SoWe Food + Wine Festival 2014 Ft. Celebrity Chefs + Demos, Restaurants, Food Trucks and Drinks Galore

18 Aug

While we focus on Fairfield County, we sometimes can’t control ourselves when it comes to nearby towns and events: there’s the CT Brewers Guild Brewfest at Ski Sundown, Miya’s in New Haven, Coals in Port Chester, Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, and there’s also the SoWe Food & Wine Festival.  That’s Southern Westchester Food & Wine Festival for you n00bs.

This event, now in its third year, (2012 was Taste of Scarsdale which morphed into the SoWe Food & Wine Fest) brings together the best of food in NYC, Westchester and Fairfield Counties, along with excellent wine (beer too) and exclusive experiences.  SoWe goes down from 9/19-21 with tickets ranging from $0 to $85 for the Celebrity Chef Battle on Friday.  They have also teamed up with WhyHunger, Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps, The Community Counseling Center, JDRF, Greyston, and the Food Bank for Westchester to donate a sizable portion of their profits from the weekend to these important charities.

Let’s take you through the different days and options that you can take part in.

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CT Food News, Vol. 17: Events, Free Drinks, Fundraisers, Food Truck News, Openings, CT on TV, and Beer…Lots of Beer

14 Aug

This has been, arguably, one of our busiest summers, ever!  We’ve been so active, going to festivals, attending parties, going to dinners, and having a ton of fun with friends…and we sure hope you’ve been doing the same.  So, we’re changing things up a bit this week.  Normally we share Thursday through next Sunday’s events, but we’re going to add in one more week because we won’t be posting events next week.  Let’s just say we’ll be chowing down on some poutine…

Thanks for reading, as always.  We love that we can share fresh, and original events with you and oftentimes breaking and exclusive news.  See ya soon!


8/14 Sign of the Whale, with a roof top beer garden, opens up tonight in the Harbor Point area of Stamford.  Find them just a little bit down from where Paloma and World of Beer are.  And, if you’ve signed up as a VIP, you’ll get your first drink free tonight from 5-8 OR you could just keep wearing your wristband after the Beach Boys show and get a drink free, too.

8/14-15 The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing has delayed hours today and tomorrow due to a private party, so stop on by starting at 6:30.  You can also check them out this weekend starting at 2 pm to get your drank on early!

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Preview the Rustic Charm of Little Pub Greenwich, Soon to Open

13 Aug

Exterior of Little Pub Greenwich 

Around this time next week, you just might be at the bar, sipping some drinks outside, or enjoying the rustic charm of Little Pub Greenwich. Greenwich’s newest restaurant is the third in the LP series, including their Ridgefield and Wilton locations. When we broke the news about the opening back in November 2013, the reaction was out of control, so we can only imagine how successful they’ll be starting next week.

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New Restaurants, Craft Cocktails, VIP Party @ 4th Annual Food for All Fundraiser for Community Plates

12 Aug

It’s no coincidence that Community Plates‘ annual fundraiser is called Food for All because that’s exactly their goal:  food for all people.  While we have written about them many times on our blog, we’ve done a few runs, we guest bartended at Bistro 7 in Wilton to help raise some vital funds, and also helped to organize a fundraiser at Coalhouse Pizza with Gerard, the need to help out and eradicate hunger in Fairfield County and beyond still remains.  That’s why they’ve organized the 2014 Food for All event, happening this year on 10/2 at the Darien Community Association.

Helping make things awesome this year at the VIP Reception featuring light bites and a cocktail party from 6-7 ($100 and includes the Main Event) is the always fabulous Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning.  Then, starting at 6:30 and going until 8:30, check out the Main Event ($50) that includes some of Fairfield County’s best and newest restaurants.  Also, new this year, are killer cocktails from restaurants who embrace cocktails and house some amazing mixologists.

