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18

Sep

We hope you’ve all been having a great week…well, it’s about to get even better.  Look at all these great events, openings, and beer-related goodness going on in the 203 and the rest of the state!  As always, let us know if we can add anything or feature an event that you love. 

Events

The Norwalk Open Door Shelter’s kitchen was recently renovated and they need your help restocking the kitchen (well, they could always use your help with that).  Donate to them by bringing donations or helping out online.

OmNomCT has entered the Stamford Chili Contest on 11/2 from 11-3 pm at Stamford Museum & Nature Center. Do you think you’ve got the beans to go toe-to-toe with us and other home cooks from the area?  If so, write Joe Gonzalez at stamfordchilicookoff@yahoo.com.  Even if you’re not participating, come down…more info coming soon.

9/18 Check out 850 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza from 7-10 today to help raise money for Bully Breed Rescue.  Also, there will be $5 pints of Black Hog! The Ridgefield restaurant will be donating 15% of all profits to Bully Breed of New Canaan who not only rescue pit bulls, but also help to find them new homes.

9/18 It’s a Harvest Happening Food & Wine Tasting over at Stew Leonard’s Wines in Danbury from 6-8 pm. You’ll get samples of wines, bourbon, and craft beers, all while helping to raise money for The Lions Club of Danbury.  Tickets are 1 for $35 or 2 for $60.

9/18+19, 10/1, 10/9, 10/31… Showcase 61 has relaunched their awesome concert series that features popular musicians and also up-and-comers.  Showcase 61 is located inside of the Palace Theatre in Stamford and they feature Berkshire Brews that are pretty damn hard to find.  And, now, by printing out The Punch Card (or finding it at a local Stamford business), and bringing it with you to each event, you can earn your shot at winning a free evening out in Stamford. You get entered into the running for every four stamps, so make sure to bring it with you and go to as many performances as possible!

9/19 Park(ing) Day is almost here…and Lorca of Stamford is doing their part!  They’ll be setting up a nice little park in front of their store on Bedford Street.  So, come on down, nom away on some of their awesome baked goods, drink some great coffee or tea…and just chill.  The fun begins at 5:30, but always feel free to stop by Lorca at other times too.  Hey, those churros get lonely…

9/21-22 One of the major highlights of September is when Bedford Street closes and the tents take over! There is art, jewelry, decorations, food, and more all at the Arts & Crafts on Bedford Festival.  Afterwards (or during a break), hit up some of the restaurants on Bedford that have extended their sidewalks onto the road.  When you’re done, work off some of the calories by climbing the rock wall!  Hours on Saturday are 10-8 and Sunday from 10-5.

9/26 Morello Bistro is hosting a Goose Island Beer Dinner that starts with a reception at 6:30 then continues into dinner and drinking at 7.  Tickets are $80, all in with tax and tip included.  To get your tix, call up (203) 661-3443 or e-mail them at info@morellobistro.com.

9/30 Things ’bout to get all ‘Murica up in Cask Republic.  They’ve got whiskey, they’ve got beer, and they’ve got cigars at their Cigar & Whiskey Night.  Just show up at 7, drink some Willett and Willett-based cocktails, smoke some rolled-on-the-spot cigars from Connecticut Cigar Company (2 are guaranteed), drink some special barrel aged brews, and devour an all-you-can eat appetizer buffet.  Tix are $75, all in, so call up (203) 348-2275 to get your spot.

Openings, Updates, and Closings

Guvnor’s Brewery in SoNo has closed.  No word yet on why they closed, but we’re upset that we didn’t get a chance to go back and see how the restaurant and brewery had matured.

Oishi SoNo is close to opening.  They are an Izakaya (Japanese pub) and will feature modern takes on Japanse and Pan Asian dishes, highlighted through small plates.  Pair those dishes up with some choice beer, wine, and cocktails and you’ve got a new spot to check out.  Oishi is located at 124 Washington Street.

Jax & Co, also in SoNo, is slated to open on Monday.  Get ready for killer lunches and taking things down to the Low Country.

Not a restaurant opening per se, but it’s another great reason to check out Bar Sugo:  in about a year there will be a theatre opening up right across from Chef Pascarella’s awesome Italian spot.  The name:  the Wall Street Theater!

Congratulations to Community Plates:  they have expanded their food rescuing mission to New Orleans!  Help celebrate with them and raise some very necessary money at their Food for All event on October 2.

Beer

9/20 Last call for alcohol:  Harbor Brew Fest  is this Saturday, 9/20!  You’ll thank us now if you buy your tickets right away because it’s pretty close to selling out already.

