Tag Archives: lunch

Required Coursework: Pig Carving 101 and Lunch w/ Tim LaBant of Schoolhouse at Cannondale

28 Feb

Pig Carving 101 Schoolhouse at Cannondale

Contrary to popular belief, bacon is not the only pork product.  There are chops, loins, pork belly, spare ribs, and even some more popular cuts.  Also, there are the uncommonly used parts at restaurants and home like the crackling, cheeks, ears, feet, tail, and lardo.  Oh lardo, how we love you.

Converts vegetables to bacon meme

How exactly do we get these cuts and parts of the pig….what do we call them and what do we do with them?  Well, wonder no more!  Chef Tim LaBant (recently featured on PBS) of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale will take you on a tour from snout to tail on March 15 from 11 to 2 pm at Millstone Farm in Wilton.  Tickets to attend are $70 per person and that includes tax and tip.

Here’s everything you’ll get for attending:

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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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Breakfast, Lunch + Caffeine Fixes @ The Granola Bar – Westport, CT

24 Nov

All pictures from The Granola Bar’s Facebook Page

What started as two women, Julie Levitt and Dana Noorily, making granola in Westport, soon expanded out to more of Connecticut.  Now, when you look at where OATS Granola is sold, you’d be amazed to see that it’s sold not only in CT, but also in NY and MA too.   And, after trying four of their flavors, we definitely see why OATS has become so popular, even being placed for sale in Whole Foods Markets and The Fresh Market.

Well,  Julie and Dana will be giving you another way to get your OATS:  right at their brand new restaurant, The Granola Bar.  It’s located in Playhouse Square at 275 Post Road East and is set to open on December 6.  There won’t be just granola, though.

Starting off, you’ll be able to get your caffeine fix at The Granola Bar with the help of barista Crissi Grimaldi.  Whether you want some drip coffee, a pour over, shots of espresso, a capp, a latte, tea, tea latte, dirty chai, or whatever…they’ve got you covered.  And, if you happen to be a latte fiend, they’ve got 5 different styles:  Mocha, Nutella, Turkish, Salted Caramel, and even Peppermint Mocha.

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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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Getting Stuffed at SoNo Baking Company & Café – Norwalk, CT

13 Jul

If this is heaven, kill me now.

We’re just going to save you a trillion words of raving about SoNo Baking Company & Café by talking mainly about one dish and one dish only.  Yes, this post is an ode to the Stuffed Brioche French Toast.  If there’s any kind of breakfast food that will enlighten you and unchain you from this material world, this is it!

Does that fruit salad on the side make this healthy? ;)

First, they start off with soft and thick brioche.  It really is that doughy, gooey and that good, but it didn’t have that overly eggy taste that you sometimes get with French toast.  The french toast itself would have been great enough for an excellent meal (and it is a meal on the menu, btw), but it’s stuffed, damn it.  And it’s the stuffing that makes this dish.  A nice helping of vanilla pastry cream gets mixed with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  Smather that in between both slices of brioche and you’ve got a plateful of heaven.  The cream isn’t too sweet at all and the berries add a nice contrast in flavor and texture.  Yeah, it’s that damn good.

Cakes and other goodies!

Sure, they have other breakfast foods like buttermilk pancakes, SoNo egg sandwiches, farm fresh egg omelets, Nola’s granola, and other goodies, but they also have other breakfast specials and what Kristien ordered:  an egg breakfast.  She ordered two eggs, over easy, with bacon, home fries, sourdough toast (killahhhh), and some fresh fruit salad.  The eggs, fresh and flavorful, were cooked nicely.  The bacon was thick, smoky, and crispy.  The home fries were seasoned nicely, though could have been browned up more.  We both love helluva brown home fries.  It just brings out more flavor.

Some of the great pastries available!

But, if you come here, you really need to have more than that traditional American breakfast because they have amazing cakes, pastries, breads, pies, lunch, and even Sunday brunch!   You have plenty of reasons to come back here because there is so much variety, but if you’re like one of our friends (he will remain anonymous because it’s a sin), you come back for the Stuffed Brioche French Toast without the fruit in the pastry cream.  Yeah, it’s a sin, but a forgivable one because I’m sure it still rocks like that.  Seating is limited, but there is outdoor dining for those beautiful mornings when you want to soak up the sun.  Parking is a bit weird, too, but you’ll figure something out.  We’d park in Stamford and walk over if we needed to get here.  For reals.

Now, we don’t feel like we can give a good, overall Nom rating because we haven’t had their pies, cakes, and pastries (except these), we’ll have to come back and eat much much more.  It’s all for you, Omnomivores.  If we could give a Nom rating just for that Stuffed Brioche French Toast, we’d give it a 5.

Cost:  $$

SoNo Baking Company & Café
Address: 101 Water Street
South Norwalk, CT
Phone:  (203) 847-SONO (7666)
Site:  http://www.sonobaking.com/index.html
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/SoNo-Baking-Company-Cafe/370143684814
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/SoNoBakingCo

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Oo La La on the Ambiance, Meh Breakfast. Cafe Oo La La- Stamford, CT

11 Jun

Last week when I was on a *minor* shopping spree for home decor, I happened past Cafe Oo La La in the Ridgeway Shopping Center on Summer Street. A cute little cafe with glass doors that open up to the sidewalk. Cafe tables and chairs spread about. A beautiful, long case with salads, sandwiches, baked goods, and yummy looking gelato on display. Modern, but quaint decor. A nice menu written on chalkboards for that authentic touch. The perfect setting for a lazy weekend breakfast or a nice little lunch date with friends, coworkers or your significant other.

