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14

Aug

This has been, arguably, one of our busiest summers, ever!  We’ve been so active, going to festivals, attending parties, going to dinners, and having a ton of fun with friends…and we sure hope you’ve been doing the same.  So, we’re changing things up a bit this week.  Normally we share Thursday through next Sunday’s events, but we’re going to add in one more week because we won’t be posting events next week.  Let’s just say we’ll be chowing down on some poutine…

Thanks for reading, as always.  We love that we can share fresh, and original events with you and oftentimes breaking and exclusive news.  See ya soon!


8/14 Sign of the Whale, with a roof top beer garden, opens up tonight in the Harbor Point area of Stamford.  Find them just a little bit down from where Paloma and World of Beer are.  And, if you’ve signed up as a VIP, you’ll get your first drink free tonight from 5-8 OR you could just keep wearing your wristband after the Beach Boys show and get a drink free, too.

8/14-15 The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing has delayed hours today and tomorrow due to a private party, so stop on by starting at 6:30.  You can also check them out this weekend starting at 2 pm to get your drank on early!

8/15 Sign of the Whale starts things off right with their second night in business with a Benefit for Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.  Sign up here and you’ll get your first drink free along with $5 drafts and $6 mixed drinks from 5-8.  Then, from 8-10 help raise some money with a $25 ticket that gets you an open bar and passed apps.

8/16 More fun at Sign of the Whale in Stamford with their High Tide Rooftop Party!  Just show up from 8-10 pm and you’ll get your first drink free.  While you’re there, enter to win a 3 hour booze cruise of Long Island Sound.

8/16 Common Ground High School in New Haven will have a Fall Seedling Sale from 10-2 pm at their 358 Springside Ave. location.  Admission is free and you’ll have your shot at kale, broccoli, collards, cabbage, and a helluva lot more.  There will also be bagged compost and Common Ground Wool for sale.

8/16 come on down to Two Roads in Stratford to see Todd Ruggere of the CT Pour Tour as he makes his final stop in CT right at Two Roads where his trip started.  He’ll be there from noon until 7 with 10% of all proceeds going to Todd’s pediatric cancer charity!  There will be a special firkin of “Todd’s Road 2 Ruin” and lots of raffle items such as oak barrels that were used to age Two Roads brews, Two Roads neon signs, and even group VIP tours.

8/16 Shebeen Brewery in Wolcott is skipping the ice bucket challenge and is going right to the fundraising bit.  Put down $35 for Ales for ALS, get an open tap, food, live music, and a chance at some killer raffles.  Ales for ALS goes down from 6-10 pm at their brewery in Wolcott.

8/21 In the last news post we told you about the Farm to Table dinner brought to you by Jason Sobocinski of Caseus and Black Hog taking place right at Boulder Knoll Community Farm.  Well, we’re here to tell ya that if you use the code “farm” you’ll get $15 off the price.  Thanks to Julie-Ann for the tip.

8/23 If you’re a tennis fan, you’ll definitely want to check out the food court at the Connecticut Open!  We’re talking about Aaron May’s Lobster Shack, Caseus, Valencia Luncheria, Spuds Your Way, La Petite France Crepe Truck, Tony’s Orangeside Donuts, and the sweet flavors of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Truck.  More info on the weekly events here.

8/23 Check out Grit ‘N Wit 5K, CT’s first “Mental and Physical” obstacle course race that goes down at Keney Park in Hartford.  Half Full Brewery is the official beer sponsor of this event, so why not get 50% off the price by entering code HFB?  ;)

8/24  You’ll definitely want to check out the amazing 82nd (82 years!) Cannon Grange Agricultural Fair.  The fair is going on from 10-4 pm at 25 Cannon Road in Wilton.  There will be plenty of local veggies, fruits, flowers, baked goodies, food vendors, and tons of other great things.  Support local!


Food Trucks

There’s even MORE going on at Vet’s Park in Stamford with an updated and expanded schedule of food trucks and live music from 11-2 pm:

Mondays:  Taco Loco, Have a Ball

Tuesdays:  Bounty Food Truck, The Poutine King, Valencia Luncheria

Wednesdays:  Melt Mobile, Firehouse Grill, Lobstercraft

Thursdays:  Taco Loco, Firehouse Grill, Valencia Luncheria

Fridays:  Melt Mobile, Bodega Taco Bar Truck, Maddy’s Food Truck

8/16: Pierogies on Wheels, one of CT’s newest food trucks, will be hanging out at Bar 140 in Shelton from 5-9 pm.  Also check them out 8/19 at Two Roads from 5-8.  Get your nom on!


Props and Deals

Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk was on a recent episode of the brand new Candid Camera hosted by Mayim Bialik (Amy from Big Bang/Blossom) and Peter Bunt.  In the prank, customers walk up to an antibacterial liquid dispenser to clean off their hands, but get a surprise when a ton of foamy liquid continually spews out.  They look around confused and we benefit from their bafflement.

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters has introduced their 32 oz Running Rapids Cold Brew Concentrate.  While you might think these bottles of awesomeness are a nice coffee stout, they’ll help you to make anywhere from 8-12 servings of coffee.  Or, in the case of OmNomCT: 2 servings.  Right now they only please to get this limited edition Cold Brew is their HQ at 100 Corporate Drive, B106 in Trumbull, CT.  For more info on pricing and refills, please call 203-292-0848.

Tabouli Grill has another kinda app going on at their restaurant:  they brand new iPhone and Android app.  Just download it, join their loyalty club, get a free hummus, then start earning rewards each time you visit.  So, with just 10 visits of spending more than $10, you’ll get $10 off your next purchase.  SCORE!  FREE FOOD!

Morello Bistro right on the Ave. in Greenwich has put their awesome Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage onto their 2 course $24 lunch prix fixe menu.  Suh-weet.