9/20 If you loved the Exilis at OEC Brewery in Oxford, Saturday’s your last chance for a few months to get your growler filled and taste this beaut.  In a recent FB post, OEC shared that they have plenty more in the works, too.

10/4 We recently updated our Oktoberfest and Beer Fest list for CT by adding in The Beer Garden SoNo’s own Oktoberfest!

Move on in at the ground level at Powder Hollow Brewing of Enfield.  Join their Powder Hollow Brewery Pint Club now before opening and they’ll get some major #swag.  First of all, when they visit the brewery they’ll get their own 20 oz. glass to keep and store there while the other sucks drink just pints. You’ll get a free t-shirt, a free 64 oz growler fill, exclusive updates on events and new brews, and as an added bonus you’ll be helping to keep things local!  Membership is a puny $65 and can be acquired by mailing payment to 504 Hazard Avenue; Enfield, CT 06082…or you can even stop by the brewery and get a mini-tour of what’s being done right now. E-mail Michael.mcmanus@powderhollowbrewery.com for more info.

Shebeen Brewery in Wolcott is starting Food Truck Saturdays on 10/4 when they’ll be featuring The Meat Truck.  Then on 10/25 they’ll have Ted’s Steamed Cheeseburgers and The Spud Stud on hand!   The food trucks arrive at 12 and leave by 6…or if all their delicious contents are devoured.  Check out their FB page for listings.  Also, on 9/21, check out Liz Fohl from 12-5 as she stops at Shebeen for her Northeast Brewtour.

More from our Nomworthy Events Page

9/19 Plan B Milford will tap a special keg of Black Hog Granola Brown Ale with bacon

9/19-20 9th Annual Milford Irish Festival

9/19-21 Oktoberfest at Old Heidelberg in Bethel

9/19-21 SoWe Food & Wine Festival

9/20 Big Brew NY Festival

9/20 Harbor Brew Fest 2014!

9/20 Perry Haus Oktoberfest in Stratford

9/20 Ski Sundown Brewfest in New Hartford, CT

9/21 Westpour Block Party in Westport

9/22 The Art of the Cocktail party at ROIA in New Haven

9/25 Westport Farmers’ Market, 10-2 (demo from Chef Jeff Taibe of LeFarm/The Whelk)

9/26-9/27 Greenwich Wine & Food Festival

9/26-28 Oktoberfest at Old Heidelberg in Bethel

9/27 Milford Oktoberfest from 12-9

9/27-28 Westpour Block Party in Westport

9/27-9/28 2nd Annual Ok2berfest at Two Roads

CT News We hope you’ve all been having a great week…well, it’s about to get even better.  Look at all these great events, openings, and beer-related goodness going on in the 203 and the rest of the state!  

17

Sep

7 Local Chefs Compete in 4th Annual Connecticut Chefs Challenge to Benefit The Optimus Foundation

7 Local Chefs Compete in Connecticut Chefs Challenge

2014 CT Chefs Challenge

Food competition shows are fun to watch on TV, no doubt. There’s lots of excitement, panic, stressful situations, and lots of smack talk going down.  But, you miss out on a key component:  interaction. You can’t talk with the chefs, (even though you might be yelling at the TV and telling them to not cook the pork for any longer, they can’t actually hear you) and you certainly can’t taste all the…

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16

Sep

Om Nom Nom: Free Fall Food Truck Fest Rolls into Stratford, CT

Free Fall Food Truck Fest Rolls into Stratford

203 urgent care food truck fest Fairfield Countarians, it’s happening…a food truck festival to hit in our own backyard! Oh, and it’s a FREE food truck festival, too! It all goes down on Saturday, October 4th from 11-3 pm at The Dock Shopping Center. As of now you can expect some of CT’s best and most popular trux like LobsterCraft, Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, Bounty Burger, Rough House, The Buzz Truck, Christiano’s Pizza, Fruit…

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15

Sep

Ticket Giveaway for Greenwich Wine + Food Festival 2014!

Ticket Giveaway for Greenwich Wine & Food Festival 2014!

