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Give Some Hope by Eating at Chip’s for Thanksgiving Breakfast

26 Nov

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We have a great idea.  Instead of supporting the massive corporations that are staying open this Thanksgiving Day and boasting about the biggest sales of the season, you could support local business and an important charity.  Yeah, how crazy of us…

We’re not talking about early bird door-busters either, but we are talking about early birds because Chip’s Family Restaurant (see Alex’s review from Sunday Diners) in Fairfield is opening up at 6 am on Thanksgiving to feed your need and will be giving their proceeds to Operation Hope.  We recently wrote about Operation Hope and their mission to end hunger and homelessness, so we’re excited to see that Chip’s is on board to spread some holiday cheer and bring the thanks back to Thanksgiving.

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Fairfield County Guide to Pizza and Drinks this Thanksgiving Eve (or any day)

21 Nov

Thanksgiving Eve is not only one of the top 5 busiest day of the year for pizza eating, but it’s also in the top spots of busiest nights to go out for drinks. It makes perfect sense, too. People are packing bags, they are cleaning, and they are even preparing for the holiday feast. Who wants to make another meal in addition to Thanksgiving? Answer? No one. And, lots of people come back home from college and far far away. It’s their time to go out, catch up with old friends, and even make the next day with the in-laws a little more tolerable by getting tipsy.

So, in the spirit of helping out our fellow pizza munchers and drink guzzlers, we’ve put together a list of some of our reader’s favorites spots (mentioned in the description) as well as ours.  Please note, we’re only mentioning if they have pick up or delivery for the purpose of this post, though most of these restaurants do have sit down service.  All pizza opinions are relative, so don’t get too crazy, pizza fascists.  And, we didn’t list just bars…they have to have food, too.  Happy Turkey Day!

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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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Local Beer, Moonshine, Wine + Coffee Dinner to Celebrate Parallel Post’s 1st Birthday

19 Nov
 

UPDATE:  the dinner sold out last night!  Sorry if you couldn’t snag a ticket.  

There are beer dinners, there are wine dinners, and there are even spirits dinners…but Parallel Post in Trumbull has topped all of that to celebrate their first year in business.  They’ve gone and thrown it all together into one culinary orgy of greatness on 11/20, starting at 6 pm for $65 per person (not including tax and tip).

First we’re talking about a birthday reception with Stratford’s Two Roads Brewing and East Hartford’s Onyx Spirits (first legal moonshine in New England).  Next up is the meal itself…five courses worth paired with wine from Connecticut Distributors.  The meal will be cooked by Chef and Restaurateur Dean James Max, Executive Chef Christopher Molyneux, and Chef de Cuisine Ali Goss.  Finally, wrapping things up, you’ll get to try a cocktail made with Trumbull’s own Shearwater Coffee Roasters that will pair nicely with the dessert options made by Madelyn Rendon.

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

18 Oct

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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 ChowdaQuest.com.  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

Make Your Own Barrel-Aged Cocktails for Dad @ Parallel Post in Trumbull!

11 Jun
Cocktail barrel at Parallel Post
Your dad already has a set of screwdrivers, drills, a laser level, C3P0, R2D2, and an entire garage worth of tools that he’ll probably never use, so what are you going to get him this Father’s Day?  Parallel Post in Trumbull is making that choice super easy:  get dad a beautiful 1 liter wooden barrel.  Yeah, the barrel is cool looking, but it’s also about what goes inside of that lovely wooden contraption.  Yes, you guessed it…liquor!  You’ll be able to help dad to get his drink on and create his own craft barrel-aged cocktail with either house liquor for $50 or top shelf choices for $75.  Whichever option you pick, you’ll have your choice of bitters, dried fruits, and other flavorings.  You’ll just need to call up (203) 380-6380 and get your special reservation with master mixologist Greg from 1-3 pm on Saturday or Sunday (6/15-16).  You’ll get direct instruction and true one-on-one time to make the perfect cocktail that will be aged with love.  Then, when the cocktail is perfectly aged, you need to invite us over to test it out.  You know, we’re just looking out for you to make sure you’re doing it right.
Then, when you’re doing putting your barrel-aged cocktail together, think about taking dad out for dinner too.  They’ll have a special menu just for him on both days, 12-10 pm:

Epic “Farm-to-Trumbull” Dining Series with Chef Dean James Max at Parallel Post

9 Apr

Parallel Post (you first heard about them through us back in October) has done an excellent job of breaking the typical expectations of hotel restaurants.  Not only are they offering more than sandwiches, burgers, and fries, they are also breaking the mold with farm to table dining that has been receiving excellent reviews and feedback.  We’re very excited to share with you that Chef Dean James Max, the man behind 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Amp 150 in Cleveland, Asador in Dallas, Brassiere in the Grand Caymans, Latitude 41 in Columbus, and Parallel Post will be hosting a series of interactive dining experiences.  Appropriately enough, these meals will be put together by Chef Max (a James Beard Nominee) using seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients.  Seafood will come from Norm Bloom & Sons of Norwalk and Foley Fish in Boston, meat will be provided by Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury, cheese will come from Coach Farms in Pine Plains and Beltane Farms in Lebanon, and the greens will come from Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Westport.

The four part dining series will be small and intimate and will provide you with a chance to talk with and get to know Chef Max and his inspiration behind each meal.  The series (30 seats available) kicks off on 4/27 at 7 pm, and continues on 6/22, 9/21, then finishes off with a 200 person day time event on 8/18.  For $75 (tax and tip aren’t included) you’ll get a cocktail and some small bites to start things off and to stretch your stomach out.  Then, you’ll have a bountiful farm-to-table family style dinner with wine pairings, too.  Finish up your meal with an “all-you-can-indulge” dessert bar.  Ummmm, yes please.

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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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Farm to Table Dining Sprouts up in Trumbull with Parallel Post, a Dean James Max Restaurant

24 Oct

James Beard nominated chef, Dean James Max knows a few things about running successful restaurants that people can’t get enough of.  We’re talking 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Amp 150 in Cleveland, Asador in Dallas, Brassiere in the Grand Caymans, Latitude 41 in Columbus, and the newly opened Parallel Post in Trumbull, CT.  That’s quite an impressive portfolio, but we’re definitely excited about what this means for Connecticut and Trumbull.  You’ll be able to find Parallel Post where J. Porter’s used to be at the Trumbull Marriott Merritt Parkway right at this very moment.

The focus of Max’s new Parallel Post is on farm-to-table dining, taking in various sources from nearby farms and food producers.  More specifically, the menu focuses on Modern American cuisine, highlighted by seasonal and regional food.  Seafood comes from Norwalk’s own Norm Bloom & Sons and Foley Fish of Boston; they source meat from Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury, CT; they bring in great cheese from Coach Farms in Pine Plains, NY and Beltane Farms in Lebanon, CT; and they have lots of greens from Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Westport, CT.

Using these local ingredients, you can look forward to dishes such as:

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