Openings

Muse Paint Bar in SoNo is opening up with their first painting sessions on 8/15 + 8/16.  To celebrate, they are selling $10 and $15 sessions along with 20% off through September with code “MuseSono20Off.”

Little Pub is just a few days away from opening.  Check out our behind-the-scenes post where we take you through a preview of this soon to be packed Greenwich hotspot.


Beer

DuVig Brewery is having a tap takeover at KC’s Restaurant and Pub in Guilford from 7-9 PM on on 8/14.  Duvet will be there along with $3 pints (Cream Ale, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and their new American Wheat) and $5 flights.  There will also be another tap takeover at Eli Cannon’s in Middletown on 8/28 if you can’t get enough.

Even MORE going on at Two Roads!  On Friday, 8/15, from 9-11 pm check out Drink ‘N’ draw with cartoonists Jack Purcell, Mark McKenna, Jerry Ordway, and others to celebrate ComicConn.   Also, did you get your registration in for Two Roads’ 2nd Annual Shore 2 the Pour Race yet?  It goes down on 8/24 at 10 am.  Your registration includes a dry-fit race shirt, the right to race, and beer.

You’ve bought your fair share of Half Full Bright Ales in cans, and coming in September you’ll see their newly branded Pursuit IPA, followed by their popular Toasted Amber Ale in October.  Also, keep your eyes out for their fantastic Pumpkin Ale that is close to release at the brewery and restaurants.

Black Hog Brewing in Oxford will soon be releasing a Nitro beer, Black Hog Coffee Milk Stout.

Broad Brook Brewing releases their Oktoberfest today.  That, along with other brews like Porter’s Porter, 7th Heaven IPA, Hopstillo IPA, and Pink Dragon WIT will be on tap at the brewery.  Just be aware that their hours in August are now Saturdays from 1-7 pm with tours at 3 and 5 pm, costing just $6 which includes a sample flight of beer.

CT Food News, Vol. 17: Events, Free Drinks, Fundraisers, Food Truck News, Openings, CT on TV, and Beer…Lots of Beer This has been, arguably, one of our busiest summers, ever!  We’ve been so active, going to festivals, attending parties, going to dinners, and having a ton of fun with friends…and we sure hope you’ve been doing the same.  

12

Aug

It’s no coincidence that Community Plates‘ annual fundraiser is called Food for All because that’s exactly their goal:  food for all people.  While we have written about them many times on our blog, we’ve done a few runs, we guest bartended at Bistro 7 in Wilton to help raise some vital funds, and also helped to organize a fundraiser at Coalhouse Pizza with Gerard, the need to help out and eradicate hunger in Fairfield County and beyond still remains.  That’s why they’ve organized the 2014 Food for All event, happening this year on 10/2 at the Darien Community Association.

Helping make things awesome this year at the VIP Reception featuring light bites and a cocktail party from 6-7 ($100 and includes the Main Event) is the always fabulous Marcia Selden Catering & Event Planning.  Then, starting at 6:30 and going until 8:30, check out the Main Event ($50) that includes some of Fairfield County’s best and newest restaurants.  Also, new this year, are killer cocktails from restaurants who embrace cocktails and house some amazing mixologists.

Here’s the info:

Craft Cocktails from Local Restaurants

Bailey’s Backyard

Cask Republic/Post 154

Match

Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge


 

Restaurants (as of 8/11/14):

Azuca Bistro Latino – Stamford

Back 40 Kitchen – Greenwich

Bravo – Stamford

Brick + Wood – Fairfield

Craft 260 – Fairfield

Gastro Bar – Stamford

Hana Tokyo – Fairfield

Johnny Utah’s – Norwalk

Little Barn – Westport

Little Pub – Greenwich

Local Kitchen + Beer Bar – Norwalk, Fairfield

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters – Trumbull

Sign of the Whale – Stamford

The Granola Bar – Westport

Walrus & Carpenter – Bridgeport

Washington Prime – Norwalk


We hope you can make this great event that not only helps to make a huge difference in people’s lives, but is also a great time.  When we went last year, we tried so many new restaurants, had a chance to meet up with fellow writters, and had some nice moments with the chefs and owners who were there supporting Community Plates.  The goal this year is to raise at least $75,000…and, with the way people were so generous last year, we don’t think this will be a problem at all.  If you’d like to learn more about Community Plates, please check out our original post, see the “About” section below, and visit them at the Westport Farmers’ Market on 8/28 from 10-2 pm.  Also, feel free to send us any questions via e-mail.


Event Details:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

VIP Reception + Main Event: 6-7 PM, $100

Main Event: 6:30-8:30 PM, $50

Darien Community Association

274 Middlesex Rd, Darien, CT 06820


About Community Plates

Community Plates is committed to ending food insecurity in America.  Recognizing the problem as a matter of logistics, not a lack of food, the organization established a volunteer-driven, technology fueled method for transferring surplus food to those in need.  The simple process includes food donors (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food-service establishments), food runners (individuals who pick-up and deliver donated food) and receiving agencies (e.g., soup kitchens, pantries, etc.).  Scheduling is made easy with the web and smartphone enabled Community Plates’ GoRescue technology powered by WhenToManage, which received the 2013 Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award for human services.  Since Community Plates was founded in 2011, more than 700 volunteers have rescued food that equates to 4.9 million meals to date.  Launched and headquartered in Fairfield County, CT, Community Plates also operates in New Haven, CT, Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH with plans to expand to four more markets in 2014.  For more information or to get involved visit:  http://communityplates.org.

New Restaurants, Craft Cocktails, VIP Party @ 2nd Annual Food for All Fundraiser for Community Plates It’s no coincidence that Community Plates’ annual fundraiser is called Food for All because that’s exactly their goal:  food for all people.  

