Tag Archives: David’s Soundview Catering

David’s Soundview Catering’s New Event Space + Cafe Has Landed at The Landing!

20 Jul

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If there’s one thing that we can say about Chef David Cingari it’s that he’s one of the kindest, most fun people you’ll ever meet. But, don’t be fooled by his booming laugh and kind heart, he’s one badass when it comes to cooking and running his super popular catering company, David’s Soundview Catering. And, while he’s been making marks on the culinary scene with his company since 1998, he’s never done looking for the next best thing. Last year he opened Cafe 1000 in Bridgeport which made its mission to feed locals and workers for breakfast and lunch. And now, David has made things even more amazing with two new additions.

Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo and David Cingari of The Landing from David's Soundview CateringThe first addition is David hired the ever-smiling Francois Kwaku-Dongo, his new Executive Chef. Readers of our blog should know that name because he was the opening chef at JHouse in Greenwich, as well as the Executive Chef at l’escale. Yep, he’s got some major cred (and skills), so much so that we can’t even list them all here.

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Get on the Menu: Sandwich Recipe Contest for Cafe 1000 in Bridgeport

21 Mar

Cafe 1000  Bridgeport Recipe Contest

Back in February we told you about David Cingari of David’s Soundview Catering opening up Cafe 1000 in Bridgeport.  What can we really say about David, but we freaking love him?  He’s not only the nicest guy around, but he’s redonkulously hilarious…plus he’s one talented dude in the kitchen.  

Anywho, he’s sponsoring a great contest for Cafe 1000!  David, Executive Chef Adlin Fluerency, and the Cafe 1K crew are on the lookout for an awesome sandwich that they will add to their menu.  If your original creation is picked, not only will it be placed on their menu to memorialize your culinary creativity, you’ll also be able to name your sandwich, you’ll get a $50 gift card, and even have the chance to prepare it alongside Chef Fluerency.

Here are the rules:

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David Cingari of David’s Soundview Catering Opens Cafe 1000 in Bridgeport

13 Feb
David Cingari and Mayor Finch make it official on Feb 12 (photo from David's Soundview Catering)

David Cingari and Mayor Finch make it official on Feb 12 at the Cafe 1000 Grand Opening party!  Just a note:  not sure we can trust him with scissors that big!  Eeek.  (all photos from David’s Soundview Catering)

David Cingari is. the. man.  He’s a graduate of not only New Haven Hotel & Restaurant Management, but also of the Culinary Institute of America.  On a personal level, he is probably one of the nicest and most hilarious guys that you’ll ever met, and he’s also the proud owner and Head Chef of David’s Soundview Catering in Stamford.  We got to know him and the DSC crew at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center’s Maple Sugar Chef’s Challenge, and at many charitable events that they support and help organize.  Needless to say, when it comes to awesome food like their redonkulous taco bar that we tasted at Fine Food for a Cause, they’ve got it all under control.  And, with over 25 years under their belts, David’s Soundview Catering has garnered an excellent reputation, becoming a staple in the community.

Stamford…and now Bridgeport

Well, we’ve got some great news to share with you:  David’s expanded a bit out of Stamford with the recent addition (opened 5 weeks ago) of Cafe 1000.  His idea for this brand new restaurant?  Offer up some great, high quality breakfast and lunch options for the good people of Bridgeport.  The area they moved into (the ground floor at 1000 Lafayette Street) will soon house over 600 new apartment units, is close to 95, the train, and even the waterfront.  Plus, Bridgeport is a great and growing alternative for young professionals with costs noticeably more affordable than Stamford.

