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

July 2013

Sun WineFest Tickets Remain: Celebrity Chefs, Top Pours, Much More

01/10/14

Sun WineFest Tickets Remain: Celebrity Chefs, Top Pours, Much More

Tickets go on sale now for the Sun WineFest--next January--and there are good reasons why.

Posted at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste of New Canaan Stroll Tonight for Great Cause Sounds Like 4-Star Event

08/22/13

Taste of New Canaan Stroll Tonight for Great Cause Sounds Like 4-Star Event

Strolling around lovely New Canaan center, sampling tasty treats and taking advantage of bargains at shops and businesses, and having a chance to win such prizes as $200 for dinner for two at Elm, a Mason leather slim briefcase from Jack Spade and a $1,200 necklace from L'Armoire--what could be better on a nice late summer evening. It sounds like a 4-star event. And one of the best parts is that  it benefits the New Canaan Food Bank, and the price of admission is just a generous food donation. "The Taste of the Town Stroll is an eating-drinking-shopping-fundraising extravaganza that happens all across New Canaan," says the website of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, which is presenting the event. "Businesses around New Canaan annually open their...

Posted at 06:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

Emeril Intern Is Madison Beach Hotel Pastry Chef: Marscarpone Panna Cotta and Beyond

08/22/13

Emeril Intern Is Madison Beach Hotel Pastry Chef: Marscarpone Panna Cotta and Beyond

A few months short of turning 22, Erin Kelly is already making a name for herself as head pastry chef at the Madison Beach Hotel.

Posted at 06:14 AM | Permalink | Comments

Gourmet Latin Fare at Rubamba in New Haven

08/21/13

Gourmet Latin Fare at Rubamba in New Haven

You’ve probably seen the cheerful Ay Arepa! food trucks around New Haven. But it’s easy to miss their home base: Rubamba on High Street. A tiny restaurant easy to overlook if you sneezed as you walked by, but the bustle in the doorway is a dead giveaway that delicious food can be found within.

Posted at 07:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

Affordable Yum in Stamford: Restaurant Weeks Return for Summer

08/19/13

Affordable Yum in Stamford: Restaurant Weeks Return for Summer

Anyone living in Fairfield County, or visiting to experience the region's rich vein of arts, culture and shopping, will want to satisfy their palate at some point, and there's no better--or more affordable--time to do just that in a restaurant hotspot, Stamford.

Posted at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

Local Tomatoes Find Ripe Glory in Hands of Connecticut Chefs

08/19/13

Local Tomatoes Find Ripe Glory in Hands of Connecticut Chefs

Tomatoes may be a year-round menu staple, but fresh, local tomatoes are a treat of an entirely different order, gracing our plates for only a short time each year. This summer, restaurants all over Connecticut are serving tomatoes in a variety of delicious ways.

Posted at 08:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Summer Seashore Ritual in Photos: The Milford Oyster Festival

08/18/13

A Summer Seashore Ritual in Photos: The Milford Oyster Festival

The 39th Annual Milford Oyster Festival took place on a gorgeous day Saturday, and our New Haven Register colleague Peter Hvizdak was there to capture it all in a terrific suite of photographs. The festival included not only oysters but amusement rides, an art-and-crafts show on the green, a large children’s entertainment area and a classic car show. There also were canoe and kayak races, a schooner cruise and a “Big Toys” area featuring Extreme Bungee, a BMX Stunt Bike Riders demo, outdoor bowling and a Mobile 1 Race Car Drive simulator. Live entertainment all day at the Mainstage, culminating with Blues Traveler (at 3:45) and also featuring hometown boy Frank Viele as an opening act, added to the obvious appeal of the festival. But the true headliner,...

Posted at 06:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Milford Oyster Fest is This Weekend!

08/16/13

The Milford Oyster Fest is This Weekend!

Amusement rides, classic cars, fried dough, extreme bungee, Blues Traveler—you name it, they've got it in Milford on Saturday.

Posted at 07:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

Food Network's Anne Burrell Visits Tavern 1757 in Seymour

08/16/13

Food Network's Anne Burrell Visits Tavern 1757 in Seymour

Food Network star Anne Burrell and her team converged on Seymour’s Tavern 1757 to film an episode of “Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell.” Mark your calendar for Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. to see four “chef-testants,” Brian Reilly, Thomas Valdes, Ryan Escude and Kelli Daniels, compete for the coveted job as executive chef at Tony Mavuli’s Tavern 1757

Posted at 05:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

Pushing the Envelope at Post 154 in Westport

08/15/13

Pushing the Envelope at Post 154 in Westport

Amid the unprecedented flurry of restaurant openings in Westport of late, an exciting new eatery in the old town post office may be the one to beat.

