An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
The Connecticut Table

November 2013

Cuckoo's Nest Mexican Restaurant in Old Saybrook Has Changed Hands But Not Much Else—and That's a Good Thing

01/29/14

Cuckoo's Nest Mexican Restaurant in Old Saybrook Has Changed Hands But Not Much Else—and That's a Good Thing

The new owners of the Old Saybrook favorite have no plans to mess with a proven, very successful formula.

Posted at 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments

Fresh Light Indian Cuisine at Tikkaway Grill in New Haven

01/29/14

Fresh Light Indian Cuisine at Tikkaway Grill in New Haven

Quick, light, healthy, flavorful. These all apply to meals you can take out in a hurry or eat in at your leisure at the Tikkaway Fresh Indian Grill on Orange Street.

Posted at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Chocolate Treats Across Connecticut: Pancakes With Chips to Banana Chimichanga, Even Chocolate Truffle Stout

01/25/14

Chocolate Treats Across Connecticut: Pancakes With Chips to Banana Chimichanga, Even Chocolate Truffle Stout

February may be cold, but hearts still melt on Valentine’s Day. A box of chocolates is classic on this holiday of love, but here are a few more ways to get your chocolate fix. Ever feel like dessert for breakfast? Chip’s Family Restaurant in Orange serves a sweet special called The Choc-a-Holic: five of their famous buttermilk pancakes packed with milk and white chocolate chips. The icing on the pancake is the chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Head to Klekolo World Coffee in Middletown for their enchanting signature espresso drink, the Witch’s Brew, a unique concoction of chocolate, caramel and hazelnut with espresso. South Norwalk’s Chocopologie Café dedicates its craft to creating delectable confections. Don’t miss Dessert in a Jar:...

Posted at 05:51 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Cuisine of Cambodia at New Royal House in Fairfield

01/21/14

CTbites: Cuisine of Cambodia at New Royal House in Fairfield

Cambodia is a land of rivers and lakes, bordered by the Gulf of Thailand, and nestled between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. The cuisine is lighter and features more vegetables and fish than Thai or Vietnamese.

Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

Dueling Julia Child Dinners in Westport—Magnifique!

01/18/14

Dueling Julia Child Dinners in Westport—Magnifique!

Two top Westport chefs have concocted enticing one-time-only prix-fixe menus à la The French Chef.

Posted at 05:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

It's Time for Taste of Hartford to Heat Up Capital With Great Dining Deals

01/16/14

It's Time for Taste of Hartford to Heat Up Capital With Great Dining Deals

The best restaurants in the capital—24 in all—are offering bargain prix fix meals for two weeks straight.

Posted at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

Chinese New Year: Authentic Flavors at Top Connecticut Chinese Restaurants

01/16/14

Chinese New Year: Authentic Flavors at Top Connecticut Chinese Restaurants

We’re here to tell a person who offered a negative comment about Chinese restaurants in our state that Connecticut is home to at least a handful of terrific Chinese restaurants, as judged by not only patrons of these beloved places but dining experts that collaborate with Connecticut Magazine and such arbiters as Zagat.

Posted at 08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

Bareburger Opens in Ridgefield; Wild Boar to Bison to Quinoa Veggie Burgers

01/14/14

Bareburger Opens in Ridgefield; Wild Boar to Bison to Quinoa Veggie Burgers

The latest arrival in the gourmet burger genre is a Ridgefield outpost of Bareburger, an organic burger micro-chain that’s a hit in the Big Apple.

Posted at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

Best Pizza in New Haven? Da Legna, Says One Top Connecticut Chef

01/13/14

Best Pizza in New Haven? Da Legna, Says One Top Connecticut Chef

You might wonder why New Haven needs another pizza restaurant, but a visit to Da Legna will convince you there’s always room for one more.

Posted at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

New Sweet Beet in Granby: Vegan, Organic Gluten Free & Savory Too

01/10/14

New Sweet Beet in Granby: Vegan, Organic Gluten Free & Savory Too

“Everything in our shop is 100-percent free from gluten, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), soy, peanut, dairy, eggs or any other animal products."

Posted at 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

Making Some Noise in the Quiet Corner

01/10/14

Making Some Noise in the Quiet Corner

The Stomping Ground in Putnam—yes, Putnam—just may be your next favorite live-music destination.

