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WUJI Food Ain’t Nuthin to F@$k With – Review, Greenwich

30 Jan

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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

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

The brunch stakes have been raised, Fairfield County @ Amore Cucina + Bar – Stamford, CT

20 Apr

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That title is pretty much ’nuff said for our review of Sunday brunch at Amore Cucina & Bar (11-3), but in typical OmNomCT style, we’re going to give ya every mouth-watering detail just in case you’re one of those people that needs to see their odds of a killer meal before they place their bets on a new spot.

First off, let’s talk drinks. In addition to their regular drink menu, they also have a plethora of brunch must-haves: a soon-to-be famous bloody Mary bar with 40 different toppings and bottomless mimosas and bellinis in various flavors for $15. Then they get even more creative with some surprises: Magic Milk, featuring brandy, milk, vanilla bean, and chocolate, and different shots too, including a breakfast shot, which Chef Jared Falco (a French Culinary Institute grad and former Executive Chef at Washington Prime) lined up for us a couple times throughout our brunch. This shot is like buttah, made of Jameson Irish Whiskey and butterscotch, chased with a shot of OJ. Yeah, that goes down waaaaaaaay too easy.

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Will Drive for (Good) Food @ Firebox – Hartford, CT

24 Oct

When we grew up in our New York towns a 1-2 hour drive was no big deal. But, since living in Fairfield County for 10 years, 1-2 hours might as well be 20 hours for some crazy reason. Hence why we never seem to make our way up to Hartford to try Firebox, a Modern American Farm to Table restaurant people have been raving to us about for years! But, one random Saturday we had nothing going on so we figured it was about time to make our way on up . . . Continue reading

Kickin’ It (Latin) Root Down at Tierra in Westport: CT Restaurant Review

8 Jul

When we hear about new restaurants, we get excited. When we hear about new Latin restaurants, like Tierra in Old Town Hall in Westport, we get really excited. Tierra (which opened in mid-June) is a bit hard to find at first, located to the right side of Spruce at 90 Post Road, close by Urban Outfitters, and by the parking lot off of Jesup Road.

Like good ‘ole Americans, we went there with our friend Christine on the Fourth of July (woo hoo South ‘Murica). Looking around, the bar to the left was warm, classic, and comfy with a huge loungy couch behind it. In the back there’s a private room with a nice wine rack wall and a fancy, shimmering chandelier. The main dining room features the same kind of vibe with a few tables and a side area with a view of the open kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen, a husband and wife team run the kitchen and own it along with Chad Whited (and Laura Luce) who was there that night to help out. We first met CIA grad Chef Sue Torres, who is half Italian and Puerto Rican. She’s had an amazing amount of experience with Nuevo Mexicano fare including working at her own Suenos, Arizona 206, Rocking Horse Cafe, and Hell’s Kitchen.  We met her during our dinner as she went around from table to table to see how everyone was enjoying the food. Next was chef Darren Carbone, who comes from Columbia with an Italian-American upbringing. His impressive resume includes a CIA degree like his wife, and heading the kitchens at Super Linda, Rosa Mexicano, La Verdad, El Vez, and Alma de Cuba.  Ok, ok, you’re probably getting anxious to know about the food, so vamos, vamos.

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A brunch to make even Portlandians jealous @ Olio in Stamford, CT

24 Apr
Man, we wanna come back STAT!

Man, we wanna come back STAT!  Huevos Rancheros, Olio (Veggie) Frittata, Chorizo Frittata, Steak & Eggs, and Sweet Potato Hash

One of the coolest things for us as bloggers is watching a restaurant grow from a mere idea to a fully working dynamo. We definitely had that kind of feeling when we came back to Olio, remembering when we first sat down with co-owners Moira Hyland and Chef Steve Costanzo.  And, we remembered seeking shelter at Olio during Sandy when we had lost all power. But, it was time for some new experiences…namely brunch, the best meal ever!

Before we even picked out what we were eating, we got uppers (coffee) and downers (mimosas) to start things off right. Then, after much deliberation, we finally decided on our dishes: an order of the amazing Ricotta Doughnuts, Steak & Eggs, Huevos Rancheros, and an order of the sweet potato hash. We brought Kristien’s parents to let them try out one of favorite places and they both got frittatas that they loved and devoured every bite of: one veggie, one with chorizo.

Thanks Mike and Ann!

Thanks Mike and Ann!

As we waited for our food, a super nice couple (Mike and Ann) sat down next to us who we had talked with at Casa Villa a few months back. They were inspired to go after seeing that we had asked our Facebook fans where we should take the ‘rents for brunch. Then, our donuts arrived, so we had to get down to business. They were still as light and fluffy as we remember…and still sooooo freaking amazing.

Kristien devoured her steak & eggs, served with home fry gratin (scalloped potatoes,) grilled strip, and a cilantro parsley chimichurri sauce. The eggs were cooked perfectly: runny yolk that oozed out in a rich yellow. The steak itself was cooked closer to medium rather than medium-rare, but was still excellent. And, the chimichurri sauce took the whole dish to another level with its herbaceous kick. Oh, and that home fry gratin…imagine scalloped potatoes, cooked to a delicate tenderness, placed in a thick cheddar-y sauce.  Seriously nomworthy.

Dan’s Huevos Rancheros was a great brunch item, featuring those nicely cooked eggs, the scalloped potatoes, a Guajillo Chili sauce, and grilled chorizo sausage that was split in half. The eggs (perfectly over easy) and sauce (bright and fresh) were placed atop a blue corn tortilla that added a nice texture to the dish. The chorizo was great, offering a nice bite and a undertone of spice that lingered. If this dish had just a little more salt it could have been super stellar, but still great nonetheless.

The Sweet Potato Hash is something our friend Kelley told us to get, and when we tried it we understood why. There was this amazing contrast going on between sweet and savory, soft and crispy due to the small bits of sweet potato and crispy pork belly.  A must have.

Having eaten here many times over the past couple of years, we can definitely put Olio up there with some of our favorite places to go in the area.  Service is always cheerful, happy, and helpful and the food is inspired, creative, and has heart in it.  It’s really nice to see that they are serving a brunch that is getting people coming in to fill up the place.  Mimosas are just $5, so you can load up without feeling guilty, too…and the rest of the brunch menu has a variety of options like House Cured Salmon, Cinnamon Brioche French Toast, Lobster Eggs Benedict, and Egg in a Hole.  Also, they just started serving lunch again, so you know where to go when you’re in the area…


Olio
Noms: 4
Cost: $$$
Address:  934 Hope Street
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone:  (203) 817-0303
Fax:  (203) 817-0305

Olio Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Half Full Tap Takeover Tonight at Coals in Port Chester!

12 Nov

Just a quick nudge from your food blogger friends, there’s a tap takeover tonight at one of our favorite restaurants ever:  Coals in Port Chester, NY.  The takeover is going on tonight (11/12) from 5-7 pm, right before the Elvis Costello concert.  Not only will the brews of Half Full be featured, but the man himself, Conor Horrigan, will be on hand to talk about his brews.  We kinda want to go just to see what his Half Full beard looks like.  <Chuckles>

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Stanziato’s Serves Up Killer Pies and More in Danbury, CT

17 Sep

Look who got off their lazy assez (we are using z’s in honor of Matt Stanczak who loves to use them) and headed up to Danbury to not only visit some great friendz, but also check out a restaurant that we’ve been dying to try.  Yeah, that would be uz visiting the house and famed garden of Renato and Alicia Ghio…who we like to call our couple twinz because we have so much awesomenezz in common.  We’ve done a lot of nomming together:  we visited Nicholaz Robertz together, they came for the Victory Brewz N’ Bacon dinner at Coalhouse, we chomped on some wicked Mexican at Panchoz Tacoz in Danbury, so we figured it was about time to take thiz to the next level.

The restaurant we decided that we all needed to hit up together…you guessed it, Stanziato’z!  Kristien’z friend and coworker, Jay, only told us to go like, ooooooh two yearz ago. And, we were reminded again just weekz before when we were sitting next to Matt (the owner) at Chef Bick’z farm-to-table dinner at Hollbrook Farmz.  So that seemed to be the final sign to get our buttz in gear and try it out.  Pluz, it didn’t hurt that Renato and Alicia said they had a gargantuan bottle of Ommegang Three Philosopherz that they needed help with.  Yeah, we’re good friendz like that.

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Chef Kardos brings New England + New Orleans together with NOLA in SoNo

9 Sep

NOLA.  While this word might conjure up images of New Orleans, Chef Dan Kardos and the owners from Southport Brewing Company had more than just New Orleans in mind when they put together the concept for NOLA Oyster Bar.  Think East Coast shoreline cuisine, and all you love about New England, mixed up with inspiration from the creole stylings of good ‘ole New Orleans. Based on this eclectic mix, it should be no surprise the menu is heavily focused on seafood, which is great because Chef Kardos happens to be straight from Fairfield County’s own seafood mecca, The Whelk.

We live on seafood in the summer, so you best believe we were excited to hit up this new restaurant with some of our favorite friends, Mike and Kelley (with two e’s, get it right). Being majorly early, like early bird special, eat with the blue-hairs early, we sat down at the bar for some pregaming.  Although they had a nice beer selection, we decided to start with some cocktails.  Kristien, Mike, and Kelley all started with Leenie’s Lemonade, a cocktail with Hangar 1 Maine blueberry vodka, fresh muddled mint, lemon, and simple sugar.  The lemon flavor hit first, but then you got nice notes of blueberry and mint.  Awesome and refreshing, not overly tart or sweet.  Dan had to be different and tried the French Quarter, made with rye whiskey, cardamaro, and old-fashioned bitters.  This has a classic kind of flavor and is a great choice if you love rye.  Because we were the first people at the bar for the day, the manager treated us to his soon-to-be-famous (by the time we write this it should already be famous) oyster shooters.  You’ll find this on the happy hour menu, but it just might show up on the regular cocktail menu soon too.  This shot is similar in flavor to a Bloody Mary with some kick and an oyster waiting for you on the bottom.  Very refreshing and a nice way to usher in our meal.

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Char-ming New Hot Spot Opens in Greenwich – Char, Greenwich

16 Jul

Char.  That word evokes beautiful nights outside grilling, steaks perfectly done, smoky cross marks on chicken, and that woodsy flavor.  The char on food takes us back to simpler times. And, as you enter Char, opened just July 2, you get that kind of vibe.  100 year old reclaimed wood from top to bottom adds rustic charm and Long Island brass chandeliers add a contrasting glamorous charm.  And this all comes from the Rugova family who also owns Dolphin and Cafe Hudson in Yonkers.  If you enter from the road, there’s a nice bar with a great lounge area if you’d just like to soak up some cocktails…more on that later.  Or, if you enter from the parking lot, you’ll enter the host station of the dining room.

The Char:  bourbon, muddled blackberries, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup served on the rocks.

The Char: bourbon, muddled blackberries, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup served on the rocks.

We took a nice booth in the nearly 240 seat restaurant and were greeted by our server.  He knew the menu extremely well and even had suggestions for us, so it was obvious to us that the staff had great training.  And, finally after months of wondering what the menu would be like, it was set before us: hand crafted cocktails, small plates, salads, and entrees in a Modern American and Mediterranean influenced style.  There were at least twenty items that we wanted to order, but there was only so much room in our bellies, so we thought it over with some drinks.

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