Terra of Greenwich.
Sole of New Canaan.
Acqua of Westport.
Aurora of Rye, NY.
And Mediterraneo of Greenwich AND Norwalk.
Bellinis and margaritas at Mediterraneo
Now, let’s play a guessing game. What do you think these all have in common? They all serve Italian? Well, kind of. They all feature seafood? Well, kind of. They all have been created by Ramze Zakka of Z Hospitality Group? Good answer, good answer team. You guys and gals are on top of things!
Goat cheese tartlets
It’s pretty cool to say that we’ve been to every single one of those restaurants, but now we have another one to try starting on Monday, 4/29, for dinner. On that day at the brand new Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk, the second Mediterraneo in Connecticut will be open. From there, according to a recent press release on Stamfordplus, they’ll be easing into things with dinner only until May 7 and having Sunday brunch starting on May 12. At that brunch you can enjoy a celebratory Bellini or Mimosa.
Griddled Fresh Bacon
Heirloom tomato salad
Prosciutto wrapped figs at South End
House Made Orecchiette
Citrus Laced Canoli
Raspberry and Nectarine Cobbler
We’ve been bad bloggers. See, we’ve been sitting on this review of South End for a while. A looooong while. And we have no good reason for it because South End was good. Very good. It just seemed that whenever we would sit down to write it, something else came up…until now. In a moment of non-urgency we bring you South End…
Before we get into our meal, we’d like to talk a bit about what South End is all about: Seasonal comfort food. This brilliant idea was born from the passion of two guys who are no strangers to good food. Let’s start with Chef Nick Martschenko. Back in 1998 he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at Tom Colicchio’s Gramercy Tavern. He has also worked at Solaia in Greenwich and the old Market in Stamford. And, most recently, Chef Martschenko did an amazing job at Winged Food Golf Club in Mamaroneck, being honored with an excellent rating from the McMahon Group. Working with Chef Martschenko as a partner and General Manager is Keith Siskind, who we had the pleasure of meeting. He built up some major street cred by working on Long Island (represent Strong Island!), and Tarry Lodge in Port Chester.
So, onto the reason you’re all here…the food. Oh wait, no, one last thing before the food. The service – the service here was really good. Quick (but not rushing us out at all), friendly, attentive, and thorough. Overall just a very pleasant experience.
Our obsession with Restaurant.com (not Restaurants.com) started years ago when we’d shell out $5 and get a $50 pass to restaurants. The amount of money we saved was awesome and we continue to check this site when we want to save some major dinero. We use it for local restaurants and especially when we’re on vacation and want to find a quick, inexpensive meal.
Chef’s Special Roll, Crispy Melt Goat Cheese Roll, and Crunchy Wasabi Tuna Roll at Bambou in Greenwich
It works pretty easily: enter the city and state where you want a certificate then select the restaurant. The most common option that you’ll see is pay $10 for a $25 certificate, but sometimes there will be bigger incentives like $20 for $50, $30 for $75, or even $40 for $100. Before you purchase your certificate, just make sure that there aren’t any terms of the agreement that won’t work for you such as, “Only includes lunch,” or “No dinner on Saturday.” Also, pay close attention to the fine print because some have an order minimum or some include a tip into the amount of the bill automatically.
Brace yourselves. Are you anchored down? Good, let’s forge ahead. Bar Sugo in Norwalk is opening up for lunch and brunch and will soon have outdoor seating. Yeah, we know…that’s awesome. Lunch (from 11-4) will start on April 1 (not a joke, punks) and will feature much of the same dinner menu, but they’ll also be adding some panini, more salads, and a burger. Oh, but to call it a burger is selling it short. It will be a house dry aged Ox Hollows Farm beef burger with red onion jam, gouda, rosemary mayo, and a Sport Hill farm egg on top, served on housemade brioche. Chef Pat and co. will also be offering cold fried chicken with crispy speck and pickled mustard, too.
Brunch (11-3) starts off on April 7 and Pat promises that it will be like a brunch that you’ve never experienced before. We’re talking about old Italian countryside kind of brunch, unlimited bellinis, and special dishes such as lemon pancakes with lemon custard and lemon butter or Sport Hill farm eggs and pork belly from Millstone.
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on March 17 and ya best know that Connecticut is representin’ the best of the Irish. In particular, we feel especially excited this year because we’ll be traveling to Ireland this year. Yes! There will be plenty o’ pints, Irish breakfasts, boxty, and fried stuff. We can’t promise that we’ll be trying blood sausage or blood pudding, but we will probably eat almost everything that’s placed in front of us. But, we see it as kind of prep work to get some great Irish experiences, food, and culture here before we leave. Already, last week, we saw The Mighty Ploughboys and The Tartan Terrors perform at Ridgefield Playhouse. Yeah, awesome…so, we wanted to give you a little bit o’ Ireland with this post. We’ll be updating this here and there with fun food related events that revolve around St. Patrick’s Day. If you have any suggestions for us, let us know!
1) Check out the Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day Parade on 3/15 from the warm comforts of Barnum Publick House! The fun begins at 11, so get settled because the parade will start at noon. There are food and drink specials all day with no cover charge.
2) Get some Kegs & Eggs at Fire Engine Pizza Company on St. Patrick’s Day! $10 gets you beer and breakfast from 8-11 am. You can also check out their corned beef reuben or bangers & mash pizza all day, too.
3) St. Patrick’s Day lasts a week at Molly Darcy’s! Specials and live entertainment all week.