Posted at 07:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Cheese as Sexy as Manolo Blahniks? Arethusa Farm of Litchfield Wins Awards

08/13/13

Cheese as Sexy as Manolo Blahniks? Arethusa Farm of Litchfield Wins Awards

Cheese arrived in Bantam courtesy of the refined agricultural engine that is driving the Bantam renaissance, Arethusa Farm, the dairy operation of George Malkemus and Anthony Yurgaitis, owners of Manolo Blahnik USA, the couture shoe company whose sex appeal was made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on “Sex and the City.” Now, Arethusa has brought home a couple of major awards from the American Cheese Society’s annual cheese competition ...

Posted at 09:35 AM | Permalink | Comments

OpenTable Lauds On20 for Top Scenic Vistas

08/10/13

OpenTable Lauds On20 for Top Scenic Vistas

The Hartford restaurant is called one of top 100 restaurants with scenic views in the nation.

Posted at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

Up in the Air in Mystic

08/09/13

Up in the Air in Mystic

Oyster Club is branching out— with a new open-air dining deck called the Treehouse.

Posted at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments

Goodbye, Swanky Frank's—Hello, Little Barn

08/08/13

Goodbye, Swanky Frank's—Hello, Little Barn

The scruffy little yellow building on the Post Road in Westport will soon have a whole new look—thanks to two Fairfield County restaurant pros.

Posted at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

Stellar Pizza and More at Da Legna in New Haven

08/07/13

Stellar Pizza and More at Da Legna in New Haven

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. ... And shame on TripAdvisor for not affirming the pizza riches of New Haven on its list of the top 10 pizza cities in the country.

Posted at 06:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

A Winning Bartender in Watertown

08/07/13

A Winning Bartender in Watertown

Carl Summa won Bombay Sapphire's search of the Most Imaginative Bartender in Connecticut. Next stop: Las Vegas for the national semi-finals.

Posted at 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

Big Changes at Bailey's Backyard

08/06/13

Big Changes at Bailey's Backyard

Chef Forrest Pasternack has taken the popular Ridgefield eatery in a whole new direction: Farm to Table.

Posted at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

A New Café at Mark Twain House

08/05/13

A New Café at Mark Twain House

The Nook Farm Nook is a handy place to get a little sustenance between exhibits.

Posted at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

Splash Restaurant & Bar in Westport: The Ultimate Summer Spot

08/02/13

Splash Restaurant & Bar in Westport: The Ultimate Summer Spot

It’s summertime and the living is easy, especially at Splash Bar & Restaurant, the area’s ultimate location for outdoor dining and incredible views of sparkling Long Island Sound.

Posted at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Get a Generous Pour at The Capital Grille in Stamford

08/01/13

Get a Generous Pour at The Capital Grille in Stamford

Wine aficionados, listen up. There’s still lots of time to get in on The Capital Grille’s summertime wine event, The Generous Pour. For $25 per person with dinner, you get tastes of “Seven Remarkable Wines,” each a different varietal from a premier California vintner. All rated wines (two have yet to be rated) score 90 points or over from Robert Parker.

Posted at 03:14 AM | Permalink | Comments

Heirloom Tomatoes Kissed by Salt a Big Hit in Branford

07/31/13

Heirloom Tomatoes Kissed by Salt a Big Hit in Branford

Farmer Jay Medlyn, a fourth-generation owner of Medlyn’s Farm, loves his tomatoes. The worldview is that everybody loves his tomatoes. The day we visited recently, a local chef and regular customers who frequent the farm sang the praises of Medlyn’s tomatoes.

Posted at 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

'Best Daym Takeout' With Connecticut's Daym Debuts on Travel Channel Tonight

07/30/13

'Best Daym Takeout' With Connecticut's Daym Debuts on Travel Channel Tonight

You’ve never experienced a food review the way you will when a larger-than-life “fam” man from the post-industrial belly of Connecticut, all 6 feet, 5 inches of Daymon “Daym” Patterson, “slides to the spot” this summer on the Travel Channel—where his own branded show will give viewers the “super official” word on the “Best Daym Takeout” in Chicago, New Orleans and other iconic food cities when it debuts July 31.

Posted at 06:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

Leon Russell Gig as Dining Event? It's a Harkness, Angelini Wines Thing

07/30/13

Leon Russell Gig as Dining Event? It's a Harkness, Angelini Wines Thing

If you connect the social media bread crumbs, the Leon Russell gig, and other concerts, in the Harkness 'Summer Nights' series can be seen as opportunities to sip and dine well--with entertainment.

Posted at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

Ode to a Classic: The Root Beer Float at Backstage in Torrington

07/30/13

Ode to a Classic: The Root Beer Float at Backstage in Torrington

Backstage, the very large, very relaxed restaurant with a decidedly pub feel on Main Street in Torrington, offers 40 beers on tap and another 80 in bottles. So why was I surprised when I discovered that they serve one of the most delicious and distinctive root beer floats around?