11

Aug

Gettin’ Schooled at Karen Brownlow’s Chop Shop Cooking Class in Westport

Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

Karen operates Chop Shop classes right out of her beautiful kitchen

With Fairfield County’s active food scene, it’s no problem trying a new restaurant whenever you want.  But, sometimes you might want more than a meal out.  Maybe you want to take those restaurant-quality dishes home with you to make whenever you want.  Again, there are certainly many cooking classes that you can try out here in…

View On WordPress

07

Aug

Here’s all the food, beer, and event news in the 203 and beyond that’s fit to e-print:

Events

Deuxamis at LeFarm, a collabo between Beverage Manger Jeff Marron and Executive Chef Arik Bensimon will take a temporary break as Chefs Bill and Jeff Taibe and co. open up their their new restaurant, kawaNi.  So, get your last bites and sips this coming weekend.

Bistro 7 in Wilton will have the art of Kendall Meehl on display starting on August 9.  While you’re there, don’t forget they have food and drinks, too. :P  Also, congrats to Bistro 7 because Governor Malloy recently bought his own bottle of their very own Extra Virgin Olive Oil!

8/8 Broken Arrow plays Seaside Tavern at 891 Cove Road in Stamford at 10 pm.  Have a beer, have some snacks, and prepare to be blown away…especially if they throw out their “Psycho Killer” cover.

8/9 Get down with some swine and beer…and Chaz and AJ at GW Carson’s Burger Bar in Branford from 12-6.  Farmboys BBQ will be roasting up two whole pigs and Black Hog Brewing will be pouring some of their awesome brews.  Check out Black Hog News in the Beer section of this post.

8/9 Wakeman Town Farm is hosting a canning workshop from 10-12 pm for just $15 (cash or check) per person.  Carrie Aitkenhead will be on hand to show you how to use those beautiful veggies that you’ve grown.  To register just e-mail wakemantownfarm@gmail.com and tell ‘um we sent ya!

8/16 Check ye out yet 1st Annual Old Time Summer Fair at the First Congregational Church in Bethel.  The fair goes from 9-3 pm at 46 Main Street and includes games, a tag sale, auction, crafts, vendors, books, and lots of food options.

8-17 Whether you think that tomatoes are a fruit or a veggie, you can still have a blast at Ambler Farm’s Tomato Tasting + Family Fun Event.  The Tomato Tasting goes from 1-3 and costs $15 per family or it’s free if you bring 3-5 organic tomatoes or a prepared tomato-based dish.  While there, you’ll taste and learn about a variety of tomatoes, watching cooking demos, play some games, and beat the competition in races.  Also, feel free to bring your own picnic party along with you and don’t forget to register here!

Beer and Liquor

Black Hog Brewing Company has released it’s highly anticipated Strawberry Gose, the first in their Farmland Series of beers.  The Strawberry Gose is a German-style wheat beer that’s made with organic strawberries from Massaro Farms in Woodbridge.  Each purchase at the brewery, bar, restaurant, or store will benefit the Work Lands Alliance!

Two Roads Brewing brings the sequel that you’ve all been waiting for:  Roadsmary’s Baby II!  Following popular trends, they’ve released their pumpkin beer that is aged in Caribbean rum barrels.  People have already started to go crazy on the Tasting Room Floor and will also go crazy when Roadsmary’s Baby hits stores staring August 11.  And, you can go even crazier as Two Roads has recently expanded their production capacity with the installation of new tanks.

New England Brewing Company has expanded their beer production, also, with 20 and 30 bbl tanks. BABY DUCKS, BABY DUCKS…MORE BABY DUCKS!

Franklin Street Works in Stamford is now hosting a monthly member get together with their members.  The first session starts today at 6:30 and is hosted by The Beer Whisperer (we gave him that name, btw), Scott Gargan of the Stamford Advocate.  An annual membership only costs $35 per individual or $50 for a family.  And, just so you know when you come by their art space, they have a little cafe with food, sandwiches, and beer too such as Half Full Bright Ale, Two Roads Workers Comp, Captain Lawrence Pale Ale, Charter Oak Brown Ale, and Captain Lawrence Sunblock.

8/7 Celebrate one of the most holy of holidays:  IPA DAY!  Yes, a day devoted just to India Pale Ales!

Celebrate at these spots:

Plan B Stamford:  Corondao Idiot, Kelso IPA, Goose Island IPA, Black Hog Easy Rye’Da, Widmer Upheaval, Blue Point Optical Illusion, Brooklyn Blast, BBC Lost Sailor, Victory Hop Ticket Noble, Founders Red’s Rye, Sebago Hop Swap IPA, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial, Southern Tier Nirto IPA, F.U.I.P.A. – Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Cask Republic, Coalhouse Pizza, Two Roads, and Ginger Man too!

8/8 Shebeen Brewery in Wolcott will be hosting a fundraiser from 6-9 pm with open taps for just $30.  50% of all ticket sales that day go to the Greater Waterbury Habitat for Humanity.  If you’d like tickets, please e-mail stephanie.e.cummings@gmail.com.  Also, feel free to bring along your own snacks or even have some pizza delivered to the brewery while you’re there.

Fairway Wine & Spirits in Stamford is hosting lots of tastings that we’ve got to tell you about.  On 8/8 from 5-8 check out Georgian Wines, on 8/9 from 4-7 check out Purity Vodka, on 8/15 from 4-7 taste Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Vascos Rose, and Amancaya Malbec, on 8;16 from 1-4 taste 90+ Wine Cellars, and on 8/17 from 4-7 try Greenhook Ginsmiths.

Props

Liz and Elise from Kosher Like Me rocked the Wakeman Town Farm Chili Cook-off and took home first place!  Congratulations!

Captain Mike and Trond have opened up Lobstercraft in Darien.  Make sure to get down there and congratulate them.  Now you know where to go when you want an awesome lobster roll, their killer mac & cheese, or that silky lobster bisque.  Congrats, boys!

Save the Date!

