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Got Spoon? Nomworthy List of ChowdaFest 2014 Finalists Named

3 Dec

ChowdaFest 2014

ChowdaQuest, the quest for the fest, was a huge success this year and it placed some amazing restaurants into the 2014 ChowdaFest competition through your votes.  Going down on SOUPer Bowl Sunday, 2/2, from 11 am to 3 pm, ChowdaFest VI promises to be even more awesomerest than last year!  Tickets will be just $10 and benefits The Connecticut Food Bank!  We’ll have more details to share with you shortly, but in addition to everything that makes Chowdafest great like sampling chowders and voting for your favorites, there are tons of new things that you’ll love!  And, speaking of liquid goodness, check out the winning competitors for ChowdaFest 2014 to be held at Webster Bank Arena:

New England Clam Chowder:

Bernard’s (Ridgefield) – first year

Donovan’s (Norwalk) – defending champion

Go Fish (Mystic) – first year

Guvnor’s Brewery (Norwalk) – first year

Mansion Clam House (Westport) – 2 time champ

Old Post Tavern (Fairfield)

Rory’s (Darien)

Wood’n Tap (Orange and various locations) – first year

Traditional Chowder (Manhattan/RI only):

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Hop to it: Todd Ruggere to drink a beer in all 169 CT towns in 2014 for charity

21 Nov
Final 351th Beer Todd Ruggere

Some people sell chocolates, some people grow mustaches, some people run marathons, and there are even some people who go from door to door to raise money for their favorite charities.  Well, “some people” have never met Todd Ruggere of Grafton, MA.  Last year he traveled to every single town in Massachusetts (351 of them) and had a beer there.  His hope was to meet some great people, have some great beer, but most importantly raise some money for children’s cancer research.  

Jim Koch of Sam Adams with Todd RuggereBut, how could he expect the amazing reaction that he would receive from people who were following his journey?  They’d give him suggestions of where to have a drink, would invite him over for a beer, and they’d set up amazing events upon his arrival that would help him to raise about $40,000 by the end of his trip.  But, he’s not stopping there.

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ChowdaQuest 2014: Tons of Restaurants Compete for Coveted Spots at ChowdaFest

18 Oct


We’ve covered ChowdaFest for the past few years and we’ve been happy to see it grow into one of the most popular events in Connecticut.  Really, what’s better?  You pay just a small amount of money to go around and taste chowder after chowder, soup after soup, then vote on your favorites.  And, at the end of the day, you feel good knowing that you’ve helped Connecticut Food Bank.  Now, the next ChowdaFest isn’t until February 2, 2014, but there’s lots going on before then…namely the brand new experience called ChowdaQuest.  

Which of these soups from Ginger Man will you like the most?

Which of these soups from Ginger Man will you like the most?

ChowdaQuest is “The Quest for the Fest” and will put even more power in the hands of hungry chowda-sippers.  This all new experience came about due to so many restaurants wanting to be involved, but only having a limited amount of spots in the competition.  All you need to do is check out any of the restaurants that we’ve listed below, ask for their soup sampler, then vote for your favorite soup by heading to  You get one vote per restaurant per valid e-mail address, so make sure you’re voting for your absolute favorite soup from each restaurant.  The restaurants with the most votes by Thanksgiving will get spots in ChowdaFest 2014, so make sure that you support your favorite restaurants by voting!  While you’re on the voting page, make sure to enter the Sierra Nevada contest.  Just explain where your favorite place to drink Sierra Nevada is and you just might win dinner for two at any of the restaurants that are participating in ChowdaQuest 2014.  

Here is the massive list of restaurants that are participating in ChowdaQuest 2014.  Some of the restaurants are still waiting to confirm with Jim (nothing next to their name), but will be ready to go shortly:

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Stand Up 2 Cancer Just by Dining Out!

12 Aug

Mastercard is standing up to cancer again this year with their Stand Up To Cancer campaign.  All you need to do is buy at least a $10 meal at any restaurant with your Mastercard.  With every purchase they will donate a penny to Stand Up To Cancer or 2 cents if you make a PayPal transaction at the restaurant, up to $4,000,000.  While a penny might not seem like a lot, that money will add up very quickly.  Already, since July 12, $1,280,280 has been raised!  The Stand Up To Cancer Mastercard campaign goes until September 28, 2013, so get out there and get eating!  Normally, we’d create a list of our favorite spots for you to check out, but you see that all the time with our posts and our annual OmNomy Awards.  So, we thought we’d ask you all, our fellow OmNomivores:

What’s your favorite spot in Fairfield County?  Let us know down below by commenting or by talking with us on Twitter or Facebook.  We’ll update the list down below.   Let’s all take a stand against cancer!  

