Tag Archives: restaurant

2nd Farm-to-Trumbull Series Continues at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden in Easton

29 Jul

Parallel Post Logo

If you didn’t have the chance to attend the last Farm-to-Trumbull dinner series, you’ve got another chance next Sunday. But, this ain’t going down at Parallel Posts restaurant in Trumbull . . . nope. It’s happening at Gilbertie’s Herb Garden right in Easton on August 9 from 3-7. Here are the deets that you need to know:

The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook1) It’s a reception style dinner, so there will be chef stations throughout the garden. Nom away on some small bites or take some big boy bites with entrees. And, don’t forget to finish up with their killer dessert bar! Food will be created by James Beard Award Nominated Chef Dean James Max, Executive Chef Chris Molyneux, and Chef de Cuisine Erik Waybright. Please note that the menu is carefully crafted from local sources and is seasonal in nature.

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Cooking up a steamy French Italian romance: Barrique – Stamford

23 Jun

As long as we’ve been in Stamford, Chez Jean-Pierre was an instution on Bedford Street.  There was rarely a day when the bistro wasn’t packed and never a beautiful day the front doors weren’t open to let the fresh air in.  A collective sigh rose up, though, when Chez Jean Pierre closed last year.  But then, like a beacon of hope, soon after, there was a sign up: Coming soon, Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar. When we inquired (like good food bloggers do) we found out that the brand new part French, part Italian spot was being opened by owner and Executive Chef Louis Barresi who also has Doppio Greenwich, Huntington, and West Village.

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Celebrate Brasitas’ 15th Anniversary w/ a 5 Course Wine Dinner

19 Jul

If Brasitas in Stamford was a girl, she’d be celebrating her Quinceañera this year.  That’s fifteen years of yummy goodness at the Stamford location.  Let’s just say it, plain and simple:  Brasitas is an awesome place.  Thinking back to years of going there, we’ve never had a bad meal.  We’ve always come out full, satisfied, and—best of all—happy.  And, one of our best meals was back in August 2011 when we went for a paired wine dinner.  While they do have these and other similar events pretty often, a 15 year anniversary only comes around once.  So you best believe they’ll be hitting it hard with some amazing food on July 24, starting at 7 pm.

Dining will cost $60 per person, but with the five courses and a different Joseph Carr wine paired with each course, it’s actually quite a deal.  Here’s the preview of the menu:

Ensalada Catalana
Baby Spinach, Valdeon Cheese, Golden Raisins,
Pinenuts, Caramelized Quince and Sherry Vinaigrette

Pulpo a la Portuguesa
Roasted Portuguese Octopus, Baccala & Potato Cream,
Charred Scallions, Chorizo, Mojo Verde

Chicarrón
Pork Belly Brined in Smoked Paprika, Cauliflower-Manchego Foam,
Crispy Cauliflower, Chanterelle Mushroom, Solera Vinegar, Pickled Cherries

Pajespo con Romesco
Monkfish, Jamón Serrano,
Summer Pea Casserole, Romesco Sauce, Pisto and Clam Broth

Torta de Aceite
Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake,
Grapefruit Sorbet, Cosecha Miel Marinated Grapes

Which course are you most excited about?  What are some of your favorite dishes to get at Brasitas?

Brasitas

Noms: 4.25
Cost:  $$$
Address:  954 East Main Street
                  Stamford, CT 06902
Phone:  (203) 354.7329
Site: http://www.brasitas.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/BRASITASRESTAURANT

Sixpoint Brewery Can-to-table Dinner @ Bistro 7 in Wilton

7 Mar

Sixpoint Brewery is pretty new to the Connecticut market, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming all the buzz.  We had our first taste of Sixpoint last year when we tried out around 50 different custom brews (some made with lobster, some made with oyster, even some made with saffron) for their annual Beer for Beasts event in Brooklyn.  If you’re interested, it’s going down again this year with tons of brews and food trucks on hand all to support The Humane Society of NY.

Grilled octopus at Bistro 7 in Wilton Connecticut OmNomCTBut we’re not writing today to tell you about Beer for Beasts, we’re here to let you know about a beer dinner at Bistro 7, Farm-to-Fork Restaurant + Bar in Wilton.  When we went to Bistro 7 a few months ago we really enjoyed the food and think that this will be a killer dinner.  The Spring Tasting Dinner will be on March 28 from 5-10:30 pm, will be $45 per person, and will require reservations so get on that…chop chop.

