Tag Archives: brunch

A Prime brunch on a dime @ Washington Prime

15 Mar

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When we heard a brunch buffet was coming to SoNo we had our doubts. When we hear the word buffet we get an immediate scowl on our faces. I mean let’s face it, there are plenty ‘o crappy buffets out there, packed full of stale, processed, fatty, fried, foods that are luke warm at best. On the flip side, we love us some brunch . . . except for the price tag that often comes along with it. So we figured, if the brunch buffet was actually going to be any good, well, then we assumed it was going to cost a stupid amount of money. Here’s the thing though (spoiler alert), the brunch at Washington Prime was actually delish AND, at just $29.95 a person, yep you read that right, it’s frickin’ dirt cheap. Especially when you see what that gets you. Let’s do this . . .

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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

Look Out! Bar Sugo Opens 4 Lunch + Brunch – Norwalk, CT

26 Mar

Cavatelli with traditional bolognese, sage veloute, and ricotta salata at Bar Sugo in Norwalk

•••

Brace yourselves.  Are you anchored down?  Good, let’s forge ahead.  Bar Sugo in Norwalk is opening up for lunch and brunch and will soon have outdoor seating.  Yeah, we know…that’s awesome.  Lunch (from 11-4) will start on April 1 (not a joke, punks) and will feature much of the same dinner menu, but they’ll also be adding some panini, more salads, and a burger.  Oh, but to call it a burger is selling it short.  It will be a house dry aged Ox Hollows Farm beef burger with red onion jam, gouda, rosemary mayo, and a Sport Hill farm egg on top, served on housemade brioche.  Chef Pat and co. will also be offering cold fried chicken with crispy speck and pickled mustard, too.  

Scallops with sunchoke puree and caper-raisin-pinenut vinaigrette at Bar Sugo NorwalkBrunch (11-3) starts off on April 7 and Pat promises that it will be like a brunch that you’ve never experienced before.  We’re talking about old Italian countryside kind of brunch, unlimited bellinis, and special dishes such as lemon pancakes with lemon custard and lemon butter or Sport Hill farm eggs and pork belly from Millstone.  

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Lazy Sunday “Blunch” at Mediterraneo in Greenwich, CT

7 Feb
Bellinis and margaritas...ah, the perfect way to start a lazy Sunday ;)

Bellinis and margaritas…ah, the perfect way to start a lazy Sunday ;)

For New Year’s Eve we were looking for a great place that was close to home and would be awesome. Years ago we had been to Terra, so we thought that Mediterraneo (in the same Z Hospitality Group) might be just as good. They had great reviews, so we made our reservations. While they didn’t have a special menu, they did have their regular menu of Mediterranean (and seafood focused) fare along with a few specials. We didn’t do a review because, well, it was New Years and even we could use a day off, but overall, we had a great meal so we definitely wanted to head back… for our OmNomivores of course!

We read in the Greenwich Time that they had Sunday brunch, but when we got there we were told that was a mistake and they’ve been trying to get them to change it for months. A little disappointed, we took a look at the menu and decided to make our own little “blunch” instead. Like what we did there? What better way to start blunch than with some light alcoholic beverages and coffee? Yes, uppers and downers joining as one. Gotta love blunch. Kristien had the Mediterraneo Bellini with flavorful peach purée and a splash of grenadine. The champagne was nice and dry, contrasting nicely with the sweetness of the peach. Dan had an amazing margarita (at noon? Sure!) made with passion fruit, Jose Cuervo Gold, and Grand Marnier. Each sip made us forget that it was 40 degrees outside. As for the coffee, it was strong, just how we like it.

grilled octopus salad with blood orange

grilled octopus salad with blood orange

Because it was blunch, we could order whatever the heck we wanted. Dan started with the grilled octopus and it seemed better than on New Year’s Eve. The octopus was cooked nicely, wasn’t tough, and had grill marks that added a smoky flavor. Executive Chef Albert DeAngelis and Chef du Cuisine Daniel Rivera contrasted that with bright, slightly sweet, and tart blood orange slices. Adding more contrast in taste and texture was thinly sliced fennel. Very well done.

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Mediterraneo (review redirect) Greenwich, CT

13 Jan

Gotta love WordPress!  It kept the date that we first began writing this post.  Well, here is where the post should be.  Again, we’re sorry…this is frustrating stuff.

Link to review.

Down to Earth Farm to Table at Terrain – Westport, CT

29 May

*Click a pic to check out the drool-worthy gallery*

We just can’t get enough of delicious farm-to-table restaurants, so when we heard about Terrain in Westport we were super excited to try it. But, to be completely honest, we weren’t really sure what to expect. On one hand, the kitchen’s headed up by Joe Wolfson, winner of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2011, so it has to be good.  But on the other hand, it is owned by the same company that owns Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People. Oh, don’t get me wrong, being a fashionista I LOVE those stores, but can they make good food? Good farm-to-table food at that? We were a little unsure…until we sat down and dug in.

From the minute we arrived we knew this wasn’t your typical farm-to-table experience. Well, first of all, for those of you that don’t know, it’s actually a 2 acre store and the restaurant (cafe to be exact) is only one part of that 2 acre space. If you come in through the outside area, you’ll walk around a large, really nice tree/plant nursery on your way to the outdoor seating. If you walk in through the inside you’ll walk through a jaw-dropping home and garden type store that is impossible to pass up. Either way you go, it’s a gorgeous experience leading up to an equally gorgeous, rustic, charming cafe area complete with butcher block table tops, weathered metal chairs, plants, waterfalls, trees, moss, flowers and more.