Community Plates, the volunteer-driven organization that rescues food from markets and restaurants, is putting on their second annual Food for All Event on October 2 at the Darien Community Association.  The VIP Reception goes from 6-7 and costs $100 and the Main Event goes from 6:30-8:30 for $50.  And, they’ve sweetened the pot for food runners by inviting them to come along for free to thank them for all their hard work during the year.

Easy Caffeine Fix

Grady’s Cold Brew just introduced something to Whole Foods that just might change your life:  Grady’s Cold Brew Bean Bags.  For $11.99, you buy the Bean Bags that produces about 12 cups of cold brewed coffee that’s perfect to brighten your morning.  Do the math on that and figure out how much money you’d save with the Bean Bags.  ;)

CT Food News, Vol. 16: Whole Pigs, IPA Day, Beer Stuff, Props, and More… Here’s all the food, beer, and event news in the 203 and beyond that’s fit to e-print:

05

Aug

Wine, beer, bourbon, tacos, burgers, bbq, and celebrity chefs…oh freaking my!  That’s just a tiny portion of what’s in store for you at the 4th Annual Greenwich Wine & Food Festival.  We’re talking about three days (9/25-27) of excess, featuring some of the best local food, drinks, and chefs around Fairfield and Westchester Counties all in one spot.  Tickets for the events vary in price, but it all goes down at the beautiful setting of the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.  We’ve always had an amazing time at the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival, and this year will be no different…especially because they are set to donate even more money to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp!

There’s so much going on this year, (wayyyy more than last year) so let’s break it down for ya day by day with some special deals at the end.


Thursday, 9/25

Oysters & Wine Kick Off Party, $125 (tickets on sale soon)

6:30-8:30 at L’escale in Greenwich

Taste some great hors d’oeuvre paired with Castello Banfi wines or cocktails and…wait for it…a raw bar.  A raw bar.  A raw bar!  Don’t forget your swag bag before you leave, either.


Friday, 9/26

2014 Most Innovative Chefs Gala, $325

6:30-10:30 at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

♥ Taste the best of the best from Fairfield, Westchester, and NYC

• Geoffrey Zakarian (can NOT wait to meet him!)

• Jean-Georges (the Jean-Georges, YES!)

• Devin Bozkaya, Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, NY

• Gustave Christman, Harvest Wine Bar in Greenwich, CT

• Samantha Eichenberg, The Dessertist based in NY and CT

• Blake Farrar, The Inn and Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges in Pound Ridge, NY

• Ryan Ribiger, Saugatuck Craft Butchery in Westport, CT

• Giorgio Giacinto, Da Giorgio Restaurant in New Rochelle, NY

• Anthony Concalves, 42 in White Plains, NY

• Chaz Maza, Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge in Norwalk, CT

• Nicholas Martschenko, South End in New Canaan, CT

• Forrest Pasternack, Bailey’s Backyard in Ridgefield, CT

• Reuben Palma, Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse in Greenwich, CT

• Christian Petroni, Fortina in Armonk, NY (and Stamford and Rye Brook too)

• Nancy Roper, Truck in Bedford, NY

• David Synder, Char in Greenwich, CT

• Adam Truelove, Napa & Company in Stamford, CT

♥ Cocktails…lots of cocktails…and wine…and liquor!

♥ An auction to help benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

♥ Live performance from The Marshall Tucker Band


Saturday, 9/27

Culinary Village, Taste of the South, Burger Battles, and More, $135

12-10:30 pm

♥ Gourmet tastings (12-5 pm) from an amazing variety (more than 100 places) of Fairfield and Westchester County hotspots such as The Spread, Mezon Tapas, Spiked Seltzer, Shaw Vineyard, Morello Italian Bistro, Pinch American Grill, Fjord Catering, Fairfield Cheese Company, Cathy’s Biscotti, Baro, Barcelona, 90+ Cellars, Douro, Aux Delices, BLT Steak, Restaurant North, The Schoolhouse at Cannonade, Char, Fortina, Napa & Co, Benjamin Steak House, Rowayton Seafood, Coffee Labs Roasters, Connecticut Cookie Company, Half Full Brewery, Preppy Pig BBQ, South End, Bailey’s Backyard and so so many more…

♥ Drink Expert Stage

1:30 pm:  Gretchen Thomas

2:30 pm:  Marc Stroobandt

3:30 pm:  Joe Campanale

4:30 pm:  Matthew Habdas

♥ Book Signings w/ Meet & Greets

2:15 pm — 3:00pm:  John Stage / Adam Richman

3:00 pm — 3:45pm:  Aaron Sanchez

3:15 pm — 4:00pm:  Jean Georges / Anne Burrell

3:45 pm — 4:30pm:  Geoffrey Zakarian

♥ Cooking Demos, Stage One

1:30 pm:  Anne Burrell

2:30 pm:  Jean-Georges Vongerichten

3:30 pm:  Adam Richman

4:30 pm:  TBA

♥ Cooking Demos, Stage Two

1:00 pm:  TBA

2:00 pm:  Aaron Sanchez

3:00 pm:  Geoffrey Zakarian

4:00 pm:  TBA

 ♥ Burger Battle, 4:30

Hosted by Adam Richman and also judged by Geoffrey Zakarian, Jean-Georges, Anne Burrel, Joe Companale, John Stage, and more.

♥ Beer Garden as well as cocktail, wine, and liquor pours

♥ Top Bartender Showdown, 3:30 on Main Music Stage

♥ BBQ Pit Master’s Tent, 3-8

♥ Alabama plays the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival, 5:30-8:30

♥ Food Truck Corner, 6-10

♥ Tequila & Tostadas hosted by Aaron Sanchez from 6:30-8:30, add-on ticket coming soon


Special Packages

VIP Weekend, $600

• Friday Night Gala Ticket and Saturday VIP Ticket

♥ VIP Front Stage Dinner, $475

• General and VIP access

• Be served dinner while you watch Alabama from the front row!

