Tag Archives: bar

Chill Out @ Rizzuto’s Ice Bar + Winter Patio Party ft. New Amsterdam Vodka

24 Feb

pic copy[1]

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but at the Rizzuto’s Ice Bar it’s so delightful. So, go ahead and grab your bros, it’s so cold, it’s so cold, it’s so cold. 

Okay, enough of that, let’s just get down to the details for the 1st Annual Ice Bar and Winter Patio Party at Rizzuto’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant in Westport. Just stop by their 540 Riverside Avenue spot starting at 7 on 2/27 and 6 on 2/28 for some super-chilled drink, food specials, and (yes it’s true) an ice luge. And, cuz we love you so much, we’re sharing the menu with ya: 

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Must Buy: Bar’s 15th Annual CT Real Ale Festival Tix on Sale Today – New Haven, CT

28 Nov
Connecticut Real Ale Festival Bru Rm Bar
As opposed to the 15th Annual CT Fake Ale Festival?
 
Ah, something new to learn, people:  Real ales are top-fermented and undergo a secondary fermentation in the same bottle or cask in which they are served. As we just hinted at, Cask beers are considered real ales. This unique brewing process offers up added flavors, notes, and even in some cases a different kind of mouthfeel.
 

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Vinny’s Backyard Goes Pink to Raise $ for Breast Cancer Treatment + Support – Stamford, CT

10 Apr

There are a bunch of things that we miss so much after moving from Stamford to Greenwich…and one of those things happens to be Vinny’s Backyard right in the Springdale area of Stamford.  While you might look at Vinny’s from the outside and think it’s nothing too special, once you try the wings you will be enlightened, brothers and sisters.  We consistently rank Vinny’s wings (Original, Sweet & Sour, BBQ, Chipotle, General Tso’s, Garlic Parmesan, or Sweet Thai Chili) as one of our favorites in the area, plus it’s a great place to try out one of their cracker-thin pizzas or to even straddle up to the bar and have some brewskis.  

Not that you need permission from us to hit up Vinny’s because it is a favorite local spot, but you’ll definitely need to come by April 24, 2014 from 5 pm until 1 am for a special fundraising night.  Vinny’s will be donating 25% of all beverage sales directly to the CT chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The money raised will help to provide women with mammograms, education, and assistance with breast cancer treatment for those who can’t afford it.

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Little Pub Opening Third Restaurant in Cos Cob, Greenwich

15 Nov
Artist’s rendering of Little Pub Greenwich, from FB page

Ridgefield got Little Pub in 2009.

Wilton got Little Pub in 2013.

And, damn right, Greenwich is getting Little Pub in 2014.

That’s right.  Little Pub is opening up its third location and has set its sights on Greenwich, more specifically Cos Cob.  Their new location will be located at 531 East Putnam Avenue, the former location of Fonda la Paloma.  We’re gonna miss saying “Fondle my Paloma” every time we pass it now, but that’s okay…Little Pub is coming in.

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Over 500 Bottles, 50 Taps: World of Beer Coming to Stamford, Harbor Point

27 Sep

(All photos from World of Beer site)

Update:  World of Beer is open and here’s our review!

World of Beer is coming to the Harbor Point area of Stamford.

Yes, the same World of Beer (a nation wide brew-chise) that boasts well over 500 bottles of beautiful, rare, craft and awesome beer…plus just a wee bit of taps.  Just 50.  No biggie.  The beer selection at World of Beer is built not only for the true beer-ocrat, but also for the noobs.  Whatever your taste is, they’ll definitely have you taken care of at the Stamford location.  And, look, they reward your drinking with a Loyalty Card.  Don’t you wish more people would do that?  They’ll keep track of your points with your Loyalty Card or even their new app for iPhone and Droid, helping you to earn merch, discounts, and even get chances at giveaways.  The World of Beer app is sick for other reasons, too.  You can search the entire inventory of the Stamford World of Beer, check out their special events, keep track of your points, and find any other info that you’d possibly need.

