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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.


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).



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.


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.  


Milestone Restaurant Opens in Georgetown with Menu That Covers All The Favorites

Restaurant Redding Georgetown Openings pizza Comfort Food Homepage Pizza

Jessica Ryan

Milestone Restaurant is redefining the idea of a neighborhood gathering spot offering made from scratch, simply prepared food with bold flavors and classic cocktails that are served up in a stylish yet understated setting. Drawing inspiration from the unique character of the area (the restaurant is on the site of a former lumber yard) owners Peter and Andi Fine aspire to do more than serve great food. The restaurant has been designed to be not only a welcoming gathering spot, but also to showcase fun and unique food events. (Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted!)


Chef Billy Grant's Restaurant Bricco in West Hartford Still Tops The Lists

Restaurant Italian West Hartford Hartford County Lunch Brunch Homepage

Frank Cohen

Some restaurants transcend time and location, destined to linger in collective memory for decades after their passing. From the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’OOs, Basel’s, Robert Henry’s, Roomba and Ibiza, respectively, are still fondly remembered by longtime New Haven residents. Of all the eateries currently operating in the foodie Mecca that is West Hartford, the one destined to linger longest in memory is probably Restaurant Bricco, which chef-owner Billy Grant opened in 1996 at the tender age of 29.

Italian Restaurant Bricco is not Grant’s sole contribution to the Greater Hartford culinary landscape, however. Situated just around the corner in WeHa, Grants Restaurant & Bar, which opened in 2000, has tempted diners with a modern bistro ambiance, elevated American comfort food and spectacular dessert making, while Bricco Trattoria, which opened in Glastonbury in 2010 and has been a boon to the communities east of the Connecticut River, follows a blueprint similar to that of Restaurant Bricco. 


Milkcraft Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, Opening in New Haven in Spring!

Restaurant New Haven Openings Dessert ice cream Kid Friendly

CTbites Team

From the made-to-order ice cream billowing with liquid nitrogen clouds and those crazy waffle-like Bubblecones, to the waiting line of people all abuzz and happy customers donning their blue cookie butter ice cream tongues,  Milkcraft continues to make its mark on Connecticut’s local and adventurous food enthusiasts. The first Milkcraft opened in Fairfield in the spring of 2016, with a second location popping up in West Hartford one year later, and now a third location marks the brand’s 3-year anniversary with the addition of their soon-to-be-open New Haven locale


At Gaudí Tapas and Wine, Dreams Come True via CT Magazine

Restaurant Spanish Tapas Openings

Connecticut Magazine

Connecticut Magazine recently sited Gaudi Tapas and Wine as one of their favorite restaurants for 2018. We thought you should take a look…and taste.

Saray Ruiz saw something in the little house-like building off Route 37. The one with the small parking lot and everyday architecture. The one others drove by thousands of times without a second glance.

I’m going to open a restaurant there one day, she’d tell her twin sister, Noemi Ruiz, and anyone else who would listen to her dream. “It’s not going to happen,” Noemi would say.

At the time, a few years back, the spot was home to a Mexican restaurant. Saray had a feeling that would change and thought the cozy spot could host a restaurant inspired by her childhood in Lleida, a small town in the Catalonia region of Spain, within driving distance of Barcelona. This past fall, when she and her once-skeptical twin opened Gaudí Tapas and Wine, her dream became a reality.

And what a dream it is.


Chef Dan Kardos Opens Oar & Oak in Stratford...And It's Damn Good

Restaurant American Stratford Lunch Burgers Cocktails Openings Homepage

Andrew Dominick

A few years after opening Liberty Rock Tavern in the Devon section of Milford, Chef Dan Kardos now has his sequel. A stone’s throw from Sikorsky—and 10 minutes from Liberty Rock—is Kardos’ new concept, Oar & Oak. For Stratford residents, there’s that “Oh, yeah…” moment, but if you’re not from around there, the restaurant’s name is a play on words—it’s in Stratford’s Oronoque neighborhood. 

Much like Liberty Rock, Oar & Oak is very much focused on the area’s locals. “I want it to grow slowly, and become a neighborhood hangout,” Kardos said. “It used to be the original Parker Eatery—a favorite around here—so we freshened it up and gave it a new look.” The woodwork, brick walls, hanging lights, and periwinkle/grey/white tones in the space contribute to Oar & Oak’s casual, come-as-you-are vibe. 


The 10 Best Places for Dessert in Connecticut via Best Things Connecticut

Features Restaurant Best of CT Dessert Bakery Kid Friendly Homepage

CTbites Team

We just had to share this great article from Best Things Connecticut, highlighting the 10 Best Places for Dessert in Connecticut. It’s a solid list. Check it out.