♥ VIP Ticket, $375

• VIP Parking, private tent with special demos, private restrooms, and lots of drinks

• Ambassador Chef Dinner from 6:30-8

• Private viewing spot for Alabama

♥ Night General Ticket, $95

• BBQ Pit Masters, beer garden, food truck corner, drinks, and Alabama

 

4th Annual Greenwich Wine + Food Festival Returns: Schedule, Chefs, and Details Released Wine, beer, bourbon, tacos, burgers, bbq, and celebrity chefs…oh freaking my!  That’s just a tiny portion of what’s in store for you at the…

04

Aug

After taking a trip to Barcelona, Spain a couple years back we became a little “tapas shy” back here in the states.  Ok, we know what you’re thinking, OmNomCT shy about anything, let alone food?  Yeah right!  It’s true though!  We had such amazing tapas in the motherland that we were afraid we might be a bit disappointed by the local tapas spots.  But, after Ibiza owner, Ignacio Blanco assured us that his tapas were the real-deal (and he should know, he’s from Spain and has spent a lot of time there), we said, what the heck, let’s do it!

So last Sunday evening we headed on over after we worked up an appetite failing miserably at a round of golf in Southbury.  The restaurant is in a bit of an odd location within a strip mall, but they’ve done a nice job making you forget that once you get in.  The walls are sleek and dark, the lighting dim, and there were some festive brightly colored paintings throughout, much like many of the tapas spots we went to in Barcelona.  The scene wasn’t too lively, but it was a Sunday night which usually tends to be a chill night for restaurants.  Before we went at it, we talked with Ignacio a bit and learned more about his experiences in Spain and his other restaurants, including Miegas (another tapas restaurant) in Norwalk which we LOVED but never got a chance to write up back in 2010.

Once we were ready to go the waitress greeted us with a smile and offered us up some drinks.  The drink menu was solid…lots of moderately priced bottles of wine, mostly between $26-$35, with good by-the-glass options, cocktails, a few cava options, and red, white and cava sangria (because it wouldn’t be a Spanish restaurant without those)! Dan had one of his favorites, the Caipirinha (cachaca, muddled lime and sugar), which he says was one of the best that he’s had in the area.  Kristien had the red sangria and thought it had just the right amount of carbonation and just the right (light) amount of sweetness.  We moved on to some Spanish red wines later in the evening and were happy with everything…which tends to happen after a few drinks!

The food menu, mastered by Executive Chef Gilberto Trejo and Chef de Cuisine Juan Carlos Flores, was broken down nicely…the top is all vegetarian, the middle is raciones (that’s larger tapas plates), the bottom left is seafood, and bottom right is meat. There were a good 6-15 options in each section making it hard not to order an obscene amount. Also, there were many of the familiar classics from our vacation in Barcelona, many of which are gluten free for those of you needing to stay away from that evil gluten.  Let’s dig in…just note, some of the plates were smaller portions than usual so we could taste more. 

Pan Tomaca at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Pan Tomaca:  country bread, tomato, garlic, olive oil, sea salt. We had to get this because it was EVERYWHERE in Barcelona, and man did we eat a lot of it when we were there. It’s a simple dish, like garlic bread but with tomato on it. The bread was nice and toasty and there was a good amount of tomato, making it as good as we remember it to be.

Nevat Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar in Danbury, CT

Nevat:  Nevat goat cheese, dry figs, walnuts, truffle oil toast.  Gee, guess who was excited about this dish?  Yep, Kristien can never resist a dish with goat cheese, or figs, or truffle, so this was the holy grail for her.  It had just the right amount of everything, with the figs mixed into the creamy goat cheese and a nice drizzle of truffle oil on top.  The bread was good, but could’ve been a tiny bit crunchier.  The light salad on the side balanced it all out nicely.

Pulpo a Feira at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Pulpo a Feira:  octopus, potato foam, paprika, olive oil, and sea salt. We fell madly in love with Octopus in Barcelona and can’t resist it when we see it on menus since.  They first steam the octopus, then grill it. We’re not sure if the steaming works, as the texture was a bit off.  It did have a nice flavor though, and the potato foam underneath was so creamy and delicious.

Salpicon de Mariscos at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Salpicon de Mariscos:  shrimp, mussels, squid, sea bay scallops, bell peppers, tomato, onions, Albarino vinaigrette.  This dish was much like a ceviche, but with vinaigrette instead.  The seafood, which was quite abundant, tasted light and fresh and the peppers and onions gave it a nice crunchy kick.  They also added in some crumbled egg yolks to add a little fattiness to an otherwise acidic dish.  Very nice!

Atun Marinado at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Atun Marinado:  blue fin tuna, scallions, black olives, tomato, sesame oil, and crispy potato. This was a complex dish, with lots of flavors and textures going on.  The fish was prepared nicely, with some warm notes from the sesame oil, balanced out by the saltiness of the olives and the brightness of the tomatoes and scallions.  Another tasty dish!

Tortilla Espanola at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Tortilla Espanola:  potato and onion omelette with an aioli.  This is another classic dish we indulged in often when we were in Barcelona.  In fact, it was Kristien’s first dish when she got off the plane.  Ibiza’s was just like we remembered it too, light, airy, moist, and packed with nice flavor from the onions.  The bonus aioli added a nice tartness to boost the overall flavor.  A definite winner!

Setas Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar in Danbury, CT

Setas:  Portobello and shiitake sautéed in olive oil, garlic, lemon, parsley, and Guindilla pepper. We loved how the lemon in this dish cut the earthiness, almost making it seem light.  There was a good garlic undertone and the parsley added that herby bite too.  We easily ate the entire thing up, which we don’t usually do with that many mushrooms. Delish.