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A seedling of potential at The Beer Garden @ Harbor Point

14 May

It’s a Friday night, mid 70s outside, and there are just a few little clouds in the sky. Could there have been a better day to hit up the brand new Beer Garden @ Harbor Point? No, probably not. Unfortunately, it seemed that everybody in Fairfield County agreed, but we still managed to find a killer parking spot just right outside of Walgreen’s. There’s also a huge lot nearby that they have devoted to Beer Garden parking, too, if you can’t find any street-side spots.

Before we even entered, we were amazed to see this building that was empty  just a few months ago, turned into a massive party scene. Maddy’s food truck and Lobstercraft were outside, with about 50 devoted followers ready to get their grub on. That is one of the great things about this Beer Garden: although you can’t get food inside (yet), they’ll have food trucks there for you to get your nom on.

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Our dish on 14 dishes at Cactus Rose Cantina- Wilton, CT

17 Apr

*Click a picture to start the gallery*

We had the fortunate opportunity a few months ago, thanks to local foodie and PR extraordinaire Linda Kavanagh, to enjoy  a complimentary press dinner at Cactus Rose Cantina in Wilton, CT that would prove to be a record breaking number of courses. And now we want to share that experience with you. Here’s how it went down:

We were struck by how bright and fun the interior is, with beautiful, bright tiled mosaics along the walls, perfect lighting, and an adorable fireplace. They even have a fireplace outside on their huge patio that’s perfect for kind weather dining. You could really tell both owners, Maria Pertesis and her mom Katerina love what they do too because they’re usually found greeting guests, making the rounds, asking customers how the food is, talking, chatting, and even helping to bring dishes to tables from time to time. We love when we see that!

Before we sat, we had some margaritas at the large bar.  They have four signature margarita concoctions, so it was our duty to try them all out, you know?  Danny started with the Dali, a margarita with Sauza 100 yr reposado, triple sec, lime
juice and simple syrup with a splash fresh orange juice.  I had the Apache, a spicy margarita that hit you at the end with a nice heat from the serrano.  All and all, they were pretty delish! We also started with some beef empanadas in a light ranchero sauce and dipped into some vertical nachos that were smothered in chihuahua cheese (no, they didn’t milk the dog, it’s a yummy Mexican cheese), refried black beans, and guac.  Both were hardy apps filling enough if you’re looking to just get a bite at the bar.

As we sat down, we saw the tasting menu, awaiting us like Wonka’s Golden Ticket.  Danny and I didn’t know what to order from the 14 dishes available, as usual. Well, that problem was solved for us because apparently we were trying every. single. one. Holy crap, I didn’t wear an elastic band skirt, haha. Well, let us take you on the tasting tour, so you know what to order when you hit up Cactus Rose.

Seafood cocktail shooters (lobster, crab & shrimp with citrus, chile, & tomato): This was a cross between a ceviche and a seafood cocktail.  Must love cocktail sauce here for sure or you won’t dig this! Seafood was fresh and the chile added a fun kick.

Wilted greens (warm chorizo vinaigrette, orange, jicama, organic sunny side up egg): The dressing was very light and the oranges added a nice contrast with the greens and the crispiness of the jicama.  And the egg?  Well, everything’s better with an egg on it.

Corn & poblano chowder (applewood smoked bacon, potatoes, cilantro): Great chowder (actually won the Critics Choice Award at Chowdafest IV) with chunks of corn and a smooth after heat. The smokey bacon was a really nice addition. This was my favorite.

Tuna tostada (watercress salad, pickled jalapeño, cilantro aioli): A bit too much aioli for us, but the tuna was seared nicely and served with a bright and herbaceous salad.  Good for summer.

Chile relleno (goat cheese, black beans, red chile salsa): Loads of goat cheese, though thicker and milder than the goat cheese Kristien is in love with. It was fried in a batter that was too thick for us. We prefer a lightly fried chile relleno.

