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Slices of NY Heaven + More @ Bronx House Pizza Pie in Springdale, Stamford

25 Oct

Just a short walk from our house is the brand new Bronx House Pizza Pie that has its grand opening tomorrow. The new joint, owned by Bruno DiFabio who also owns Amore on Hope Street, ReNapoli in Greenwich, and many other great award-winning pizza places, is located at 27 Ryan Street. If you’re coming off of Hope, turn down Camp Ave. then you’ll see it right after the Twin Rinks and across from Napa Auto Parts.

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Getting to the Bottom of Barrel House Restaurant + Bar in Stamford – Review

15 Mar

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In 2012, Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi opened Cotto at 51 Bank Street where Tappo used to be. This quickly became a go-to spot for people who wanted some pizza, some Italian . . . and well, of course, some wine. Seeing this success, they recently took over the former spot of Patrizia’s, a few buildings over on Main Street. Like Patrizia’s, they have pizza, but they also focus on smaller plates, burgers, and their beer list. And, with this new concept and location, Barrel House was born. Continue reading

A reliable favorite, now with cocktails. Our review of Basso Cafe in Norwalk

26 Jan

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Since we first went to Basso Cafe back in September ’12, we’ve told everyone we meet to check it out. And, every time we’ve asked how it went, we’ve heard great things back. That’s just the kind of place Chef Renato Donzelli runs.

But, we were starting to feel like posers, recommending the place to everyone, even though we haven’t been back since. We know, bad food bloggers! So, when Basso Cafe went from a BYOB only establishment, to a full-on bar, we figured that was the perfect time to get back there and try their creative cocktails with some friends. Oh, and eat, because, you know, it’s always good to eat when downing large quantities of liquor. Continue reading

Taste of Sicily: Palmer’s Market Pop-Up Restaurant ft. Michelin Starred Sicilian Chef Claudio Ruta

21 Jan

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Gioacchino Passalaqua and Claudio Ruta will be giving everybody an authentic Taste of Sicily at the Palmer’s Market Pop-up Restaurant. Pick from Palmer’s Market Site. 

We’ve written about plenty of pop-ups, but how about a pop-up where the chefs come from halfway across the world to take part in a two day experience? Yup, that’s happening at Palmer’s Market in Darien! The dates are January 25 and January from 7:30-9:30 on both nights. For $80 you will get a complete four-course BYOB meal. Continue reading

[oink] pops up in Westport at The Whelk

12 Jan
oink pop up series

You’re gonna wanna tix for this one . . .

Back in November, we helped to break the news here in Fairfield County about a new pop up eating experience called [oink]. The focus of their pop up at that time was putting out a killer brunch at Caseus of New Haven. Before that, Chefs Craig Hutchinson and Alex Lischynsky had put together meals at Black Hog Brewing and other spots throughout the state. Well, now they are adding a new location to that list: The Whelk in Westport.

The focus of this dining series is “Il Arbitrario,” meaning The Arbitrary in Italian which just so happens to be the focus of the meal. Italian . . . at Westport’s quintessential seafood and New American spot? You betcha! Chefs Hutchinson and Lischynsky will be carefully sourcing ingredients from all around CT that include real, pure, and sustainable food that is put together into 7 awesome courses. Continue reading

The Chelsea: Innovation, Dependability + Plenty to Sink Your Teeth Into (Review)

29 Oct

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There are some big names in the Fairfield County dining scene and Chef Matt Storch is definitely one of them. His restaurant, Match, in SoNo remains a steady force in the Norwalk dining scene. Sure, restaurants close around him, unable to withstand the shaky Norwalk market, but Match has consistently stayed strong because people know they can always get an extremely well-executed, dependable, delicious meal . . .  yet there’s always something new thanks to Chef Storch’s creative spins. 

So it only makes sense that he’d bring that same killer combo of dependability and innovation to The Chelsea in Fairfield, alongside his partner Scott Beck and his Chef de Cuisine, Eric Felitto. Sure, the Chelsea has been open and successful since 2012, but Chef Storch knows there are always new people coming into Fairfield, so he invited us bloggers in for a wonderful dinner so that we could let our readers know about all the awesomeness they have to offer. Continue reading

Grana Pastificio: Bar Sugo Starts New Line of Fresh Pasta and Products

21 Oct

Pasta: it’s what’s for dinner. All photos from Bar Sugo and Grana Pastificio Facebook pages.