OmNomivore Favorite Restaurants in Fairfield County

Hold Your Table and Get Some Cash Back with OpenTable

27 Mar

One of the first things we do when we’re looking for a restaurant to hit up is check to see if it’s on OpenTable.  In just a few clicks you can see lots of restaurants in your area that are taking reservations.  From there, you can click on a restaurant, enter in your party size and time, then you’re on your way to booking your table.  You could even play restaurant roulette and enter a party size, date, and time and see which restaurants in the area have tables nearby.

Dino Poutine is killer, unique to Dinosaur Stamford

Dino Poutine is killer, unique to Dinosaur Stamford

Recently, we used OpenTable to get ourselves some nice seats at Bar Sugo in Norwalk and Dinosaur Bar-b-que in Stamford.  Plus, we can’t tell you how easy this site makes vacation planning.  And, wouldn’t you know it, Dan’s Prius has OpenTable built into it?

When you show up for the reservation, make sure you give your name and they check you in before you find your seat.  At most restaurants you’ll earn 100 points for each time you show up and dine out.  There are even some restaurants on the site that will earn you 1,000 points for honoring your reservation.  When you reach 2,000 points you’ll be sent a $20 gift certificate usable at any OpenTable restaurant.

Here are just some of the OpenTable restaurants that you could hit up in just Connecticut:

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Are You and the Fam Party Masters? Wanna Show off, Be on TV, and Win Some Big $? Casting Call!

4 Mar
Just some of the reality show clients from Twin Talents

Just some of the reality show clients from Twin Talents


There’s another new TV show for a major network (we can’t say which) that is casting here in the Greater Stamford/Connecticut are and it’s called “Party Masters.”  While this might not be the final name of the show, the spirit of the show fits in well with the name.  They are looking for families that love to throw parties.  The winning family will be pitted against another winning family to see who can throw the most awesome party in the world!  To beef it up and add some incentive, they are giving each family $50,000 so they can really throw a party to remember.  You might be a great family to enter if:

1) You throw parties that somehow end up on YouTube and become viral hits.

2) You throw wild surprise parties that last all night or for days.

3) You go hog wild at your backyard bbqs and they become legen…wait for it…dary.

4) Your theme nights are so intricate and involved that people forget that they aren’t in the Roaring 20’s or that they really aren’t mobsters.

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Tastes of the Coast Drink and Food Experience to Support Easter Seals

2 Mar

“Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 90 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals” (Easter Seals Site).

Wouldn’t it be great if you could help Easter Seals with their mission of helping people lead great lives?  Of course…and it’s really easy, actually.  All you need to do is buy tickets for Tastes of the Coast!  Seven great restaurants from around Fairfield County will be on hand and will be cooking up some of their best dishes.  Plus, there will be alcoholic drinks, music, and prizes, too.  All of this is happening on March 7 from 6-9 pm at Aitoro’s in Norwalk.  Tickets cost $60 and go towards Easter Seals Coastal Fairfield County.

The killer cavatelli at Bar Sugo in Norwalk...

The killer cavatelli at Bar Sugo in Norwalk…

Here are the restaurants that will be providing food in actual live kitchens throughout the store:

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Chowdafest V Soups and Chowders List (Start Planning Your Attack Plan Now)

25 Jan


The results are in!

We told you all about how wickedly awesome Chowdafest V is going to be a while ago, remember?  Well, we got an e-mail from Chief Chowdahead, the Sultan of Soup himself…Jim Keenan.  While we were disappointed that some of the restaurants dropped out of the contest, we’re also very excited to hear that a few new ones entered the race.  We’ve been updating our original post to reflect those changes, but that’s already such a huge post and we didn’t want to make it even bigger, so we’re sharing the final entries with your here.  You’ll see the three categories and the soups that each restaurant will be preparing.  If you see “R” under Years, that means they are new to Chowdafest.


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Drink Up and Man Up! Fall Ball 2012 at Stepping Stones to Benefit Community Plates

19 Sep

Back in June, we shared the ever-expanding mission of Community Plates with you.  Here’s some of what we shared:

It all started back in January, 2011, when Community Plates began.  They would drive to local restaurants, bakeries, caterers, supermarkets, and grocers to gather food that would have been wasted.  With that food, they would make deliveries to soup kitchens, pantries, and other places that provide food for the needy.  Since then, they have grown in immense ways.  According to a recent press release sent to us, they have rescued over 600,000 lbs. of food, have over 200 volunteers in Fairfield County, rescue food from 23 donors, and deliver to 15 different agencies.