Pato Asado at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Pato Asado:  Roasted Bella Farm duck breast, polenta “croutons,” dates, smoked bacon, quince, and citrus sauce.  Holy (expletive)…this was the best dish of the night!  The duck was perfectly cooked, rich, savory and fatty just like it should be.  As you know, duck can be a bit overpowering, so the citrus sauce lightened that bad boy up perfectly, making it seem lighter.  The stuffing was a great complement too, adding a nice crunch to the dish.

Codfish Croquettes Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar in Danbury, CT

Codfish Croquettes:  George Bank Cod with an aioli sauce. We actually weren’t sure if we’d like these in fear they’d be too fishy, but they weren’t at all.  The codfish was whipped up inside all light, creamy, and puffy, so much that you wouldn’t even know it was codfish.  And, they were lightly fried, which we much prefer as we’re not a huge fan of heavily fried things.  Overall, solid.

Grilled Calamari at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Grilled Calamari:  crispy cauliflower and summer vegetable vinaigrette.  There was a nice char on the calamari, but with some pieces maybe a bit too much.  The cauliflower was unexpectedly good and the vinaigrette rounded it all out nicely.

Panchetta at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Panchetta:  grilled pork belly, potato, and mustard seed puree with an orange and Muscatel vinegar sauce.  That classic smoky, fatty pork belly melted in your mouth, while the creamy, yet chunky, mashed potatoes added a nice starchiness.  The mustard seed gave it the perfect tart kick, all which made this dish a big winner!!

Hamburguesitas at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Hamburguesitas:  beef, oxtail, and foie gras sliders with caramelized onions.  The burgers were super moist, but a bit on the super rare side. Ignacio said they do that intentionally to highlight the foie gras, otherwise it would be lost in the mix, which made sense to us.  The caramelized onions added a rich sweetness to the burger, making it another well-balanced dish.

Cous Cous Paella at Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar in Danbury, CT

Paella Cous Cous:  chorizo, morcilla, chicken, vegetables, saffron.  This was a non-traditional, but fun take on a paella with couscous instead of rice.  The paella was full of flavor from the broth and saffron, and the meats and veggies were cooked very nicely.

Squid Ink Noodles Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar in Danbury, CT

Squid Ink Noodles:  squid ink is another thing we fell in love with in Barcelona, especially Danny.  The noodles were cooked perfectly al dente, with a rich, creamy sauce on top. The tomato added a nice acid to cut both the starchiness and that slightly bitter flavor that comes from the ink.  Quite nice!

And, if all that hasn’t make your waistband tight just thinking about it, we gave pretty much all their desserts a try as well. Oh, it hurts…

Bread Pudding Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar in Danbury, CT

Bread Pudding: the bread pudding was cold, though we prefer warm, but it was rich, moist, and not too bready like some bread puddings can be.  The sweet and sour strawberry sauce went nicely with the tart frozen yogurt and perfectly cut the richness of the bread pudding.

Chocolate Croquettes

Chocolate Croquettes:  these were meant to be taken like a shot in a spoon in one mouthful.  The chocolate was rich, much like a truffle but softer…and colder.

Creme Brûlée at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Creme Brûlée:  a classic creme brûlée with the coveted crispy shell and creamy, silky inside.  Nicely done.

Olive Oil Cake at Ibiza in Danbury, CT

Olive Oil Cake:  this was the most savory of our desserts.  The rich cake mixed nicely with the creamy mousse, and the tart yogurt cut everything nicely to tone down the richness.

Mojito:   this was our favorite dessert, probably because we just indulged in a ton of heavy foods and this was the most refreshing. It was essentially a refreshing frozen mojito on top of a delicious coconut cream, topped with whipped cream with a touch of minty flavor. Mmmmmm.

Final Thoughts

We have to say, Ibiza lived up to Ignacio’s promises of being the real-deal. Almost everything we enjoyed (and man, we enjoyed a lot) was spot-on and super authentic to the motherland of tapas. Many bites took us right back to our wonderful vacation in Barcelona, making us want to go back. We’d venture to say Ibiza is the most authentic tapas place we’ve hit up in our area, making it a must-eat for all you tapas lovers out there!

Ibiza Restaurant & Tapas

Noms: 3.75

Cost: $$-$$$

Address:  93 Mill Plain Road

Danbury, CT

Ibiza Tapas Wine Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Ibiza Tapas Restaurant + Wine Bar: a taste de las tapas Españolas en Danbury After taking a trip to Barcelona, Spain a couple years back we became a little “tapas shy” back here in the states.  

29

Jul

Eat for Equity Stamford Preps for 10th Benefit Dinner on August 16

New Eat for Equity Stamford Logo

If you’ve been following our blog, it’s no secret that we are huge supporters of Eat for Equity Stamford.  And, what’s not to love about a group of volunteers who put together meals with all money raised going to local charities?  And, just as exciting, what’s not to love about local businesses like Saugatuck Craft Butchery and Shop Rite Super Grade Awho come together to provide high quality…

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28

Jul

Watch out CT, you’ve got another beer festival on the way!  Yup, yup…get ready for Connecticut on Tap at Ives Concert Park in Danbury on 9/13 from 3 to 6 brought to you by i95 Rock and Townsquare Media Danbury.  Think of it:  over 120 different craft brews being poured out for you and your hop-happy friends.  Tickets are either $35 for GA, $55 for VIP, or even a special price for designated drivers on the day of the event.  Now, here’s what you’ll experience at both price levels:

GA

Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 the day of, assuming they are not sold out.

Your part of the festival is 3-6 pm.

Sample over 120 different craft brews with your very own tasting cup

Complimentary water will be provided (stay hydrated my friend)

Food will be available for coming including Hog Wild BBQ

VIP

Tickets are $55 in advance, so get them today before they are gone.