If you find yourself craving something sweet or really need to treat yourself after a tiring day, don’t worry as the Nutmeg State has numerous places to grab a decadent treat. Look at the glorious array of colorful baked goods behind the glass counters, place your order, and sink into a cozy spot to enjoy anything from cupcakes to Italian and French pastries to traditional German sweets. With a little cup of coffee or tea to balance out the sweet, you’ll sure be feeling refreshed in no time.


Ren Dumpling & Noodle House: Soup Dumplings & More in Wilton

Restaurant Norwalk Chinese Noodles Kid Friendly Delicious Dives Take Out Lunch Homepage

Nancy Kleeger

If you already have a bevy of Chinese menus with sauce stains in your house that no longer excite you, Ren Dumpling & Noodle House in Norwalk may just become your new “go to.”  Tucked in the corner of a vast shopping plaza in Wilton, Ren Dumpling & Noodle House seems to be far from overlooked.  This cozy and clean joint was bustling with hungry customers dining in and picking up takeaway.  

Full disclosure: I lived in Hong Kong for five years, therefore, with five years experience consuming copious amounts of dumplings under my belt, my curiosity was piqued although my expectations may have been skewed.  Ren isn’t all about the dumplings, however. In fact, the rest of the menu showcases an impressive amount of options you would see on most Chinese menus, with the addition of the odd Thai or Vietnamese dish or two, which seems to be standard these days.  


Top 100 Restaurants in CT for 2018

Restaurant Features Best of CT Homepage

Stephanie Webster

From Granby to Madison, Kent to Killingly, good eats abound in our beautiful Nutmeg State. It was our task for Hearst Publishing this year to determine the top of the heap, the creme de la creme and the cherries on top of this statewide sundae. So, after an abundance of hours honing in on the gems, we now offer to you our Top 100 restaurants in Connecticut! This list was created for our co-branded Top 100 Dining & Drinks guide we create for Hearst Media. The establishments on this list are not necessarily new, but they do happen to represent the very best CT has to offer for 2018. Our hope is that you enjoy exploring new flavors, maybe discover a new corner of the state that you haven’t visited before, and make memories with new culinary experiences. And hey, please add your favorites in the comment section if they don’t happen to appear on this list. Connecticut is truly brimming with deliciousness.

Note: Limiting this list to 100 was challenging for the team. We lacked the bandwidth to include all of our favorite “delicious dives: and “hidden gems,” but you can find those on CTbites.com.


The Social Craft Beer Bar & Kitchen in New London: 50 Hyper-local Craft Beers on Draft

Restaurant New London Beer CT Beer Bar Comfort Food Pub

Elizabeth Georgian

Sick of the same old greasy bar food consumed with flavorless big beer brands while out with colleagues or friends on Friday night? Me too. Skip the ho-hum bar and head directly to The Social, a relatively new spot on Bank Street in New London. Providing a new and much needed hang-out spot, the Social gives diners great food, a family-friendly atmosphere, and an extensive beer list; it definitely knocks it out of the park as a new place to spend Fridays after work or Saturday evenings with family or friends.

Largest Selection of Craft Beers on Draft in Southeast CT

The Social has selected hyper-local, local, regional, and U.S. beers, serving a whopping 50 on draft.


Roost Opens in Hamden: It's All About The Chicken Sandwich (Gluten Free) & More

Restaurant Take Out Kid Friendly Lunch Fast Casual Hamden Openings Sandwich

CTbites Team

A sous vide chicken sandwich is a minor detail, but the minor details make major taste differences - and that makes all the difference for your customers. That's what Roost believes. Completely locally owned and operated, the menu starts with the chicken sandwich - but with several twists: starting with a unique sous vide cooking technique which creates an incredibly juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside sandwich, and continues with a variety of unique toppings from Napa Cabbage Slaw to Carolina Reaper Pepper Buffalo Sauce that you won't see at just any fast casual restaurant.


Brick Walk Tavern Opens in Fairfield from Chef David Snyder

Restaurant American Fairfield Lunch Openings Homepage

Jessica Ryan

Fairfielders were very disappointed when they learned that The Original Bagel King had closed its doors at its Brick Walk location. Brick Walk Tavern now occupies the space along with the former restaurant next door and is being very well received by locals. The restaurant opened by Chef David Snyder and former financial executive and Fairfield resident Ted Vincent offer guests what they describe as “food with integrity” – high-end options that are approachable and familiar as well as those that might be seen as pushing the envelope slightly. The atmosphere inside upscale yet casual. A long bar at the back has a midcentury modern vibe, while the leather couch in front of the fireplace offers the coziness and quaintness of an historic New England town.