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Tablao Brings Spain Back to SoNo in a Big Way – Review

18 Oct

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Big, bold flavors perfectly executed. Fun and lively vibes. That’s what we took away from a recent visit to Tablao, a new Spanish-Mediterranean tapas and wine bar that opened at 86 Washington Street in SoNo back in May. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we can’t wait to go back to this hotspot again. What made it such a nice experience, exactly? Well, you’ll just need to read our review to find out. Continue reading

Rad, Dude: Pizza Surf Club First Bites and Drinks – Stamford, CT

17 Apr

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Update: We visited Pizza Surf Club this past Sunday and need to update our original post. First of all, drinks were hit or miss. The Mousse Juice was still great, but the Margaritas were either weak like water or had too much bite from cheap-tasting tequila. The food portion of the Pizza Surf Club was even more disappointing, with only square pies being brought around sporadically. And, while the pizza was okay, it certainly wasn’t up to the same standard as other Fortina pizza. We wondered where all that other great and fun food was that they put on display opening day. We were also a bit disappointed with the bar service. One bartender, in particular, was slow and came off as rude and unconcerned. At other times, we received the wrong drinks, getting a Margarita instead of a Motorino. Last of all, and certainly not under the control of Pizza Surf Club, but the whole deck had a college frat-party kind of vibe with people spilling drinks, sloppy drunk, and doing shots. We can’t say that we recommend going to Pizza Surf Club anymore, but we do still think that Fortina downstairs is great and worth a visit. 

Cowabunga, dudes, Pizza Surf Club opened yesterday above Fortina and we’ve got some deets on the drinks, the food, and what to expect. Think of this as an add-on to our post that broke the news and our tips on what to order.

 

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Great views overlooking the park . . .

 

First of all, don’t get caught up in the riptide, walk up the stairs facing you when you enter Fortina, turn right, then climb up a second set of stairs. Hint: look for the bright neon graffiti stairwell, it’s pretty hard not to miss. Climb, observe the awesomeness of pizza graffiti, then you’re at Fortina’s rooftop deck AKA Pizza Surf Club. When you arrive, you’ll purchase some slick tix at $8 each (and the tip is built in). For the most part, 1 drink/food item = 1 ticket, so depending on how thirsty ya are or how hungry you be, purchase accordingly. You can always go back and buy more if you need to. 2 drink/food items include Mousse Juice, Motorino, Italian Ice, Prosecco and Popsicles, and funnel fries. Continue reading

Drunken Dim Sum + Tiki Cocktails: Pizza Surf Club Opening Above Fortina Stamford!

13 Apr

 

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Surf some waves of cheese . . . and Tiki cocktails . . .

 

Update: We visited Pizza Surf Club this past Sunday and need to update our original post. First of all, drinks were hit or miss. The Mousse Juice was still great, but the Margaritas were either weak like water or had too much bite from cheap-tasting tequila. The food portion of the Pizza Surf Club was even more disappointing, with only square pies being brought around sporadically. And, while the pizza was okay, it certainly wasn’t up to the same standard as other Fortina pizza. We wondered where all that other great and fun food was that they put on display opening day. We were also a bit disappointed with the bar service. One bartender, in particular, was slow and came off as rude and unconcerned. At other times, we received the wrong drinks, getting a Margarita instead of a Motorino. Last of all, and certainly not under the control of Pizza Surf Club, but the whole deck had a college frat-party kind of vibe with people spilling drinks, sloppy drunk, and doing shots. We can’t say that we recommend going to Pizza Surf Club anymore, but we do still think that Fortina downstairs is great and worth a visit. 

Surf’s up on this one, dudes and dudettes: the rooftop Pizza Surf Club will be open this Sunday at (and above) Fortina in Stamford . . . oh, and you’re gonna be hanging ten . . . or is it three sheets to the wind? Well, it’s just gonna be f’n awesome, okay? Stop by starting at noon.