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Maple Reigns Supreme @ Maple Sugar Weekend at Stamford Museum + Nature Center

3 Mar

•••

Giovanni Gentile waited intently by Chef Massimo Stecchi at the Bar Rosso table.   While you have probably seen owner Giovanni at Bar Rosso, Volta, and Capriccio, you might not have seen Massimo in action.  They were there as first time competitors at the First County Bank Chef’s Challenge where local restaurants must craftily use Stamford Museum & Nature Center Maple Syrup.  Joining them as newbies was Nicole Straight from Festivities Catering.  While they have always been very popular, their food has gained a bigger audience since opening a spot at the SoNo Marketplace.  Joining them were two veterans:  first we had EOS of Stamford who always puts together some nice Greek food, and we had defending champions David’s Soundview Catering.  David’s has always “broughten it” and was definitely a force to be reckoned with this year.

So what mapely goodness did this team of all-stars serve up?

Orange panna cotta from Bar Rosso

Orange panna cotta from Bar Rosso

Bar Rosso created an Orange Panna Cotta prepared with candied oranges and maple syrup.  The orange flavor was great with this panna cotta and we enjoyed how a little pool of syrup was at the top.  We took a little bite of panna cotta and made sure we had some of that luscious syrup, too.  The flavor was right on, but the texture was just a bit too watery.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try their Eggplant Relish Crostini with whipped ricotta and maple syrup because they went very quickly!

Chef Erik plates maple glazed shrimp and grits

Chef Erik plates maple glazed shrimp and grits

Next up was David’s Soundview Catering who first offered us a Butternut and Apple Bisque with maple baked chopped pecans.  So many great contrasts going on here between the rich, sweet, tart, and nutty and with textures.  An excellent bisque that we really enjoyed.  We talked with Chef Erik Anderson who was eagerly confident about retaining the crown this year, but was still a bit unsure because the other competitors had put out some great food.  And, of course, we talked with Melissa DeSousa and David Cingari himself.  From the pic you can tell how much fun they have doing their jobs!  Then we tried their Maple Glazed Jumbo Shrimp with white cheddar grits (and bacon, yay).  This was a killer dish and was one of our favorites of the day.  The shrimp was cooked nicely and had a slightly sweet taste from the maple glaze, bits of bacon added saltiness, and the grits were cheesy and silky.  Again, great contrasts in flavor and texture. Our favorite of the day!

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Vote for Your Favorite Connecticut Restaurants and Chefs in CT Restaurant Association Contest

1 Nov

The Connecticut Restaurant Association has put together a list of some of the best chefs and restaurants from the state and needs your help.  They want you to vote on your favorites for Upscale Restaurant of the Year, Casual Restaurant of the Year, Caterer of the Year, Mixologist of the Year, and Chef of the Year.  While we do focus on Fairfield County, there are definitely some great places up for nomination that we’d love to try when we’re out yonder.  But, that’s not to say that Fairfield County isn’t represented!  Pepe’s Pizza is up for Best Casual (they aren’t just New Haven, ya know), David’s Soundview Catering (yeahhhh!) is up for Best Caterer, and everybody’s favorite badboy chef Bill Taibe of LeFarm is up for Best Chef of the Year.

Just vote by filling out the quick form here and giving your e-mail addy.  You can only vote once per e-mail address, so don’t get out of control. :P  Voting ends on November 6 at 5pm.  The winners will be honored on 11/27 at the CRA Salute to Excellent Awards Dinner at Mohegan Sun.  For details on getting tickets or being a sponsor, click here.  So, show some love to our local restaurants and vote them in!  Here are all the contestants:

Upscale Restaurant of the Year
Max Downtown
The Mill at 2T
Union League Cafe
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Stamford Event Aims for You to Take Off Your Clothes and Make a Difference

9 Oct
Why you wearing all those clothes?  Yo…Stamford, Take Off Your Clothes!  As attractive as all our readers are, actually following this advice at UConn Stamford might get you some jail time.  Think of it as a metaphorical shedding of your clothes for Person-to-Person‘s first family event on 10/20 from 11 to 3 pm.  P2P is inviting all Stamford citizens and families to take part in the fun.
Now, because we’re writing about this, you know there has to be some food involved.  Yeah, we’re so predictable, huh? First off, check out some gourmet grilled cheese from everybody’s favorite, Melt Mobile, or your own little Italian cafe in the form of the Caffe Bon food truck.  Next, you’ll have the 2012 Stamford Museum & Nature Center Maple Sugar Festival Chef’s Challenge winner:  David’s Soundview Catering.  Finally, check out two of Stamford’s best restaurants, shelling out burgers and Italian food for you:  Station Eats and Bar Rosso.

