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Epicly Awesome: Greenwich Wine + Food Festival 2013

28 Aug

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 11.18.48 AM

One of the biggest highlights of the year for Fairfield County is the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, brought to you by Serendipity Magazine.  Now in its third year, this three day event marks the beginning of fall, but also celebrates the best of food and drink in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.  Something else that makes the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival great is that proceeds from ticket sales go directly to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a charity started by Paul Newman in 1988 that gives seriously ill children a chance at a fun and soul-healing summer camp experience.

This year you can expect more food, more celebrity chefs, more wine, more beer, more drinks, and more awesomeness than ever before.  All the fun starts off on Thursday, October 3 with the Kick-off Party at Miller Motors in Greenwich.  Then, on Friday is the Grand Tasting Gala that we were fortunate enough to go to last year…it was excellent.  We met lots of chefs, sampled some amazing food, and even had some wine.  And, finally on Saturday there is the heart of the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival:  culinary village, chef demo tents, lots of food and drinks, meets and greets with celebrity chefs, and a monumental burger contest hosted by Joe Bastianich and judged by an all-star panel.

Here’s a breakdown of each day with prices and info.  Hope to see you there fellow winos, beerocrats, cocktailers, and foodicianados!

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A Whole Lotta Barks + Beers @ SoNo Marketplace’s New Farm Terrace Beer Garden

14 Aug

Norwalk’s about to get a brand new beer garden courtesy of SoNo Marketplace.  While they have beer at Up the Creek in the center of their space, the Farm Terrace Beer Garden will be a totally different experience.  You’ll be able to pick up food from any of the great spots inside or the food trucks nearby then bring it to your garden table and have some nice cold local and craft brews like Half Full.  It’s slated to open on 8/17 and will have its first official event on August 24:  Barks & Beer.  This is a benefit for Bully Breed Rescue, an awesome organization based in New Canaan that rescues pitbulls, takes care of them, and helps the doggies to find their forever homes.  All you need to do is stop by on the 24th from 1-6 and check out The Farm Terrace Beer Garden and give a $5 donation.  When you give that donation, you’ll get a ticket that entitles you to any draft beer on tap!  And, if you’d like to take home a new friend, be ready because there were be some cute and happy doggies there ready to be adopted!  For a sneak peek, see all the great doggies they have.  

While you’re there, you might get some food shopping done with fresh produce from The Farm Stand, check out the restaurants and food shops inside, and/or check out all the awesome booths.

Here are some of the places you’ll need to check out:

  • Chocopologie
  • Festivities Catering
  • Momo Sushi
  • Norm Bloom and Son
  • Pasta Presta
  • Tilden Seafood + Prime Meat Market
  • Wings + Things

SoNo Marketplace Hours

Friday-Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm

Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm

Farmstand Hours

Friday-Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm

The Farm Terrace Beer Garden Hours

Friday-Saturday, noon to 10 pm

Sunday, noon to 6 pm

Bully Breed Rescue Fundraiser

August 24 from 1-6 pm

SoNo Marketplace

314 Wilson Avenue

Norwalk, CT

PopShop it like it’s hot: pop up market comes to New Haven

13 Aug

PopShop Market sprang up on 6/1 at Fairfield Theatre Company like magic.  One day there was a parking lot, but soon an entire market had appeared.  Not only where there great shops involved, food trucks and local restaurants got involved.  This same basic formula is being reapplied to the PopShop Market in New Haven on 8/18 from 11-5 pm at the Shops at Yale (30 Broadway).  Entrance is free, so get eating and get shopping…

The vendors, food trucks, and restaurants involved this time are:

Food Trucks

After checking in, Kristien contemplates what to order at Fryborg food truckFryborg:  killer fries with toppings and amazing sandwiches that are sure to blow your mind.

Get Toasted:  a food truck from Los Angeles (um, wow) that features awesomely toasted sandwiches such as their take Twisted Cali Cheesesteak and a take on a Báhn mì.

Insomnia Cookies:  according to the PopShop Market site they delivery to hungry Yalies up until 3 in the morning.  Come see why people can’t get enough of their cookies!