Posted at 08:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Man Behind the Acclaimed River Tavern in Chester, Jonathan Rapp

07/29/13

The Man Behind the Acclaimed River Tavern in Chester, Jonathan Rapp

Jonathan Rapp says he didn’t set out to create a perfect little jewel box, some would beg to differ. Critically acclaimed from the start, the menu at River Tavern has always been an eclectic mix of styles, utilizing mostly local ingredients prepared simply, and that’s certainly a reflection of the owner’s own style of cooking.

Posted at 08:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

'Cake Boss' Opening a Carlo’s Bake Shop in Greenwich

07/26/13

'Cake Boss' Opening a Carlo’s Bake Shop in Greenwich

What’s Jersey got that we don’t have here in Connecticut (besides John Bon Jovi, Atlantic City, Snooki and J. Woww)? A Carlo’s Bake Shop, for one. But that’s going to change this fall, when the landmark Hoboken bakery opens a storefront in downtown Greenwich.

Posted at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

Connecticut Wineries Strut Their ... Wines This Weekend in Goshen

07/26/13

Connecticut Wineries Strut Their ... Wines This Weekend in Goshen

Connecticut vintners and vineyards will have their wines and other products on display at the Goshen Fairgrounds in Litchfield County Saturday and Sunday in the Fifth Annual Connecticut Wine Festival.

Posted at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments

Redding Roadhouse Rises: Fine Fare, Thursday Movie Nights, Saturday Cookouts

07/25/13

Redding Roadhouse Rises: Fine Fare, Thursday Movie Nights, Saturday Cookouts

There aren’t too many places we know of where you can have a drink or two in an atmospheric taproom, then amble out to the patio and watch a (free) movie. But that’s exactly what you can do on Movie Night at the Redding Roadhouse every Thursday. The series kicks off tonight with an 8 o’clock showing of Goonies. Next week, it’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, followed by The Third Man, Stand by Me and Casablanca.

Posted at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

In Willimantic, Cafémantic Does Dinner & a Movie Like No One Else

07/25/13

In Willimantic, Cafémantic Does Dinner & a Movie Like No One Else

Downtown Willimantic has long been in need of a touch of dining class, and Cafémantic has come through in the nick of time. Proprietor Andrew Gutt didn’t always have great expectations. After he opened the place in early 2010—in a renovated office building that formerly housed a local radio station and the Hartford Courant—it soldiered on for a few years as a coffee bar popular with the UConn and CCSU crowds, serv­ing omelets for breakfast and pa­nini for lunch. Then, about eight months ago, Gutt developed a yen for experimentation. With the help of a for­mer executive chef from Grant’s  in West Hartford, he crafted a dinner menu com­posed entirely of American small plates—from “snacks” such as Thai cucumber...

Posted at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Brunch & Lunch Destination in Cozy New Haven Neighborhood

07/24/13

A Brunch & Lunch Destination in Cozy New Haven Neighborhood

Coming to New Haven to visit Yale, museums and other cultural venues? Here's the inside scoop on one of the city's best brunch and lunch spots.

Posted at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste of Hartford: 3 Courses at Max, ON20, for Less Than $30

07/23/13

Taste of Hartford: 3 Courses at Max, ON20, for Less Than $30

Google the term "love restaurant week" and lots of links pop up to declarations of food-infused passion for these orchestrated culinary events that have dining hotspots in cities and regions nationwide getting together on a promotion that offers special menus with special prices to reward the regulars and tempt new patrons.

Posted at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

Pork Barrel Politics? Nope. A New 'Senatorial' Connecticut Pub

07/23/13

Pork Barrel Politics? Nope. A New 'Senatorial' Connecticut Pub

It’s a staple in the plot line diet for TV shows—the guy who owns the pub is always a former police officer. But the narrative at the new Wilson’s Pub in the Collinsville section of Canton has a twist; the guy who co-owns the pub is not only a former cop but he’s also a current member of an exclusive “club” in Connecticut politics and government, the State Senate.

Posted at 09:40 AM | Permalink | Comments

Bodega Taco Bar Celebrates National Tequila Day in Fairfield County

07/22/13

Bodega Taco Bar Celebrates National Tequila Day in Fairfield County

Tequila has been called the heart and soul of Mexico, and this Wednesday, July 24, is National Tequila Day.

Posted at 08:09 AM | Permalink | Comments

Gourmet Cafe & Patisserie With Brazilian Flair Opens in New Milford

07/20/13

Gourmet Cafe & Patisserie With Brazilian Flair Opens in New Milford

A mother-and-daughter team has launched a new café and patisserie along Bank Street, the most happening little street in the center of New Milford, home to salons, specialty shops, other restaurants and even an independent bookstore.