We were immediately seated and then greeted by our very charming (and single for all you single ladies) waiter, Jason. It wasn’t too long after chatting with Jason and a few other members of the staff that we realized Terrain was just a nice, laid back, down-to-earth, farm-to-table restaurant. That’s how they should all be, right? We also found out from the staff that most of their food is sourced within a 50 mile radius, including Glenn Mills, Holbrook Farm, Oakview, The Hickories, and Warrup’s Farm. Even much of the wine and beer selection is regional of which Danny had a Magic Hat Circus Boy, and I sampled a Jonathan Edwards Cabernet before settling on a bolder California red. But enough about all that, onto the food.

We started with some of their many appetizing small plates and side dishes, then shared an entree, then onto dessert of course. Here’s the plate by plate:

Bread

How cute! Bread baked in a terra cotta pot!

Yeah, we don’t usually write about the free bread, but we just HAD to this time. Why? Well, first of all because it comes in the terra cotta flower pot it was baked in. But second of all, it was HOLY CRAP delicious, soft and ooey gooey served with maple syrup butter that I seriously could’ve eaten with a spoon (and may have when no one was looking, just sayin’).

Roasted Beets: Young lettuce, chevre, pumpkin seeds and an orange vinaigrette

Oh wow, this was better than your average goat cheese salad (and believe me, I’ve tried them all). The dressing was light, flavorful and the perfect amount of acid to balance the red and yellow beets, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds, which seemed to be roasted and coated in some sort of yumminess.

Baby Lettuce: Marcona almonds, fennel, carrot, ricotta and a lemon vinaigrette

This was Danny’s salad. He claims it was a fancy party in his mouth. The fennel brought a nice kick, the Marcona almonds, a nice texture and saltiness, the Ricotta a creaminess and the vinaigrette a bright, light acid that brought the whole thing together.

Hanger Steak: Asparagus, new potato, mushroom, garlic fondue and red wine

Cooked PERFECTLY medium rare, juicy with a nice crusted outside. The mushroom fondue was layered on the plate beneath the steak and was out of this world. We made sure to dip each bite of steak and each perfectly tender potato in for a bite that was FULL of flavor.

Scallops:  Terrain bacon, English peas, horseradish, red bee honey

Scallops:  yeah, you’ve gotta order this

We honestly didn’t think the meal could good better, but it did.  The honey added a unique, sweet flavor to the scallops along with the sweetness of the peas while the horseradish really added a warmth.  And of course the rich, fatty bacon was the perfect balance with the scallops. Yeah, we concluded that honey and scallops are best friends that should never be separated ever again.

Roasted Mushrooms: Various mushrooms, garlic, shallots. 

Mmmm, lots of yummy types of fresh mushrooms cooked to perfection served over some sort of awesome garlic creaminess that added a wonderful punch of flavor to the earthiness of the mushrooms.

Cornbread: Apple, jalapeno, cheddar. Heaven.

Jason warned us of its awesomeness, but nothing could prepare us. OMG, this is seriously the BEST cornbread we’ve ever had. So incredibly moist, so buttery with just the right amount of cheddar and some nice sweet apple to balance out the kick from the jalapeno. We will dream of this cornbread regularly. In fact, I want some now, darnnit.

Chocolate Budino: Chocolate pudding, salted caramel sauce, peanut brittle

We wanted the homemade doughnuts (mmmm doughnuts) but they ran out so Jason suggested this instead. Although not my type of dessert (I’m not a pudding fan), this was quite yummy and Danny really enjoyed it! We both loved the saltiness of the caramel which served as a great balance to the sweetness of the pudding. And the peanut brittle was fantastic – not too hard or overly sugary where it hurts your teeth. JUST right.

We have to say, after just one dining experience we are HUGE fans of Terrain. The atmosphere was stunning, the service was absolutely perfect (ask for Jason, he rocks), the courses came out slowly letting us just relax, the vibe was chill and the food was just plain AMAZING. So now that dinner has been conquered, we must come back for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday and shop around for a while. I can definitely see us going back again and again, and so should you!

Terrain

Noms: 4.5

Cost: $$$

Address:  561 Post Road East
Westport, CT 06880
Phone:  (203) 226-2732
Lunch Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Brunch Saturday & Sunday:  10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dinner Tuesday -Saturday:  5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/Terrain 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/ShopTerrain/

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/shopterrain/

Site:  http://www.shopterrain.com/westport-restaurant

Terrain on Urbanspoon

~(‾▿‾)~ Eggcellent Easter Brunch + Dinner Spots in Fairfield County (=^_^=)

2 Apr
Brunchmazing at SoNo Baking Company

We are in the process of updating listings for Easter 2015! 

*Tweet tweet* Spring has sprung and the smell of brunch is in the air.  Brunch, one of the most awesome meals of the day.  Better than breakfast and better than lunch:  it is a combination of the best of both worlds.  Sweet, savory, eggy, bready, and meaty.  We’re not talking about just any brunch, though…Easter brunch, one of the best dining days of the year.  Well, we hopped from site to site, from e-mail to e-mail, and restaurant to restaurant and found some great spots for brunch.  Make sure to make reservations, though.  If you have a suggestion for a place that we left off, let us know.  We’ll add it for the benefit of all mankind.

Easter 2015 Listings

Black Rock

Walrus + Carpenter:  TBD

Darien

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