The story of Mothership on Main Bakery in Danbury began eight years ago, after owner Anna Llanos had just finished treatment for cancer. Instead of applying for a job, “like a normal person,” she did what most of us would not dare to do in the easiest of times, she turned the Airstream trailer in her driveway into an espresso bar and bakery. After opening two more kitchens in commercial buildings in Danbury, she realized that she wanted to find a location where she could be a part of the larger community. This is how she eventually set up shop in a converted 1930s-era gas station on Main Street, where fans flock for breakfast, lunch, and all the baked goods they can eat in between.
CTbites’ Founder, Stephanie Webster will be dancing at The Wall Street Theater’s “Dancing with the Stars of Connecticut!” The event features community leaders (including Greer Fredericks from Peaches & Chef Plum!) who will kick up their heels to benefit WST Broadway Teens of Connecticut. Cheer them on Saturday March 30th. Buy tickets (starting at $25) or just VOTE for the “bass lady” here any time before the event.
Millwrights in Simsbury hosts a Game Dinner on Wednesday March 27 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $115 per person, which includes a 5 course dinner, beverage pairings, tax and gratuity.
On Wednesday March 27, Washington Prime in SoNo will have a Frank Family Vineyards Wine Dinner. They will pair 5 courses with wines from this prestigious Napa Valley producer. It is $95 per person.
Rothbard Ale + Larder is giving us a crash course on German beer on Thursday March 28. Tony Pellino of B. United Imports and OEC will guide you through brews and food pairings. It costs $40 per person and starts at 6:30pm.
Wine and cookie dough?! Yes, please! On Saturday March 30, Stonington Vineyards invites you to try wine flights alongside DoughLuv edible cookie dough.
FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, announced that it will be extending its service further into Connecticut, and will now be delivering to Fairfield, Norwalk, Southport, and Westport, in addition to Greenwich and Stamford, starting Tuesday March 26th. Why is this exciting? For those not familiar with FreshDirect, they pioneered the short supply chain, so you can experience fresh food at its finest. Place an order online before 9pm, and you can have ALL of your groceries delivered to your house the following day. From responsibly sourced seafood to organic produce, their food comes to their campus straight from the source and is delivered to your door at peak freshness in just a few days. That's less handling by middlemen—and it puts more money in the bank for local farmers, skilled artisans, and responsible fishermen.
When Jeff Taibe opened Taproot in the second half of 2017, our Amy Kundrat summed up this Fairfield County gem beautifully. “Creative, seasonal, down-to-Earth, and hyper-local” (because damn near every ingredient comes from Connecticut farms) are all words she used. That summation is dead-on accurate.
And yeah, you should run there. I wish I listened to her closing sentence and didn’t wait so long for a stellar culinary experience. Bethel isn’t THAT far, and Taproot is worth the drive. When I did go, I deserved the ribbing. “Hey, man! It only took you a f*cking year to get here!” Taibe joked.
From the shareable, addictive apps, to carefully crafted cocktails, and braised pork cheeks that flaked apart with a slight twist of my fork, it was my favorite meal in Connecticut in 2018.
All of the above is a well-deserved shout-out, but I’m not giving you a Taproot update. I’m dishing on the restaurant’s one-Sunday-per-month mood swing called “Bushido.”
Bushido, as you can probably surmise, is a Japanese pop-up concept. The birth of Bushido is a story in itself.
The time has come, where college hoops dominate schedules, dinner plans & most of all – your / your significant others / your friends’ social life. If you’re looking for that special place that everyone can enjoy ... look no further than Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar. They’re literally the ultimate sports destination, and as they call themselves … “the newest concept in sports entertainment.” With two unique destinations in Connecticut - Stamford & Windsor Locks, you’re going to want to check them out! The Stamford location features over 200 TV’s, along with a MASSIVE 2 story media wall, while the Windsor Locks location is equally impressive with over 80 TV’s & a HUGE 17’ LED screen … there’s not a bad seat at either location!
Help end hunger in your community by supporting Food Rescue US's annual fundraiser, FOOD FOR ALL on April 24th, and enjoy a great culinary experience with 15 incredible local chefs. View the complete list of chefs below.
Food for All has become one of Fairfield County's most popular strolling, tasting events and this year features many fan favorites from past years and some of the hottest, new restaurants on the local dining scene. General Admission tickets are $150. Click here for tickets: foodrescue.us/foodforall
Food Rescue US, is a direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending food insecurity and food waste in America. Food for All helps make their mission happen. Please join us on April 24th at the Loading Dock in Stamford, CT. The event highlights the organization’s important work delivering more than 7 million meals a year to the food insecure and keeping more than 8 million pounds of food waste out of landfills.
Tavern at GrayBarns will now be open for lunch! Starting March 20, visit them Wednesday-Saturday from 11:30am-2pm and for Sunday Brunch.
Oar & Oak in Stratford now offers happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 4-6pm.
Dom’s Cheese Shop in Avon presents Cheese 101 on March 22. They’ll walk you through 7 kinds of wine and teach you how to pair wines with cheese.
Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre and The Wise Old Dog are combining their powers for a night of chef inspired after hours snacks, drink, and good times! It takes place on 3/21 from 6-9pm.
The Schoolhouse at Cannondale invites you to a “Rockin Rhone Wine Dinner” on Wednesday March 20. Four courses will be paired with 4 wines from the Rhone Valley. It starts at 7pm and costs $95 per person plus tax and gratuity.
This week on the CTbites Hot Dish Podcast we sit down with Chef Matt Storch, owner of Match, Match Burger Lobster & Match Taco. We discuss the restaurant biz, cooking for Julia Child, the importance of travel, the origins of the famous "Match Burger," favorite restaurants (you'll wanna write these down), and his 45 course dinner at El Bulli. Listen here!
On Tuesday, March 20th, 11AM, tickets will go on sale for the 2019 season of Outstanding In The Field. This year's CT dinners will take place at the Waldingfield Farm in Washington CT on September 9, and at The Hickories on September 11th & 12th.
Outstanding in the Field visits orchards, beaches and vineyards, where diners “stand” and sit for a spectacular meal…in a field. The other meaning of Outstanding in the Field is outstanding as in the best. CT Chefs for this season include: Daniel Sabia, Jeff Taibe, Craig Hutchinson, Alex Lishchynsky & Jason Sobocinski,
We love celebrating local CT entrepreneurs. Connecticut Magazine gives a shout out to this trailblazing woman who’s shaking up the primarily male dominated craft brewing industry. We also hear that Rhythm beer will be available at Chef Chris Scott’s highly anticipated Birdman Juke Joint in Bridgeport.
Craft beer needs more diversity. The realization hit New Haven’s Alisa Bowens-Mercado five years ago while she was at a beer festival. She didn’t mean diversity in terms of more women and minority ownership of breweries; not yet anyhow. Back then she was thinking about diversity of flavor.
At that festival, every beer she tried was either too hoppy or too sour for her taste. She felt the craft industry needed more approachable options for drinkers like her.
“I want to make a beer that, when I go to a beer festival, that I can drink,” she told her husband.
Four years later Rhythm Brewing Co. was born and Bowens-Mercado, owner of Alisa’s House of Salsa, a dance studio in New Haven, became Connecticut’s first female African-American brewer. This month, as she celebrates Rhythm Brewing’s one-year anniversary, the company’s flagship product, Rhythm Unfiltered Lager, is available at more than 200 locations across the state. Bowens-Mercado is also getting ready to start distributing it in the Bahamas.
Back in 2015 I was invited to a new Chinese restaurant concept in Westchester by veteran restaurateur Jody Pennette. Skeptical as to how this type of cuisine could be different and better, I went. What I experienced was indeed that and more. Chinese food, I soon learned, could be delicious, even healthful, sticking to simple flavors and using organic ingredients while placing these dishes in the middle of a dynamic and upscale setting.
Fast forward and I am invited to Greenwich to check out Pennette’s latest Chinese food adventure. Once again he pushes the envelope with another, though similar, take on this ethnic fare, bringing us LuLu Chinese with its lighter brighter versions.
Wilton Restaurant Week returns March 11 – 17. Restaurants located in and around Wilton are serving up special prix fixe menus and other culinary selections. Participants include Bernard’s of Ridgefield, Oak and Almond, Parlor Restaurant, and more.
EAT RAMEN!! During the month of March, Mecha Noddle Bar is donating 50 cents from every bowl of ramen to Food Rescue US - whose mission is to reduce hunger and food waste throughout the United States. Every dollar raised= 9 meals. Their goal is $5,000 (or 10,000 bowls of ramen) for the month.
Bistro on Main is delighted to announce a fundraiser dinner, with all proceeds to benefit Interval House, on March 11th at 6 pm. Interval house provides often life altering assistance for men, women, and children fleeing domestic violence. The 4 course meal is $85 per person.
Carbone’s Kitchen, located at 6 Wintonbury Mall in Bloomfield, has launched three special weeknight menus that will run through the end of June. Join them for “Delicious Monday,” Tuesday “Prince Spaghetti Night,” and Wednesday “Franklin Ave Lasagna Night.” Each meal is a 3 course prix fixe menu for $25, plus tax and gratuity.
Who do you picture when you hear the word "butcher?" For many, a grizzled older man with strong biceps comes to mind. Butchery is undeniably male-dominated, with only 27% women, only slightly higher than the 25% of women farmers and ranchers. But times are changing, and the rise of craft butchery has meant more opportunities for women. For International Women's Day (Mar. 8), Fleisher’s Craft Butchery (locations in Westport, Greenwich & Brooklyn) interviewed some of the many women in the Fleishers family.
This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday! That means that Connecticut restaurants and bars are opening their doors even earlier, and, in some cases, festivities are lasting all weekend long. From buffets to live music to step dancers to Guinness, here is a list of 46+ places where you can get out your green and be Irish for a day in CT.
Tigin Irish Pub, Stamford: Tigin Irish Pub in Stamford opens at 7:30am on Saturday 3/16 and Sunday 3/17. There will be outdoor tents, live music, food specials, drink specials, and more.
EAT IN Connecticut Pub Crawl, Hartford: Eat IN Connecticut will host a “Culinary Corner St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl” in West Hartford, CT on Saturday, March 16 from 1-5pm. Participating venues include Artisan (at The Delamar Hotel), Flora, INDIA, The Cook and The Bear, & Vinted
O’Neill’s, South Norwalk: O'Neill's is celebration St. Patrick's Day all month long! On 3/17, the festivities begin at 7am with an Irish buffet breakfast. The day continues with music, Irish dancers, food specials, and more.
Bobby V’s, Stamford: Bobby V's St. Patrick's Day celebration lasts from March 15-17. There will be food specials, drink specials, and plenty of giveaways.
Wadsworth Athenium Museum, Hartford: At The Wadsworth Athenium Museum, members and nonmembers can enjoy an à la carte brunch with live Irish music by The Executive Session. There are two seatings, one at 10:30 am and one at 12:30 pm.
WIN a $100 gift card for Bar Sugo!! Here's how...
It's time for another cocktail throw down! Bar Sugo’s Mixologist Seth Hiravi has decided to trust the fate of their new signature cocktail to the naming skills of our CTbites readers. If your cocktail name is selected, you will win a $100 gift card for Bar Sugo (cocktails included).
Here are the ingredients for the cocktail in need of a name:
In an unusual but convenient industrial park in Groton, just near the Groton Airport, Mystic Cheese Co. is opening a new location this month to serve homemade and artisanal cheeses to the after-work crowd and cheese connoisseurs alike. Upon stepping into the front doors at the new site of Mystic Cheese, visitors are welcomed into a cozy tasting room in which they can perch on barstool seating that offers glimpses into the impressively sized cheese maturation room.
The feeling that the owners, Brian Civitello and Jason Sobocinksi (former owner of the beloved Caseus Cheese), have tried to create with their events and cut to order cheese is relaxed, fun, and unpretentious. Mystic Cheese has definitely accomplished this with their communal tables, friendliness, and awesome narwhal logo. By doing this, their overall aim is to attract people to the world of artisanal cheeses by offering cheeses at multiple price points, cheese-centric food, and educational classes.
Join Peaches for their Annual Fat Tuesday Party Tuesday, March 5. Enjoy music by The New Orleans Beatniks at 6:00 PM and classic specials from the Big Easy all night long.
The Wakeman Boys and Girls Club, featuring Chef Matt Storch of Match Restaurants, presents a Young At Heart Great Futures Benefit Auction at the Smilow Burroughs Clubhouse on March 9. Visit gfba2019.givesmart.com for tickets and information.
The Hops Company is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day early! Join them before or after the New Haven St. Patrick's Day parade on 3/10 for music, Bag Pipers, the Highland Rovers Irish Band, Guinness Engravings, and more! Zuppardi's is serving up corned beef and cabbage as a classic dish and as a Pizza!
Ambler Farm offers a Youth Apprentice Program from May-October for students currently in grades 5-11. Apprentices meet several times a week to plant, maintain and harvest the farm’s educational gardens and work with Farmer Jonathan in the production gardens.
Over the past few years, Hapa Food Truck and chef/owner Chris Gonzalez have gained quite the following. I’m guilty of following up a few weightlifting sessions at Crunch Gym with a Hapa Burger or tacos when Gonzalez parked his trucked at the Priceline building. So, yes, I’m a fan just as much as all of you are. But every winter, Hapa goes into hibernation, leaving many of us yearning for warmer weather and his Filipino-Hawaiian inspired food.
Well, friends, you don’t have to wait for spring and tracking Hapa down just got a whole lot easier. Gonzalez now has a physical Hapa location in Mamaroneck’s new microbrewery, Decadent Ales inside of the popular craft beer store, Half Time.
NEW CTbites Hot Dish Podcast Episode: Day Drinking with Mixologists Craig Ventrice & Dimitrios ZahariadisFeatures Podcast Cocktails
CTbites’ NEW Podcast Episode is here! Roadtrip to Highland Brass Co. for a spirited conversation with mixologists Craig Ventrice & Dimitrios Zahariadis. We do some day drinking and explore heady topics including: the question of bartender vs. mixologist, dealing with assholes, favorite watering holes, dive bars...and we learn how to make the perfect sazerac cocktail. Join us, and have a listen here.
This just in from Dan Woog’s 06880 blog.
Sure, tomorrow is the first day of March. We will turn an important corner on our long, dark, snowless winter.
But tomorrow is special for another reason: It’s the first day of the Great Westport Burger Contest.
The restaurants are Amis, Black Duck, Border Grille, Dunville’s, Harvest, Jesup Hall, Jr’s, Little Barn, Match Burger, McDonald’s, Parker Mansion, Rothbard Ale + Larder, Rye Ridge Deli, Shake Shack, Spotted Horse, Tarry Lodge, Tavern on Main and Viva Zapata.
All month long, 18 burger-making restaurants will compete in 7 categories: