Treat your loved ones or take time for yourself this holiday season by making reservations for a really special, festive event at the Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme—their annual Holiday Afternoon Tea. The quaint Bee and Thistle Inn is quintessential coastal Connecticut in its interior decor and is a recommended place to visit year-round. But during the short winter days, the Bee and Thistle Inn gets extra dolled up with holiday spirit, making it a memorable place to spend time with loved ones. This special tea is served from November 29th through January 5th.
Filtering by Category: Restaurant
Lately, I’ve heard a lot about Blackie’s Hot Dog Stand, a roadside dive that’s been open for 90 years and counting. Blackie’s came up in casual conversation twice; the founder of this site, Stephanie Webster, heard about it from a friend, then a friend of mine mentioned it. Shortly thereafter, Visit Connecticut posted a list of “8 Classic Summer Drive-Ins” with Blackie’s being one of the featured haunts. Well, now I had to check it out. That’s no coincidence, that’s a sign!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this charming eatery in the heart of Ridgefield, Bailey’s Backyard first opened its doors nearly 20 years ago as a neighborhood coffee shop before transforming itself into a charming American restaurant with a simple concept; offer exceptional seasonal cuisine in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. It would soon become a neighborhood hot spot, offering locals a new dining experience. Several years ago Bailey’s evolved once again and the restaurant is now a farm-to-table establishment with a mission to create a menu based on the freshest local sources. Today meat and produce are still gathered from nearby farms, both in New York and Connecticut, and Seafood is garnered from Connecticut, Massachusetts and the Chesapeake Bay.
I was recently invited to sample Bailey’s new Market Table Tasting Menu offered every Wednesday night. A new menu is introduced each week, giving diners the opportunity to try something new each time. The menu is Prix Fixe, $40 for four courses or $65 for the four courses and a wine pairing.
When I first covered Rob VanKeuren more than a year ago, I found him in the early morning hours baking countless loaves of bread and hundreds of croissants at Lombardi’s Trattoria in the Georgetown section of Wilton.
A lot has changed since then.
customers—over to a larger space at GrayBarns, where he sold loaves and pastries out of a barn.
Unfortunately for VanKeuren’s sourdough-obsessed following, his stint at GrayBarns was short-lived. As a result, his sought-after bread for public sale disappeared for a bit.
Some months after, VanKeuren announced something more exciting, plans to open a bakery of his own, right next door to NEAT in Downtown Darien.
And now, it’s finally come to fruition.
Donut Crazy is happy to announce the opening of its newest location in West Hartford today. The store, located at 993 Farmington Avenue, offers all of Donut Crazy’s food and beverage items.
For those uninitiated into Donut Crazy’s world of over-the-top sugary doughnut confections, this location feels like a giant step forward both in selection and ambiance. All of their baked goods are made in-house in a Donut Crazy Kitchen by an overnight team of bakers. In West Hartford, Donut Crazy will offer its typical selection of “Dailies” and “Crazies.”
The Tasty Yolk, gourmet breakfast sandwich truck, is excited to announce the opening of their third location at 1916 Post Rd in Fairfield. You can find them cooking up decadently delicious breakfast fare 6 days a week Tuesday - Sunday. They will be open from 7am-12pm Tuesday-Friday and 8am- 1pm Sat & Sunday, (unless there is a private event to tend to). The truck will be parked right in front of the now closed Mrs. Greens Natural Market, on the southbound side of Post Road. Commuters can text in their orders to 203-726-6520.
The menu is small, but mighty. Each sandwich includes two freshly cracked eggs with high quality fixings pressed inside- gourmet rifts on the bacon, egg, and cheese. There is also $5 burrito and a griddled smashed potato side for $1. We are somewhat addicted.
This past spring, members of the CTBites team were invited to Prime to check out one of Stamford’s newest restaurants. We were immediately taken with the scenic water views, the casual yet sophisticated décor and, most importantly, the food. (Click HERE to read about that experience.)
