Tag Archives: Stamford Food Blog

You Eat, You Vote: Food Truck Throwdown Hits Stamford May 19

29 Apr

Being such big supporters of the CT Chefs Challenge from Optimus Health Care and the chefs that compete, we were excited to hear about the CT Food Truck Throwdown. Six of the best food trucks in CT have been gathered in a competition where you not only get to taste the best from each truck, but you also get a vote to crown the People’s Choice champ. It all goes down from 4-8 on 5/19 right at 805 Atlantic Street where there will be free parking. Each ticket costs $25 ($20 early bird until May 6) and that gets you a 4-6 oz. serving from each of the trucks. If you’d like an additional serving from a truck, you can always buy more. Proceeds from the night are going right to Optimus Health Care whose mission is to “Improve the overall health of our communities in Bridgeport, Stamford, and Stratford, particularly the medically underserved, by providing preventive, primary care and supplemental health care services along with health education in a culturally sensitive manner regardless of ones’ ability to pay.” Continue reading

The Fez Starts Artist in Residence Program; Becomes Even Awesomerest

28 Apr
The Fez Stamford

Another reason to check out one of Stamford’s best spots . . .

The Fez @ 227 Summer Street in Stamford has been open since the summer after a series of renovations and they have added something new in to the mix. In addition to their amazing Moroccan and Mediterranean-inspired food and their live music, they’ve also added art gallery to their list. Just stop by to eat or get drinks and you’ll be able to check out a different featured artist from the Stamford Art Association depending on the time you stop in. Continue reading

Getting to the Bottom of Barrel House Restaurant + Bar in Stamford – Review

15 Mar

In 2012, Claudio and Silvy Ridolfi opened Cotto at 51 Bank Street where Tappo used to be. This quickly became a go-to spot for people who wanted some pizza, some Italian . . . and well, of course, some wine. Seeing this success, they recently took over the former spot of Patrizia’s, a few buildings over on Main Street. Like Patrizia’s, they have pizza, but they also focus on smaller plates, burgers, and their beer list. And, with this new concept and location, Barrel House was born. Continue reading

Harbor Point Happenings for Summer 2015: Food, Drinks, Cars, Movies + More

4 Jun

Harbor Point’s the place to be this summer and we’ve got some major proof for ya including a duo of car shows, a BBQ, outdoor movies, a 5K that presents a justified reason to drink beer and eat from food trucks:

Just one of the awesome cars at Sycamore Drive In in Bethel, CTHarbor Point Car Show

6/7 from 10-4

2200 Atlantic Street

There will be vintage cars, monster trucks, hot rods, Ferraris, Corvettes, and bikes at the Harbor Point Car Show! Checking out the hot cars is free, but if you’d like to register to show off your car, it’s $20 per car with proceeds going to Wounded Warrior Project. In addition to checking out the cars, you can also take part in raffles, listen to some live music, and see who the winners of some coveted trophies are. When you’re done checking out the cars, just round the corner and get a killer brunch or lunch at Paloma!

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The Best of Stamford @ 22nd Annual Taste of Stamford – 2/26/15

16 Feb

Since we started blogging, we always wanted to check out Taste of Stamford but, you know what? It always seemed to be on a day that we just couldn’t go. But, last year we made it a priority . . . and damn, were we happy that we did! There was so much to do, so much to see, so many people to meet, and so much to drink. Oh, and damn right, so much to eat! We guess that the name of this event kind of gives that away, huh? 

Well, this year will only be better as the 22nd Annual Taste of Stamford prepares to make its splash at the Marriott Stamford Hotel & Spa on February 26 from 5:30-8:30. Tickets are $60 if you buy them in advance or $70 at the door. You’ll not only get to taste the best that Stamford has to offer, but you’ll also help support the Chamber of Commerce in all their efforts to help schools and the community. 

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Where to Eat along 2014 UBS Parade Route + Free Food @ Inflation Party – Stamford, CT

19 Nov

It’s crazy how time sneaks up on you, but we’re almost at Thanksgiving. And, you know that when this time of year comes around, the UBS Parade takes over Downtown Stamford. This year the parade takes place on 11/23, starting at noon. We have the route up on the custom-made map (yeah, we’re total map nerds like that) along with some suggested places just a few steps away from where you’ll be viewing the parade.

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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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We Pledge Allegiance to Good Beer + Food at Cask Republic – Stamford, CT

24 Feb

Beer overlooking the fireplace at Cask Republic Stamford

Although we went to the Friends and Family event to celebrate the opening of Cask Republic, we still felt like we were the last people in the world who hadn’t been there for a regular meal service.  Check-in after check-in, beer brag after beer brag, each friend telling us they were there made us green with envy.  So, after spending a few hours around Stamford doing errands, we decided to hit up this new spot (check out more details here) and experience the awesomeness everyone else already experienced.

It wasn’t just the sick selection of beer that we wanted to try out, either!  It was also the food from newly appointed Chef Juan Gonzalez that we were excited to try.  Like many chefs, he had started off washing dishes and prepping food, but he worked hard and graduated from culinary school at the International School of Tourism and Hotel Management in Puerto Rico.  From there he worked as a chef on a cruise ship and became Executive Chef of Pepin’s Cafe & Tasca in San Juan.  Then he came to America and worked at The Homestead 1766, Ocean Reef Club, and Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, and most recently was Chef de Cuisine at Post 154 with Executive Chef Alex Rosado.  That’s quite a resume!

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TOMĀTO TOMÄTO to Offer Italian and Takes on Modern American in the Shippan Area of Stamford

1 Feb
Image
You like potato and I like potahto,
You like tomato and I like tomahto,
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Oh Gershwin brothers, you are both so wise.  Somehow they were able to fortell the coming of a restaurant in Stamford.  Somewhere around May March 2013 we’ll have TOMĀTO TOMÄTO Pizzeria and Pour House on 401 Shippan Ave, right by Cafe Silvium and Cummings Park.  At the helm of the kitchen will be the former owner and chef of Stamford’s Mona Lisa, Luciano Magliulo.  Chef Luciano also recently cooked at the now closed Piatto Osteria on Hope Street.
So, what can you expect here?  Well, starting off you can expect a great spot to take the family for pizza and salad without breaking the bank.  Also, it’ll be a good place to swing by for a lunch or dinner, have some wine or beer, relax, enjoy, and even go on a date.   The menu will feature their thin crust pizza, traditional Italian apps, salads, and pastas with a twist of Modern American.  Luciano’s been working on and perfecting the sauce for the pies for quite a while now and everybody’s very impressed with the results.  Also, for those long days, celebrations, and just ol’ fashioned drinking they’ll have a fully stocked bar with a nice and affordable wine selection, too.  There will be over 50 different bottles that will be $6-11 per glass or $20-$55 per bottle.  And, you can also look forward to having some great beer with pizza…really one of the finer things in life.

All the Right Ingredients @ Olio on Hope Street – Stamford, CT

18 Jun

Olio is now open!

Update:  see the review of our great experience at Olio

Passion.  That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think about Steve Costanzo and Moira Hyland.  Passion.  It’s passion that took them away from corporate America to follow their dreams when a spot opened up at 934 Hope Street where Bella Luna used to be.  When they both checked out the spot, they fell madly in love and knew that they were destined to be the owners.

So, I need to introduce you to both owners of Olio (opening July 5) before I can go on.  Moira went for culinary training at The Natural Gourmet Institute so she could understand cooking, techniques, and so that she would understand the ins and outs of the restaurant biz. Her personality bubbles over and you get the sense that she’s take charge, gives her all, and is very proud of her work.  Steve is this way, too, and they mesh well together.  In fact, they often refer to each other as family.  Moira says here and there that Steve samples too many dishes and Steve states that she annoyingly steals all of his fries when they are eating.  Steve, I know what that’s like…Kristien is also a thief.  You get the feeling that they are like brother and sister, loving each other but also ribbing and goading each other.

As for Steve, he has had an interesting career.  He began by delivering food and one of his stops just happened to be a catering business.   One day he asked if they needed any help chopping or prepping meals.  He left his job, began cooking and his love of food grew and blossomed.  Steve soon found himself sautéing, flambéing, baking, cooking, and grilling at the New York Restaurant School in Manhattan.

The Food

Now, onto Olio.  At first, I had visions in my head of another Italian restaurant in Stamford, but I was wrong.  Actually, Olio means “a dish of many different ingredients” in Spanish.  It’s no coincidence that a Spanish name was chosen by Steve’s daughter because the menu has big, bold flavors from Latino cuisine.  You’ve got fresh fruits like cassava and avocado and dishes such as a carnitas torta and beef short ribs with ancho chili tomato confit.  One of the dishes that he just added to the menu is a slow braised pork shoulder served over crispy plantains, served with pickled red onions and coriander.  He also has planned out a killer homemade ricotta gnocchi that promises to be light as air, strewn with lumps of lobsters, sprinkled with shallots, and bathed in a luscious brandy tomato cream sauce.  There are vegetarian options, too, don’t fret:  there’s a zucchini roulade for example.  He’ll lightly slice the zucchini, then put farmers ricotta, lemon, and plum tomato confit on top, then roll it up.  Ah, that just screams out summer, just screams out fresh.  Feel like seeing the full menu?  Steve was kind enough to share it with us, just check it out at the end of the post.

Speaking of the menu, Steve and Moira will be keeping it small and manageable.  The advantages of this?  Steve will be able to add in flare and creative dishes with specials.  Also, this will help Olio to create new menus as the seasons change, drawing from local sources whenever possible.  They’ll be starting off with lunch and dinner and will move in a killer brunch when they get into their stride.  Think some time around August.

The Drinks

The day I went to visit Olio was the same day that their wine distributor came by and let them sample some fun and unique wines.  Good news for you, Omnomivores:  whereas some restaurants START their bottles at $32, Olio has made $32 their most expensive bottle.  You’ll find bottles here that you can’t really find at your local shop, giving you a nice chance to explore and find a new favorite.  They will also have some bottles and cans of beer for purchase.