Posted at 03:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Classic Italian Elegance at Valbella in Greenwich

01/06/14

CTbites: Classic Italian Elegance at Valbella in Greenwich

It is in no way funky or hip or cool but is extremely elegant and the food ... was outstanding.

Posted at 09:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

Great Corn Chowder From Stone House in Guilford For Soup Season (With Recipe)

01/02/14

Great Corn Chowder From Stone House in Guilford For Soup Season (With Recipe)

"I began my dinner with the soup special of the night, which was Corn Chowder. It was absolutely delicious and one of the best soups I have had in a restaurant."

Posted at 08:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Cooking Light Likes Chicken Pom of Graham Elliot of Primary in Greenwich

01/02/14

Cooking Light Likes Chicken Pom of Graham Elliot of Primary in Greenwich

In its January/February 2014 issue, Cooking Light magazine highlights an entree designed by Graham Elliot, the celebrity chef whose latest venture is Primary Food & Drink in Greenwich.

Posted at 07:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites Staff & Chef Picks for Top Eats of 2013

12/30/13

CTbites Staff & Chef Picks for Top Eats of 2013

Instead of coming up with a top ten list ourselves, we asked the CTbites extended family to share some of their most memorable meals and dining experiences this past year.

Posted at 08:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

New Year's Eve: Ten Tasty Ways to Ring in 2014

12/28/13

New Year's Eve: Ten Tasty Ways to Ring in 2014

There are almost as many ways to celebrate year's end in Connecticut as there are places doing the celebrating. We provide a sampling.

Posted at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

Is Westport's Granola Bar Headed for Bear Naked Success?

12/26/13

Is Westport's Granola Bar Headed for Bear Naked Success?

Two Westport Moms have parlayed their Oats Granola Business into a bricks-and-mortar cafe and food truck. Tomorrow the world!

Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

Feast on 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 in Aristocratic Connecticut Events

12/25/13

Feast on 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 in Aristocratic Connecticut Events

In Connecticut, at least two gala events will greet the new season of the PBS hit, one staged by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), which airs “Downton,” and the other by The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford, which is focusing on the post-Edwardian cuisine that features in “Downton” scripts.

Posted at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Owners of Mezon in Danbury Debut Baro Cantina in Fairfield

12/23/13

CTbites: Owners of Mezon in Danbury Debut Baro Cantina in Fairfield

The BERRO salad is a definite winner with plenty of peppery watercress, almonds, quinoa and luscious, young coconut slices.

Posted at 06:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

East Haven's Sugar Bakery Introduces Take 32™, Its Cupcake Tower to Go

12/19/13

East Haven's Sugar Bakery Introduces Take 32™, Its Cupcake Tower to Go

Reese's Riot, Chocolate Fudge, Lemon Drop, Strawberry Cheesecake, Love Monkey . . . oh, yeahh—all in a tidy package for partying.

Posted at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

Shepherd’s Pie and Real Pasties at Sixpence Pie Company in New Haven

12/18/13

Shepherd’s Pie and Real Pasties at Sixpence Pie Company in New Haven

At the Sixpence Pie Company. At their outpost on Whalley Avenue in Westville, co-owners Kara More and Lisa Totten make sure their veggie curry pasty has a real tikka masala kick, and their shepherd’s pie is fragrant and juicy.

Posted at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: ROUGE Brasserie & Oyster Bar Opens in Greenwich

12/16/13

CTbites: ROUGE Brasserie & Oyster Bar Opens in Greenwich

We moved to the dining room where a large Plateaux de Fruits de Mer of large prawns, generously sized lobster tails, sweet and succulent Blue Point oysters, Beaujoleil and Little Neck clams and stone crabs were waiting.

Posted at 07:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

Primary Food & Drink Opens in Greenwich

12/13/13

Primary Food & Drink Opens in Greenwich

This is the first East Coast outpost for Food Network star Graham Elliot.

Posted at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

Dutch Shop, a Holiday Mecca in Litchfield, Making Chocolates With Belgiques Molds

12/12/13

Dutch Shop, a Holiday Mecca in Litchfield, Making Chocolates With Belgiques Molds

There are new molds in use at the Dutch Epicure these days. When Belgique, the Kent shop noted for its fine Belgium chocolates, closed recently, Wilma Joas bought their chocolate molds. She has now expanded her own chocolate line, which she said is selling very well.