Here’s the info:

Craft Cocktails from Local Restaurants

Bailey’s Backyard

Cask Republic/Post 154

Match

Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge


Restaurants (as of 8/11/14):

Azuca Bistro Latino – Stamford

Back 40 Kitchen – Greenwich

Bravo – Stamford

Brick + Wood – Fairfield

Craft 260 – Fairfield

Gastro Bar – Stamford

Hana Tokyo – Fairfield

Johnny Utah’s – Norwalk

Little Barn – Westport

Little Pub – Greenwich

Local Kitchen + Beer Bar – Norwalk, Fairfield

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters – Trumbull

Sign of the Whale – Stamford

The Granola Bar – Westport

Walrus & Carpenter – Bridgeport

Washington Prime – Norwalk


We hope you can make this great event that not only helps to make a huge difference in people’s lives, but is also a great time.  When we went last year, we tried so many new restaurants, had a chance to meet up with fellow writters, and had some nice moments with the chefs and owners who were there supporting Community Plates.  The goal this year is to raise at least $75,000…and, with the way people were so generous last year, we don’t think this will be a problem at all.  If you’d like to learn more about Community Plates, please check out our original post, see the “About” section below, and visit them at the Westport Farmers’ Market on 8/28 from 10-2 pm.  Also, feel free to send us any questions via e-mail.


Event Details:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

VIP Reception + Main Event: 6-7 PM, $100

Main Event: 6:30-8:30 PM, $50

Darien Community Association

274 Middlesex Rd, Darien, CT 06820


About Community Plates

Community Plates is committed to ending food insecurity in America.  Recognizing the problem as a matter of logistics, not a lack of food, the organization established a volunteer-driven, technology fueled method for transferring surplus food to those in need.  The simple process includes food donors (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food-service establishments), food runners (individuals who pick-up and deliver donated food) and receiving agencies (e.g., soup kitchens, pantries, etc.).  Scheduling is made easy with the web and smartphone enabled Community Plates’ GoRescue technology powered by WhenToManage, which received the 2013 Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award for human services.  Since Community Plates was founded in 2011, more than 700 volunteers have rescued food that equates to 4.9 million meals to date.  Launched and headquartered in Fairfield County, CT, Community Plates also operates in New Haven, CT, Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH with plans to expand to four more markets in 2014.  For more information or to get involved visit:  http://communityplates.org.

Gettin’ Schooled at Karen Brownlow’s Chop Shop Cooking Class in Westport

11 Aug
Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

With Fairfield County’s active food scene, it’s no problem trying a new restaurant whenever you want.  But, sometimes you might want more than a meal out.  Maybe you want to take those restaurant-quality dishes home with you to make whenever you want.  Again, there are certainly many cooking classes that you can try out here in the 203, but many are simple meals or involve basic skills.

Some of the steps involved in making a great ceviche

Some of the steps involved in making a great ceviche

So, we were very excited to learn about Karen Brownlow of Chop Shop Cooking.  She loved cooking for friends and at parties so much that she decided to study cooking at The New York Restaurant School in Manhattan.  Seeing her talent, they kept her on in their catering department and became one of their head chefs in charge of the many events that they cater.  From there, she worked at Abigail Kirsch and even started her own catering company.  As her life got busier and she wanted to spend more time with her family, she decided to stop catering, but…and here’s where Chop Shop came in…but, her friends convinced her to start cooking classes.  And, so Chop Shop Cooking was born!

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CT Food News, Vol. 16: Whole Pigs, IPA Day, Beer Stuff, Props, and More…

7 Aug

Here’s all the food, beer, and event news in the 203 and beyond that’s fit to e-print:

Events

Deuxamis at LeFarm, a collabo between Beverage Manger Jeff Marron and Executive Chef Arik Bensimon will take a temporary break as Chefs Bill and Jeff Taibe and co. open up their their new restaurant, kawaNi.  So, get your last bites and sips this coming weekend.

Bistro 7 in Wilton will have the art of Kendall Meehl on display starting on August 9.  While you’re there, don’t forget they have food and drinks, too. :P  Also, congrats to Bistro 7 because Governor Malloy recently bought his own bottle of their very own Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

8/8 Broken Arrow plays Seaside Tavern at 891 Cove Road in Stamford at 10 pm.  Have a beer, have some snacks, and prepare to be blown away…especially if they throw out their “Psycho Killer” cover.

