Tag Archives: CTbites

Have your food & raise funds too–Exclusive Kitchen Crawl event, 10/8 Westport

12 Sep

Eat food from 5 great CT chefs, drink wine and beer, tour houses, AND help Community Plates? Um . . . yes!

Have you ever passed a REALLY REALLY nice house for sale that you weren’t actually in the market for, but so badly wanted to tour it just to see how beautiful it was inside? And have you ever fantasized about how amazing it would be to enjoy an amazing meal prepared just for you by a renowned chef inside one of those home’s award-winning kitchens? Well, dream no longer. That’s EXACTLY what you get to do if you attend the first-ever Kitchen Crawl event put on by realtor Judy Michaelis in association with our friends at CTBites and Moffly Media’s AtHome Magazine. And the best part? While you’re enjoying all these amazing sights, smells, and tastes, you’ll be raising money for a charity near and dear to our hearts, Community Plates, whose mission it is to end food insecurity in America.

This is how it all goes down: Continue reading

Blues, Views + BBQ 2013 returns hotter than ever! – Westport, CT

26 Aug

One of our favorite Connecticut festivals is happening 8/31 and 9/1:  Blues, Views & BBQ.  And, it’s pretty easy to see why it’s one of our favorites:  there’s BBQ, there’s a whole lotta food, there are some killer tunes, there’s lots o’ beer, and there’s lots to check out.  This year you’re able to buy your tickets online (go to their Homepage then click on the link) to make entrance super easy.  A one day pass for an adult is $25 or you can get a two day pass for $45, Seniors 65 or older pay $15/$25, students from 13-20 pay $15/$25, and children 12 and under are free.  Here are all the juicy and smokey cool deets:

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Whose Cake Reigns Supreme at the Darien Library? We’ll Help Decide!

13 Apr

Chocolate Cake Slice with Raspberries

Have your cake and eat it too?  Yeah, we can handle that!  Especially because the Darien Library is having one of the most epic book events that has ever been created.  This is all part of their program, One Book, One Community–bringing Darien together through reading the same book.  The novel this time around is City of Thieves by David Benioff.  Erin Shea, Head of Adult Programming, explains, “Colonel Grechko tells Lev and Kolya that he will give them their freedom if they bring him a dozen eggs for his daughter’s wedding cake.”

A natural extension of this was to create their own kind of challenge…a cake baking competition.  Participants will bring in a homemade cake that will be offered up for judging by OmNomCT and a representative from CTBites.  We’ll be judging the cakes based on taste, appearance, texture, creativity, and the name.  Don’t fret, though.  There’s plenty of cake for everybody to try, too.  Did we mention that the winner will be able to snag $100?

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Monster margaritas, devilish enchiladas, and ginormous chimichangas w/ CTbites @ Pancho’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant – Danbury, CT

11 Sep

Does Danny have the intestinal fortitude to defeat this monster?

Amy Kundrat at CTbites.com invited us, some friends, and some other awesome bloggers to do a group post on their site for Pancho’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant.  Pancho’s is the spot to be, especially where I work.  We munch and nom away here, sometimes talking over business, and sometimes just to pig out.  First in the article we all wrote, there is Alicia Ghio who runs The Natural Princess and Local Food Rocks.  Add in her husband, Renato who takes awesome pics and video, and you’ve got one of our favorite couples of all time!  Together they run RmediA, a kickass video production company.  You then have our reviews, and we end with Amy.  Amy helps to put CTbites together and also has her own blog, Motoamy.  Click through after reading our first paragraphs and check out the full article at CTbites.

Danny’s Part

The last time I was at Pancho’s was after the Danbury Chalkwalk this past May. That, dear foodies, was a day that will live in infamy for me because I lost the battle of A la Diabla enchiladas.  Though a valiant effort, I couldn’t bust through the second of the third enchiladas.  Ever the champion, I knew what I had to do and I ordered the dish, straight “From the Devil.”

See if he survived A la Diabla.

My Part

Working down the street from Pancho’s at Humongo, I get the luxury of noming here regularly. And while the decor is nothing fancy, it has become our go-to spot for office celebrations and client lunches simply because the food never disappoints. Usually I go straight for the delicious and authentic tacos (Al Pastor being my favorite), but this time I decided to go with the Carne Enchilada Chimichangas.

See how the Carne Enchilada Chimichangas were.

Pancho’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant

Noms:  3.75

Cost:  $$

Address:  141 White St
Danbury, CT 06810

Phone:  (203) 798-9898 (that’s so easy to remember)

Site:  http://www.panchostaco.com

Pancho's Tacos Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bloggers & Co Swoon over Feast from Chef Arik Bensimon. Napa & Co. – Stamford, CT

4 Sep

Mary Schaffer, co-owner of Napa & Co in Stamford reached out to local bloggers and invited us to a special, complimentary blogger dinner.  We’ve been to Napa & Co before for Valentine’s Day a few years ago and really enjoyed the food.  Well, the same applied this time, and we were able to learn even more about the wine, Chef Arik Bensimon, and Napa & Co.  Cooler yet, we chilled with JR from Streets of Stamford, restaurantsCT, and CTbites.  Holla.

To start off, Napa & Co uses local and fresh ingredients and fully embraces the farm-to-table philosophy.  You can taste the difference in the food as you eat it, so fresh and full of flavor.  This is why the food is a bit more expensive here, and we get that… and respect it.  Good, quality ingredients costs money, and we’re willing to pay for it. Okay, enough yapping.  Here’s the food we experienced, broken down by each decadent course:

Amuse bouche to start things off

We love to say that:  amuse bouche.  That just means a small, bite size tidbit given from the chef that “entertains the mouth.”  Yeah, these freaking did.  Beautifully grilled octopus that had nice grill marks and was perfectly tender and bursting with flavor.  And, as if that wasn’t enough, we had pork beignets that were candied, cripsy, and just plain beautiful. The perfect mix of sweet and savory. To. die. for. Mary paired these with the Dayden 2010 Dry Rosé from one of our favorite vineyards, Arizona Stronghold.  Yes, the Arizona Stronghold from Arizona that is co-owned by Eric Glomski and Maynard James Keenan from Tool, Puscifer, and A Perfect Circle.  Kristien and I swear that he ate at Napa & Co before his concert last year because of our Twitter recommendations and sold Mary on the wine, but maybe that’s just our imagination (or wishful thinking because we’re obsessed with Maynard).  He also owns and runs Caduceus and Merkin Vineyards and he stars with Eric in the highly acclaimed film Blood into Wine–a must watch.

Course 1

Local duck egg, atop creamy fontina potatoes.  Not amazing enough?  Throw in three (count them, three) thick and oh-so-good slices of black truffles.  Ooooh yeah, black truffles.  That’s like $90 bucks there or something crazy like that.  The egg was poached and cooked perfectly and oozed out onto the potatoes, giving a nice contrast.  The truffles, while we thought would be overpowering at first, actually added a great depth and earthiness to this course.  Mary paired this with Toast by Napa & Co, a nice Brut.

Course 2

House made fettuccine with oolii mushrooms and saffron.  The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente  and was served with a creamy sauce with nice bites of saffron throughout.  Chef Arik usually has three homemade pasta dishes and sometimes even one magical, hidden pasta dish that’s not always advertised.  Oooh, mystery. Mary paired this with a light and buttery 2008 Chardonnay-Viognier blend from Spann Vineyards.  Simply perfect. This was one of our favorite dishes.

Course 3

Halibut that was marinated for 20 minutes with salt and fennel pollen, then blanched and pan fried.  Serve that up with some flavorful broth and hen of the woods mushrooms, and you’ve got a killer dish.  The fennel pollen added an almost floral taste to the meal which really added so much more depth to this dish.  Pair this with the 2007 Pinot Noir from Dom. Michel Gros, and you’ve got another ridiculously wicked course.

Course 4

Slow cooked lamb belly, with lemon, chives and tarragon, Beltane Farms yogurt on top, and a Fava bean mash on the bottom.  The lamb was tender, juicy and flavored very well.  The yogurt was tart and added a wonderful contrast to the inherent fattiness of the lamb belly.  Chef Arik sent us out some brussel sprouts and we loaded up my plate:  they were caramelized, flavorful, and made us lean back in our seats in awe.  This course came with an impressive 2004 Barolo from Michele Chiarlo.

Course 5

Grass fed brisket with local corn and heirloom tomatoes.  The au jus that the brisket and veggies sat in was so earthy and is the stuff of dreams.  The brisket itself, though, took it up a few more notches.  Delicate, earthy, fall apart on your fork, melt-in-your-mouth-oh-so-goody.  Again, a perfect pairing with a 2005 Spanish Tempranillo from Bodegas Ramon Bilbao set the dish off.

Course 6

We were sad to see the last course, but in a way we were so stuffed, we couldn’t have fit anymore.  Unlike Kristien, I have a natural hatred of all things cheesecake, so I had a big decision to make during the whole meal.  Would I eat the Marscapone Cheesecake that was served with strawberries and basil?  At first I wasn’t sure, but just after the amuse bouche I knew that I trusted Chef Arik to give me something that would blow me away.  Let me say, this was an amazing dessert.  It was not too sweet and just right in terms of creaminess.  The little ribbons of basil, too, added nice bursts of flavor to the cake.  Mary paired this course with a great Muscat from Rurtherglen that wasn’t overly sweet.

The Verdict

Napa & Co is FANTABULOUS on all levels, from ingredients, to wines, to service, to (of course) their dishes. Chef Arik has real, raw, culinary talent.  Napa & Co has fresh, flavor-forward taste, that can satisfy even the pickiest foodies and winos.

If you’re ever want an experience like this, you can always check out Napa & Co‘s site as well as sign up for their e-mails.  They often have wine tastings, wine dinners, and other fun events.  You might consider Napa & Co expensive, but you’re certainly getting what you paid for.  A tip:  try the burger.  Damn, holy hell.

Noms: 4.25

Cost: $$$

Napa & Co

Address: 75 Broad Street

Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: (203) 353-3319

Site:  http://www.napaandcompany.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/napaandcompany

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/napaandcompany

Napa & Co on Urbanspoon

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