From the looks of the dishes, beer is being used in very fun, creative, and unexpected ways.  So, let’s gander at the menu:

Appetizer

Mussels in “Bengali” Broth, Paired with The Crisp

Mussels steamed in Sixpoint Bengali Tiger and curry broth, shallots, lime, lemon grass, organic yellow potato, organic ginger, beer buttered baguette.

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A Feast of Classic Rustic Italian with Modern Flare @ Bar Sugo – Norwalk, CT

5 Mar

How’s this for a greeting while you’re waiting at the bar for your table?  A manager comes up to you, gives you a plate of prosciutto-wrapped truffle fries, then gives you the following message from the chef:  “It’s about damn time.”  Yeah, it was about damn time we got down to Bar Sugo in Norwalk and Chef/owner Pat Pascarella had the right to call it like it is!  He had invited us several times and had even invited us to the inaugural Vinsotto wine event, but the world always seemed to conspire against us going.  Yet, here we were at the cozy and rustic Bar Sugo, ready for what would be a meal of epic proportions.

We decided that we’d take it easy, sampling a few things on the menu.  Starting off, we’d go with three cicchetti (Italian for small snacks) that were $7.50 each, 3 for $20, or 5 for $30, we’d go for three mozzarellas (same pricing as the cicchetti), the meatball sampler, and we’d end up with the cavatelli that both Mark Famous and Andrew Dominick recommended when they saw our check-in.  It’s cool to have foursquare friends who love to eat!  Well, that was the plan anyway.  Yes, we got our dishes, but Chef Pat provided us with even more so we could get a full taste of what Bar Sugo was all about.  By the time we were done, we tried 24 different items on the menu (that includes the Barrel Aged Negroni and the wine).  Ugh, we think we’re still full! Ready for the most epic review ever captured on our blog?

Asparagus with duck prosciutto, and black pepper

The asparagus came two ways:  raw and pickled.  Having both on the dish was a nice idea, but we really loved the vinegary pickle vs. the bitterness of the raw.  The duck prosciutto was really great and wasn’t overpowering despite the saltiness you expect from a cured meat.

Rabbit loin with lentils, prunes, and mustard oil at Bar Sugo in Norwalk

Rabbit loin with lentils, prunes, and mustard oil

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Dino Sforza of Via Sforza Opens Dino’s Pizza Pie in Norwalk

15 Feb

Dino's Pizza Pie Norwalk CT

A couple of weeks ago we broke the news that one of our favorite burger joints, Beach Burger had closed.  In its place, we discovered would be a pizza place.  We weren’t sure Norwalk needed another pizza shop in the area, but then we heard from friend of OmNomCT, Joe Sforza.  His dad is opening Dino’s Pizza Pie up on February 18 in that spot and Joe will be the manager.  While some might say it’s another pizza joint, we’ve eaten at Via Sforza and the food is warm, rustic, and authentic Italian.  Dino will be carrying over the quality, recipes, and passion for great Italian flavors to this location.

Think of it is a pizzeria with a heart of classic Italian food.  Here are some of the dishes that you just might want to order:

  • Pizza:  Quattro Stagione  (a classic we had in Rome, literally four seasons) with mooz, sauce, prosciutto, capers, mushrooms, and artichokes
  • Appetizers: Burrata with cucumbers and marinated fresh tomatoes.
  • Salads and Soups:  Fried Calamari Salad with Romaine and hot cherry peppers, dressed in Caesar.
  • Pasta: Cavatelli Nonna with arugula, fresh tomatoes and onions in a light tomato sauce with garlic, topped with shaved ricotta salata.
  • Grinders & wraps:  Sausage, peppers, and onions.  Doesn’t get better or more simple than that!
  • Stromboli & calzone:  They have two standard options to pick from and also have 23 fillings available for you to make your own masterpiece.

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Breakfast from the farm to our hungry bellies at Estia’s American in Darien, CT

3 May

The local farms and shops that Estia’s American works with

A few weeks ago we told you about Colin Ambrose and Carissa Waechter starting up Estia’s American in Darien, an offshoot of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, NY.  One of the best parts about Estia’s American is their focus on fresh, local food from farms.  You notice this almost immediately when you walk in and see a chalkboard listing where they get some of their food.  Expect this to change with the season and especially as they make more connections with local farms, butchers, and shops. Very exciting!

We came during lunch time, but we had that “we need breakfast food badly” kind of feeling going on.  The kitchen staff was able to work with us, so we could to satisfy our bellies with breakfast.  Coming in, Kristien already knew what she wanted:  The Red Flannel Hash.  I struggled with my choice because everything looked so good, especially on the lunch menu.  I decided, though, to stick with Robbie’s Gringo Hash.