Greenwich Wine & Food Festival Collage 2013What, you’ve been slacking on getting your tickets to the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival?  Well, for once being lazy might work to your advantage because we’re giving away TWO General Admission tickets for Saturday’s events on 9/27 ($270 value).  All you need to do is check out our linked Facebook post and tag the person who you want to take with you.  That’s it…that easy, that simple. The…

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14

Sep

BREAKING: @tworoadsbrewing has started inscribing their beer foam with their logo! #ctbeer  (at Two Roads Brewing Company)

BREAKING: @tworoadsbrewing has started inscribing their beer foam with their logo! #ctbeer (at Two Roads Brewing Company)

Ready to get our nom on! @fdchefs (at Two Roads Brewing Company)

Ready to get our nom on! @fdchefs (at Two Roads Brewing Company)

13

Sep

CT on Tap is great!  What a great first event!  Look forward to 2nd Annual (at Ives Concert Park)

CT on Tap is great! What a great first event! Look forward to 2nd Annual (at Ives Concert Park)

12

Sep

Even before we started our food blog, we would hit up EOS on Summer Street in Stamford. We loved the fresh, inspired dishes that were contemporary plays on classic Greek dishes. And, we loved sitting outside on their patio, letting the day float by.  Years later, we still love EOS and keep it at the top of our list for restaurants that we love here in Fairfield County. Part of the reason why EOS has been rated top Greek restaurant year after year and remains at the top of restaurant lists in Stamford (and Fairfield County) is definitely the food, but there is a whole family behind the success. One of those family members is Nikki Glekas. She’s part chef, part owner, and 100% fireball. Whether you see her at the restaurant, at a charity event, a cooking contest, or a catering party, Nikki brings it…and brings it hard.

So, you could imagine how happy and excited we were to learn that Nikki was taking over Bank Street Events in Stamford! And, topping it all off, it seemed like a natural fit for Nikki to also open up Nikki Glekas Event Design. Well, we wanted to know more, find out her inspiration, see what kind of food she will be serving, and her plans for the future. For a little taste of what Bank Street Events offers, definitely check out the free Taste of Bank Street event from 6-8 on 9/18 (described below) and be sure to RSVP.

How did the opportunity to purchase Bank Street Events happen?

The delicious myzithropita from EOS Greek Cuisine

The delicious myzithropita from EOS Greek Cuisine

Three years ago I was searching for a venue to host my son’s christening. I had over 100 people, so it was too big for my restaurant EOS. I had gone to Bank Street 10 years ago for an event and remembered I loved the space, so I called and left a message to speak with the owner. When Ted (the owner) called me back I explained I was interested in renting the space from him for my son’s christening and cater from EOS. We agreed on a price and had an awesome event. Afterwards when I was leaving my husband and I were thanking Ted and nonchalantly said, “If you ever want to sell this space, let us know.” This past April, Ted sent me an email asking if I was still interested in my offer to buy…it was like it was meant to be.

What interested you in Bank Street Events?

The space is so unique…old banks are great for restaurants, clubs, venues. The original vault is still there, actually, and really enhances how unique the space is. There is a need in Stamford for venues like this and although this space has been a catering venue for a long time, my energy and passion will really make it shine. Plus, it’s walking distance to EOS so it’s very convenient for me to be operating both businesses.

Do you feel like your time at EOS had helped to inspire you to move in this new direction?

Absolutely, before we opened EOS I worked for an event design company, managed night clubs in NYC, and dreamed about one day opening a venue where I could host weddings and events…I was born a natural hostess and event planner. My ultimate dream is to one day have a TV show where I could creatively show viewers how a theme of a party can be shown in everything from the printed material, to the food, décor, drinks, entertainment, and more.

One month into opening EOS I was approached from a customer to cater his wedding, I was so excited and really went all out including purchasing Vineyard Vines navy polo shirts for my staff with white pants so guests could get the full effect of the waterfront nautical theme. Those customers have become VIPs at EOS and we cater at least one party a year at their home. That was the start of my off site catering.  EOS has given me the opportunity to meet many people and companies in Stamford which has helped me contact them to introduce them to my new venue. Also, EOS has won best Greek restaurant in Fairfield County the last 6 years which has helped create creditability for myself and our food.

What kind of food will you be serving at Bank Street and what kind of events will you have?

The menu is inspired by EOS, but has more Mediterranean cuisine. We also created some fun stations such as “comfort food” which includes pulled pork sliders, mac and cheese, candied bacon Brussel sprouts, homemade fries in cones and tomato soup with grilled cheese. Ironically, we explained our menu and many customers have asked to include different items from the menu at EOS. We are flexible and happy to create a menu based on what the customers guests would like served…I love to be creative and to think outside the box!

I am currently booking many parties, already, for 2015.  Right now most of the bookings are weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs with corporate holiday parties booking up fast for December. The space is great for all types of corporate events with a capacity of up to 250 for cocktail parties. For a sit down wedding we can seat up to 200 people. For bar/bat mitzvahs, the space is the amazing because kids can have a buffet on the main level with the dance floor while the adults can enjoy their own bar and sit down affair upstairs while still having a view of the children from the balcony.

