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Vive la France! Bistro Versailles in Greenwich Celebrates Bastille Day w/ 4 Course Meal

14 Jul

Today, on Bastille Day, we celebrate with France the beginning of the French Revolution that would unite the country with one focus. And, while France is pretty far away, it’s lucky for us that we’ve got some great French spots around here in Fairfield County. One of them is Bistro Versailles which we reviewed a few months back . . . and they’ve got a great deal. 

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A Fresh Look at the Spring Festival Menu @ Bistro Versailles in Greenwich

21 Apr

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French restaurants often get a bad rap, but maybe there’s a reason for that. Many of them give off a snooty, better-than-you, hands-off, 1% kind of vibe. Plus, you need to be prepared to foot a major bill that may require you to sell off one of your kidneys at the end of the whole experience. But, then there are some really great French restaurants that offer an authentic experience without all that baggage. And, yes, Bistro Versailles in Greenwich is one of those great places.

Recently, we attended their La Soirée Printanière event to celebrate the start of spring. The dinner consisted of 8 courses that were paired with 7 different French wines: yeah, they definitely went all out. But before we even dug into that they kicked things off with a few different hors d’oeuvre like freshly smoked salmon and pate on toast, a rich and flavorful housemade chorizo with flavorful chayote, and a cocktail made of pureed cantaloupe, rum, and orange. All the small bites were tasty and the cocktail was very refreshing, with an exotic, on the beach in Cannes taste to it (or at least that’s what we imagine a drink on the beach in Cannes tastes like–hopefully next year we’ll find out for sure).

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An On Point Food Lovers Weekend at Saybrook Point Inn

30 Mar

Top Collage Saybrook Point Inn

When we heard that Saybrook Point Inn, nestled by The Sound in Old Saybrook, CT had special packages just for people who think about food 24/7, we immediately knew that it would be the perfect weekend getaway for us. I mean, it’s like it was practically made for us! Our only hesitation was in deciding which Food Lover’s Weekend to go for. Would it be the Italian Winter Holiday, a Taste of New England, or le Tour de France? Well, we figured since we didn’t know much about cooking French food and we want to go to France next summer, it made the most sense to try the Tour de France.  Here’s how the beyond wonderful weekend went down . . .

Cocktail Reception Saybrook Point InnWelcome Reception

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7 Courses to Celebrate La Soirée Printanière at Bistro Versailles in Greenwich

24 Mar

As we approach our 10 year wedding anniversary and Dan approaches his 40th birthday (shhh, don’t you dare say a thing), we’re thinking that we want to go all out for our next vacation. We’ve been debating back and forth where we should go: Brazil, Chile, Morocco, Greenland, Germany, Sweden? All these spots have some great things to them, but we think we’ve narrowed down our choice to France! We’re going for the food, the art, the culture, the cheese (different kind of culture) and . . . oh yes, the wine! 

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Spend the weekend of your (food) dreams at Saybrook Point Inn + Spa, Old Saybrook

10 Feb

What’s better than a wonderfully relaxing weekend getaway at a charming inn and spa in beautiful costal Connecticut? Oh, you know, a wonderfully relaxing weekend getaway at a charming inn and spa in beautiful coastal Connecticut, centered entirely around amazing food! Yeah, that’s happening at Saybrook Point Inn and Spa in Old Saybrook and you need to get in on it, stat!

Saybrook Point Inn and Spa’s Food Lovers Weekends offer “food enthusiasts” an amazing opportunity to go behind the scenes of their highly acclaimed casual fine dining restaurant, Fresh Salt. Executive Chef Leslie Tripp and his team will be your tour guide through the whole experience, not only telling you about the restaurant’s philosophy and practices with local farmers and food suppliers, but also walking your through, step by step, how to create culinary masterpieces. You know you’re in great hands with Chef Tripp since he’s a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and spent some time at Michelin Starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in England alongside our hero, Gordon Ramsay, when he was just a sous chef for the legendary Master Chef, Raymond Blanc.

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Gettin’ Schooled at Karen Brownlow’s Chop Shop Cooking Class in Westport

11 Aug
Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

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

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!

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Cooking up a steamy French Italian romance: Barrique – Stamford

23 Jun

As long as we’ve been in Stamford, Chez Jean-Pierre was an instution on Bedford Street.  There was rarely a day when the bistro wasn’t packed and never a beautiful day the front doors weren’t open to let the fresh air in.  A collective sigh rose up, though, when Chez Jean Pierre closed last year.  But then, like a beacon of hope, soon after, there was a sign up: Coming soon, Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar. When we inquired (like good food bloggers do) we found out that the brand new part French, part Italian spot was being opened by owner and Executive Chef Louis Barresi who also has Doppio Greenwich, Huntington, and West Village.

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Branford, New Haven, and Stratford Restaurant Weeks Hit Mid-April

28 Mar

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

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!

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Vote for Jeffrey Lizotte of ON20 for Food + Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” Award

25 Mar

Show some local love…

Every year, Food & Wine Magazine is on the lookout for America’s best new chefs.  So, they put together a list of 100 noteworthy, groundbreaking chefs from 10 different areas then have their readers vote on their favorites from each region.  This year in the New England region there’s a familiar face:  Jeffrey Lizotte, Executive Chef of ON20 in Hartford.

Photo © Daniel Krieger, Courtesy of ON20

He’s representing CT in The People’s Best New Chef contest, so show him some love. Just click here, click on his name, then hit done.  Also, if you’re familiar with NY restaurants, why not give them a vote, too?  Voting is going on now and lasts until March 31, so quit your procrastinating!  


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Alan Richman from GQ names Le Penguin in Greenwich one of the Best 25 New Restaurants of 2014

21 Mar

(Pictures from

Alan Richman, writer for GQ and 14 time James Beard winner for journalism, is no stranger to Connecticut and what our restaurants have to offer.  Last year he named the Green-Goddess Deviled Eggs at the Whelk as one of the “The 50 Best Things to Eat and Drink Right Now and put it on his 10 Trophy Dishes of 2013.  And, this March, he has released a new list that features another Connecticut restaurant:  “The Perfect Night Out: GQ’s 25 Best New Restaurants in America, 2014.”

The list (scroll down) takes you through a to-eat list of places throughout the country and there, right at #17, is Le Penguin in Greenwich.  While this restaurant might be new, the location isn’t new at all…it’s where the famed Jean Louis used to be.  And, if Richman’s praise is any indication, Le Penguin should be around for quite a while.  Here’s some of what he said about this new hot spot:

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