Posted at 07:20 AM | Permalink | Comments

Local author pays tribute to the Nutmeg State's "Classic Diners" in New Book

12/10/13

Local author pays tribute to the Nutmeg State's "Classic Diners" in New Book

Burn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose on it—then sit down and devour this history of some of Connecticut's favorite pit stops.

Posted at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

New Locali Pizza Bar + Kitchen in New Canaan Is Outstanding

12/09/13

New Locali Pizza Bar + Kitchen in New Canaan Is Outstanding

Clean…Balanced…Flavorful… Three words to describe the outstanding cuisine at Locali Pizza Bar + Kitchen, the latest addition to New Canaan’s Restaurant Row.

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Aarón Sánchez Will Soon Have an Outpost in Stamford

12/07/13

Aarón Sánchez Will Soon Have an Outpost in Stamford

The "heat-seeking" celebrity chef will open a high-end Mexican restaurant and cocktail lounge in the city's burgeoning Harbor Point area.

Posted at 06:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sublime Smoked Salmon Salad Propels Deep River Smokehouse

12/06/13

Sublime Smoked Salmon Salad Propels Deep River Smokehouse

When he started making his signature “salmon salad” people went crazy for that, so he figured he was on to something.

Posted at 08:29 AM | Permalink | Comments

"Little Barn" Opens in Westport

12/05/13

"Little Barn" Opens in Westport

Looks like sucessful restauraters Scott Beck and Kevin McHugh have another hit on their hands: This time it's a family-friendly pub.

Posted at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Bar Sugo in Norwalk 2.0: Enter Chef Paul Failla

12/03/13

CTbites: Bar Sugo in Norwalk 2.0: Enter Chef Paul Failla

Slightly more than a year ago, restaurant Bar Sugo opened on Wall Street in Norwalk featuring a variety of owner/Chef Pat Pascarella’s fantastic pizzas, meatballs and delectable pastas. Pascarella recently handed the reins of the day-to-day culinary oversight to Chef Paul Failla.

Posted at 07:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

Café at Whit­temore Crossing in Middlebury Will Delight Hungry Holiday Shoppers

12/01/13

Café at Whit­temore Crossing in Middlebury Will Delight Hungry Holiday Shoppers

With its old-fashioned hardwood floors, rush-­seated chairs, tasteful artwork on the walls and ball-fringe curtained windows, it could be the dining room of your epicurean elderly aunt—if said aunt’s backyard were landscaped to include an outdoor patio and stone footbridge with waterfall.

Posted at 06:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Beyond Candy Canes: Peppermint Stars in Mousse, Chocolates, Tea, Even a 'Spiked' Milkshake

11/29/13

Beyond Candy Canes: Peppermint Stars in Mousse, Chocolates, Tea, Even a 'Spiked' Milkshake

The thermometer’s dropping with winter setting in, and as it does the equally cool flavor of peppermint makes its way into holiday treats. Those red candy stripes turn up everywhere this time of year, reminding us of winter festivity.   Cuties Pies in Thomaston (860/484-4838) makes a white-chocolate peppermint cake infused with peppermint oil and filled with white chocolate mousse. Buttercream frosting is cheerfully topped with a candy cane and pieces of peppermint bark. If you’d prefer, try it as a cupcake. Or how about some peppermint stick ice cream (it’s not just for summer!) from The Big Dipper in Prospect (203/758-3200)? Put your favorite toppings on it (my personal favorite is cookie crumbs). If you’d prefer something...

Posted at 07:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Mecha Noodle Bar Brings Asian Noodles & Street Food to Fairfield

11/26/13

CTbites: Mecha Noodle Bar Brings Asian Noodles & Street Food to Fairfield

Post opening tweaks are commonplace during the first few months after a restaurant's opening. With Mecha’s minor changes completed, it now firmly fills the belly rumbling void of Southeast Asian Noodles and street food, popularizing Ramen, Pho and South East Asian comfort food.

Posted at 07:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

Love 'Real' Wine? Discover Angelini's Italian Gems; Top Prosecco for the Holidays

11/23/13

Love 'Real' Wine? Discover Angelini's Italian Gems; Top Prosecco for the Holidays

Angelini ranks among the trusted names in the wine importing business where simply seeing the name on a label makes it smart to buy the wine.

Posted at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

How About Thanksgiving in a Connecticut Restaurant This Year?

11/23/13

How About Thanksgiving in a Connecticut Restaurant This Year?

