter weekend. The variety and creativity in the menu keeps customers coming back.

My family and I stopped at Mango’s on Saturday morning at around 11:45 am, where we found the place already hopping.

55+ Restaurants for Mother’s Day in CT: 2019 Edition

Features Events Brunch Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 12!  Treat the special Moms in your life to brunches, special menus, and multi-course meals at Connecticut restaurants.  Over 55 restaurants have festivities fit for a queen!  Make her feel like one by making your reservation today.

  1. Los Charros Cantina, Centerbrook: Los Charros Cantina will serve Mother’s Day Brunch from 11am to 3pm.

  2. The Whelk, Westport: The Whelk will have Mother's Day festivities from 12-3:30pm on Sunday 5/12.

  3. Community Table, Preston: At Community Table, enjoy a special Prix Fixe brunch with mom this year from 12-3:30 pm. In the evening, treat her to an a la carte dinner from 4:30-8:30pm.

  4. The Hickories Farm: Chef Dan Sabia of Wood Fire Food cooks brunch with a three course most of which will be cooked over a live fire, including seasonal drinks, and a farm tour.

  5. Prime, Stamford: Enjoy brunch until 2PM, and then a special Mother’s Day dinner menu on the Stamford waterside.

A Short History Of The Retro Cocktail: Post Prohibition Recipes

Features Ingredients Cocktails Bar Education Mixology

Adam Patrick

Bartenders, especially those involved in the “cocktail” world, understand the significant impact that Prohibition has had on the industries surrounding alcoholic beverages. Many consumers, however, are unaware of that impact. National Prohibition was rooted in political and religious belief systems, that sought to temper a vice, and legislate morality to a nation. Any time a product, that is in high consumer demand, is made illegal, a black market is created. Crime increases, violence increases, and eventually, the public demands action. It didn’t take long for the ridiculous idea to be repealed, and when Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, the nation joined together in a collective sigh of relief, and a toast to better times ahead.

Treatises have been written, documentaries have been filmed, and many a scholar has spoken about the nearly decade and a half that The United States of America suffered under the tyranny of Prohibition. What is sorely missing, however, is a definitive study of the decades following its repeal. And, maybe, that is because not much is ever said, outside of our small circle of bartenders, about what life in this industry was like before Prohibition was passed.

Chef Profile: EP Experience Rocks The 18th Annual Flavors of Connecticut

Features Events Fundraiser Chef Talk

Kristin L. Wolfe

Ok, slow down, Chef Kevin, you’ve got a lot on your plate….I mean that literally and figuratively.  

I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Kevin O’Neil of EP Experience Catering at the Flavors of Connecticut Gala at the Aqua Club in Southington last month for the American Liver Foundation. Chefs from all over the state come out for the foundation’s signature event and what an event it is. No one is paid, but everyone gives one hundred percent of their time, effort, and creativity for such a great cause. Chefs and their crew turn everything up a notch and create a special event for the guests that will be seated around their tables. It becomes a party within a party and each diner enters a world of the chef and crew’s creation. From a Ziggy Stardust theme table complete with smoke and music to a French Revolution scene decked out with a guillotine (!), many tapped the artist within and created a theatrical experience where in the food was the bonus. Others kept their space more classic with bursts of color from flowers and dishware or a built-on-the-premises rustic pergola. Either way, creative people came together for a tremendous show of that artistic flare and amazing food, for a great cause. 

Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events For May 5-12

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

CLASP Homes of Westport hosts its 15th Annual Taste of Westport on Thursday, May 9 at The Westport Inn from 6-9:30pm. Taste specialties from more than 20 of this area’s finest restaurants, including Artisan Restaurant, The Spread, Harvest Wine Bar, Bobby Q’s Cue & Co., Amis Trattoria, Pearl at Longshore. There will be drinks, dessert, and entertainment as well. Tickets are $100 with the VIP Party, $75 for general admission, and $85 GA at the door. Visit www.tasteofwestport.com to purchase, or phone 203-226-7895, ext. 144.

Ordinary is celebrating its six-year anniversary with a series of new initiatives officially kicking off on Wednesday, May 8. Ordinary will be transformed into the “Greatest Show on Earth” with Circus themed décor, food specials, and drink specials.

On Thursday, May 9 at 7pm, Brick Walk Tavern in Fairfield hosts Belle Pente Vineyard and Winery. The five course meal costs $95 pp (all inclusive).

Winfield Street Coffee Opening at The Ferguson Library in Stamford

Restaurant Openings Coffee Tea And Coffee

CTbites Team

Winfield Street Coffee will open at The Ferguson Library this summer. The coffee shop, which will offer Counter Culture Coffee, Battenkill Milk and Hudson Valley Harvest produce along with other local products, will also serve fresh baked goods, their renown breakfast and lunch sandwiches, as well as salads. It will open in the former Starbucks space once renovations are complete, probably in mid-August.

Owner Breno Donatti also operates the Winfield Street Italian Deli in Westport and another Winfield Street Coffee at the Croton-Harmon train station in Croton-on-Hudson New York.  He lives in Stamford with his family.