The Drinks

We had two coffees that our waitress filled up whenever we were close to empty.  Don’t you love that?  I don’t think our coffee was ever empty.  That’s how breakfast should be!   Kristien also ordered a nice raspberry and mango cup of wake-you-up-fresh-goodness from the juice bar.  They have daily specials in addition to the standard choices and you can even make your own combos.

The Food

Red Flannel Hash with two beautifully poached eggs

Well, onto the food.  Kristien had been salivating over the Red Flannel Hash ever since we found out about Estia’s American.  It all goes back to a similar dish that changed her world in a little bistro up in the Berkshires.  The dish served here has chorizo, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, corn, and two poached eggs.  Carissa and Colin recommend having your egg poached and you’ll be so glad you followed their advice.  The eggs were cooked perfectly and just oozed out all over the hash.  Ahh, don’t you just love to dip into the yolk?  As for the hash itself, there was lots going on, but it all worked well. Kristien said that perhaps she could’ve done without the sweet potatoes because it took away from the savoriness of the dish, but overall she really liked it. If you’re feeling a bit daring or want to try new combos of tastes, try the Mojo and Rosito sauces with your meal.  The Rosito is a red sauce made with Guajillo pepper and onion and is a bit spicy.  The Mojo is a green sauce with mint, parsley, garlic, jalapeno, and lime juice.  It was bright, yummy, and seemed to have more of a kick than The Rosito.

Robbie’s Gringo Hash with poached eggs and nice chunks of queso fresco

I had a similar hash, though mine had more of a Mexican twist.  Robbie’s Gringo Hash has red beans, rice, spicy chorizo, eggs, two eggs, avocado, and flour tortillas.  Again, I went with the chefs and got my poached eggs.  You can really see and taste the difference between store bought and local eggs.  The eggs at Estia’s American seem brighter and more flavorful.  The star of this dish, to me, was the chorizo.  It was cooked nicely, getting the crispy skin on the outside.  There was a nice gentle heat to it, too.  Take advantage of the tortillas that come with this dish and make up your own little burritos.  Overall, a good dish, but I would have liked a bit more spice and flavor to really make this dish knock it out of the park.

The awesome lemon banana beignet with candied lemon halo

After all of this, we were treated to an awesome dessert of a lemon banana beignet.  The beignet itself was crispy on the outside, while still doughy on the inside.  Oh, but where was the inside?  Carissa had hollowed it out and pumped in an amazing spiced banana puree.  My favorite part of the dessert was actually the candied lemon.  It was so sweet, so bright, and just broke away into bits when I chomped down.  I had no problem eating my slice and the rest of Kristien’s, rind and all.  Really, an awesome way to end the meal.

Overall Thoughts

Although we went for breakfast, we’ll have to return for lunch, and then return for dinner when they begin service sometime around May.  The food was fresh, prepared well, and our waitress worked hard to make sure we had a great breakfast.  We even had a chance to meet the man himself, Colin.  He was very nice and thankful for us coming out.  In fact, he was talking to everybody in the restaurant.  We love the theme of Estia’s American, we love the fun play on Mexican food, and we love the use of local ingredients.  Now you can check out Estia’s American for dinner, too!  Two green thumbs up!

Estia’s American

Noms: We’re going to hold off on giving Estia’s a rating until we try dinner, but so far, we’re thinking maybe 3.75-ish.

Cost: $$$

Address:  1020 Post Road (in the back lot by 1020 Post)

Darien, CT

Phone: (203) 202-7051

Site

Estia's American on Urbanspoon

Stuff your face for a great cause! Fairfield County Eats, April 27, 2011

10 Apr

Ok, so by now you know, Danny and I live to eat. Seriously, it’s pretty much all we think about. And sometimes, getting so swept up in all the deliciousness Fairfield County has to offer, we can forget that this is a luxury that not everyone in our great county gets to enjoy.

This is where Fairfield County Eats comes in. An evening of ridiculously good food, wine, and beer from over 50 amazing local restaurants and merchants (listed below) for only $45 per person ($50 at the door). The best part? All proceeds go directly to The Food Bank of lower Fairfield County to help end hunger in our community.

It’s a win, win for everyone so come out and join us. Say hi to Danny and I in person (yeah, we’re weird, but we don’t bite… well… get in the way of our food, and we may). Hope to see you there!