2012 Maple Sugar Fest Weekend and Chef’s Challenge a Huge Success

4 Mar

 

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is the place to be, month after month.  Exhibits run all year long, and visits to the otters, goats, and other farm animals are just an entrance away.  There are wine tastings, special dinners, tons of events for the family, and even a killer car show.

Then, of course, there is the holiest of all events at SM&NC:  Maple Sugar Fest Weekend, including The Chef’s Challenge.  This is our third year of attending the event and we loved the new format of having it all go down during the same weekend.

First, we walked on over to the Bendel Mansion to feed our appetite for maple syrup infused goodness that is The Chef’s Challenge.  The 2012 competition included A Dash of Salt, Susan Kane Catering, EOS Greek Cuisine, and long time competitor David’s Soundview Catering.

Here’s a breakdown of the syrupy goodness:

A Dash of Salt

• Frittella arancia e lo sciroppo d’acero, aka fritters with orange zest and maple syrup.  These were crispy on the outside, while moist on the inside.  It was amazing how they were able to fluff up the fritters with air and make these treats so light and fluffy.

Susan Kane Catering

• Scallops wrapped in bacon.  The scallops were soaking up in the maple syrup and were cooked perfectly which isn’t easy to do, especially in the tiny oven they brought along.  The bacon was crispy and added great flavor.

• Grilled mini tacos with sweet potato, cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheese.  Seemingly odd, but incredibly delicious with great flavor combinations.

• Mini sandwiches with braised pork on a tiny brioche bun.  The pork was delicate, a result of being slowly simmered for over 6 hours with apples, onions and more.

EOS Greek Cuisine (OmNomy 2011 winner for Best Mediterranean

• Baklava with maple syrup.  Baklava tends to be overly chewy and hurts your teeth, but this baklava is just right.  Also, there was just the right amount of sweetness, brought from the maple syrup.

• Fig and maple syrup bread pudding.  The pudding was moist and full of flavor.  Really awesome.  Even more awesome?  This is on their menu at the restaurant, btw.

• Myzithropita.  Ricotta, eggs, sugar, phyllo, fresh mint, butter, and maple syrup.  These little cheese pies had the perfect taste combo with just a hint of mint that made this little treat light and refreshing.

David’s Soundview Catering

• Red velvet whoopie pie.  Holy good God.  Delicate and moist red velvet cake kept together by a wonderfully mapley maple cream center.  Not overly sweet, just right.

• Grilled sandwich with smoked cheddar, maple glazed bacon, and pulled chicken.  When grilled up, they drizzled SM&NC maple syrup on top.  So ama-wait for it-zing.  This was the most talked about dish of the event.

The Winner

Kristien and I had a super difficult time voting for our favorites.  We did love all of the food there and didn’t have one single thing that we didn’t like.  When it came down to it, we felt that EOS Greek Cuisine or David’s Soundview Catering would win the prize because the maple flavors really shined through the most.  So, congratulations to David’s Soundview Catering!  They put together a great sandwich that people couldn’t get enough of…yeah, we might have had two each, but who’s counting?  Some people had 3…but they were just halves, chill.  Also, congratulations to EOS Greek Cuisine, A Dash of Salt, and Susan Kane Catering for putting together awesome dishes.

Other Fun Stuff

We renewed our memberships and bought three nice bottles of SM&NC Grade A bottles of maple syrup to wash our breakfasts down with.  With the way Kristien puts syrup on her waffles, that might only last a month.  Then, of course, we had to visit the otters, goats, pigs, donkeys, sheep, and alpacas.  For days like this, volunteers take the animals around for walks so that you can pet and meet the furry cute ones.  They also showed you how they make their maple syrup through the evaporation process.  There was a tree tapping demo and a maple sugaring demo, too.  All in all, a great time.  We look forward to coming back to SM&NC over the course of the year and for the next Maple Sugar Fest Weekend!  We’ll keep you posted on more of their food-related events.

If you’re a nature lover, hiker, animal lover, have a family, or enjoy museums then SM&NC is the perfect place to have a membership.  Join by clicking here.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

39 Scofieldtown Road

Stamford, CT 06903

A perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday- Stamford Museum and Nature Center’s Maple Sugar Sunday

6 Mar

40 Buckets of Sap Make Only 1 Bucket of Syrup!

Now that we’ve awakened from our sugar coma, we’re excited to share with you all the mapley goodness we indulged in today at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center’s Maple Sugar Sunday…

We moseyed on over to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center around 11:30 or so, and despite the cool rain, we couldn’t help but explore the animal pens on our way up to the Bendel Mansion where all the food festivities were taking place. I mean they have goats, alpacas, chickens, sheep, cattle, (oh my)… how could two animal lovers resist?! When we finally made our way up there, we were frickin’ starving so we started with the pancake breakfast of 3 fluffy buttermilk pancakes, 2 sausage links and of course a heaping helping of their very own, hand-made maple syrup (2 ladles full to be exact).  Once we wolfed that deliciousness down, we headed on over to the final round of the First County Bank’s Chef’s Challenge, featuring semifinalists Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning and David’s Soundview Catering.

Melissa DeSousa Dishes out the Beautiful Maple Vegetable Stew!

We were immediately beckoned  by the outgoing and spunky Director of Sales and Operations, Melissa DeSousa from David’s Soundview Catering. We were very intrigued by their dish, a hearty maple vegetable stew consisting of maple syrup (duh!), butternut squash, beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, kidney beans, and smoked sea salt. With such a creative concoction, we immediately thought they were either going to nail it, or tank. Well, they nailed it! It was fantastic. Maybe it was the fact that we were so chilly from the pouring rain, but that delicious, hot stew was just what we needed to get us going. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, not too crisp, not at all soggy, and the maple syrup really stood out, but didn’t overpower the dish at all. A perfect blend, served in cute little recycled bamboo bowls. To compliment the dish, they also had a wide variety of rolls from brioche, to multigrain, to sesame, to cranberry  (yeah, so, I tried most of them… whatever, don’t judge) along with maple butter rosettes to slather on top.  YUMMY! The rolls were soft and complex and the butter too, had the perfect touch of maple syrup.

Once we were done stuffing our faces there, we headed on over to Marcia Selden Catering’s adorably decorated table and were also greeted with friendly smiles. They came prepared to kick some maple boo-tay with three different yummy treats! Our favorite was a mix of popcorn, peanuts and cooked prosciutto (oh how I love when pork goodness in mixed in with sweets), all coated in (what else?) maple syrup. It was awesome!  Next up was a maple corn dog.  Ah, yes, I saw what they were doing, going for the kid vote… smaaaart! ; ) I, believe it or not, am not a corn dog fan, but I gave it a try anyway. It was nicely cooked and Danny really enjoyed it, though we both agree it could’ve used more maple syrup as the flavor didn’t really come through. The maple did, however, come through in their corn dog dipping sauce which was an absolutely delicious honey, maple mustard. Then last, but not least, were maple pecan mini whoopie pies! Again, I hate to say it, but I don’t like whoopie pies. I know, what’s wrong with me?! But again, I of course gave it a try! As far as whoopie pies go, it was good with delicate pies and a nice creamy filling with just the right amount of crunch from the pecans.

Marcia Selden's Beautiful Spread of Maple-goodness

So, who won you ask? Well, 3 must have been the magic number, and the kid vote seemed to come through on those corn dogs and whoopie pies, because Marcia Selden’s Catering won by 9 votes! It was quite the competition and both challengers came to the event with incredibly, winning recipes! It really was a tough call!

