First you gotta do the Truffle Shuffle!
Ah, we could repeat almost every line from The Goonies…we’ve seen it that many times. And, this summer, we can repeat the same lines again and bask in the triumph as The Goonies (never say die) find their way to One-Eyed Willy’s treasure on the ship. Or, there’s also The Sandlot, Rudy (Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!), and Hotel for Dogs…all of these movies will be shown at dusk in Commons Park in the Harbor Point area of Stamford. If you’ve been to Mr. Frosty’s, then you know exactly where Commons Park is. If you haven’t, you can just park on Washington Blvd. and make your way over towards Infinity (The Beer Garden is the opposite direction).
“Tart words make no friends; a spoonful or honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.” Ben Franklin
“When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees.” Joseph Joubert
“`Well,’ said Pooh, `what I like best –’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” Henry David Thoreau
“We lived for honey. We swallowed a spoonful in the morning to wake us up and one at night to put us to sleep. We took it with every meal to calm the mind, give us stamina, and prevent fatal disease. We swabbed ourselves in it to disinfect cuts or heal chapped lips. It went in our baths, our skin cream, our raspberry tea and biscuits. Nothing was safe from honey…honey was the ambrosia of the gods and the shampoo of the goddesses.” Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Who knew that there were so many things to say about honey and how deep and philosophical honey could be? We dig what Winnie the Pooh was saying about the anticipation of eating the honey being one of the sweetest things ever, but…hey, we know he’s never had some Red Bee Artisanal Honey. That’s craft, high-quality honey that’s produced in Weston, Connecticut by C. Marina Marchese. She’s not only the person who created Red Bee Artisanal Honey, she’s also a beekeeper, and has authored two very successful books. Her first book is Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper and her newest book is called The Honey Connoisseur, written with Kim Flottum who is editor of Bee Culture Magazine. In this brand new book, Marina and Kim discuss the origins, flavors, pairings, and uses of more than 30 different varieties of honey. Yeah, so, there’s more than one type of honey…definitely more than that golden plastic bear filled with honey you find at the stores. You’ll learn how to taste and pick out the perfect honey to match with your foods, plus you’ll learn about all the factors that go into the production of honey, basically called terroir. You’ll also find some recipes inside to put your newfound honey knowledge to the test.
It all started one fine day at work in Stamford when Carlo Fuda was checking out Facebook. CBS was looking for contestants for a brand new show that featured amateur bakers. Without much hesitation, he wrote up an e-mail, hoping his passion and love for food would shine through. Then, late one night he got the phone call. It was from CBS and they had some amazing news: he was going to be one of ten contestants on The American Baking Competition. He remembered being excited that he was chosen, but he had felt that he had a great shot from the start. ”When I got the call,” he shared with us, “it created a new path for me to follow through on my passions.” The American Baking Competition is hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and judged by Marcela Valladolid and Paul Hollywood. Each Wednesday at 8, contestants are pitted against each other with the “Signature Bake,” “Technical Bake,” and “Showstopper Bake.” Eventually, only one baker is left and that person is crowned America’s Best Amateur Baker and they pocket $250,000.
Unfortunately, Carlo didn’t make it past the first episode (check out his CBS backstory), but during the episode his Twitter feed was blowing up with comments from fans who said they loved him and needed to see more. Well, Carlo always has more and keeps his fans fed with his blog and other social media accounts, all listed at the bottom of this post. Some of his most recent recipes are Calabrese Stuffed Eggplant (from a 100 year old recipe), Polpette di Nonna, and Garlic Parmesan Fried Zucchini & Eggplant. Because he was so willing to talk to a fellow paesan about food, we scored an interview with this Stamford/PA resident, getting a view into the machinery that powers such an energetic, creative, sweet, and passionate mind. So, here’s a little slice of Carlo’s la dolce vita, literally the sweet life.
In the first episode of The American Baking Competition, one of the rounds had contestants a create a pie. Is there a story behind your Italian Easter ricotta pie?
A few weeks ago we went to Ireland and it was one of the best trips of our lives. The people were great, everything was beautiful, and the food (contrary to popular belief) was amazing. We started in Dublin, then traveled to an ancient castle, flew some hawks, checked out Killarney, walked along the Cliffs of Mohr, visited the House of Waterford, and even were given an official certificate from Guinness saying that we are certified to pour the perfect pint, and so many more things we can’t even list here. As our vacation drew to a close, we didn’t want to leave…no, not one bit. Perhaps one of the most surreal moments happened when we were visiting the Dublin Writers Museum and a parade made its way past us. We followed the Irish Independence Day parade around block after block, feeling a connection with all the people of Ireland as they remembered Easter 1916 when Ireland declared its independence from England. How was it possible that two people from across the globe could make such a strong connection with a group of people they had never met before? It just speaks to our need and love of freedom, wherever we are.