In addition to booking the space for events I will also be hosting my own events. For example, on October 16th I am hosting a Cancer Benefit in honor of a family friend with all net proceeds going to MEGS LEGS of Hope in Motion benefitting Bennett Cancer Center of Stamford Hospital. We have tons of sponsors including Stamford Hospital and Moffly Media. More information about the event and purchasing tickets will be on my Bank Street website soon. We are also planning a New Year’s Eve event with a prefix dinner, open bar + DJ as well as an amazing Mother’s Day Brunch with mimosa, bloody mary + sangria bars.

We also see that you started Nikki Glekas Event Design. What is the focus of your Event Design company? 

Nikki Glekas Event Design seemed a natural fit since I have been already designing and organizing my customers’ décor, flower arrangements, staff, rentals, linens, tent, menus, printed material, flow, vendors (cake, dj, photographer, etc.). In the past 6 years I have been offering off site catering from EOS with full event services. I have been waiting to brand myself as an “event planner” and the purchase of Bank Street Events was the perfect time. My focus of event design is still at Bank Street and EOS but not limited to either. I still offer off site catering + event design and I am still booking tented events at customers’ homes. Most of the events I am hired for are weddings, rehearsal dinners, fundraisers, christenings, baby and bridal showers and birthday parties…so, all types of parties really.

Can you tell us a little about your Open House event?

My open house on September 18th is a “Taste of Bank Street” and I will be passing a few butlered hors d’ouevures and champagne for guests to taste the quality of our food. I am designing the main dining area in “4 looks” with specialty linens, place settings, chair treatments, printed materials, and centerpieces to give people (especially brides and grooms) ideas of how I can create the space. Downstairs I will have high tops set up to give corporations ideas of how the space can work for their company. My team and I have been working very hard the last couple months to prepare for this by creating new menus, logos, a website, and renovating. Needless to say, I am excited to showcase my work to friends, family, Stamford residents and potential clients. Anyone is welcome to attend!

Nikki Glekas of EOS Takes Over Bank Street Events and Opens Own Event Design Company Even before we started our food blog, we would hit up EOS on Summer Street in Stamford.

11

Sep

Before we get started with our weekly beer, food, and event news for the 203 (and beyond), we’d like to just thank you all for reading.  Over the past few years we have seen our blog grow so much, but we couldn’t do it without you.  Literally, we couldn’t do it without you.  Look, without you we’d just be writing all of this with only 1 page view, maybe 2 if we both looked at what we posted.  Well, thanks again.  Always feel free to ask us questions or send event and info our way.

-Dan and Kristien

Events + News

9/12 SAVE FERRIS!  Ohhh yeahhh, chicka, chicka..chickachaka!  Java Westport will be playing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at 7 pm on their big screen, so get your best Rooney voices ready and practice your driving to avoid any mishaps like driving your dad’s car off of a giant cliff.

9/13 Need to take a chill pill?  Then check out a free outdoor Yoga class to celebrate the opening of Yogasmoga in Greenwich.  Meet at 9:30 in the Julian Curtiss School Field, then afterwards get some free juices at Yogasmoga on 66 Greenwich Avenue from Meli-Melo.

9/13-14 Live Green Connecticut! is back at Taylor Farm Park in Norwalk.  Admission is free with parking only costing $5 per car. While you’re there, check out different events, bands, speakers, how to keep living green, and chow down on lots of food from Skinny Pines, The Stand Juice Company, Maddy’s Food Truck, Cowabunga, LobsterCraft, Elm City Kettle Corn, Melt Mobile, The Granola Bar, and Vanchetta.  Hours on Saturday are 10-4 and Sunday 11-4.

9/14 Get ready for the 3rd Annual Chile Pepper Festival at Stamford Hospital’s Tulley Health Center (32 Strawberry Hill) from 12-2. There will be plenty of hot peppers to try like ghost peppers and the hottest of them all, the Carolina Reaper.  Also up for tasting are dishes using peppers from Coromandel and Pellicci’s.  You’ll also want to check out the cooking demos.  Finally, perhaps the coolest part is that you can stroll through the garden and pick your own peppers to take home.  The event is free.