After seeing how adorable the place was and reading some positive reviews online, we were really excited to go there Saturday morning for breakfast and to catch up on weeks of blog posts with their free WiFi! (bad bloggers, bad.) We found a table next to the holy grail, an outlet! For a cafe with free WiFi, they certainly are cheap on the outlets with only one. But, it’s not about that after all, right?

I walked up to the counter to browse the menu and placed my order. I asked the young woman behind the counter what came with the omelettes, to which she replied bread. I asked if you can order a side of potatoes, which I had to repeat 3 times because she didn’t understand English well. Finally a young man came by and answered my question. Yes, it does come with potatoes. I then asked her what comes with the eggs any style. Nothing she says. I said nothing? Nope. Can I get it with potatoes? No. Ok, what can I get it with? Nothing. Ummm ok. Her male colleague comes back and informs me I can get them with anything I would like. So, I suppose they don’t train their employees very well and that is a huge pet peeve of mine. Luckily, however, when they brought our plates out the order was correct so they earned some points back.

The meal looked very good. I ordered the Greek omelette with multi-grain toast, Danny had his favorite, the farmer’s omelette also with multi-grain toast and we shared some bacon. The highlight of the meal was the bacon. It was nice and crispy, cooked just how we like it. The highlights pretty much end there. The multi-grain toast was tough and definitely not fresh baked. Plus, they gave us ice cold butter that was solid, I know that’s such a silly thing but it’s another little pet peeve. When you give butter for bread, it needs to be softened. The potatoes were cooked well, but boring and bland. It was like they took frozen hash browns, threw them on a skillet, pressed them down with a turner and slapped them on a plate. The coffee was very weak and watery, blah! I couldn’t even finish it. And lastly, but not leastly (leastly? yeah, whatever), we have the omelettes. The ingredients did seem fresh, which is great, but the eggs weren’t fluffy and it was just very bland. The eggs almost tasted microwaved, though I’m sure they weren’t.

Overall, the meal wasn’t awful or disgusting by any means, but in the words of beloved hipsters, it was pretty “meh.” We are definitely willing to give it another shot for lunch because we have heard good things and because the ambiance is quite nice, but we wouldn’t got back for breakfast for sure.

Noms: 2.75 (but we’ll reevaluate when we go back for lunch)

Cost: $$

Cafe Oo La La 
Adress: 2325 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06905-4525
Phone: (203) 353-3300
http://www.cafeoolala.com/ 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cafe-OoLaLa/197883960239869 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cafeoolala 

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From killer breakfast sandwiches to fresh produce coming soon. Giacomo’s Italian Deli and Springdale Market-Stamford, CT

22 May

Bacon, egg, and cheese on Terra Nova Italian bread. #Eyegasam

Update:  Giacomo’s Springdale Market is now open!

When you come into Giacomo’s Italian Deli, you’re probably greeted by the smiley, always happy and chipper owner, Jack (Giacomo in Italian) Delli Carpini.  We admit it…it’s kind of overwhelming when you enter Giacomo’s because there are so many great options available.  So far we’ve only had breakfast, but can’t wait to try their panini’s and sandwiches next! As for breakfast, you can order a fresh made full diner-like breakfast or just a breakfast sandwich for on the go. Our fave so far has been the breakfast sandwiches.  They must be ordered on the Terra Nova Italian bread that he gets in from Arthur Ave.  He also has loaves on sale at the store so you can feed your addiction even when you can’t come right back to Giacomo’s.  In fact, there are lots of other things for sale that you’d expect at any good Italian deli, like pasta salads and espresso.

Okay, onto our go-to breakfast dish when we have a lazy Sunday:  bacon, egg, and cheese on Terra Nova Italian bread.  The bread is buttered and is toasted on the grill and comes out crispy, toasty, but also still with that great chewy consistency that you get with Italian bread.  They aren’t cheap or skimpy with the bacon, like some places can be.  The bacon is thick, crispy, and full of flavor and adds a great smokiness to the sandwich.  They cook it on the dark side, but that’s the way we love it. The eggs are fresh and cooked in thin layers that are folded on top of each other.  They do it right here.  You go somewhere else nearby and you get frozen eggs or you go to a bagel shop and you get a microwaved version of an egg.  A disgrace, if you ask us.  Finish it up with some American cheese that melts down all gooey, adding more depth and a good variety in texture.  This is a killer breakfast sandwich and is worth it, and the sausage, egg, and cheese is also really good, too.  The sausage patties they use are full of great spice and flavor.  

They do great justice to complete breakfasts too.  You always see a steady stream of people ordering food to go, or sitting down to enjoy a nice bite, whether it’s breakfast or lunch.  So, it’s no wonder why Jack is opening up Giacomo’s Springdale Market right next door.  We asked him about his plans for his market, and he told us, “If you can find it at a supermarket, you’ll probably be able to find it there.”  They’ll have fresh produce and products, especially nice Italian staples like the Terra Nova bread.  What we’re really excited about is that they’ll have prepared, ready to eat meals available to buy.  It doesn’t get better or easier than that, does it?

We live pretty close by to this great Hope Street location that’s between Sherwin Williams and First County Bank, so we’re planning on riding our bikes down a lot to get some fresh food for our meal that night.  Sometime in June October November we should see the doors open and get a taste of what’s in store for Stamford.  It’s open! Until then, we’re going to hold off on giving Giacomo’s a nom rating, but, we’ve already had a taste, and we declare:  it is good.

Cost: $

Giacomo’s Italian Deli
Address:  1100 Hope Street
Stamford, CT 06907
Phone:  (203) 322-2544

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