Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events For Week of July 21-28

Features Events News

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Taste of Hartford runs through July 28.  Participating restaurants throughout the Greater Hartford area will offer special multi-course, price-fixed menus. 

For the first time in 25 years, Union League Cafe in New Haven has an outdoor space!  La Terrasse has room for 36 patrons at bistro tables and on lounge furniture.  It opens at 11:30am Monday through Friday and at 5pm on Saturday.

No donuts for you! Coffee An in Westport is on a summer hiatus and will reopen on Monday August 5.

ARTISAN Restaurant, Tavern and Garden is embracing the summer season on its patio by uncorking its private label Rosé Wine at its annual Garden Parties in West Hartford on the last Thursday of each month from June through September.  Guests are encouraged to experience the spectacular outdoor setting while enjoying Artisan Rosé wine, craft cocktails, light bites and music by a well-known DJ in the picturesque Artisan garden. Tickets are $25 per person. The next one takes place on Thursday July 25. 

On Thursday July 25, Oyster Club Mystic and Stone Acres Farm present Thursday Night Bites - Marrakech Market.  Join them on the farm for themed bites & beverages featuring Moroccan cuisine with Chef Jules from Engine Room. 

NEW PODCAST! Talkin' Balls With The Meatball Shop's CEO & Executive Chef

Features Podcast Italian Westport

Stephanie Webster

Who doesn’t love meatballs??! This week on The CTbites Hot Dish Podcast , we chat with The guys from The Meatball Shop, CEO, Adam Rosenbam, and Executive Chef, Daniel Sharp. The Meatball Shop opened its doors in Westport just weeks ago, their 7th location, and it’s been ball frenzy ever since. What’s on the podcast menu? We discuss what makes a good meatball, the importance of sustainability, and the exciting new menu additions that are only available for all of you lucky CT residents. Listen here.

170 Artists & Local Chefs At The Westport Fine Arts Festival July 20-21 (sponsored post)

Features Events

CTbites Team

The 46th Westport Fine Arts Festival returns to downtown Westport this Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The Fine Arts Festival is a free event bringing the best of the visual and culinary arts to the streets of downtown Westport and showcases expressions of the incredible local talent in arts, food, and music from Westport and the surrounding area. 

Over 170 top award-winning artists will exhibit along Main Street, Elm Street, and Church Lane in a wide range of categories. Artists come from as far as Israel to exhibit alongside solo artists from the Westport area and 23 different states, in their pop-up galleries. 

After a walk around the festival circuit, guests can visit the shaded food court, where they will find inspired menus from two outstanding favorites in Westport cuisine. 

The Fine Arts Festival is thrilled to welcome back Bill Taibe of Kawa Ni and new addition Matt Storch of Match Burger Lobster. The two nationally recognized chefs will offer food options that cater to both sophisticated palettes, as well as kid-friendly favorites. Expect to see popular items from Kawa Ni including Kani crab salad, tofu pockets, and a spicy tuna bowl. Match Burger Lobster will treat guests to their signature lobster rolls and mini-burgers, along with fresh Copps Island Oysters provided by Norm Bloom & Son. Fleisher's hot dogs are also on the menu for an easy grab and go meal. 

Milkcraft fresh ice cream will make a special appearance on Church Lane this year. Ice cream lovers line the streets for a taste of this small batch creamery's artisanal flavors and signature Bubblecones. 

Chef DiBari Opens Eugene’s Diner in Port Chester...Hot Damn, This Aint No Average Diner

Restaurant Diner American Comfort Food Homepage

Kristin L. Wolfe

Connecticuters! Time to cross the border….No walls to be found over there in Port Chester, New York where you’ll find a truly stellar diner serving up some out-of-this-world, groovy meals. When you walk in, especially if you are my age (eh hem 40 something something), you’ll be transported back to the days of wall-to-wall paneling and all the rust and brown your heart desires. With rugs on walls, aquariums, and I-swear-that’s-my-grandma's wallpaper, somehow the 70s just look better in the noughty oughts. 

When you shake yourself from the timewarp, you’ll sidle up to the counter--truly the best seat in the house-but it will not be your everyday diner affair. It is, as the brand describes itself,“diner-inspired.” So what that really means is, yes, you can get breakfast all day and yes, there are regulars at the counter, and yes, they even have spinning cake cases, and lots of clinking silverware, but the similarities end there. This is a diner where a truly experienced Chef and creative team come to play, be inspired, and frankly, knock your socks off. So, you want pancakes? They’ll present you with pancakes in a plump piled stack like you’ve never seen, and should you be feeling a bit bougie, you can get them with a side of foie gras. No joke. You want French Toast? Just try and bite into these pillows of deliciousness without gasping. Something besides lego-my-eggo waffles? Sure, have them with some Marrow AND butter. Toast and eggs? Well, of course, but I’ll take mine with caviar, thank you very much. That’s how they do it over the border at Eugene’s Diner.

And the Dirtiest Napkin Goes To...Winners For The Hartford Rib Off

Features BBQ Festival

Kristin L. Wolfe

We are a little late in reporting the results of the Hartford Rib Off, but better late than never. It’s no secret that barbecue was really “invented” as permission to get dirty whilst eating. And the moistest, messiest, smokiest bbq around is usually what keeps us enthusiasts dreaming at night. Well, it’s time to find out what happened at the 10th Annual Hartford Rib Off last month and therefore, add to our list of bbq-tastic visits for the rest of the summer.

It was Father’s Day weekend and over 2,000 folks came out for serious sun and chow. And, if a gorgeous summer day, great food, the spirit of competition isn’t enough, support for local charities was the cherry on top of a successful weekend event.

Barbecue, unlimited drinks, raising money oh my. Hall’s Market of West Hartford supplied 4,000 pounds of meat for the two-day event. Attendees enjoyed samples from 20 different breweries, craft cocktails from Tito’s, barbeque from over 30 Pit teams, food trucks and live music from Hartford’s own Professors of Sweet Sweet Music. 

Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events for July 15th – 21st

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

On July 18, Chef Frederic Kieffer of Artisan Restaurants and L’escale comes to Wakeman Town Farm for an Intimate Chef’s Dinner. Dine on four courses of seasonal, local fare served in Tim's Kitchen. Guests are welcome to stroll the Farm's organic gardens and visit our animals before sitting down. The menu will be inspired by the best of what's available that week from the farm’s farmer/fisherman friends. Tickets are limited and the event is BYOB, so feel free to bring wine, beer or your favorite libations. Glassware and openers provided. 

Chop Shop Cooking Classes continue on Wednesday July 17 with Summer Party Bites. The menu includes heirloom tomato bruschetta w/feta pesto, lobster quesadillas w/black bean mango salsa, cucumber cups w/feta, roasted peppers and olives, buffalo shrimp w/herb ranch dressing, and BBQ chicken wontons w/bleu cheese dip. 

Terrain Café invites you to a Farmers' Market Dinner on July 18. Meet them on their patio for an al fresco dinner in collaboration with the Westport Farmers' Market. This three-course, plant-based meal will highlight fresh ingredients from local partners and purveyors to be enjoyed with a view of their newly expanded blooming nursery. Reservations are required. $75 per person. Cost includes three-course dinner, a welcome cocktail, and passed appetizers. 

Summer Strawberry Gelato with Waffle Cones Recipe from Sugar and Olives

Features Recipe Dessert

CTbites Team

It’s summer, and that means the local CT Farmers’ Markets are bursting with color and flavor. Lucious strawberries are readily available at the Westport Farmers Market (or at a market near you), but they go fast so be sure to grab your pint. If you make it home without eating all of your berries in the car, try this great recipe for Strawberry Gelato from Jennifer Balin, owner of Sugar & Olives.

Yalla Organic Hummus and Grill: Middle Eastern, The Way YOU Want It in Fairfield

Restaurant Fairfield healthy Organic Mediterranean Fast Casual Lunch

Brett Levy

Yalla Organic Hummus and Grill has taken Fairfield County by storm. Yalla Organic is a consumer-oriented experience where you get to choose exactly how your lunch and dinner is prepared down to the last detail. This family-run business has quickly become a town staple of Fairfield…  and their hummus is making me question all previous hummus choices I have made.  

The Dilly Duck Shop in Norwalk: Checking In 18 Months Later + New Menu Additions

Restaurant Norwalk Lunch Sandwich Breakfast Homepage

Andrew Dominick

Eighteen months ago, a small eatery with an odd name opened in a strip mall on the Norwalk-Wilton line. It was then that our own April Guilbault clued readers in on what The Dilly Duck Shop was all about. 

Fast forward to present day. Word about The Dilly Duck Shop is getting out, and it’s all been positive for chef Russ Zappala and his mother, Phyllis, who runs the front of the house. “We’ve somehow maintained solid online ratings across the board, five stars,” Russ said. “We haven’t been able to fully commit to advertising, so we rely on that, and word of mouth. It spreads slowly, but we’ve noticed growth every month.” 

That word of mouth is what brought me to Dilly Duck in the first place. Locals talk about it, as do Fairfield County chefs. Zappala’s philosophy that’s worked so far is to grow organically with the community and create a menu that the people here yearn for. 

Dilly Duck is a darling amongst its regulars for a reason.

MIKU Sushi Opens in Greenwich-World Class Seafood at the Top of the Ave

Restaurant Sushi Openings Greenwich Lunch Seafood Homepage Japanese

Lou Gorfain

K Dong is beaming.  Not because his newly minted MIKU Sushi Restaurant in Greenwich has just opened to strong word-of-mouth and packed houses.   Nope, his delighted smile is the result of a diner’s one-word reaction to the Tuna Tartare: 


That diner is me and I am quite impressed… as well as surprised. In most restaurants, TT has become a boring culinary meme — over sauced, over spiced, and overworked. K Dong’s version is totally understated.  Garnished with micro greens, the crimson slices crown a mound of vividly green avocado, which sits on a gossamer of Yuzu and a whisper of wasabi.  Rather than overwhelming the delicate flesh, like so many tartares, the sauce and spice enhance the pristine flavor of the Bluefin.   Yep, this dish is, indeed, “Ethereal.” 

Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events for July 8th – 14th

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

After taking a small summer break, Ordinary in New Haven is open once more. Join them Monday July 8.

Guilford Mooring hosts a Lobster Bake on Tuesday July 9. Feast on a meal of 1 ¼ Lobster, shrimp, mussels, steamers, sweet sausage, corn on the cob, Red Bliss Potatoes, and NY Cheesecake. (There are also options for land lovers and children!) It starts at 5pm and costs $55 per person. 

On Thursday, July 11, Mystic Aquarium’s Conservation in Action series presents an evening of culinary education and exploration with Eating with the Ecosystem. Mystic Aquarium’s Main Gallery is the perfect backdrop for a night of cocktails and local sustainable seafood. Admission includes a delectable presentation, sustainable and adventurous seafood appetizers from the cookbook Simmering the Sea: Diversifying Cookery to Sustain Our Fisheries, plus one complimentary cocktail, wine or beer of your choice.  $28 per person or $50 for two online in advance. 

Carbone’s Kitchen (Bloomfield) and Carbone’s Prime (Rocky Hill) have launched “Summer Maine Lobster Nights.” Offered every Monday-Wednesday in July and August, the menu includes your choice of Shrimp Bisque or Garden Salad, a 1 1/4 lb. Steamed Maine Lobster with Roasted Potatoes and Native Corn on the Cob, and Summer Berry Shortcake. This taste of summer is being offered at $32 per person, beverage, tax and gratuity not included.

Chocoylatte Gourmet Opens in Downtown Cos Cob, Greenwich

Restaurant Openings Bakery Chocolate Coffee Greenwich Cos Cob Dessert

CTbites Team

Downtown Cos Cob will be a lot sweeter with the much-anticipated grand opening of Chocoylatte Gourmet on Monday, July 8. The desserts & coffee shoppe, located at 121 E. Putnam Avenue will open its doors to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at 11am.

Chocoylatte Gourmet will offer an array of handmade freshly baked desserts, cookies, pastries and assorted fine chocolates made with the finest ingredients available in the market. Every treat will be prepared from scratch, every day and handcrafted on-site. For those with dietary sensitivities, the desserts & coffee shoppe will also offer gluten-free and lactose-free goodies, and promises to maintain the same high-quality ingredients baked with thoughtfulness and care. Guests will also enjoy recipes containing less sugar, no trans fats, non-GMO ingredients, no preservatives, no chemicals, no artificial preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, and no artificial flavors. 

CT Guide to Outdoor Dining (2019): 100 + Restaurants for Summer

Features Restaurant Best of CT Outdoor Dining Summer Patio RoofTop

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Summer lasts for about six weeks, and I want to soak up every glorious morsel of sunshine that I can while it is here!  I also want to partake in the delicious food the season has to offer.  Connecticut restaurants are making sure that we don’t have to choose between those two options.  Places across the state are opening up their patios, decks, and rooftop bars.  Here is a lift of over 130 restaurants where you can fine al fresco this summer.

Tavern on State, New Haven: Tavern on State, owned by Chef Emily Mingrone, is one of the latest to join the dozens of exceptional restaurants in the New Haven area.  There are 45 seats outdoors.

Birdman Juke Joint, Bridgeport: The much-anticipated restaurant from Chef Chris Scott will have some outdoor seating in Bridgeport’s Black Rock neighborhood.

High George, New Haven: High George, located at The Blake Hotel in New Haven, is a new three-season rooftop restaurant that features a full food and beverage menu inspired by Summers in New England.  James Beard-nominated Chef Tyler Anderson, along with partners A.J. Aurrichio and Tim Cabral, is overseeing its operations. 

Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, Fairfield & New Haven: The Fairfield location of Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill has a large patio for al fresco dining with firepits for cold evenings.  In New Haven, enjoy their heated patio that is enclosed for year-round dining. 

Shell and Bones Oyster Bar, New Haven: Shell & Bones Oyster Bar in New Haven has a fabulous view of the water with floor to ceiling doors that are open in summer and a deck directly on the water complete with fire pits and patio heaters for chilly nights.  Dive into their Harbor Sampler or the Tower of Shells, with lobsters, clams, oysters, and shrimp. 

Gruel Britannia Opens in Southport: The British Are Here!

Restaurant British Lunch Breakfast Tea And Coffee Brunch Homepage

Andrew Dominick

Karen Hubrich will openly state that she’s not a classically trained chef. Despite that, she has certainly lived the life of a bonafide foodie. 

She grew up in London, in a household where her parents were avid cooks that often threw dinner parties and they believed in eating “good food.” Her love of cuisine only grew after time spent in Italy, but she credits a restaurant owner on the Greek island of Corfu with her first true kitchen lesson in which they made moussaka. 

There’s a lot more to Hubrich’s culinary origin story by our friend Dan Woog, but her past eventually led to chef gigs at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn and Williams Club in Midtown. After that she was hired as Michael Bolton’s personal chef and had stints at the Fairfield County Hunt Club, as the executive chef for the New York Times dining room, and back to Connecticut to work at the Pequot Yacht Club. To boot, she even ran a private catering business through most of her chef life.

These days, you’ll find Hubrich doing her own thing in Southport. Chances are you’ve driven past Gruel Britannia on the Post Road and likely eased off the gas pedal as you wondered, “What is this?” 

At Gruel Britannia, Hubrich is going back to her London roots by cooking British food, a cuisine she once described as “diabolical.” Hubrich’s food is more refined. It’s brighter than the bland browns and beiges we picture when we think of old-world English grub.

Strega: Fine Italian & Neapolitan-Style Pizza in Branford

Restaurant Branford Italian Lunch Mediterranean

Kristin L. Wolfe

Get your passport, pronto!

The eight of you who read my work know about my passion for all things Italian: the espresso, the wine, the men (hmm, sore subject), the music (1990s Zucchero anyone?), but, when you have good, really good Italian food, it can truly be a spiritual experience.

And that just happened. At Strega in Branford. Owner and pizzaiolo Danilo Mongillo alongside his Chef Marco Giugliano have broken ground, dug their hands in, and come out with gold. Mongillo, from Puglianello in the Benevento region of Italy,  has been in Connecticut since 2014 and says he’s been so thankful for the Branford community for how welcoming they’ve been since the restaurant opened in 2016. 

Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events For July 1st – 7th

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Oyster Club in Mystic now has a cocktail lounge pop up every first and third Monday night of the month. On Monday July 1, guest bartender is Joshua Perez of Milk & Honey and brand ambassador for REAL MCCOY RUM is premiering Real McCoy 14-Year-Aged limited-edition rum, the first release in the state of Connecticut. 