4) Yes, we realize it’s not Connecticut, but the lure of good beer is so hard to resist. You’ll want to check out Bollock’s Fest ’13 at Captain Lawrence Brewery on 3/17 at noon. Burke’s Revenge will be playing live music such as Dropkick Murphys and Village Dog will be there pushing out corned beef dogs, shepherd’s pie, and lots more. The clincher is that Brewmaster extraordinare Scott Vaccaro will be premiering three Irish “inspired” ales. Tickets are $21.69 per person and can be bought here.
Prosciutto wrapped truffle fries
How’s this for a greeting while you’re waiting at the bar for your table? A manager comes up to you, gives you a plate of prosciutto-wrapped truffle fries, then gives you the following message from the chef: ”It’s about damn time.” Yeah, it was about damn time we got down to Bar Sugo in Norwalk and Chef/owner Pat Pascarella had the right to call it like it is! He had invited us several times and had even invited us to the inaugural Vinsotto wine event, but the world always seemed to conspire against us going. Yet, here we were at the cozy and rustic Bar Sugo, ready for what would be a meal of epic proportions.
We decided that we’d take it easy, sampling a few things on the menu. Starting off, we’d go with three cicchetti (Italian for small snacks) that were $7.50 each, 3 for $20, or 5 for $30, we’d go for three mozzarellas (same pricing as the cicchetti), the meatball sampler, and we’d end up with the cavatelli that both Mark Famous and Andrew Dominick recommended when they saw our check-in. It’s cool to have foursquare friends who love to eat! Well, that was the plan anyway. Yes, we got our dishes, but Chef Pat provided us with even more so we could get a full taste of what Bar Sugo was all about. By the time we were done, we tried 24 different items on the menu (that includes the Barrel Aged Negroni and the wine). Ugh, we think we’re still full! Ready for the most epic review ever captured on our blog?
Asparagus with duck prosciutto, and black pepper
The asparagus came two ways: raw and pickled. Having both on the dish was a nice idea, but we really loved the vinegary pickle vs. the bitterness of the raw. The duck prosciutto was really great and wasn’t overpowering despite the saltiness you expect from a cured meat.
Rabbit loin with lentils, prunes, and mustard oil
The Chefs at The Chef’s Challenge 2012 at Stamford Museum & Nature Center
UPDATE: OmNomCT will be guest judges for the Chef’s Challenge, so make sure to stop on by, eat up, and say hi!
A tradition in the Del Ferraro household is hitting up Maple Sugar Weekend at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. It’s a tradition that we’re not willing to part with and it’s something that we look forward to every single year. Really…we’re talking about a weekend long ode to real maple syrup here. It is what fuels our weekends and brightens our mornings. We’re talking ’bout the real stuff…no fake syrups with weird flavoring. Maple syrup: pure, rich, sweet, oh so good.
Just a brief refresher course:
You can come by Saturday (3/2), Sunday (3/3), or both days! Tickets are $5 for members, $10 for non-members. Family Plus members or above and children 3 and under are free. Buy at SM&NC or make things speedy by buying tix online for 3/2 or 3/3.
Click here to purchase tickets for Saturday, March 2.
Click here to purchase tickets for Sunday, March 3.
Pork shoulder with guac, onion salad, atop platanos at Olio on Hope Street, Stamford
When we broke the news about Olio last year, we were excited at the chance of a great new restaurant, but we were pleasantly surprised to see that it was more than great. In fact, the food that Chef Steve Costanzo is pumping out is pretty darn awesome. Service has always been excellent, especially with co-owner Moira Hyland overseeing the dining room.
We’re letting you know that Steve and Moira have teamed up with Backyard Humanitarian for a special night of dining. All you need to do is stop by Olio on 2/7 from 5:30-10 pm and 20% of all sales will be donated to Backyard Humanitarian. If you’re not familiar with BH, check out this description from their site:
Backyard Humanitarian is a grassroots all volunteer group that provides humanitarian services to those in need in our community and volunteer opportunities for those who want to make a difference for others right here, right now. Though there may not be daily news reports about the people in our community, there are many who are suffering and need our help. We can make a difference. Backyard Humanitarians help people, animals and the earth.
Spots for this fundraiser are disappearing quickly, so you’ll want to call up and make a reservation by calling (203) 817-0303. In the meantime, check out more about Olio, our dining experience, and their FB page for mouth-watering daily specials.
Address: 934 Hope Street
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: (203) 817-0303
Fax: (203) 817-0305
Update: Harvest is open and here’s our review!
The rows of plants seem to stretch on endlessly on harvest day. Within a few hours, months worth of hard work and devotion will come to fruition as all the veggies and fruits are gathered. Hundreds of fresh tomatoes, corn, apples, and more will soon hit up the farmers’ markets, the stores, that cute little stand set up in front of the farm, local restaurants, and will eventually end up right on your plate.
This is the kind of imagery that owner Vicente Siguenza and Chef Eben Leonard of Harvest Wine Bar & Restaurant want to convey. If you’ve been following our blog, you might remember those names. Yes, Vicente is one of the owners of the classic go-to spots that we know as Cava in New Canaan, Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant in Darien, and 55 Wine Bar & Restaurant in Fairfield (we wrote an article for CBS about all of them, too). As for Eben, you might remember his work as chef at Scena. While we have love for their takes on Italian dishes (two years of OmNomy wins) and can’t get enough of their gnocchi, we’re really interested in what Harvest has to offer.
The new spot at 372 Greenwich Ave. (former home of La Brasserie and Le Figaro Bistro de Paris) in Greenwich will focus on Modern American food, put together with love and attention, and will be held together with deep roots to the earth with a farm to table experience. In fact, they refer to the experience of eating at their restaurant as “farm to fork” dining. According to Eric Gendron’s article for Greenwich Daily Voice, they will have an extensive wine menu of over 300 bottles, a beautiful wood-fired grill, will have small and large plates, and will also offer charcuterie options. Sounds like our kind of place.