Pizza Surf Club will feature a nice variety of drinks (just $8) and plenty of mixed drinks too. Oh, but not any cocktails, when you’re at the Pizza Surf Club you’ll be drinking a smorgasbord of Tiki drinks. TIKI BAR, YES!

And, while you’re there, you’re gonna wanna get your nom on, so the kitchen’s got ya covered. Chef Jared Falco of Fortina shared that they’ll be featuring all the kinds of food that the owners and chefs of Fortina want to have when they’ve been out drinking. We’re talking tacos, corn dogs, empanadas, Sloppy Joes, and all sorts of dim sum that will slap the hell out of your tastebuds. One dish in particular Chef Falco created was a Braciole (cooked in bacon) Burrito that is nestled by risotto and more. 

They will be keeping the rooftop deck open seven days a week, although it will be seasonal. Not too much surfing’s going down in December, ya know? Also, don’t think that this will be the only place that you’ll ever see the Pizza Surf Club. As they work their way through the spring and summer here, they’ll be looking at their other spots to see if they can set up something similar, even in a basement or area below the restaurant. And, as they look to open more Fortina restaurants, they’ll be keeping the Pizza Surf Club as a priority, too.

Yeah, surf’s up brahhhh. Hope you can make your way down to Fortina to check it out. 

Address: 120 Washington Blvd, Stamford, CT 06902
Phone:(203) 703-9080

So good, it’s a sin. South End Uncorked (Review)

7 Jan
South End New Canaan OmNomCT_3779

A typical night at South End Uncorked with a full house . . .

Forgive us readers, for we have sinned. It has been far too long since our last visit to South End Uncorked over the summer when we tried their cocktails and we must confess, we were complete idiots to wait this long. Why? Because (spoiler alert) it’s amazing! Not that we had any doubt since we’ve experienced the magic of Chef (and owner) Nick Martschenko and Director of Operations and mixologist extraordinaire Michelle Mauro at their other New Canaan restaurant, South End.  Continue reading

We Take Down the Cocktail Menu @ the New South End Uncorked—New Canaan, CT

31 Aug

The Crew at South End Uncorked

Or was it that the Cocktail Menu took us down? Yeah, once you see what we sampled, you’ll probably bet on the latter.

The day we visited was a big day in New Canaan—not only was the farmers’ market going on, but it was also their annual sidewalk sale. As we worked our way through the maze of people we found South End Uncorked chef and owner Nick Martschenko cooking up some lamb merguez to give passerbys a first tastes of what his restaurant would be like. “Do you want to try one?” he asked Dan. It didn’t take much convincing at all and the order was in. The sausage was spicy, had a ton of deep flavors, had just the right amount of lambiness (you know what we mean), and had a fresh contrast with the tzatziki sauce on top.  We thought, if this is what the food will be like, we’re in! But, we’re not here today to talk about food. Nope. So let’s get to it. 

We went inside to check out the new spot and what they did with it since we’d been there last when it was Harvest Supper. You first go down the alley to go in the side entrance (make sure to snap a shot in the selfie mirror, btw) and then you enter in the side door. As you walk in, the completely open kitchen with a 4 seat chefs table is off to your left as is the bar. Then, throughout the restaurant there are rustic and rich tables and high tops. All around, it’s warm and cozy for a small spot. It’s a place where you could imagine yourself hanging out all day in or just coming by for a few drinks and bites.  Continue reading

Brews @ The Beer Garden + Filipino Bites @ HAPA Food Truck = Great Summer Day

6 Jul

It’s been a while since we checked out the Beer Garden @ Shippan Landing, so we know that we were due for our check-in. When we arrived the day before ‘Murica’s birthday, the vibe was chill, with about 30 peeps enjoying the day with some beer, cornhole, and beer pong. Apparently this was the calm after the storm because just the night before 700 people danced and drank the night away at their Country Fest.

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Lugano Wine Bar + Salumeria brings upscale, delish, and affordable Italian to Old Greenwich

22 Jun

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You know (and maybe even love) Molto, ZAZA, Dolce, and some time in the next two weeks, you’re going to know and get intimate with Lugano Wine Bar + Salumeria of Greenwich. This impressive restaurant portfolio belongs to Nick Racanneli Jr. and Senior (and partners), and they know how to do it right. Go into any of these hotspots at night, and you’ll Look at that beauty! at Lugano Wine Bar & Salumeria in Old Greenwich CTnotice the same thing: they’re packed, probably because of the cozy, yet stylish decor, the good prices, the solid drinks, and the dependable Italian food. So logic will tell us that Lugano, located at 1392 E. Putnam Ave. almost on the Greenwich / Stamford border (where Bistro Latino was), will be a huge success. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak and are pretty psyched about the things that make Lugano similar to the rest of their restaurants, but also, the things that make it unique. Let us break it down into sections for you.

The Menu

Tables spill out into the bar area at Lugano Wine Bar & Salumeria in Old Greenwich CTLike ZaZa, you can expect an excellent variety of Italian tapas, even some of the tried and true items like their Roasted Truffle Sprouts, Creamy Polenta, and their Crostini. Some other tapas that got us all hungry include Italian Cheese Gravy Fries with bolegnese and creamy burrata, Baby Lamb Chops, Spicy Wings, Panzanella, and Smoked Salmon Carpaccio. In addition, you can go balls to the wall with a meatball tasting for $3.50 for a small order or $10 for a large. Order up the Beef (tomato, basil, grated parm), Turkey (sesame soy jus, scallions, spicy aioli), or House Blend (beef, pork, lamb, tomato, basil, ricotta). Or even get a sampler for $10 so you don’t have to decide.

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The 2014 OmNomys: Celebrating the Best in Food in Fairfield County

15 Dec

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Well, here we are, already at the end of 2014. Man, how time flies. But fret not friends, because the end of another year means another celebration of the best of the best in Fairfield County. That’s right, it’s time for the 4th Annual OmNomys! By now most of you know how this works, but for those of you new here, this is a list of the best that we’ve experienced in 2014… NOT necessarily the best EVER in Fairfield County. If your favorite spot or food didn’t make it on here, maybe it was on our list back in 2011, 2012, or 2013… and if not, let us know so we can check it out in 2015! 

So, without further ado, here we go:

Best Ambiance: Cask Republic, Stamford

With not one, but two fireplaces, Cask Republic has a warm, rustic, and down-homey kind of vibe going on. It’s hard to think of a chill spot with more class. It’s the perfect place to meet up with friends, have some drinks (from which there are many to choose), and try out some great gastropub grub.

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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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Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar: a taste de las tapas Españolas en Danbury

4 Aug

After taking a trip to Barcelona, Spain a couple years back we became a little “tapas shy” back here in the states.  Ok, we know what you’re thinking, OmNomCT shy about anything, let alone food?  Yeah right!  It’s true though!  We had such amazing tapas in the motherland that we were afraid we might be a bit disappointed by the local tapas spots.  But, after Ibiza owner, Ignacio Blanco assured us that his tapas were the real-deal (and he should know, he’s from Spain and has spent a lot of time there), we said, what the heck, let’s do it!So last Sunday evening we headed on over after we worked up an appetite failing miserably at a round of golf in Southbury.  The restaurant is in a bit of an odd location within a strip mall, but they’ve done a nice job making you forget that once you get in.  The walls are sleek and dark, the lighting dim, and there were some festive brightly colored paintings throughout, much like many of the tapas spots we went to in Barcelona.  The scene wasn’t too lively, but it was a Sunday night which usually tends to be a chill night for restaurants.  Before we went at it, we talked with Ignacio a bit and learned more about his experiences in Spain and his other restaurants, including Miegas (another tapas restaurant) in Norwalk which we LOVED but never got a chance to write up back in 2010. Continue reading

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