At this point we pretty much could’ve run a marathon on our sugar high. Well, if we weren’t so darn full that is. Before we headed out though, we wanted to be sure to pick up some jugs of their maple syrup, which is sourced and made right there at the nature center.  And on the way out we checked out more animal exhibits of the slithery type, watched a maple syrup making demonstration, and Danny somehow found room to snarf down a maple snow cone!

And, on a side note, we also decided to become Stamford Museum and Nature Center members after learning about all the benefits. It really is such a great place to have fun for people of all ages! A $100 family membership gets you a ton of perks like free entry any day, any time (that means I can visit the goats aaaaany time I want, yay), half price entry into their events like this one, classic car shows, harvest festivals, etc, invitations to exhibit opening receptions, free admission to their bi-monthly astronomy series in their observatory (we LOVE astronomy), and more!  And, best of all, the cost goes to a good cause in supporting the nature center, so definitely check it out!

Just Dan Being Corny! Hahahaha LOL ROFL LOL

Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Address: 39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT 06903
Phone:203.322.1646

Saturday Sample Bowl with First County Bank’s Chef Challenge & Chowdafest

6 Feb

It’s here. The time of year I dread the most. The longest, shortest month of the year. The month where you’re tired of the cold, snow, and ice, feeling cooped up with nothing to do, desperately wanting for the warmth of spring. Yep, this Saturday was the perfect example of this nastiness, but hell if Danny and I were going to let that keep us down. Nope! Instead we were determined to trek out in the nasty, cold rain for an all-day sample fest of some of the best food Fairfield County has to offer. Because when the weather fails you, there’s always comfort food to make it aaaaall better!

We started our day out at First County Bank on High Ridge Road in Stamford for the Second Annual Chef’s Challenge to support the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. For those of you unfamiliar with this challenge, three local restaurants and/or catering companies compete against each other by creating impressive maple syrup concoctions. Yeah, heaven! This year the competition stepped it up a few notches to try and take down last year’s champion, Marcia Selden Catering (pictured above).

We started with breakfast, naturally, at David’s Soundview Catering’s station. First up, maple & spiced bacon wrapped grissini, which were fabulous. The bacon was cooked perfect, not overcooked, not undercooked and with the perfect amount of maple syrup and spice so as to not overpower the bacony goodness. Next up was a mini butter milk pancake with (what else?) maple syrup and a maple sausage patty, fresh and hot off the skillet. Both also perfectly cooked, the sausage was so perfect in fact, we had to have two. What? Don’t judge us! It was just such the perfect combo of savory and sweet that we couldn’t resist. Then, last but not least, was their homemade granola which offered a fantastic level of crunch and sweetness you could only hope for out of granola.

Next up, brunch with Marcia Selden Catering, starting with some nicely maple coated mixed nuts. And, at the risk of being repetitive, also the perfect balance between savory and sweet. (Yep, guess these chef’s know what they’re doing). Then onto their maple pulled pork tacos. These were also pretty tasty. The pork was cooked very nicely, but could’ve used just a touch more maple syrup. As the iron chef judges say the key ingredient was not the star. And then we finished with their maple panna cotta which was holy awesomeness! I am a huge panna cotta fan and this did not disappoint with just the right amount of maple, cream, vanilla and berries to balance it all out. Don’t tell, but Danny had two. YUM!

Then lastly, more dessert with Maple Shortbread Fingers from SoNo Baking Company and Cafe. These too, were quite delicious, soft and delicate, though they could’ve also used just a bit more maple syrup to get that flavor across. Being a huge fan of SoNo Baking, I was sad to see that was all they made. I think being newbies to the Chef’s Challenge, they didn’t realize the competitors were going to bring out the whole dog and pony show. Maybe next year, because I know their food could definitely kick some arse!