Special Events

There will be wine and beer tastings from time to time for diners to take advantage of.  When Steve and Moira find a new beer they like, they’ll snatch it up and put it on the menu.  Also, keep both eyes and both ears out for their wine and beer dinners.  There will also be cooking classes with Steve from time to time, so you can learn to cook like he does.  Finally, they plan to have educational and interactive events based around a central local ingredient or product.

Olio
Noms:  TBD
Cost:  $$$
Address:  934 Hope Street
                  Stamford, CT 06905
Phone:  (203) 817-0303
Fax:  (203) 817-0305

The Lunch Menu

Starters

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup $8

  Coriander Crème Fraiche

Wild Mushroom Crostini $10

  Cippoline Onion, Telleggio Cheese and Truffle oil

Boston lettuce Wedge $8

 Crispy Pancetta, Soft Poached Egg, Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Tri Color $8

 Arugula, Boston Lettuce & Radicchio, Roasted Peppers, Shaved Grana Padana, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Zucchini Roulade $8

Farmers Ricotta, Lemon, Plum Tomato Confit

BBQ Spareribs $10

Miso Soy, Sesame & Charred Green Onions

Entrées

All Sandwiches Served with House Made Fries

Olio Chopped Salad $11

Candied Pecans, Blue Cheese, Avocado, Grilled Corn and Roasted Beets

Fresh Roast Turkey Breast $11

 Brie, Arugula, Cranberry Mayo on Multi Grain

Grilled Salmon $14

Shaved Fennel, Red Onion, Oranges and Basil, Mixed Greens, Sherry Vinaigrette

House Made Fettuccini $12

Fava Beans Roasted Corn Baby Arugula Grape Tomatoes

 House Burger $12

Cippoline Onions, Apple wood Bacon and Gruyere on Brioche

Steak Sandwich $12

House BBQ Sauce, Crispy Onions, Aged Cheddar on Garlic Bread

 Torta $12

Pork Carnitas, Avocado, Chipotle Mayo, Roasted Tomato and Arugula on Ciabatta

Grilled Cheese & Soup $12

 Granny Smith Apples, Bacon, Dijon, Sharp Cheddar on Toasted Sourdough with Roasted Tomato Soup

Desserts

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Doughnuts $9

Nutella Dipping Sauce

 Bread Pudding $9

Bourbon Crème Anglaise

Short Bread Lemon Tart $9

 Fresh Whipped Cream and Raspberries

Warm Almond Fudge Torte $9

Grand Mariner, House Made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tres Leches $9

Toasted Coconut, Caramel, Fresh Whipped Cream

The Dinner Menu

Starters

Oven Roasted Tomato Soup $8

Coriander Crème Fraiche

Wild Mushroom Crostini $10

 Telleggio Cheese, Caramelized Cippoline Onions, Truffle Oil

Boston lettuce Wedge $8

 Crispy Pancetta, Soft Poached Egg, Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

 Tri Color $8

Roasted Peppers Shaved Grana Padana, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Shrimp & Sirloin $14

Plantain Fries, Serrano Garlic Aioli

Braised Pork Shoulder $10

 Avocado, Crispy Plantains, Pickled Red Onions, Coriander

Seared Sea Scallops $14

Smoked Cauliflower Fondue, Grilled Corn,

Sweet & Sour Golden Raisins

 BBQ Spareribs $10

 Miso Soy BBQ Sauce, Sesame Seeds, Charred Green Onions

Entrées

House Made Ricotta Gnocchi $24

Lobster, Shallots, Brandy Tomato Cream

House Made Fettuccini $18

Fava Beans, Grilled Corn, Arugula, Grape Tomatoes

Zucchini Roulade $16

Farmers Ricotta, Lemon, Plum Tomato Confit, Baby Arugula

Pan Roasted Chicken $24

 Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Shallots, Lemon Thyme Pan Gravy

Crispy Pork Belly $24

 Braised Cassava, Pazole, Red Onion Relish

Beef Short Rib $26

Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Ancho Chili Tomato Confit

Sautéed Chicken Breast $24

 Sun Choke White Bean Puree, Garlic Spinach

Crispy Black Sea Bass $28

Caramelized Fennel, Plum Tomato, Saffron Shrimp Broth

 Cioppino $28

Clams, Mussels, Cod, Shrimp & Scallops, Grilled Crostini with Roasted Garlic Aioli

12oz. N.Y. Strip $28

 Gruyere Caramelized Leek Potato Gratin, Garlic Spinach

Desserts

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Doughnuts $9

 Nutella Dipping Sauce

 Bread Pudding $9

Bourbon Crème Anglaise

Lemon Tart $9

Fresh Whipped Cream, Raspberries

Warm Almond Fudge Torte $9

Grand Mariner, House Made Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Tres Leches $9

Toasted Coconut, Caramel, Fresh Whipped Cream

Olio Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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