Update: Grana Pastificio now has new owners and a brick and mortar store in Westport next to Winfield Street Italian Deli. For more info, email info@granapastificio.com, or call 203-557-3855

When people ask us about where we love to get Italian food, all the Italian spots here in Fairfield County race through our minds, but it always comes down to just a few restaurants that we feel can do it all. Good, quality pies, fresh, rustic flavor, and killer, hand and housemade pasta. And, it should be no surprise to any of our readers that we have a love affair with the saucy and savory Bar Sugo. Continue reading

Get Schooled: Bar Sugo Presents Wine and Interactive Pasta Classes for October

28 Sep

Bar Sugo Cooking Classes October 2015

If you’ve been with us for a while, you know how much we love our Bar Sugo! Whether you’re looking for the best meatballs in the state, spins on classic Italian dishes, pizza with pizzaz, or fresh-out-of-the-bowl pasta, you need go nowhere else. So, we’re not sure why Chef Pat Pascarella would reveal his secrets for making his killer pasta (well, he’s nice, that’s why!), but he’s doing it anyway with a series of interactive pasta classes. You’ll get a hands-on experience with Chef, will make at least two different pasta dishes, get recipe cards to take home, and celebrate with a meal featuring your handiwork. The class lasts an hour with lunch afterwards, so you’ll be hanging at Bar Sugo for about two hours. Soft drinks are included, but the hard stuff is extra. Classes are $55 per person (tax and tip extra) or you could get all four weeks for $200 and save yo’self twenty buckaroos. Make your reservation by calling up Chef Pat and crew at (203) 956-7134. Continue reading

Come to Lugano for the meats + cheeses, stay for the rest – Old Greenwich (Review)

27 Jul

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While we trusted, based on their impressive restaurant portfolio, the Racanelli’s wouldn’t let us down on fabulous ambiance, food, and drink, we were eager to check out all that Lugano Wine Bar & Salumeria has to offer after watching it being built up over the past few months.  We were probably most excited by their amazing selection of artisan meats and cheeses from their Salumeria, their wine and cocktail list, and their variety of Italian tapas . . . you know, pretty much everything.

When we arrived, we were valet-parked and got our seats right away. Conicidentally, we sat in the same exact spot where we sat during the past two iterations of the space (Palomino & Bistro Latino). As we shared during our preview post, the bar is a stunning and lavish White Carera Marble and the seats are clad in a rich and exotic red leather that just oozes comfort. It’s very Zaza, Molto, and Dolce, but more “Industrial Chic,” as Nick Jr. told us, putting it in a league of its own.

Meat and cheese plate at Lugano in Greenwich

Well, let’s get down to it and dig into the food (much like we did). First off, we went a bit crazy with the meats and cheeses, but we were hungry and needed something in our bellies STAT. You can order meats and cheeses individually or you can order them up in special platters, too. In addition, there are small bites for you to order alongside the meats and cheeses like Polenta Fritta, Marinated Olives, Garlic Bread, Cauliflower Fritti, and Giardiniera.

While we have had a few of the meats on the menu already, we wanted to try some of the rarer and harder to find kinds that the Lugano staff were so proud of. The first we tried was the Smoked Panchetta which had beautiful marbling and just the right hint of smoke. Second was the Salame Calabrese which Nick Jr. had told us to try a month ago. Unlike so many other meats that claim to be spciy (but are just lame), this one had a nice gentle creeping heat to it. And, arguably our new favorite was the Finocchiona because the fennel came through so nicely but wasn’t overpowering at all. All were sliced paper thin and really just melted away into your mouth.