Here are the deets:

When: April 27, 2011 from 6PM – 8PM

Where: Stamford Italian Center / 1620 Newfield Ave. / Stamford, CT 06905

Who: Only the best restaurants, merchants, and purveyors in our area. Here’s the running list:

  • American Pressed Bakery
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • BUtterfield 8
  • Babycats Q. Tea
  • Bad Louie’s Fudge
  • BevMax
  • Bobby Q’s Barbeque and Grill
  • Café D’Azur
  • Chocolations
  • Cooking & Clothing with Cornelia
  • Coromandel
  • DSM Marketing
  • DaPietro’s Restaurant
  • David’s Catering
  • Dazzle Designs
  • Deborah Haley Designs
  • DiMare Pastry Shop & Café
  • Dichello Distributors, Inc.
  • Dove Chocolate Discoveries
  • Drinx Unlimited
  • Ducky Life Tea
  • Etoile Gifts
  • Fairway Market
  • Fjord Fisheries
  • Flowers by Lisa
  • Fountainhead Wines/Fat Cat Pie Co.
  • Galaxy Cookies
  • Grade A ShopRite
  • Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Cupcakes
  • Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream
  • My Favorite Place
  • Natural Balance Reflexology
  • Northeast Wine Brokers
  • Nuvitae
  • Pellicci’s Ristorante
  • Porricelli’s Market
  • Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS
  • Robeks
  • Rory’s/Blue Lemon
  • San Pellegrino – Acqua Panna
  • Shaklee
  • Shelley’s On The River
  • Sparklies
  • Stamford Carvel-Cinnabon
  • Stamford Crumbs
  • Stella & Dot
  • Subway
  • Susan Kane Catering
  • Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes
  • Tavern on Main
  • Tawa Indian Cuisine
  • Ten Twenty Post Oyster Bar-Bistro
  • The Capital Grille
  • The Ginger Man
  • The Italian Center
  • The Melting Pot
  • The Mindful Chef
  • The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
  • The Pampered Chef
  • Travel Chocolate
  • Tuscan Oven
  • Unique Sweets
  • Venture Portraits
  • Vinny’s Backyard Restaurant
  • Westfair Staffing LLC
  • ZYR Vodka
  • in your heart ny

Farm-to-table dining, unexpected atmosphere – Farmer’s Table, New Canaan

14 Nov

When you walk into Farmer’s Table on 21 Forest Street in New Canaan, it doesn’t look like much… and I kinda like it that way. An open kitchen, butcher block style tables with flickering candles, and even a refrigerated case makes you wonder:  is it a market? A cafe? A fine-dining establishment? Well, the answer is sort of all of the above.  And, being a design minimalist, I can appreciate that ambiguity.

Upon arriving we were immediately greeted by co-owner Lucia. And what a gracious host she was. Warm and incredibly friendly, Lucia introduced us to her partner, Robert Ublaldo, former chef at Tequila Mockingbird, and told us all about their restaurant, and more importantly, the story of their ingredients. Man, I love it when food comes with a story, don’t you?

As farm-to-table obviously implies, much of the ingredients are hand-delivered fresh that week, even that day.  Most of the vegetables come from Robert’s very own farm in Pound Ridge and many of the meats (notably, the Berkshire pigs) come from his brother, John Ublaldo’s farm, John Boy’s Farm, in Cambridge, NY. And, of course, because they aim to source as many of their ingredients as possible from area farms, their menu has been known to change on a whim. So what you see here today, may not be there tomorrow. Ooo, I love surprises!

The menu is small, with no specific type of food dominating. Despite the limited selection, Danny and I had a very hard time choosing between the pork tacos, chicken quesadillas, angus burger, and duck, which all had a very unique twist or two to them. Ultimately, I landed on the angus burger and Danny, the pork tacos (after a VERY strong recommendation from Amy, our super-friendly waitress).

Before we dove into the main course however, we were given a sample of their “famous” butternut squash soup. We both thoroughly enjoyed the soup’s warm undertones of brown sugar and honey with a punch of spiciness from the nutmeg. Next up was some soft and gooey freshly-baked bread made by Robert himself just minutes before.  And lastly, before the feature presentation, a deliciously fresh mixed greens salad topped with beets, tomatoes, walnuts, and my favorite food in the whole world, goat cheese. Not too much of any thing, nor to little, it was the perfect salad. Now, onto the main course. My angus burger was very fresh, perfectly cooked, and topped with incredibly smooth and sharp Vermont Cheddar cheese, between what seemed to be freshly-baked buns.  My only disappointment was that I think the burger could have been more seasoned… actually, it didn’t seem seasoned at all which made what could’ve been the perfect burger, quite bland.