And, it’s with that beautiful spirit and enduring pride that the Fairfield County Irish Festival takes place for its 25th year at Fairfield University. You can stop by June 14 (6-11 pm), 15 (noon-11 pm), or 16 (noon-8 pm)…a perfect place to take your dad for Father’s Day…just saying. Don’t forget about dad!
We like restaurant weeks, but what we really love are events that bring entire towns or cities together for a massive party. Just think about it: you get to walk around a room, eat food, drink wine, beer, and liquor, chit, and chat. This is really the best way to get to try out a town’s best food, all in one night. And, the 6th Annual Taste of Wilton will do all that…and more! Just show up to the Trackside Teen Center on 6/17 from 5:30-8:30, pay just $30, and you’ll get to taste the best of what Wilton (and some nearby areas) has to offer. This is another great idea for Father’s Day…just sayin’!
Here are all the restaurants and drink providers you can expect (and there might be more added, too):
Here’s something new at The Ginger Man in Norwalk: a home brew competition! They are accepting all types of brewing styles for their first contest ever. Here’s how it works:
1) Call up (203) 354-0163 and register for the competition. Entrants are limited to just 40 total, so make sure you sign up quickly.
2) Brew up a storm!
3) Label two bottles for each type of brew (you can give in two styles per entrant) with name, ABV, IBU, and what style. You can ask The Ginger Man for labels, too.
4) Drop off your bottles by July 4 at The Ginger Man in Norwalk.
5) Head out to The Ginger Man on July 10 from 5-9 to see the winners!
Update: There will also be a 50/50 raffle with tickets at 1 for $5, or 3 for $10 with prizes from Fairway, exhale, Hotel Zero Degrees, Match, and more! Also, Community Plates will be on hand if you’d like to sign up and help join in their food rescuing efforts.
The hopping (get what we did there?) Beer Garden @ Harbor Point has been open for just a few weeks now, but it’s probably one of the busiest places around the city. And, props to them, because they are hosting a fundraiser for Community Plates. We’ve talked about this great organization before (and their recent expansion into New Haven), but to recap they rescue food that would have been wasted from restaurants, supermarkets, and other places, then deliver that food to local shelters and food banks. Believe it or not, this is a completely volunteer driven organization, so you have to imagine that funding for what they do isn’t easy to come by.
Vanchetta Rolling Rotisserie Food Truck Brings Porchetta, Pulled Chicken, and More to Streets of Stamford5 Jun
Update: we tried Vanchetta and we loved it. Here’s our review.
Porchetta. Say it with us: pour•keht•uh. The “keht” part is really important if you want to sound Italian and authentic. It’s like when you order a gyro and say, “I’ll have a gi•ro,” rather than, “I’ll have a yeer•o.” And, while we’re at it, it’s brew•sket•uh, not brew•shet•uh. Okay, we’re done with our language lesson for the day. Let’s dig into what porchetta is and why you’re going to be so happy that you’ll get a ton of it with a new food truck called Vanchetta that has its soft opening this week in Stamford. Porchetta starts off as a pork roast that is layered with stuffing and herbs (garlic, rosemary), meat, fat, then it’s put on a spit then roasted. In the case of Vanchetta, it’ll be roasted over their rotisserie.
When we talked with Bob LeRose about the opening of Bar Q in Stamford to say we were excited would be an understatement. Small plates of BBQ with great drink options? It seemed like a no-brainer! Now, having been there five times, we can say the food has definitely improved and they’ve worked through their opening kinks. But, it’s crazy to think that they have been open for a year already!
And, with that year of being open, they’ve changed things up a bit. First off, they’ve revamped their menu by adding some larger BBQ plates, salads, sandwiches, and other options that will get you excited like the Bar Q Cuban sandwich. They have also added in good options for family dining such as the Sunday evening $50 family style dinner that gets you 3 fixins’, 5 BBQ items, and 3 sides. And, you also might have heard about their new concept on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights starting at 10: Bar Q Saloon. Cowgirls dance on the bar and serve up some mighty fine drink specials. They play country music and, at times, they even have a mechanical bull for your to conquer out on their patio. You’ll need to follow them on FB to see when the bull has arrived.