On Tuesday July 2, Stew Leonard’s in Danbury invites tots to a Firecracker Cupcake/Rice Krispies Toddler Class. Each child will decorate four cupcakes and two Rice Krispies Treats in red, white and blue. The class is for ages 2-5 and takes place at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. 

On Tuesdays at The Spread Norwalk, enjoy $1 oysters all night! Plus, join them for Happy Hour from 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill, located on the waterfront in New Haven, is hosting an Independence Day Eve Celebration on Wednesday, July 3, featuring live music and highlights of the West Haven Fireworks viewed from the Deck. Reservations for dinner service will be available until 10:00 p.m. (inside tables only). Tables on the deck will be available for dinner only on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit their website or call (203) 787-3466.

Pop-Up Space Junction at North Seven Opens in Norwalk Featuring Food Trucks and More

Restaurant Food Truck Pop-Up Bar Norwalk Entertaining Catering Live Music

Andrew Dominick

Unless you live in one of the apartment complexes or take the train to and from Metro-North’s Merritt 7 Station you’ve likely never had a reason to go down Glover Avenue. That’s likely going to change with the opening of Junction at North Seven, a brand-new pop-up venue with a focus on food and drink.

Behind the idea of Junction on North Seven is Building and Land Technology (BLT), a development group that’s in charge of evolving of that part of Norwalk, and they’re doing it with a “live, work, play” approach. 

A major part of that “live, work, play” philosophy, and what Junction will feature, are local food trucks. Melt Mobile, Meˈstēzō Grill, Caffè Bon, Greek Style Grill, Cowabunga, Carmela’s Italian Kitchen, and DCW, an ice cream sundae truck that incorporates donuts, churros, and waffles into their creamy creations, have all made multiple appearances. 

Others that will soon sling food outside of Junction’s garage bays are Hapa, Angie’s Cocinita, Crazy Taco Mex, Planet Pizza, and The Chamo.

Wood Fire Food Custom Catering Events with Chef Dan Sabia

Features Farm Dinner Catering Entertaining Farm to Table CT Farms

Maddie Phelps

When was the last time you thought about where each element of your dinner came from? The plates, the table, the meat, the cups; each item seems to come from an arbitrary supermarket, creating a culture where the process of making and eating food is incredibly solidarity. That, in a nutshell, is why Dan Sabia left the restaurant industry. And now, he’s using his work with wood, fire, and food to change that norm in a world where very few are trying. Chef Dan Sabia is changing the way we think about private catering with his innovative new business, Wood Fire Food.

Pools, Patios, Pergolas...Luxury Tasting Event To Benefit Food Rescue US July 13th!

Features Events

CTbites Team

A new local food and home luxury event will provide attendees an exclusive opportunity to enjoy fabulous outdoor living spaces and the best summer fare and specialty cocktails. Pools, Patios, Pergolas, a Luxury Tasting Event, benefiting Food Rescue US and being held on Saturday, July 13 from 5 pm to 9 pm, is a fun evening featuring the finest of summer entertaining with signature cuisine and cocktails from Fairfield County’s top caterers: AMG Catering, Festivities, and Marcia Selden Catering in beautiful backyard settings.

The Meatball Shop Opens in Westport June 25th: It's Ball Time People!

Restaurant Westport Openings Italian Kid Friendly Comfort Food Lunch Cocktails Bar Homepage

Maddie Phelps

Picture this: you’re walking down Westport’s Saugatuck River Bridge on a beautiful summer evening. You’re feeling Italian, but you don’t want pizza. You’re craving some meat, but you don’t want steak. Then you see it. The sign you’ve been looking for since you stopped in to one of their ball-licious locations in New York City. “The Meatball Shop” stands proudly along the river, and you thank your lucky stars that a small town like Westport has been blessed with this treasure of a restaurant.

This fantasy will become a reality for locals this Tuesday, as The Meatball Shop will finally be opening the doors to its Westport location. With seven additional locations– one in D.C. and six in New York– The Meatball Shop has already made a name for itself with its unique take on meatballs and a variety of other delicious choices. For its Westport location in particular, CEO Adam Rosenbaum said he wanted to create a menu that ensures every palette is satisfied by the end of the meal. Diners, I assure you…It does.