If this is the year you've decided to leave the cooking to the professionals, there are some wonderful restaurants to choose from.

Posted at 05:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Tacos Done Right at 'Practically Posh' Casa Villa in Stamford

11/22/13

CTbites: Tacos Done Right at 'Practically Posh' Casa Villa in Stamford

I stayed focused. My mission was tacos. So I suggest you do what I did. Grab yourself a horchata (a rice milk drink with cinnamon) or Jarritos and start ordering.

Posted at 08:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

Authentic Szechuan at Taste of China in New Haven

11/19/13

Authentic Szechuan at Taste of China in New Haven

Huping and Jonathan Dolph teamed up with their chef of 13 years, Xiyu Huang, and opened New Haven’s Taste of China, bang on Chapel Street, across from the Green.

Posted at 05:30 PM | Permalink | Comments

CTbites: Paradise for Grilled Cheese Lovers Opens in Fairfield

11/18/13

CTbites: Paradise for Grilled Cheese Lovers Opens in Fairfield

The menu has a wide array of offerings, with twelve variations of the classic grilled cheese, at least five different daily soups, a burger, build your own salad, and some incredible appetizers and small plates.

Posted at 07:57 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Bakery, French Patisserie? Hen & Heifer in Guilford Both, Deliciously

11/18/13

A Bakery, French Patisserie? Hen & Heifer in Guilford Both, Deliciously

While some refer to this newest addition to the Guilford Center as a French patisserie, others call it a bakery. Local resident and owner Whang Suh has an eclectic display of baked goods, caramels and granola, making it hard to categorize his venture.

Posted at 07:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

Caseus in New Haven, Cheese Shop in Berkshires Make Food Republic's Top 10 List

11/13/13

Caseus in New Haven, Cheese Shop in Berkshires Make Food Republic's Top 10 List

Food Republic, a website "for men who want to eat and drink well" that "explores the culture of food through stories, interviews, global conversations, and experiences" has named two establishments within reach of Connecticut residents to its list of "The 10 Best Cheese Shops in America." Making the grade are Caseus Fromagerie & Bistro in New Haven and Rubiner's Cheesemonger's & Grocers, located in Great Barrington, Mass., about a 20-minute ride for residents of northern Litchfield County. Caseus checked in at number three and Rubiner's at number 10. Here's what Food Republic had to say about Caseus Fromagerie: New Haven native Jason Sobocinski’s epicurean empire encompasses an incredible cheese retailer, popular...

Posted at 09:49 AM | Permalink | Comments

'Good News' for Hillary Clinton? Connecticut Restaurant She Likes Celebrating

11/12/13

'Good News' for Hillary Clinton? Connecticut Restaurant She Likes Celebrating

Good News marks the 20th anniversary (Nov. 12) of opening the doors in its Route 6 Woodbury location with a special promotion offering its legions of loyal fans, and anyone else, 20 percent off the price of signature dishes that have anchored the menu for 20 years.

Posted at 02:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

It's Classics Night Again at Blue Lemon in Westport; Lobster Thermidor Anyone?

11/12/13

It's Classics Night Again at Blue Lemon in Westport; Lobster Thermidor Anyone?

On one Thursday night, the Westport restaurant offers a trove of culinary oldies but goodies.

Posted at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

Connecticut's 'Secret' Culinary Wizards (Conan O'Brien, Cooking Light Know)

11/07/13

Connecticut's 'Secret' Culinary Wizards (Conan O'Brien, Cooking Light Know)

“This is a different level of pastry that hasn’t been seen in Connecticut yet,” says Ct Executive Chef Joel Viehland. And Viehland’s culinary choreography is unlike anything else in the region, and perhaps in the state.

Posted at 02:49 PM | Permalink | Comments

Serious Sandwiches With Style at Meat & Co. in New Haven

11/06/13

Serious Sandwiches With Style at Meat & Co. in New Haven

The inference from the name Meat & Co. was about meat and bread meeting up with each other, being in each other’s company.

Posted at 07:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

New Maurice Sendak Exhibit at New Britain Museum as Sipping, Dining Opportunity

11/05/13

New Maurice Sendak Exhibit at New Britain Museum as Sipping, Dining Opportunity

The food theme of the exhibit Maurice Sendak shows up in two very different ways on two (different) days--in a scotch and bourbon tasting Nov. 8 and an opening reception dinner Nov 9.

Posted at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments