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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

Take a Culinary Tour Through Latin America via Aarón Sánchez’s Paloma in Harbor Point, Stamford

22 Jul

Let’s just put it out there now…we haven’t had the best of luck with celebrity chef restaurants over the past few years, with the exception of Gordon Ramsay’s Maze and Michael Psilakis’s Kefi both in NYC.  More often than not we’ve had disappointing meals like our experience at the recently closed Primary Food & Drink by Graham Elliot and at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. We’ve found that a celebrity chef putting his or her stamp on a restaurant and menu doesn’t guarantee anything.  So, you’ll have to forgive our skepticism when Aarón Sánchez made plans to open up Paloma in the Harbor Point area of Stamford (where The Beer Garden used to be). Would Chef Sanchez, from Chopped and Cooking Channel’s Heat Seekers (with partner in crime Roger Mooking), be a rare exception?

Well, you better believe we wanted to find out ASAP.  We just so happened to see an ambiguous announcement on Harbor Point’s Facebook page Saturday evening so we made a bee-line for Harbor Point to see if it was really open.  To our delight it was a soft opening and we were lucky enough to get a table.  SCORE!  So, let’s get down to biz-natch… Continue reading

Insider’s Look at NEAT of Westport: Part Cafe, Part Cocktail Bar, 100% Awesome

7 Jul
Uppers and downers all in one spot!

Uppers and downers all in one spot!

Espresso NEAT has built a reputation in Fairfield County as being at the top of their game.  Year after year, they’ve been awarded best cafe and best coffee, and after you’ve gone there, you can see why.  Owner Rachel Haughey and her crew pick their coffee beans with care and perform routine coffee cuppings to ensure that only the best quality coffee will be served at their Darien hotspot.  And, that quality comes through big time.  Add in their other options like tea, espresso, coffee, salads, snacks, breakfast goodies, and sandwiches, and you’ve got the perfect spot to hang out or grab a quick bite.  

So, to Rachel, it was only natural to take Espresso NEAT into the next phase of evolution by opening up a brand new restaurant that was part cafe and part cocktail bar.  The new venture, NEAT, will open up in the National Hall Campus in Westport in early August.  Working with Rachel in this venture will be owner of Experience Hospitality, Bobby Werhane, and Managing Director Kevin Daniel Lalumiere. Both Bobby and Kevin are locals, too, with Bobby coming from Westport and Kevin from Fairfield.  Kevin and Bobby unite Rachel’s expertise and cafe experience with an amazing resume of bars, restaurants, and shops.  The team at Experience Hospitality helped to bring some amazing restaurants into NYC like Spasso, dell’animaL’artusi, and Johnny Utah’s, adding an even more rounded background to the structure of NEAT.  

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Get you some: Taste of Port Chester and Wilton Are Back for more in 2014

4 Jun

We love tasting events where you get to taste some of the best spots in an area.  They tend to be inexpensive, they have lots of variety, and it’s basically like a Costco tasting spree on steroids.  ‘Nuff said, right?  So, get ready for two great events coming up:  Taste of Port Chester on 6/8 and Taste of Wilton on 6/9.  Check out the deets with us and get yo’self down (or up) there for all the nomworthy food.


Taste of Port Chester

6/8, from 12-3 pm

Registration starts at 11:30 at the Marina on Abendroth Ave.

Tickets are $25 (drinks extra; you’ll get a map for easy food tourism)

Taste of Port Chester is a walking tour (though there are busses available) through CT’s neighboring village.  Once you have your wristband, you can just visit any of the places below (there will be balloons outside) and get samples of their goodies.  We were downtown when this was going on last year and it was a very popular event, so you won’t want to miss this one.  Added bonuses:  your ticket purchase helps to support Port Chester Public Schools and you can walk off all of the calories that you ingest (wishful thinking).

Here are all the spots that you can check out:

• A&S Deli:  Italian
• Acuario:  Peruvian
• Aqui es Santa Fe:  Colombian
• Arrosto:  Italian
• Bubbles & Berries:  Juice Bar and Desserts
• Cafe Mirage:  Eclectic, Modern American
• Carvel Ice Cream
• Coals:  Pizza, craft beer, killer sprouts, and wings
• Copacabana Steakhouse:  Brazilian steakhouse
• Cousin Frankie’s USA Grill:  American
• Euro Asian Bistro:  Asian, sushi
• Frankie & Louie’s:  Italian, pizza
• Garcia’s:  Nightclub, bar
• Il Sogno:  Italian
• J.J. Cassone’s:  Bakery
• John’s of Arthur Ave:  Italian
• Kiosko:  Mexican
• Longford’s Own Made:  Ice Cream
• Los Chuzos de Juancho:  Colombian
• Mary Ann’s:  Mexican
• McShane’s:  Irish Pub (new)
• Neri’s Bakery
• Nessa:  Italian
• Paleteria Fernandez:  Ice cream, frozen treats
• Panera Bread:  Cafe, American
• Port Chester Hall & Beer Garden (new)
• Salsa Picante:  Mexican
• Sichuan Pavilion:  Chinese
• Sonora:  Nuevo Latino
• Spadaro’s:  Italian
• Tarry Market:  Gourmet market
• Varmax:  Wine, liquor
• Zeppoleme:  Zeppoles, panini, coffee

7th Annual Taste of Wilton

June 9 from 5:30-8:30

$30 per person at Wilton Chamber of Commerce, Fairfield County Bank, Bankwell, or Wilton Family Y

$35 at the door

Cheaper than an entrée at most restaurants here in CT, admission to Taste of Wilton is a great deal…especially because food and drinks are included.  This year, you’ll want to check out this event all over again so you can try out some of the new restaurants that have opened up and to nom away on your favorites.

Here are all the participants (getting full already):

• Ancona’s Wines & Liquors
• Bianco Rosso Wine Bar Restaurant
• Bistro 7
• Black Cat Grille
• Cactus Rose Restaurant & Tequila Bar
• Fleur de Lis Academy
Georgetown Package Store
• Little Pub Wilton
• Luca Ristorante Italiano
• Marly’s of Wilton
• Pinocchio Pizza
• Portofino Restaurant & Bar
• Stop & Shop
• Sweet Pierre’s
• Sweet Sabrina’s Cake Shop
• The Painted Cookie
• Toozy Patza Pizza
• Village Market
• Vintage Fine Wines (visit their store during the Taste)
• Wilton Pizza

SoNo Restaurant Week 2014: Classics and New Digs Like Local, Johnny Utah’s, Quartino, and Mama’s Boy

23 May
June 8-13, 2014

June 8-13, 2014

SoNo Restaurant Week is back from June 8-13 and this year, there’s some fresh meat (literally and metaphorically speaking) as well as some of your favorite spots to check out.  First, let’s go through the new spots like Quartino Trattoria Vineria which has taken over where Bacchus used to be, Johnny Utah’s which has taken over Black Bear and is putting a lil’ bit a country into SoNo, Sweet Lucy Lynn’s which was John Dough’s and Archie Moore’s, and Local Kitchen & Beer Bar (30 brews on tap) which is a reboot of NOLA and a sister restaurant to the Fairfield location.

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Nomworthy Bites of CT Food News, Vol. 5: BBQ, Memorial Day, Brews, Tastings + More…

21 May

 

Again, there’s so much going on this week and next week, that we wanted to get a whole slew of events out there for ya.  Don’t ever complain that there’s nothing to do here in Fairfield County!  Also, don’t forget to enter our FB contest to win 2 tickets to The Meatball Challenge of Fairfield County, valued at $120.  The contest ends Friday, so make sure to enter ASAP!  

May 21:  Barcelona Stamford is hosting a new series of events called “The Cocktail Classroom.”  This month’s class is called Whiskey Creations.  Okay, sold!  Check out how to make some great cocktails with whiskey while Executive Chef Scott Quis pairs them with some yummy bites.  Cost is $35 per person.

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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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Kawa Ni: Bill Taibe to Open Japanese Pub with Pan-Asian Flavors at Bridge Square Market in Saugatuck

27 Mar
Chef Taibe is outstanding in his field...

Chef Taibe will be opening his third restaurant shortly…you ready?

Update: Kawa Ni is now open and here’s our review!

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.

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Deals on Meals: 2014 Wilton Restaurant Week Features 19 Spots

5 Mar

Here we go, OmNomivores…it’s just about time for the 2nd Annual Wilton Restaurant Week!  19 restaurants all vying for your attention with deals on prix fixe meals from March 10 through March 16.  Not too shabby of a selection, huh?  From Italian, to Modern American, to Southwestern, to Mexican, to French, and to even the sweeter side of things, Wilton Restaurant Week’s gotcha covered.

Sustainability, Local, Organic: CT NOFA Winter Conference This Weekend w/ Workshops, Vendors + Local Lunch

27 Feb

CT NOFA Winter Conference 2014

CT NOFA, The Connecticut Chapter of Northeast Organic Farming Association, is “a growing community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, and consumers that encourages a healthy relationship to the natural world.”  They’ve been changing Connecticut one shovel, plant, farm, consumer, and restaurant at a time since 1982 and they are going stronger than ever.

From time to time, CT NOFA has events and meetings and this weekend is their 32nd Annual Winter Conference.  On March 1, from 8:30-5 pm, at the Midtown Campus (meet at Berkshire Hall) of Western CT State University, you’ll have a chance to attend workshops, listen to the keynote speech, bid on raffles, buy CT products, and have lunch from local restaurants and purveyors that put good, healthy, local and sustainable food first.  Tickets are $35 for students and farm interns/apprentices or $60 for all others and will help to fund CT NOFA’s mission of making Connecticut better.

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