We were invited back a few weeks ago for a sneak peek at the fall menu, now available, created to reflect the flavors of the season. Regulars need not fret, your favorite dishes are likely still available, summer flavors and ingredients have simply been replaced with those readily available this time of year.
Holiday season is heeeere, with its feasts and parties, and let’s be honest, you can’t really have too much pie, now can you? Note: with the brief exception of a kooky aunt who, after a post-Thanksgiving bout on the tread mill, did wearily proclaim “Too....Much....Pie!” but that’s another story for another time. So where to go for the best pies with the flakiest crusts, sweetest streusel toppings and the most flavorful fillings? We’ll be happy to tell you. Get those dessert plates ready and, um...you might want to loosen that belt.
Here are 16 places to buy great holiday pies in CT.
Welcome to the neighborhood SoNo Baking Company. We’re awfully glad you’re here! (Though my waistline may beg to differ.)
SoNo Baking Company & Café officially opened its doors on Pequot Avenue in Southport today. Behind the glass display cases a beautiful array of cookies, tarts, pastries, cakes, and croissants all neatly arranged all ready to be purchased. Trays filled with delectable treats, fresh out of oven, were stacked and cooling. Brand new coffee and espresso machines glistened along the back wall.
In August, I was swept away by a candy apple color of the Bubble & Brew truck at the Wilton Farmers Market adjacent the Historical Society. I was at the vegetable stand when directly across from me was the most beautiful striking flash of red.
In addition to their impressive design aesthetic---their 37 tea canisters were painted red to match the truck--the Bubble & Brew team has serious baking chops. With sweet treats for every palette, tasters will be delighted by all the offerings from this tiny dream on wheels. People will be astounded by some of their best sellers like the sticky toffee pudding, which is actually gluten-free.
It’s a known fact that Italians love their pasta. It’s also a known fact that they eat it regularly and yet it seems to be something we have become fearful of. As I sit down to write this I remember a popular commercial from my youth. In the North End of Boston, a dark haired Italian woman leans out of her window and beckons her son to come home. “Anthony!” she shouted, and he came running home – but only on Wednesdays, for Wednesday was Prince Spaghetti Day! Today fad diets implore us to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, carb-free, fat-free, etc. Enter Il Pastaficio, handmade pasta, in Cos Cob. Within weeks of opening locals have been rethinking and enjoying this Italian favorite. The reason is simple – as simple as their ingredients.
Il Pastaficio is unique in its offering of pastas made from natural and antique grains that are rich on minerals, salts and vitamins. This pasta, as a result, is lighter, easier to digest and has a lower glycemic level than the glutinous versions we’ve come to know. Their pastas are made from organic legume flours (such as chickpea) rich in protein and completely additive-free. As a result, Pastaficio pastas are easier to digest.
Friends since college and now partners, Chef David Snyder and former financial exec turned restaurateur Ted Vincent, introduce their first joint venture in the form of Brick Walk Tavern, a stylish and food-centric restaurant and gathering place located in the burgeoning Brick Walk neighborhood of Fairfield, Connecticut.
Menu highlights include; not your average house-made chips and onion dip; chili garlic crispy shrimp laced with radish, cilantro, and green onion; Tuscan kale and Brussels sprout salad tossed with polenta croutons, dried cranberries, and lemon truffle vinaigrette; the French onion burger topped with 4-hour braised onions, veal jus, and gruyere cheese on a house made bun; pan-roasted cod over white beans, chorizo, charred tomato, and a roasted poblano broth; classic jambalaya of creole rice with tasso and andouille, jumbo shrimp and chicken; and steak frites, 10 oz hanger steak with a 72 hour red wine sauce, served with crispy truffle parmesan fries.
Chef Brian Lewis’ latest restaurant offering Japanese inspired cuisine in the historic Vigilant Hose Company Firehouse at 6 Wilton Road in Westport, Connecticut, is launching weekday lunch service and to-go options on Wednesday, November 7.
Lunch will be available Wednesday – Friday from 11:30am-2:30pm and will feature a daily lunch-specific menu for this new service. Options will include Hand Rolls, Bento Boxes, Nigiri Sushi meals featuring 5x pieces of Nigiri Sushi, Sashimi meals featuring Chirashi Sushi, Sashimi Moriawase or Spicy Tuna Sashimi OKO poke, as well as favorites from the dinner menu.
One of the greatest advantages of living in New England is our access to autumn. Our home in Connecticut means even if we live in urban convenience, the rural hills and river valleys of our state are a nearby drive away. This proximity gives us one of our best traditions: the fall weekend road trip. We can get out, see what nature has in store for us, and find ourselves in places which fall outside the rhythm and routine of our daily lives. Up towards the center of the state, past the historic colonial homes on Worthington Ridge in Berlin and into New Britain - a city many on the coast may not consider a destination - is 5 Churches Brewing, a place you should.
From the moment in May 1990 when West Street introduced urbane fine dining to well-heeled locals in Connecticut’s hilly rural paradise found—delighting sophisticated New Yorkers with country retreats—the Grill has been a haven for the affluent, famous, successful and talented.
So it remains—but burnished by maturity and a culinary egalitarianism that has evolved naturally over the years. These days, West Street Grill draws from near and far its broadest and most diverse clientele ever.
Guests come for the stylish but comfortable setting, and for a democratized menu in which reasonably-priced upscale comfort food mingles with dishes sporting more haute flourishes—and as high summer ripens into glorious autumn in a town filled with nature preserves, antiques, shopping and other attractions, they come because word is out that the Grill is having one of those moments when everything is aligned.
Located in a 2-story townhouse on Downtown Stamford’s Restaurant Row, the brick façade of Kashi Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant gives way to a multi-sensory experience. Introduced to the city’s thriving restaurant scene in January of 2016, Kashi’s modern industrial design element combined with its innovative and artistic approach to sushi and Japanese food preparations quickly landed this exciting new restaurant on the radar of local food enthusiasts.
Connecticut Magazine shares a great new spot for pizza and small plates in New Haven. Put this one on the list.
New Haven is the opposite of a pizza desert. World-renowned pizza, er, apizza options abound, from Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern to BAR and relative newcomers such as De Legna. So when I heard that pizza was one of the specialties at Next Door, a new bar and restaurant on Humphrey Street, I admired the restaurant owner’s chutzpah but privately wondered if the concept would work. Arriving at the restaurant on a recent evening, I learned that Next Door is about far more than just pizza.
Opened in June, in the space that once held the venerable restaurant Humphrey’s, the expansive interior includes two distinct, yet linked, bar and dining areas. Each has a warm and welcoming neighborhood feel. In addition to its creative pizzas, Next Door has a wide variety of well-crafted and interesting food options, and the bar features 32 craft beer taps as well as excellent cocktails.
The restaurant is owned by three veterans of the New Haven food scene: Douglas Coffin, who launched Big Green Truck Pizza (a mobile, wood-fired pizza truck business); Dom Giannotti, who owns Dive Bar & Restaurant in West Haven; and Robin Bodak, the owner of Coco Tamale, a New Haven street cart and catering company. The owners met while working “next door” to Next Door’s location at the adjoining garage that houses the Big Green Truck Pizza fleet.
On Wednesday afternoon the Cousins Maine Lobster trucked rolled into the circle at Bedford Square in Westport to offer their version of the perfect lobster roll. Although I hail from the city that never sleeps, my New England roots were planted well over 30 years ago having lived in Boston, and summered in both Maine and Newport. At the risk of sounding presumptuous I daresay that I happen to know a thing or two about what makes a good lobster roll. So when I was invited to try them out I couldn’t possibly say no.