With Kevin Mullins, who is the co-founder and Executive Director, at the helm, they have taken their mission and have brought it to other states, too.  They began work in Albuquerque in January, Columbus in April, and by the end of the year they will add another location.  For 2013, they plan to expand to six more places, too.  So, adding up all the numbers, they have 300 volunteers, 40 food donors, and they deliver to 30 agencies.

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LobsterCraft food truck rocks lobster! Rowayton, SoNo..and beyond

29 Jun

We told you about the LobsterCraft food truck a few weeks ago.  Gourmet, buttered lobster rolls, freshly caught from our local seas.  Is there anything better, especially in the summer time?  Nay, nay we say.  Well, the stars and planets were in perfect alignment last Friday.  See, we were both free during lunch so we headed to the Rowayton Farmers’ Market to check out the local goods and down some lobster rolls.  As we walked through the market we searched around, like sailors in desperate search of land.  Avast!  We saw a truck and a few people hanging out around it, chowing down.  We looked at each other, smiled, then walked faster.  When we got to the window we saw they had four different lobster rolls to buy and even a lobster dinner for two at $40.

Coastal, $14:  butter, lobster, seasoning

Heat Wave, $14:  habanero infused hot butter, lobster

California, $16: avocado, cucumber, ginger soy, lobster

LBLT, $16:  lobster, bacon, lettuce, tomato

We feel a Heat Wave ‘comin on!

We both wanted the Heat Wave lobster roll. How could we resist? We placed our order and they gave us a choice of either kim chi slaw or regular coleslaw.  We both went for the kim chi slaw that had a nice spicy kick and had a good balance of herbs and the vinegary taste of the fermented cabbage.

The Heat Wave itself was a thing of beauty.  Start with freshly baked buns from Muro’s Original NY Bakery and Deli, butter them, then grill them up.  Next, pile on a generous amount of lobster, then coat the seafood in the habanero infused butter.  While the roll had a spicy kick, it wasn’t too hot to handle by any means.  There was also a nice balance of butter, too.  Sometimes you feel like you’re drinking butter when you have a lobster roll, but this wasn’t the case at all.  The meat itself was cooked perfectly and tasted so fresh. Squirt a little lemon on it and it’s PERFECT! This was Dan’s favorite!

Part of the reason the lobster tastes so fresh is because Captain Mike Harden catches most of the lobsters himself from his boat named The F/V Jennifer Lynn.  If he can’t catch enough lobster on a particular day, he’ll get the lobster from other local fishermen.  You get the feeling that he’s been doing this for a while and it’s not his first rodeo, um,  clambake, er lobster fest?

We then decided we’d introduce ourselves. Mike remembered us from our first post and helping to spread the word.  In a very generous fashion, he let us sample two other rolls.  Here we go:

Bacon and lobster, the happy couple

LBLT:  The crispiness of the bacon and lettuce contrasted so well with the tenderness of the lobster.  Killer.  Plus, there’s bacon.  Yeah.  Bacon and lobster.  There’s also a little aioli on top which we know can cause some controversy. See, there’s a huge debate about mayo being used in a true lobster roll (Kristien is not a fan) but this was just  drizzle of aioli so it doesn’t count.

Kristien’s favorite, the California!

California:  Although they had run out of avocado, this was still a great roll.  With the good green stuff, we could only imagine how much more awesome it would be.  Starting off, the cukes added a nice contrast in texture and light taste and the ginger soy added a nice kick. This was surprisingly Kristien’s favorite.

Bigger Plans for LobsterCraft

Not only will the truck be at the Rowayton Farmers’ Market on Fridays 12-5, but it also looks like LobsterCraft found a nice spot in Norwalk Monday-Wednesday.  Yup, check them out in Oyster Shell Park at the end of Ann Street.  That’s right in front of the Maritime Museum.  They are also (thanks Danielle) going to hit up Westport Farmers’ Market on Thursdays.  There are also plans to hit up Stamford!  Check out their FB and Twitter for where they’ll be.

Already thinking ahead to the cooler seasons, Captain Mike and LobsterCraft have other things up their sleeves (or claws).  Think of a killer lobster bisque, lobster raviolis, and even a lobster lasagna.  We think the new menu items will match the seasons well and we look forward to try these dishes, too.

Also worth a gander is the lobster dinner cruise.  You gather up 6 people then ride out on The F/V Jennifer Lynn.  You’ll catch some lobsters and Captain Mike will put together a killah dinner.  Info’s up here.

LobsterCraft rocks…lobster!

Lobstercraft on Urbanspoon

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