Mini wagyu burger (poblano pepper, applewood bacon, Monterey Jack): Cooked close to well, which is more cooked than we like it causing it to be a bit on the dry side.  Shoestring fries were crispy and were nice. Bacon flavor really came through with the thick cuts.

Seared salmon with chorizo cream: All agreed the salmon was cooked great and the sauce was a nice, unique complement.  I was proud for picking up Executive Chef Lisa Varnberg’s use of cardamom in the dish. A unique salmon dish I actually enjoyed, and I usually don’t like salmon.

Grilled lamb chop with New Mexican ratatouille: The lamb chops were cooked appropriately and the ratatouille was good, but we were both hoping for more of a kick and flavor. The lamb was a bit fatty. Definitely not our favorite.

Chile chocolate pots de crème:  Imagine a pudding, lighter than air, just floating into your belly.  Yup, that’s this. Quite tasty!

Leche asado (queso fresco and maldon salt): Think custard, but on crack.  Really filling, so make sure you’ve saved up some room in that gut. Delish!

Banana bandit (banana cheesecake “burrito” w/ chocolate ice cream): Danny’s not a big fan of cheesecake, but even he thought this was a great dessert.  It “stole” our hearts, bah ha ha (yeah, we’re lame).

Jelly doughnuts (strawberry jalapeño jam and vanilla milkshake): Dear sweet beautiful lovely god of food.  Seriously, some of the best donuts that we’ve ever had.  The strawberry jalapeño jam sneaks up on you slowly but just mellows out behind things.  The milkshake was frothy and makes you feel like a little kid again.  This dish has to be ordered.

Final Impressions

Cactus Rose Cantina is a cozy, friendly spot where you could easily kick back while laughing with friends. The drinks are creative and tasty. As for the food, you can expect to find some wonderful gems on the menu and some dishes that don’t quite make the grade. Yes, it can be a bit hit or miss, but if you choose carefully you could have a great experience. And you really can’t go wrong with any of the desserts, so it’s definitely worth trying for yourselves.

Cactus Rose Cantina

Noms:  3.25

Cost: $$$

Address: 5 River Road

Wilton, CT 06897

Phone: (203) 762-8484

Site:  http://cactusrosecantina.com

Cactus Rose Cantina on Urbanspoon

Breastivus for the restivus! Raising money for breast cancer, one beer and slice at a time. New England Brewing Company-Woodbridge, CT

6 Jun
If you’ve never been to New England Brewing Company in Woodbridge (check out our review), it’s a must.  The guys that work there are fun, quirky, full of energy, and have an immense amount of beer knowledge.  Even if you haven’t, then here’s a perfect opportunity to visit:

Breastivus

Saturday, June 11, from 6-9 pm

NEB is raising money for Team Pass Go that will benefit the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

Update:  NEB helped Team Pass Go to collect $10,000!

$20 suggested donation at the door, but you can dig deeper…can’t you?

Pizza from Modern Apizza and BAR will be served!

Also, drink down some free nice cold Sea Hags and Elm City Lagers! ;)  Our Sea Hags are just about done, so we’ve been savoring the last two cans. When else do you have a chance to drink up and eat pizza while giving back?  To see what you’re in for, check out our buddies’ review from Food + Beer.

New England Brewing Company

Address:  7 Selden Street

Woodbridge, CT 06525

Phone: (203) 387-2222

Site:  http://newenglandbrewing.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/New-England-Brewing-Co/58798029455

Ending the year on a high note! Red Lulu Cocina & Tequila Bar, South Norwalk (SoNo)

1 Jan

Kristien and I OmNoming it up at Red Lulu

When we were thinking about some great places to OmNom it up for New Year’s Eve, we couldn’t stop going back to our amazing experience at Red Lulu.  With a place that cool, we thought it HAS to be a scene on the craziest night of the year, right? So Kristien called up Red Lulu and was told the chef would be creating some new items for a very special menu, that there would be three seatings, one at 6:00, 8:00 and 10:00, and that they would have confetti and a champagne toast at midnight.  We decided we couldn’t miss out on what was sure to be a fantastic night so we made reservations for us, and our friend, Paul Mueller, author of Abigail and Blueboy, for 8:00PM