Posted at 05:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

Tasty Way to Beat This Heat: Lemonade at The Chelsea in Fairfield (for Adults Only)

07/19/13

Tasty Way to Beat This Heat: Lemonade at The Chelsea in Fairfield (for Adults Only)

What could be more delicious and thirst-quenching in this record-setting summer heat, than a nice tall glass of lemonade? That seems to be the thinking at The Chelsea in Fairfield. The popular pub/restaurant (celebrating its one-year anniversary this month) has several lemonades on the menu—year-round—and they’re definitely for adults only.

Posted at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

55 Wine Bar & Restaurant Offers Bold Italian Fare in Fairfield

07/18/13

55 Wine Bar & Restaurant Offers Bold Italian Fare in Fairfield

Since its opening in 2008, 55 Wine Bar & Restaurant has rushed past any caution signs to bring Fairfield bold Italian cuisine big on freshness and largely homemade, setting off sirens that keep diners coming back for more.

Posted at 01:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

Make Your Own Chocolate Bar Tours at Fascia's Chocolates' New Waterbury Site

07/16/13

Make Your Own Chocolate Bar Tours at Fascia's Chocolates' New Waterbury Site

This just in, as they say: Fascia's Chocolates is moving to a new Waterbury site to become even more of a destination.

Posted at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

Seize the Berries: Season for Blueberries Gets Underway in Connecticut

07/15/13

Seize the Berries: Season for Blueberries Gets Underway in Connecticut

Blueberry picking season just got underway in Connecticut, which means the time is ripe to head out and seize the ... berries.

Posted at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

Gourmet Tacos, from a Truck, in the Antiques Capital, Woodbury

07/15/13

Gourmet Tacos, from a Truck, in the Antiques Capital, Woodbury

Just across the street from Woodbury’s star restaurant, Carole Peck’s Good News Café, a vintage, silver, 1973 step van with a broad orange stripe across it appears in the big open parking lot every day but Thursday. From the open window on one side of the van, founder and owner Haig Leonard is serving up tacos, burritos and quesadillas to a constant stream of happy eaters. What’s the big draw here? Two things ... taste and price.

Posted at 08:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

Great Food, and Bluegrass Music, Sunday at Firebox Restaurant in Hartford

07/14/13

Great Food, and Bluegrass Music, Sunday at Firebox Restaurant in Hartford

Beat the heat today with a perfect summer combination: Firebox Restaurant's acclaimed farm-to-table cuisine and great Bluegrass music.

Posted at 06:25 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

323 Restaurant & Bar in Westport Makes Splashy Debut With Fresh Takes on Well-Loved Dishes

07/12/13

323 Restaurant & Bar in Westport Makes Splashy Debut With Fresh Takes on Well-Loved Dishes

Our favorite dish was an innovative ravioli special ... beet top and ricotta ravioli with guanciale, English peas, Parmesan, saba and duck cracklings. This chef has a way with pasta; we’re looking forward to trying his gnocchi and fetuccine carbonara.

Posted at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Roia: A Renovation Returns Glory

07/12/13

Roia: A Renovation Returns Glory

I can’t tell you how many people have said I should do a blog post on the new restaurant Roia. Seriously, I’ve lost count. They ooh and aah about the food. They go on and on about the renovation. They talk about its great location, right next door to the Shubert Theater. So I went to find out for myself. Chef Avi Szaprio and his wife Meera Laube-Szapiro were living in Brooklyn after several years abroad, and Avi was consulting. One of his clients brought him to New Haven for a project that fell through. Good thing, because instead, the owner of the Taft building, Francis Moezinia, asked Avi to take on a once majestic but now sad space. The floors were hidden by tattered, ancient linoleum. The period details had been obscurred by disco-era modernization. “A...

Posted at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Comments

Bistro Nights at Litchfield’s West Street Grill: Casual, Affordable, Delicious

07/10/13

Bistro Nights at Litchfield’s West Street Grill: Casual, Affordable, Delicious

Looking for a simpler, less expensive way to connect with a renowned Connecticut restaurant—in this case the West Street Grill in the heart of the scenic Litchfield Hills? You’re in luck on any Thursday or Sunday evening this summer, when the urbane hotspot created 24 years ago by irrepressible Irishman James O’Shea and partner Charles Kafferman is offering a special “Bistro Nights” menu that provides a more casual outing for regulars and others. No, the dishes are not the classic bistro onion soup and salade frisse. They reflect the tastes of executive chef James Cosgriff and O’Shea, which translates as sophisticated and delicious food that has Italian, French and Asian influences and falls under the banner of Modern American. On a...

Posted at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

"Hey Bartender" Spotlights Dunville's

07/10/13

"Hey Bartender" Spotlights Dunville's

A new documentary about the bar biz focuses on Steve "Carpi" Carpentieri, owner/bartender of Westport's popular restaurant.

Posted at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Comments