Yeah, so, we referenced WuTang lyrics, we couldn’t help ourselves, it was too easy. But seriously, WUJI in Greenwich was full of surprises that truly did make it “nuthin to f@$k with.”
The first surprise is we went there on a Tuesday night and the dining room was packed. Random? Or was it because the food is really that good? We were about to find out . . .
Second surprise: At a Chinese restaurant it’s rare to get a free starter (like bread) to snack on at the table while you peruse the menu, but imagine our delight when out came some crispy and flaky fried noodles with your choice of duck sauce, mustard, or soy dipping sauces. Yum! Continue reading
Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen
With Fairfield County’s active food scene, it’s no problem trying a new restaurant whenever you want. But, sometimes you might want more than a meal out. Maybe you want to take those restaurant-quality dishes home with you to make whenever you want. Again, there are certainly many cooking classes that you can try out here in the 203, but many are simple meals or involve basic skills.
Some of the steps involved in making a great ceviche
So, we were very excited to learn about Karen Brownlow of Chop Shop Cooking. She loved cooking for friends and at parties so much that she decided to study cooking at The New York Restaurant School in Manhattan. Seeing her talent, they kept her on in their catering department and became one of their head chefs in charge of the many events that they cater. From there, she worked at Abigail Kirsch and even started her own catering company. As her life got busier and she wanted to spend more time with her family, she decided to stop catering, but…and here’s where Chop Shop came in…but, her friends convinced her to start cooking classes. And, so Chop Shop Cooking was born!
We told you about the 1st Annual Stratford Restaurant Week at the start of the week, but you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of other options for branching out and trying new spots throughout the middle of April, too. So, let’s break these restaurant weeks down in order from Branford, to New Haven, and then to Stratford:
April 6-12, 2014
First up is Branford Restaurant Week, make sure to enter for a $25 gift card good at any of the participating restaurants. Secondly, check out the selection of restaurants that will feature specials, deals, and prix fixe menus. Third of all, don’t forget about Stoney Creek and Thimble Island breweries, both in Branford. Make a day of it!
Chef Taibe will be opening his third restaurant shortly…you ready?
We saw the news a couple of weeks ago from LeFarm: “Signed…” A slew of comments, congratulations, and demands for answers from hungry fans lit up their Facebook page. Signed what? Autographs, Declaration of Independence, soul to the devil, or a lease to a new place? Yes, the latter…but what kind?
Some of the gyoza Chef Taibe devoured in Osaka…
Well, we got our answers when Chef Bill Taibe shared some insights with us into his new spot, soon to be the third restaurant in his arsenal of Westport hotspots. A name? That’s in the works now, but he does say that they are close to coming up with one, “Japanese for sure,” he promises.
In honor of Stratford’s 375th anniversary, the Stratford Chamber of Commerce and Stratford Economic Development Department present the 1st Annual Stratford Restaurant Week. Come by Stratford from April 6-12 for some great meal deals that aren’t very complicated or confusing at all: $16.39 per person or $37.50 per couple. No price levels, no complications. You’ll get an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. Thanks to Food Dudes for the tip.
Here are the restaurants that are involved (and check the Stamford Restaurant Week Page for menus):
Now open for their 10th year of voting, Moffly Media’s Best of the Gold Coast contest is ready for your votes! Just login or register if you’re a n00b then you’re ready to pick your favorites in tons of food categories and other categories such as clothing, jewelry, things to do, education, fitness, beauty, bridal, home, kids, pets, music, retail services, and automotive. Once you get your votes in you can then enter their contest, too, to be one of 5 winners who will win two VIP tix to the Best of the Gold Coast party (we had a blast last year) on July 24? from 7-10 pm at the Hilton Stamford. Plus, you’ll also win dinner for two one of five previous winners: Bartaco of Darien or Fairfield, EOS of Stamford, Dinosaur Bar-b-que of Stamford, Rowayton Seafood of Rowayton, or Harvest Wine Bar of Greenwich.
Because of prior commitments, we were only able to attend the Grand Tasting at last year’s Greenwich Wine & Food Festival. So, after having a great time at that last year, we vowed to hit up every event this year…and we did!
Thursday’s kick-off party was held at Miller Motors in Greenwich and featured wine, cocktails, finger food, and lot of goodies up for auction to help benefit the Hole in the Wall Gang. We learned a great deal about the charity that Paul Newman founded to give children with disabilities a chance to attend a great summer camp and met some great people.
And, then there was Friday’s Grand Tasting (see our complete album with descriptions here). This year’s event was in a bigger tent, so there was lots of room to stroll around and go from table to table. This event was amazing and featured some of the best chefs from NY and CT including Michael William Batt from Food Design Catering, Rui Correia from Douro, Clifford Crooks from BLT Steak, Eric Gabrynowicz of Restaurant North, Bryan Gilmore of 121 Restaurant, Frederic Kieffer of l’escale, Michelle Klem of CakeSuite, Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie, Eric Korn of Good Life Gourmet, Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Debra Ponzek of Aux Delices Foods, and Bill Taibe of LeFarm and The Whelk. There was a nice variety of wine, plenty of great top shelf liquor, and even lots of sweets and coffee to wind the night down with. We finally had the chance to meet Chris Barrett and Brianna Pennel from Steam, so that made us very happy. And, we got to meet and talk with Raphael Palomino, owner and culinary brain behind the amazing Sonora and the newcomer to Greenwich, Bistro Latino. We also finally had the chance to meet Graham Elliot who became part of the auction by offering up not one but two exclusive experiences at his new restaurant in Greenwich, Primary Drink & Food.
Restaurant weeks are about exploring new places, trying new restaurants, and saving mucho dinero. Lucky for us, there are always restaurant weeks here in Connecticut. In October, alone, there are 6 special weeks. So, let’s look at all the restaurants that are taking part in the Westport + Weston, Greater Valley, Milford, Fairfield, West Haven, and the statewide Connecticut restaurant week.
Lunches for $10 or $15, dinners for $20 or $30
323 Main Restaurant & Bar ($15/30), Acqua Ristorante ($15/30), Arezzo Ristorante ($15/30), Artisan ($15/30), Blue Lemon ($15/30), Cru Restaurant & Lounge ($15/30), DaPietro’s ($15/30), Matsu Sushi ($15/30), The Mumbai Times ($10/$20), Pink Sumo Cafe ($15/30), Positano’s Trattoria ($15/30), Post 154 ($30), The Red Hen at the Westport Inn ($15/$20), Rive Bistro ($15/30), Rizzuto’s ($15/30), Sakura Japanese Restaurant ($15/30), Spotted Horse Tavern ($15/30), Tabouli Grill ($15/30), Tarantino’s ($15/30), Tavern on Main ($15/30), Tarry Lodge ($15/30), Tengda Asian Bistro ($30), Terrain Garden Cafe ($15/30)
After reading your comments on our posts, our FB page, and our Twitter, we know that all of you are food critics at heart. You know what’s good, you know what’s great, and you know what’s freaking redonkulous. And, it’s those redonkulous restaurants that need your help to get voted into the Best of Connecticut 2014 survey from Connecticut Magazine. And, you know what? We want to see some major representation from Fairfield County restaurants on this list. We love you New Haven and Hartford counties, but we’re hoping that FC will dominate this year! So, get your vote in by clicking here and entering your favorites in by the end of the first week in October. When you vote, make sure that you leave some comments because they might use what you say in the Best of Connecticut 2014 issue that comes out in December. You can drool over this year’s winners here or even on your iPad, too.