And, while it was tough to pick the meats, it was even tougher to pick which cheese to order. Considering our outright addiction to burrata, we had to place an order of the Burratina. It comes cut apart, is somewhat creamy on the inside, and is a bit denser on the outside. Overall, it was a decent burrata, but I think we’ve been spoiled by the amazing, freshly made-on-the-spot burrata at Brick + Wood, making all other burrata pale in comparison. We also ordered the honey glazed ricotta which came out in a very large portion. So much so that we got three extra orders of bread just so we could spread a lil’ on each piece. Oh, and it was great: the ricotta was creamy and airy with the honey adding a nice sweetness to all of it.

Meatball Sampler at Lugano in Greenwich

At this point, we were feeling good and could have ended the meal satisfied, but that would be very un-OmNomCT of us, now wouldn’t it? Damn right, so we ordered the Meatball Tasting which had three balls together for $9.50. Up first was the Classic Beef which was delicate, moist, airy, and light. Next in the tasting was the Turkey ball which had that nice savory taste you expect from good turkey, but was a bit denser than the beef. And, finishing up the plate was Spicy Beef which again was airy but had a spicy kick that again creeped up on us. All the meatballs had a crispy crust along the outside and we dug the nicely balanced sauce which was tangy, chunky, with the right amount of saltiness.

From here, we decided to try out the Spicy Pork Ribs, the Polenta with three meat ragu, and the Spicy Fried Italian Peppers just to get a taste of the apps that they offer. Without a doubt, the Spicy Pork Ribs were a highlight of the night for us. The ribs slid off the bone with a gentle tug, they had a nice heat going on, and had that awesome balance of rich and tangy from the vinegar. We’d order these again and again. Up next was the polenta which was creamy, but could’ve used more salt and flavor. And, while we liked the lamb and beef on top, we felt like the dish overall was bland—there needed to be more sauce, or more of an acidic contrast going on in the ragu.

Fried Italian Peppers at Lugano in Greenwich

And, finally, we finished up (so we thought) with the Spicy Fried Italian Peppers. The aroma on those peppers was amazing, so we dug in. And, while there was a nice flavor from the grill, the peppers were also on the bland side with no (or too little to taste) seasoning.

As we got our check to pay, wouldn’t you know it, dessert shows up, courtsey of the house. Oh Lord, have mercy. So, we dug in with what remaining space there was left in our bellies, and got down to business. First we took bites of the Cheesecake which was very creamy and not too sweet at all. In addition to that perfect balance, it was rich, but not dense. And, tying it all together was a bright and vibrant rasberry sauce. A very nice cheesecake indeed! We were also treated to a Molten Lava Cake. Now, we’ve got something to say about Molten Lava Cakes. We’ve stopped ordereing these because they always just end up tasting like a cake with a tiny drop of “lava” inside. But, we’re happy to report that this cake was overflowing with lava inside once we took our forks to it. There was definitely a nice, rich, chocolately taste and it was (also a nice surprise) actually hot!

So, wrapping it all up, we liked a lot about our first time at Lugano. The meat and cheese options are the big highlight, especially if you’ve got a nice glass of wine or cocktail in your hand (which they have a great selection of). We would go back here just for these options, no doubt. Also, we’d definitely get the Meatball Tatsing again becaue it was delcious, but we’re a little cautious about that with the price for just three meatballs. Now, while nothing is priced too expensively, it does add up after a bit if you get a little app happy like us. But, considering the prices of Italian in Greenwich, Lugano remains a moderate option with good quality. And, while we did note that some of the dishes needed a lil’ more sumin sumin, they’ve been open for a very short time and are still finding their way through their new restaurant no doubt. We’ll be back again to be confirm or update our first impressions. Cuz, you know, that’s how we roll!

Lugano

Noms: 3.5

Cost: $$$

Address: 1392 East Putnam Avenue

                Old Greenwich, CT

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Toni’s Tuscan Table Reopens in Bridgeport w/ Grand Re-Opening Event + Deals

25 Jun

We kind of feel bad sharing this because we know that Toni’s Tuscan Table is a little gem that not everyone has discovered yet . . . so, we know people will be pissed at us for blowing up their spot, but we’ve got some great news to share. Yup, Toni’s Tuscan Table has moved and reopened at 1006 Broad Street in Bridgeport. 

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