LobsterCraft:  awesome lobster rolls and mac & cheese.  If the surf and turf is available, order it.  Trust us.

Maddy’s Food Truck:  Caribbean flavor and flare.

Skinny Pines Pizza:  farm to oven pizza with all natural, local, and organic ingredients.

Food and Drinks

Kristien's favorite, the California!

Kristien’s favorite, the California!

BarCar featuring spiked lemonade, beer, and wine tastings ($5 with a valid ID).

Garden Fresh Baby:  natural and homemade baby food.

Raus Coffee:  locally roasted coffee that’s sure to please.  Ask for the Cold Roman.  Thank us later.

Saugatuck Craft Butchery:  finely sourced, cut, and presented meats from Westport.

Sustainable Indulgence:  sustainably awesome baked goods with some options for vegans and those living gluten-free.

Music

O, Cassius! will be performing from 2:30-4:30 pm

Vendors

Bank and Pearl:  modern, industrial, and rustic furniture.

Caputo Creations:  art created with Crayola Crayons!  How sick is that?

du Grenier {from the attic}:  vintage furniture that you’ll need to buy.

Freckle Paper:  awesome stationery.  Whether you want calendars, invites, or notepads, they can personalize just for you.

Hettle:  accessories and modern home goods

Live Images:  naturally vibrant landscape photos.

Salt + Stone:  fun and unique jewelry.

The Blue Jeans Bar:  it’s a mobile truck that has over 40 of the best jeans possible for purchase.

Thirty-one:  bags, organizers, lunch boxes, and more…plus you can get them personalized if you’d like.

Three Bluebirds:  exciting and one-of-a-kind dishcloths.  We need some of them, so cool.

Tremont Marketplace:  killer photographic prints.

UberKuchi:  this local costume jewelry shop has a ton of great jewelry and textiles for sale.

Vintanthro Modern Vintage:CT’s only portable boutique!

PopShop Market #2

8/18 from 11-5 pm

The Shops at Yale

30 Broadway

Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks Goes Local w/ Farm Fare

7 Aug

Hand it to Stamford Tables and the local restaurant community to change up their popular restaurant weeks.  It’s not that they’re not working, it’s that they want to constantly make them better every single time.  Some of the great additions have been turning the experience into weeks (not just a week), Stamford Hospital’s Kids Fans’ 5-2-1-0 program that gives healthy food options for kids at participating restaurants.  We all try to be one of the first 3,000 restaurant week nom-ers because we know that we get a voucher for a small popcorn from the Avon with any movie ticket purchase.  And this year, from August 19 – September 2, a bunch of the restaurants are going local with their menu, highlighting produce from local farms.  We’re talking about Hubbard Heights Farm, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Domus, and the Green Up Group!  Restaurants participating in the local farm food program are noted below with an  and those participating in the 5-2-1-0 program (kids 12 and under are $6.95 or $9.95 for a healthy lunch) have an *.

So, please check back as we add more 2013 Stamford Summer Restaurant Weeks menus and why not set up reservations now?  Just do it, trust us, this is a busy time of year and tables go fast.

$10.13 Lunch or $15.13 Dinner

*  Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Cafe (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  Fin II Japanese Restaurant

*  Tiernan’s Bar & Restaurant

$12.13 Lunch or $20.13 Dinner

Bar Q Stamford

*  California Pizza Kitchen

*  Capriccio Cafe

*  Cotto Wine Bar (Restaurant Week Menu)

Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant (Restaurant Week Menu)

  Kujaku Japanese Restaurant

Lola’s Mexican Kitchen

*  Lucky’s Classic Burger

*  Quatto Pazzi

*  Remo’s Brick Oven Pizza

*  SBC Downtown Restaurant and Brewery

Tengda Asian Bistro (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  Volta Gelateria Creperia

$20.13 Lunch or $30.13 Dinner

Aria

*  Bar Rosso

Barcelona Wine Bar

Capital Grille (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  Columbus Park Trattoria

Emme of Capri (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  EOS Greek Cuisine (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  Hudson Grille (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  Kona Grill

Mitchell’s Fish Market (Restaurant Week Menu)

Morton’s, The Steakhouse (Dinner Only)

  napa & co. (Restaurant Week Menu)

*  Patrizia’s of Stamford (Dinner Only)

  Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse

ZAZA Italian Gastrobar

Eating and Schmoozing Our Way Through Best of the Gold Coast, 2013

26 Jul

Killer food (as always) from EOS!