But fret not, because any disappointment the burger brought was completely canceled by trying Danny’s pork tacos. The soft tacos featured fantastically seasoned braised Berkshire pork that melted in my mouth, plump and juicy red and yellow tomatoes, perfectly ripened avocados, lettuce, a twist of lime, and a chipotle sauce on the side that delivered the perfect kick of spice. FANTASTIC! To end the meal, we shared a piece of homemade pumpkin pie that could’ve used a few more spices, but was very creamy and smooth, topped with fresh-made whipped cream, served with just ground and brewed coffee.

The combination of almost perfect food, attentive, kind, and welcoming service, much lower than expected prices, and a quaint atmosphere add up to a total score of 3.75 noms. Juuuuust shy of a 4, but with definite potential to be a 4 or higher as they grow and change their menu.

Note: If you’re dining-in, don’t forget to BYOB, there’s a $10 corking fee. We enjoyed a nice bottle of Foxglove 2007 Zinfandel from Paso Robles. The fruitiness from the dark berries, the kick of herbs, and peppery finish made it the perfect complement to our entire meal.

Noms:  3.75

Cost:  $$

Farmer’s Table
Address:  21 Forest Street
New Canaan, CT 06840-4702
Phone:  (203) 594-7890

Farmer's Table on Urbanspoon

Shalom in your belly – Tabouli Grill, Stamford

14 Nov

New location in Southport is now open!

Kristien and I were fans of Margot Cafe in the Bull’s Head shopping center on High Ridge for quite a while.  We hoped something good would come up in its place last year…and it did.  It’s better than good, though.  Tabouli Grill proves to keep the same kind of quaint and charming atmosphere, but offers new fare.  Although I’ve had hummus and falafel, I can’t say that I’ve eaten at an Israeli restaurant.  Well, after going for a run this past Friday, we didn’t feel like going anywhere, so we let Tabouli Grill come to us.

When you go to Tabouli Grill, there are some key dishes that are made very well:  the falafel, the hummus, the megadarra, and the israeli salad.  This, no matter what, should be included in your meal, even if you have to eat for 10 hours to finish everything.  The falafel comes to you nice and warm, crispy on the outside, but oh so good and moist on the inside.  The megadarra is a combo of spiced rice, lentils, and the most delicate caramelized onions that taste like candy.  Finishing off, the Israeli salad has tomato, red cabbage, cucumbers, parsley, olive oil, and lemon in it, coming together to make you cry out oy vey.

I usually stick with the chicken schntizel platter (juicy breaded chicken cutlet with lemon) but I wanted to branch out and try new things.  I got the beef kabob platter with sides of megadarra and Israeli salad.  Unless you feel brave, I’d save their french fries for eating at the restaurant–they get soggy by the time you get the food delivered.  To start, the beef kabobs had nice chunks of meat that were nicely seasoned, finished off with a strong dose of clove at the end.  That touch at the end might have been a bit too strong for some, but it didn’t ruin the dish.  The peppers and onions were grilled to perfection and added great flavor to the entire dish.  The beef was a bit well for my taste, but was still tasty nonetheless.  Kristien had the chicken shawarma, which isn’t even on the menu (they always have either lamb or chicken shawarma so just ask for it).  Being a big fan of the delicious combination of tahini, hummus, lemon, garlic and a plethora of spices, Kristien thoroughly enjoyed her dish with no complaints.

We finished off our meal two hours later with the baklava.  You know that you’ve had some bad baklava when the phyllo dough crushes into your teeth and stays there for the next month, tormenting you.  But not this sweet, delicately layered dessert with a beautiful honey-sweet sauce dripping through, and had just the right amount of filling and walnuts.  This has to be added to the list of must haves because we proclaim this the best baklava that we’ve ever had.  Oh, it’s been certified by a Rabbi near where I teach.  It’s legit.

We’ll end this review with a statement that is likely to get us some hate comments: Based on the moist, delicious falafel, nicely cooked and spiced meats, amazing megadarra and the best baklava ever, Tabouli Grill, at a total of 3.5 noms, is hands-down better than Laylas Falafel.

B’taya Von!

Note:  delivery fee of $2 with a minimum order of $15.

Wine suggestions: To round out the spices, try a dry rosé, soft red like a grenache, or medium bodied white like an avellino.  We mistakenly had a slightly sweet, but spicy rosé and the sweetness didn’t work well with the lemon and caramelized onions.

Noms:  3.5

Cost:  $$

Tabouli Grill
Address:  59 High Ridge Road (Bull’s Head)
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone:  (203) 504-8888
Site:  http://tabouligrill.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tabouli-Grill/182978816688#%21/pages/Tabouli-Grill/182978816688

Tabouli Grill on Urbanspoon

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