To begin, we were led to the most awesome seat in the house:  the head of the beautiful mirrored, cross table just below the brick wall where they were projecting NYC’s Time Square live.  Paul freaked when the granita came out smoking and popped a picture just like we did.  Some things never grow old! :) Our waitress, Emma, brought us our margaritas (HAD to have the Red Lulu and Diablo again) and prepared us for an awesome meal.  Some of the major highlights of the night:

Paul, Emma, and I

1)  The chef’s new guacamole!  It was mixed with thick chunks of smoked bacon… yeah bacon, need we say more?  I just hope this stays on their regular menu. If not, I’m sorry that I just told you about it without hope of you ever achieving oneness through this dish.

2)  The carne asada, once again, was amazing.  It was done up differently when I ordered it last time, so I didn’t feel as guilty for ordering the same darn thing.  There were some nicely grilled onions on the side, with a beautiful strip of beef that was cut into slices and accompanied with some tortillas for wrapping.  A spicy red sauce was there that added great flavor and heat to the dish.  By itself, the beef was amazing, but adding in the red sauce made it great.  Also, throw in some more guacamole and roasted jalapenos, and it’s perfect.  Well, I guess if there was bacon in this guac, too! :)

3)  The service!  It was spot on yesterday.  We were seated right at 8:00 and were well taken care of by the attentive waitstaff and by Emma.  The time we spent at Red Lulu seemed to just drift by as they helped us to celebrate.  Waiters, waitresses, and staff were clad in NYE necklaces and hats, were throwing balloons around, were cranking noise makers, and getting everybody excited.

4)  Both the pulled pork and rib eye tacos.  The meat, in both tacos, was cooked very nicely.  The pulled pork, in particular, was of the kind of quality that you’d find at a stellar BBQ joint.  The pork was just so moist and delicate, that it just seemed to melt away.  Served up with some salsa verde, the pulled pork tacos were a great starter.

My New Year's Eve Cotton Candy Goatee

5)  Last of all, we all shared  a dessert platter.  There was a tequila cupcake with a scoop of butter on top–I ate a big chunk of it with the cupcake thinking it was ice cream.  Nope, it wasn’t, ewwww.  It was butter!  Damn, that was smart of me, but we all got a big laugh out of it.  Also, there were fried banana cheesecake bites that Kristien just loved.   The other two desserts:  a bread pudding (we think… at this point we had quite a few margaritas) and a brownie cake were also very good.  We were even given an extra complimentary dessert platter and some champagne to wash it all down. SWEET!

Red Lulu continues to kick some major culo!  The place was packed, with three dinner seatings and a crowded bar, yet the food came out hot, and the service was superior.  I just wonder when we’ll be back again…maybe next Saturday?

Red Lulu Cocina & Tequila Bar on Urbanspoon

¡Que Bueno! New Mexican Spot Offers Classics and Twists. Lola’s Mexican Kitchen, Stamford

19 Dec

There’s nothing that makes a long day of jogging on the treadmill and playing Zuma Blitz better than sipping (or gulping) on some margaritas.  Kristien and I had made reservations at Lola’s Mexican Kitchen, a new Mexican restaurant at 135 Bedford Street, which had only been open since December 9.  This restaurant is just a baby, time wise at least.  When you order their food, you’re probably think much different, though! The spot was very simple and elegant.  The atmosphere was lively, and as we ate our meal the crowd scene by the large bar began to grow.

To start, we ordered a pitcher of the Classic Margarita made with Patrón.  You can’t deny the power of Patrón!  They came out a little strong, but the waiter–Cody–had more mix put in and that made it real nice (yeah, we’re wusses).  Our waiter was kind, informative, never rushed us.  He has just finished his culinary training, so we all wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors in Omnomitivity.