Matt Storch of The Chelsea

Mark it down:  July 25, 2013…the day we hit up our first Best of the Gold Coast party!  It’s Moffly Media’s yearly party that celebrate the best in shopping, services, and (of course) food.  As we made our way upstairs to the Hilton Ballroom you could heard the buzz and chatter of happy and excited people.  And who should greet us as we enter?  Robin Wexler from Stamford Museum and Nature Center!  Dan said hi while Kristien was transfixed by the two celebrity goats:  Kathie Lee and Hoda.  We were thirsty for some drinks and hungry for some food, so we decided we’d hit up the outside of the ballroom after we were full.  :)

When we got into the main area we were amazed at how many restaurants and shops were inside.  There was even a side room where we got some vino from Val’s in Greenwich…that’s our go-to wine/liquor shop in the area.  Then, we let the madness begin!  It’s hard to recount everything we ordered, but Harvest had some awesome food which made us want to go back.  People were going crazy over Colony and so did we.  Ah, how we’ve missed you!  They even put some stingers on the side for you to load up your pizza with.  We talked with Conor at Half Full for a bit, he’s such an awesome guy.  We loved the food from Capital Grille which made us want to go there, dug the ribs at Dinosaur, loved the gazpacho at Ginger Man and finally met their beer dude, Andrew Hoening.  We tried Valbella’s truffle pasta and decided we’d have to go there, too!  Then we felt guilty as we saw Matt Storch from The Chelsea again.  We had promised we’d come visit him since we saw him at Blues, Views, & BBQ, but we’ve been lax in our promise.  The food that he prepared was freaking awesome.  And our last culinary stop of the night was at Marcia Selden Catering.  They did up their booth to look like it was a paint store…so creative, so wicked good.  Plus, the “Bad Ass” Red Velvet Double Candied Bacon was a trip into ecstasy.

And, there are so many other places that we didn’t even mention, too!  We have them up on our Facebook gallery, though, so check out all our pics.  It’s safe to say we had a blast and we’re really grateful to Moffly Media for inviting us.  ‘Til next year!

Even More Variety at SoNo Restaurant Week(s) from June 3-16

24 May

We’re digging the new graphic, aren’t you?  And, with the new graphic for SoNo Restaurant Week 2013 comes new restaurants and more chances to get your prix fixe deals from Monday (6/3) to Sunday (Father’s Day, 6/16).  Again, one of the best things about restaurant weeks is how they let you try out new spots that you’ve been meaning to try.  For updates on restaurant week menus, make sure you check back with ConnecticutRestaurantWeek.com.  And, if you have any questions about the restaurants, let us know.

Well, here we go…

$9.99 Lunch:  The Brewhouse, Coromandel, Donovan’s, O’Neill’s, Papaya Thai

$14.99 Lunch:  Chocopologie, Estia, The Ginger Man, Mama’s Boy, Strada 18

$19.99 Dinner (offer not valid on 6/8 and 6/15):  The Brewhouse, Donovan’s, O’Neill’s, Papaya Thai

$29.99 Dinner:  Bacchus, Barcelona, Chocopologie, Coromandel, Estia, The Ginger Man, Mama’s Boy, Match, Nola, The Spread, Strada 18

 

Darien Will Soon Have Balls: Meatball and Co. Opening Soon!

15 May

Darien has definitely been shaping up as a culinary destination with the recent additions of Estia’s American and Bodega, as well as the solid Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant.  And, it’s about to become even better sometime near the end of May or the beginning of June when Joe Criscuolo opens up Meatball & Co. at 23 Tokeneke Road.    We’ll get to the food in a sec, but first some background info on Joe.  Joe and Matt own and operate Pizza Post in Greenwich that’s putting out some awesome pies (we had a Clams Casino on Saturday that was killer) and food.  They make their own meatballs and sausage and they are BYOB.  Joe and Matt took over the shop from their father who started Pizza Post  in ’72.  And, now Joe’s giving the reigns over to his brother Matt as he starts his own business which has always been a dream of his.

Okay, that’s enough background…we know, you want the details.

Why Meatballs?

Joe had been thinking of starting his own restaurant for quite a while and always wanted to do something different.  He was particularly inspired after visiting The Meatball Shop in NYC and seeing what they were doing.  “The area is super-saturated with pizza places, so I wanted my restaurant to be accessible to all and to be different,” Joe told us.  “I wanted to feature comfort food, and I wanted it to be great.  And, the meatball is such a great vehicle to present with.  You can really do anything with them, from veal piccata, to Asian inspired, to sausage and brocoli rabe, and more.”

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Get a Taste of Westport’s Best Bites and Drinks: 2013

24 Apr

It’s time again for Taste of Westport (we covered this event last year, too).  What’s great about this event is that you get to taste some of the best food that Westport has to offer and you do good at the same time.  Taste of Westport will be on May 2 from 6-9 pm at the Westport Inn and will cost $75 prepaid or $80 at the door.  You can get your tickets easily by going to the purchasing page or calling (203) 226-7895 x144.  Proceeds are being donated to Clasp Homes of Westport and even more will go to Clasp through silent auctions.  Here’s a little bit about Clasp, from their website:  “Our mission is to provide homes and opportunities for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.  We offer high quality personalized services that enhance each person’s independence, dignity, and continued growth.  As a non-profit community organization we are dedicated to increasing public understanding of the people we serve and their ability to be contributing members of the community.”  

Now back to the food…but, we’re not talking about just great restaurants.  Michele’s Pies, the award-winning and Bobby Flay-throwdown-winners, will be on hand.  Plus, there will be lots to drink like Beaver Beer, local Onyx Moonshine, and even more provided by Black Bear Wines & Spirits, Crystal Rock, and Green Farms Spirits.  Here is all the info.

Restaurants

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HUGE Food Truck Festival, BBQ + Chowder Cook Offs, Demos, and Live Music at Westbrook Tanger Outlets

7 Apr

 

If you’re looking for the Connecticut Food Truck Festival 2014, click here.

New York has its food truck festivals, Boston, has its food truck festivals, and now Connecticut has a major festival, too. Let’s count ’em: 15-25 food trucks from Connecticut and surrounding states will show up at the Westbrook Tanger Outlets on 4/27-4/28/13.  Plus, Westbrook Assistant Manager David DelVecchio says he’ll be updating the list (we’ll update for you, too) every few days as Food Trucks 2 Go brings new trucks in.   There is absolutely no fee for attending, so you can use that saved dough to pig out. Here is the list as of 4/7:

 

The food trucks will be there for om noming from 11 am to 6 pm and there will be lots of live music to provide a soundtrack for your gorging pleasure. We’re talking The Red Hill Rockers, The Sin Sisters, The Shiney Lapel Trio, and others.  There will also be live cooking demos from Clarke, Kitchen Aid, Soda Stream, Williams Sonoma, Chef Kashia, and lots more.

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Explore Some More: 2013 Branford and New Haven Restaurant Weeks

3 Apr

Spring is here, so why not celebrate with some great food?   And, why not throw in some great deals and prixe fixed meals?   Yup, it’s everybody’s favorite time…restaurant week!   First off, why not enter to win a $25 gift card to some local Branford businesses and restaurants just by clicking here?  Once you’ve done that, you can check out special deals and prices during their Restaurant Week from April 14-20.   We’ve listed all the info for you (20% gratuity is added to restaurant week checks) and even have a special recco from our friend Edwin Williams Bartlett of the awesome CT Out and About about one of his favorite spots, Home:

“All home runs! I don’t like tomato soup in general, but Home’s is amazing. I either have the patty melt or the Cuban (not on the list) when I am there and it has the same pork flatiron as the special, and it is the best piece of pork on a plate in the state. Their mac & cheese is to die for…I was a guest for the new menu meeting for the staff back in October, so I am very familiar with the whole menu.  I was very impressed with the Artic Char, which I much prefer to salmon, and it’s even wild caught. The pan seared scallops and the duck breast really caught my attention, too.”

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