All in all, the event was a huge success! The two winners, as determined by the people’s vote, will move on to compete in the final challenge at Stamford Museum and Nature Center for Maple Sugar Sunday on March 6, 11am – 3pm. And, you have until that Sunday to sponsor your very own bucket of maple syrup for $50, which not only gets you a pint of magically delicious local maple syrup, but also supports a great Stamford establishment dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art, history and the natural and agricultural sciences. Guess what?  We’ve got the winners!  David’s Soundview Catering will go up against Marcia Selden Catering for the bragging rights of the Maple Sugar Sunday 2011 winners!

Chowdafest 2011 in Westport

After some errands and a long stop home for a cleaning marathon to prep our house for a showing (what a food-buzz kill), we beelined it over to Bedford Middle School in Westport for the 3rd annual Chowdafest. The fest was over at 4, and unfortunately we got there at 3:30, so we were on a mission to throw down as many chowder samples as physically possibly in that half hour. We wish we could give you the full report on all the awesome restaurants that participated, but we’ll do our best to entertain you with the highlights of what we did taste (bad food bloggers, BAD… we won’t do it again next year, we promise).

So after sample a variety of traditional to crazy creative soups from Italian Corner Deli, Old Post Tavern, Rowayton Seafood, MacKenzie’sLiquid Lunch, Nicholas Roberts, River House, Soup Alley, Southport Brewing Company, Chef’s Table, and Da Pietro’s, we had some definite favorites!

Staring in the traditional New England chowder category, we definitely enjoyed them, but were actually not blown away by any of the chowders we tasted. The 1st place winner was Mansion Clam House and sadly we didn’t get to taste theirs. We did have the 2nd and 3rd place winners, however, from MacKenzie’s and Old Post Tavern and both were nice, solid chowders with hearty veggies, plump clams, and not too much thickener. All good go-to chowders.

Moving on to the creative chowder category, well, this is where we did have our socks blown off. What does that mean anyway? Whatever. By far the tastiest in this category was 1st place winnerSBC‘s Corn and Poblano Chowder with a squirt of their very own, unique Romesco sauce made with toasted almonds, roasted tomatoes, peppers, vinegar and more deliciousness!  In fact, we got into a nice conversation with Chef/Owner David Rutligiano about his plans to possibly do a nice pasta with this sauce and more. A true foodie that David is, he shared with us some exciting ideas he’s been throwing around for SBC including an organic kids menu and using more regionally source foods within a 400 mile radius. Non winners in this category that we really enjoyed were Soup Alley’s Sicilian Sausage and Clam Chowder and Nicholas Robert’s Guinness and Chorizo Clam Chowder. Both were packed full of sausagey goodness which is probably why we liked these ones so much.  It’s funny, we like these two best in this category when we were interviewed by the lovely Vanessa Inzitari from The Daily Westport about our favorites, not knowing what was ahead of us on our way to SBC’s station.

Then over to the last category which also blew our minds, soups and bisques. Here too, the runaway champion for 1st place stood out most in our minds, which was the Lobster Bisque by Nicholas Roberts. OH EM GEE DELICIOUS!!!!  Creamy, well seasoned, and generous with the chunks of succulent lobster, this soup was FABULOUS! And we’re not just saying that because we already <3 Nicholas Robert’s. Also a standout in this category was 3rd place‘s Soup Alley’s El Queso Grande which was like literally drinking liquid queso with a little kick of hot peppers. I could slurp a vat of that stuff, though I’d likely gain 5 pounds doing it. Also, 2nd place Liquid Lunch‘s Buffalo Chicken Soup was delish, like drinking slightly hot buffalo wing sauce, topped with crispy celery.  And here too, we really enjoyed a non-winner, the Asparagus Soup from River House. This was quite a unique soup, very fresh, light, and tasty using no cream, really allowing the fresh asparagus taste to shine through. This would be a great spring soup to go with a steak on the grill. We enjoyed it very much!

Wow, as you can see, it was an intense day of eating! Yeah, I know, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, right? We really enjoy opportunities like this to not only try great food from some of the best restaurants in our area, but to also get to know the chef’s and owners behind all the magic. There’s nothing better than meeting a chef and/or owner that is clearly SUPER passionate about their craft. It somehow makes the food taste even better!

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