Getting back to the pitcher, it cost $25 for the pitcher plus an upcharge of $10 for the Patrón–a very reasonable price comparatively. We’ve paid $40-50 in some places here in Fairfield County.  A nice and warm bag of tortilla chips then came to our table, accompanied by a very fresh tasting salsa.  The salsa had less of the large chunks in it like we like, but was still flavorful.

We then had the Trio of Guacamole.  We got more chips (we were in chip heaven), a bowl of fresh, chunky, tangy pico de gallo (much better), and three very distinct bowls of guacamole.  The black bean guacamole was good, though it tasted more like a black bean dip rather than a guacamole.  We both felt like we wanted more spice and a kick.  The classic guacamole was ok, we think it could have been a lot better and fresher.  Take Riviera Maya, for example:  they make the guacamole right in front of you.  It doesn’t get fresher than that, plus you get to choose your own flavors there.  The last guacamole, mango and habenero, was great, though.  The guac brought me back to summer with its freshness and its bright flavor.  The taste of the habanero was there, though I wish it would burn.  Why do we enjoy being in spicy pain so much?

I had to fight every urge in me, then, not to order too many of my favorite dishes off the menu.  The tacos looked amazing, but I fought the urge.  The burrito platter looked ridiculous, but I fought the urge.  So many classics looked great, but I fought the urge!  Instead, I decided to have a dinner of two small plates.  I really do love ceviche, so I ordered that to even out the heaviness of the Mexican pizza.  When the ceviche came it was presented in a fun way and looked almost too good to eat.  The calamari and shrimp tasted great and weren’t “overdone” as is sometimes the case with ceviche.  My disappointment with this dish was that a fishy taste and smell overpowered the citrusy taste, indicating to me that the fish was not fresh. Kristien had the same issue with her fish taco, which she did not like. She did, however, say the Carnitas taco, with slow roasted pulled pork, Oaxaco, and pickled red onion, was the best she ever had.

The Mexican pizza, on the other hand, was just plain perfection.  Kristien loves to bother me about my loathing of certain cheeses, which I suppose I have earned.  I decided to go out on a limb with a new cheese (Oaxaca) that  I hadn’t had before, one that I couldn’t even pronounce nonetheless!  The pizza came with a nice medium thickness crust and with Oaxaca smothered and melted across.  Top that off with chunks of spiced tomatoes and some of the smokiest and best chorizo I’ve had.  This is one of those plates you can’t put down and wish there was more of.  You need to order this–it’s a killer!

I was very full and wasn’t sure if there was any more room, but we saw the churros at another table and needed those bad.  When the churros arrived we couldn’t wait to dig in!  The cinnamon and the sugar on the outside was the perfect mixture to coat the crispy crust, yet the inside was still soft. Cody told us, are made fresh and to order.  This explains why they tasted so amazing.  I know they have flan and tres leches, but I think I’d have to order the churros again, as should you.  Really, really great.

So, the lowdown on Lola’s is that this place will most likely become a gem in the crown of downtown Stamford with just a few adjustments.  The really great thing about Lola’s is that they are listening to what people say about the menu and adjusting where they need to and taking chances.  The manager came to our table and shared this with us and told us that one of the best selling items is the Habanero edamame, which I have to try next time.  It’s hard to believe that they’ve only been open for about 9 days because things are running pretty smoothly. Lola’s definitely has the potential to be a 4 Nom restaurant and I’m sure they’ll make it there with their good manager, excellent waitstaff, and a wonderful menu.  Right now they have 3.25 Noms, but hope it won’t be long for that to change.  Definitely check this place out!

Noms:  3.25

Cost:  $$$

Lola’s Mexican Kitchen
Address:  135 Bedford Street
Stamford, CT
Phone:  (203) 674-5652
Site:  http://www.lolasmexicankitchen.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/lolas.stamford?sk=wall
 
 

Lola's Mexican Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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