9/19-20 The Irish Heritage Society of Milford presents the 9th Annual Milford Irish Festival!  There will be plenty of live music on both days, Irish dancers on Saturday, an Irish Marketplace, food, and pints of awesomeness in the beer tent.  The Irish Fest takes place on The Fowler Field Rotary Pavilion, but there is no parking there, so follow the directions on the right of their site.  Friday goes from 6-11 and costs $5, Saturday goes from 11-11 and costs $12 or you can go to both days for $15.  Oh, and kids 15 and under are free. ;)

9/22 Check out ROIA in New Haven from 6-10 for The Art of the Cocktail.  There will be 25 tables of cocktails (25?  That’s ridiculous!)  and some noms to help keep the liquor down.  There will be music, dancing, mixology demos, too.  They encourage you to wear 1920’s garb, so come dressed to impress.  If interested in attending, RSVP to rsvp@brescomebarton.com and let them know we sent ya!

Fairway Stamford BBQ Cook-off Winners Belltown Fire Department recently donated a check for $3,186 to The Stamford Fire Safety Foundation.  This money was raised from a day of shopping where a portion of the profits were gathered just for this cause.

Paloma, Chef Aaron Sanchez’s new restaurant in Stamford, has begun serving lunch!  Lunch will be served daily from 11:30-2:30 and will feature a variety of small plates, salads, tortillas, tortas, and entrees.  Some of the highlights include squash blossom quesadillas, Chile arbol steamed mussels, Grilled Maya Prawn Salad, Albondigas sliders, chilaquiles (OH YES!), a Cubano, and a Carne Asada skirt steak.

Beer and Liquor Get Ya There Quicker News

Half Full‘s Rare Beer Night on 10/15 from 7-9 will be a very special one for us.  That’s because we spent this past Sunday with Headbrewer Jen Muckerman making a beer with her that will be featured.  For now, we’re keeping some of the details under wraps, but be prepared for a darker style beer…that’s about all we’re saying right now.  To get your tickets, just go right here.  Be warned, ALL of the Rare Beer Nights sell out, so snag it fast…or else.

Spiked Seltzer, based right here in Westport, has expanded even deeper into NY.  Now they are also available in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and almost the rest of the state.  Congrats.

9/11 Two Roads of Stratford takes over the taps of Plan B Milford tonight at 6.  Hmm, wonder what they’ll bring? ;)

9/11 Black Hog is being found in more and more spots throughout the 203.  Case in point:  Local in Fairfield.  Just stop by starting at 6 and you’ll get $1 off Black Hog brews and, if you’re there soon enough, you’ll get a fancy Black Hog pint glass of your own.  #swag

9/19-??? We told ya all about Plan B Milford’s Bacon Week yesterday, but we didn’t mention this goodie:  a Black Hog Granola Brown Ale rendered with bacon.  Hot damn, got your ass there starting at 6 pm and lasting until whenever it kicks.

9/17 Cask Republic in Stamford will have a Cisco tap takeover starting at 6 pm.  They’ll be featuring Sanktay Light, Whales Tale, Grey Lady, Pumple Drunkin, Double IPA, a series of beers from their Island Reserve, and a cask of Cisco IPA dry hopped with galaxy.

9/21 While it’s a bit of a hike to Plan B Springfield, they are hosting a great event that we want to tell ya about:  Sip Nip Puff.  Brews from Jack’s Abbey like Mass Rising, Smoke & Danger, Lesiure Time, Cascadian Schwarzbier, and Smoked Marzen, Four Roses bourbon like Yellow, Small Batch, and Single Barrel, and your own complimentary cigar gift bag.  Tix are $50, all in, with the event going from 2-5.

10/6 Save the date and get your tix for a New England Brewing Company Beer Dinner at Coalhouse Pizza with a menu created by both of us!  The awesomeness begins at 7 with 5 great courses that will feature NEBCO beer in each recipe and a pairing.  Tickets are $55 (tax and tip extra), with proceeds going to the Bennet Cancer Center.  

CT Beer + Food News, Vol. 20: Save Ferris, Chiles, Cocktails, Exciting Brews + More Before we get started with our weekly beer, food, and event news for the 203 (and beyond), we’d like to just thank you all for reading.  

Biggest Food Contest in CT, ChowdaFest, Hits Norwalk + Benefits Community Plates

Biggest Food Contest in CT, ChowdaFest, Hits Calf Pasture Beach

Chowdafest 2014 Calf Pasture Beach

That’s right…what started as a local chowder competition to help raise much needed money for local food banks has grown immensely.  So immensely, in fact, that organizer (and Chief Chowderhead) Jim Keenan had to put some serious thought into expansion.  Would he keep Chowdafest at the same level…or take it to the next level?  If you’ve met Jim before you know he’s never content with keeping…

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