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4th Annual Greenwich Wine + Food Festival Returns: Schedule, Chefs, and Details Released

5 Aug

Wine, beer, bourbon, tacos, burgers, bbq, and celebrity chefs…oh freaking my!  That’s just a tiny portion of what’s in store for you at the 4th Annual Greenwich Wine & Food Festival.  We’re talking about three days (9/25-27) of excess, featuring some of the best local food, drinks, and chefs around Fairfield and Westchester Counties all in one spot.  Tickets for the events vary in price, but it all goes down at the beautiful setting of the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.  We’ve always had an amazing time at the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival, and this year will be no different…especially because they are set to donate even more money to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp!

There’s so much going on this year, (wayyyy more than last year) so let’s break it down for ya day by day with some special deals at the end.


Thursday, 9/25

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Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar: a taste de las tapas Españolas en Danbury

4 Aug

After taking a trip to Barcelona, Spain a couple years back we became a little “tapas shy” back here in the states.  Ok, we know what you’re thinking, OmNomCT shy about anything, let alone food?  Yeah right!  It’s true though!  We had such amazing tapas in the motherland that we were afraid we might be a bit disappointed by the local tapas spots.  But, after Ibiza owner, Ignacio Blanco assured us that his tapas were the real-deal (and he should know, he’s from Spain and has spent a lot of time there), we said, what the heck, let’s do it!So last Sunday evening we headed on over after we worked up an appetite failing miserably at a round of golf in Southbury.  The restaurant is in a bit of an odd location within a strip mall, but they’ve done a nice job making you forget that once you get in.  The walls are sleek and dark, the lighting dim, and there were some festive brightly colored paintings throughout, much like many of the tapas spots we went to in Barcelona.  The scene wasn’t too lively, but it was a Sunday night which usually tends to be a chill night for restaurants.  Before we went at it, we talked with Ignacio a bit and learned more about his experiences in Spain and his other restaurants, including Miegas (another tapas restaurant) in Norwalk which we LOVED but never got a chance to write up back in 2010. Continue reading

CT Food News, Vol. 15: Pepe’s Takes MA, Festivals, Contests, CT Beer Props, Updates, and more…

31 Jul

August is a bittersweet month:  the last bits of summer are dripping down, parents, teachers, and students are ready to head back to school, and the boys of summer are gone (points for the reference).  But, screw that bittersweet crap:  we’re talking ’bout just sweet for the next two weeks!  In CT Food + Beer News, Volume 15, we’ve got openings, restaurant updates, fairs, restaurant specials, and more.  If you’d like a full list of events that we’ve covered in previous posts, check out our Events page up above.

Restaurant Openings and Updates

Pepe’s Pizza will be opening up a restaurant in Brookline, MA, further expanding their cheesy empire.  Pepe’s will be replacing The Fireplace restaurant, formerly owned by Jim Solomon.  Other locations include the original Pepe’s in New Haven, and their pizza satellites in Danbury, Fairfield, Manchester, Mohegan Sun, West Hartford and Yonkers.

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Black Hog Brewing in Oxford Premieres 4 Brews + We Taste Em!

30 Jul

Black Hog Brewing, based out of Oxford, announced last Saturday that their brews would soon be on tap at bars and restaurants throughout CT.  We know people probably wet themselves with excitement…and we were part of the wetters.  Our curiosity with Black Hog was stoked back in April when we had the chance to talk with Jason Sobocinski who along with brother Tom (both of Caseus in New Haven) and Head Brewer Tyler Jones (formerly of Portsmouth Brewpub) would open up Black Hog in the former Cavalry Brewing building in Oxford.  They got everybody excited and, if your favorite spot didn’t have it, people were urged to ask.  So, we did what most people here in the Stamford area would do:  we got in touch with Gerard Robertson, owner of Coalhouse Pizza.  Turns out he already had them on tap and had all four Black Hog brews that they are launching their brewery with.

So, after we judged the Fairway Firefighter Cook-Off, you best believe we hit up Coalhouse with fellow judge, beer savant, and Stamford Advocater, Scott Gargan.  Our mission:  try all 4 brews and report back to you.

Well, here we go:

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