You get all of what GA gets plus…

You get to be there an hour early, starting at 2 pm and going until 6

You get your own VIP area with exclusive rare beers for only VIPs

You get a catered meal

And, you get #swag, literal #swag in the form of a swag bag

Here are just some of the breweries that are slated to represent, many from CT and the Northeast:

  • Adirondack // NY
  • Angry Orchard // OH
  • Bluepoint Brewing // NY
  • Brooklyn Brewing // NY
  • Captain Lawrence // NY
  • City Steam // CT
  • Dogfish Head // DE
  • Empire Brewing // NY
  • Founder’s // MI
  • Goose Island // IL
  • Half Full // CT
  • Lagunitas Brewing // CA
  • Lake Placid // NY
  • Lienenkugels // WI
  • Long Trail // VT
  • Magic Hat // VT
  • Olde Burnside // CT
  • Otter Creek // VT
  • PALM // Belgium
  • Rodenbach // Belgium
  • Sam Adams // MA
  • Saranac // NY
  • Ship Yard // ME
  • Shock Top // MO
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing // CA
  • Sixpoint // NY
  • Southport Brewing // CT
  • Stony Creek // CT
  • Two Roads // CT
  • Thomas Hooker // CT

CT on Tap

9/13/14

GA:  $35/$45

Designated Driver:  TBA

VIP:  $55

3-6 PM (or 2-6 if you’re VIP)

Ives Concert Park

43 Lake Avenue Extension

Danbury, CT

CT on Tap: New Beer Festival in Danbury Focuses on American Craft Beer @i95Rocks @townsquaremedia Watch out CT, you’ve got another beer festival on the way!  Yup, yup…get ready for Connecticut on Tap…

24

Jul

After that unseasonably cool week, you knew what was bound to happen.  Yes, the inevitable heat, sticky, hazy days of summer are back, but remember the alternatives.  If anything, we should be grateful for the hot weather because it gives us a reason to drink our body weights worth of beer and booze, and it gives us a chance to eat outside under umbrellas or the stars.

So poetic…okay, let’s go:

 

Events

7/24 Everybody’s favorite barista/owner/awesome-person Leyla Dam of Lorca will be talking about coffee on the third floor auditorium of the Ferguson Library from 4-6 today.  She’ll talk about the process of making coffee from bean to cup and she’ll have samples, too!

7/25-7/29 Check out the massive book sale going on at the Pequot Library in Southport AND munch away on some great food truck food while helping the library raise 10% of what you spend.  Here’s the schedule:

Buzz truck (Fri., Sat., Sun. 9am – 11am)
Phil & Tom Ice Cream (Fri., Sat., Sun. 3pm – 5pm)
Bodega (Fri. 11:30am – 2:30pm)
Local Meatball (Sat. 11:30am – 2:30pm)
Christophe’s Crepes (Sun. 11:30am – 2:30pm)

7/29 Tune into The Food Network at 10 pm to see Westporter Hannah Bukzin compete on Chopped:  Teen Tournament.  For a complete interview with Hannah and some more info, check out site.

7/31 Check out Pinot’s Palette in the Harbor Point area of Stamford for a special painting night…a bourbon painting night!  Not only will you get to paint a bourbon bottle, there will also be a bourbon tasting!  You speak our language.

8/6 Juding the Fairway Firefighters Cook-off was a blast.  Westport, Cos Cob, Belltown, and Noroton Heights all competed with a round of burgers, chicken, and ribs.  But, in the end, Belltown got first place, unseating Cos Cob as the winners, and took home a $500 gift card, the trophy, and major bragging rights.  They also will have a charity shopping day for The Stamford Fire Safety Foundation Fund.  All you have to do is shop between 4-10 after you’ve register and 25% of your purchases will go directly to Belltown’s charity.


Openings

The Beer Garden at Shippan Landing opens TODAY at 5 pm with Vanchetta, Lobstercraft, and Maddy’s on hand to feed ya.  After today, normal hours are 4-close Wednesday-Friday and at 2-close on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you missed our breaking news announcement this weekend, Aaron Sanchez’s Paloma opened on Monday.  See our review for some drink and food recs.

Corbo’s Deli is now open in the Harbor Point area of Stamford.  This makes their 4th location which includes Greenwich, Old Greenwich, and Cos Cob.  It’s a good deli and breakfast/lunch joint and our favorite sandwich is the Roadie which includes meatballs and chicken parm on a roll or hoagie.  Oh yeah!

JOJOTO:  Venezuelan Restaurant + Bar will open Mid-August in Branford at 130 Shore Drive.  Owner Victor Figueroa will be working with the Singing Chef Neil Fuentes.  Expect dishes like arepas, empanada platters, to stones, cachapa, mejillones a la vinaigrette, Cabernet braised short ribs, Venezuelan BBQ, and lots more.  For drinking, you’ll want to down some of their cocktails that are made with some Latin flare including mango, passionfruit, and fresh juices.  They’ll also have craft beers on the ready and a wine list carefully selected from Spain and Argentina.

Brick + Wood is set to open early fall at 1275 Post Road No. 7 in Fairfield.  The focus of Paola and Clara Cavalli’s (husband and wife) new spot will be on wood-fired pizza and Italian street food.  Some of the dishes to expect are a mozzarella bar, imported meats, arancini, fried calarmari, stuffed calzone, toasted panini, salads, and desserts like Nutella pizza.  Also, add in some killer Neopolitan pies that gets cooked in a 900º wood–fired over for a short 60 seconds, and you’ve got a new spot to check out.  Oh, and did we mention they’ll have 26 taps of wine that will be flowing like mad?  Yes, wine on tap…

Chocopologie is moving…but not too far away.  They’ll be taking over the spot where Caffeine was at 133 Washington Street.


Beer

8/5 Ginger Man SoNo is hosting their second home-brew competition.  The judging of the contest begins at 3 and costs nothing to enter.  Contestants get their first pint of beer free? and a shot at the prize.  Even if you don’t enter, come down for the part at 5.  For more info, check here.

Two Roads Brewery is the focus of Ken Tuccio’s latest podcast for Welcome to Connecticut.  Check it out here as well as last week’s episode with Aaron Sanchez of Paloma.

Christopher Hughes from Boston Magazine who had entirely snubbed CT from a top breweries to visit in New England list, spent time visiting CT breweries and came up with a list of some of his favorites.  Whatcha think of the list?


Dinners

7/29 Come down to 850º Wood Fired in Ridgefield at 6 pm for a wine and food supper on their patio.  For $48 per person, all in, you’ll get three courses praised with food and wine and will end the night with some cafe and biscotti.  Call either 850º at (203) 894-5283 or Village Wines at (203) 431-5850 for reservations.

8/10 Parallel Post is taking their restaurant on the road as they host a farm-to-table dinner at Gilbertie’s Farm in Easton.  The event goes from 1-4 and tickets cost $75.  Make sure to RSVP so you can get your sport as Chef James Dean Max, Chris Molyneux, and Ali Goss prepare a killer meal while keeping it local.


Casting Call

Hell’s Kitchen is casting right now and there’s even a live NY casting event, so get on it if you want a piece of the action.  Just e-mail castingHK2014@gmail.com and be sure to include the following info:

Put “YOUR NAME/CURRENT CITY/STATE” in the subject title  
You MUST include :your full name, age, tel #’s, RECENT PHOTOS, where you live currently-city/state,  culinary experience, Why you are the next Winner of Hell’s Kitchen? Why this opportunity would mean so much? Why you would be the perfect contestant for the show & what sets you apart from the rest! 

Maybe you come from a long line of chefs, farmer? hunters? military chef? prison chef? celebrity chef? pastry chef? butcher? Maybe you are an engineer turned chef? maybe you were a fry cook in a fast food restaurant,  maybe you cooked at old age home, summer camp, cooked for a President or somewhere interesting and different?

 Tell us your story!

CT Food + Beer News, Vol. 14: Dinners, Events, Lots of Openings, Booze, and More… After that unseasonably cool week, you knew what was bound to happen.  Yes, the inevitable heat, sticky, hazy days of summer are back, but remember the alternatives.  

23

Jul

There are days when we want to go light, there are days when you might mix a little light with something heavier.  Then again, there are days when you break out into a hardcore, primal, carnivorous rage and take down meaty dish after meaty dish.

So, Jose Perez did like any American, food (and fun)-loving person would do:  he decided to open up a food truck:  The Meat Truck to be exact.  Their first launch was on July 4 weekend and they sold out of all their food on that day. If  that’s any indiction of their future success, then we think they’ll do very nicely.  While we haven’t had a chance to try the food yet, we did snag an interview with Jose to let you know more about what you can look forward to when The Meat Truck hits up Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

What gave you the inspiration to start a food truck?

I’ve always loved to cook. My earliest memories are all centered around food, whether it was a pig roast during a holiday gathering, or creating a Thanksgiving menu with my mother and sister. I fell in love with cooking after watching cooking shows on PBS and CPTV.  I remember sitting in front of the TV as a kid for hours watching Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, Martin Yan from “Yan Can Cook,” and Justin Wilson, with his red suspenders and his “I gar-on-tee” catchphrase.  From that point on, I was hooked.
About 6 years ago, while managing the Sherwin Williams store in Bridgeport, I came up with the idea of opening up a food truck, after a co-worker talked about a dream he had of owning a deli.  He spoke with so much passion about what he would make, and how he would run it.  But also with much regret, that he never did.  That day, I made a promise to myself, given the opportunity, I would open launch a food truck of my own.

What cities and towns do you plan to hit up in Fairfield County?

Stratford, Bridgeport, Fairfield, possibly Stamford. But right now, I’m based out of New Haven.

Do you have any places set already where you might keep a regular spot where everybody knows how to find you?

At this moment, I’m planning on setting up shop at the Sunoco gas station on Route 80 in New Haven and the downtown Yale area. Don’t worry, though, I still have plans on establishing weekly spots in Stamford and Bridgeport, and Fairfield.

Can you give us a preview into some of the menu and pricing?

$8 steak sandwiches made from real rib eye steak.  $7 roasted chicken and pulled pork sandwiches with rib and chicken dinner plates ranging from $10-$14.  $3 sides including, German potato salad with bacon, crisp apple slaw with cilantro, yellow rice with pigeon peas (arroz con gandules), hand cut french fries and empanadas. The full menu is available on our website, www.themeattruckco.com.

How would you define the focus of the menu?

Meat is the focus. I’m taking a Latin twist to traditional sandwiches and BBQ.  Also, I strongly believe that a great sandwich starts with great ingredients, so we’ve partnered up with local bakers and suppliers to bring an extra freshness to our product.

What do you think will be your biggest seller?

Probably the Cuban sandwich with double cut bacon and roasted pork shoulder, or the Guava with bourbon glazed pork belly sliders with a spicy jalapeño slaw.  And of course there’s our Southern style smoked spare ribs and rotisserie chicken.  I also can’t forget our “super” sized meaty empanadas.

And, finally, have you noticed anything about the growing food truck scene here in CT that you’d like to share?

I love the diversity.  Food trucks have made us more adventurous and open to new cultures and flavors.  This is the easiest and cheapest way to experience the world.  I think the next trend we’ll see locally is a bit more fusion.  As people’s tastes differ and they experience more, they’ll start to combine techniques and ingredients.


The Meat Truck 

www.themeattruckco.com

203-928-9021

jperez@themeattruckco.com

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

Twitter:  @themeattruckco

Meat Truck on Urbanspoon

The Meat Truck Chomps Down on New Haven and Sets Paws on Fairfield County There are days when we want to go light, there are days when you might mix a little light with something heavier.