Food for Thought: Our Favorite Meals and Food Photography

11 Apr

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Every meal is an experience to me, a food story to share. At the end of a good meal, like at the end of a good book, those key elements, your favorite parts, will stay with you.

Sometimes I like to take a photo of the table after a group meal. For me, the final photo is like the finishing touch to the story and it holds the memory of the wonderful meal and time shared with friends. The final photo of the table reminds me of the feelings of happiness and satisfaction you feel at the end of very good meal, those same feelings that motivate us to spread the word and keep us coming back to our favorite food spots.

This photo is from one of the best meals I’ve EVER had, and this single image reminds me of a very unique and memorable food experience.

Where have you had some of your best dining experiences? Please comment below :)

Shakespeare is turning 450 and you’re invited. Plus, there will be birthday CAKE.

8 Apr

Shakespeare’s turning 450 and you’re invited!20140408-145825.jpg Photo from Valley Shakespeare Festival’s FB page

Plus, there will be CAKE. Birthday cake, people. Birthday.Cake.

You can join in the celebration with Valley Shakespeare Festival at Plumb Memorial Library in Shelton on April 26th from 10-2pm. Aside from cake (hooray!), there will be a book sale and activities for the kids.

For more info check out Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Facebook page.

Plumb Memorial Library
65 Wooster St
Shelton, CT

Beer For Books! Two Roads Honors Frost and Supports Stratford Library

31 Mar

On the wall in Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford are lines from the poem “The Road Not Taken,” by the famous New England poet Robert Frost.
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These words are typically encountered in English class and sometimes you might hear them in graduation speeches, but the last place I bet you’d expect to find them is in a brewery. Frost’s famous lines have inspired countless people, including the people at Two Roads.

In honor of National Poetry Month (aka April) and of Frost’s poem which inspired their name, Two Roads will donate $1 for each pint poured on each Tuesday during the month of April to the Stratford Library. So choose the road that gets you to Two Roads on Tuesdays this April so you can enjoy a beer and help support the library!

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For more information check out Two Roads’ website and FaceBook page.
Two Roads Brewery

1700 Stratford Ave

Stratford, CT

203-335-2010

Bodega Taco Bar Brings Their Street Food To…The Streets With A NEW Food Truck!

25 Mar

Bodega Taco Bar has announced some very exciting news – their taqueria has gone mobile! Bodega’s Mexican street food (It’s DELICIOUS! Read more here about Bodega) will now be available in the streets from their NEW Bodega Food Truck. Be on the lookout for this green food truck that will bring Bodega’s innovative food to you at private parties, school functions, outdoor events, and of course, a streetcorner near you.

fr%20tr[3] Bodega Food Truck
(Photo courtesy of Max Exposure)

Bodega’s food truck will become the centerpiece of their catering business and offer catering menus that include everything from burrito bars to taco parties to passed hors d’oeuvres such as Tuna Tataki and Smoked Chicken Albondigas. Don’t forget the “hand slapped guacamole,” seasonal menus, and outdoor events like the Paella Party, Parrilla Mixed Grill, and the popular Whole Roasted Pig Fiesta! The Bodega food truck fiesta can also include signature cocktails – Bodegarita, Rosarita, Pomarita, Mojito, Alibi, and Sangria.

To find out where the Bodega food truck fiesta is headed next, check out their twitter, instagram, and facebook pages (Fairfield FB page and Darien’s FB page. Be sure to look for the food truck on Bodega’s Cinco de Mayo WEEKEND celebration from Friday, May 2 until Monday, May 5th!

 

Bodega Food Truck/Catering 203-259- TACO

Bodega Fairfield, 1700 Post Road AND Bodega Darien, 980 Post Road.

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Max Exposure

Crawl Along With Us For Brunch! Dishcrawl Adds Brunchcrawl!

24 Mar

What: Brunchcrawl Eggstravaganza

When: Sunday, June 8th, 2:00pm

Where: Downtown Stamford

Tickets are on sale now! $45 per person

 

Have you heard about Dishcrawl yet?  This national start-up brings together people through a unique food adventure, think pubcrawl but with FOOD! Dishcrawl helps you explore your neighborFOOD (so clever, I love it. Check out their main site here). Well, Dishcrawl has now added Brunchcrawl Eggstravaganza!

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How does it work? In one afternoon (or evening for traditional Dishcrawl) you will experience brunch dishes at several different restaurants in the city of your choice and meet the chefs and owners of each establishment, all for $45 per person. Instead of an evening of entrees for a Dishcrawl, this is an afternoon of brunch. Brunch at several locations is brilliant, especially if you’re like me and can never decide what to order for brunch. The restaurant destinations for your walking food tour are kept a secret and your Dishcrawl Ambassador emails you 48 hours prior to the event with the designated meeting place. A fun added feature to your food adventure – follow your Dishcrawl Ambassador on Twitter and they will post hints as to where your Dishcrawl event will be taking you to dine!

I haven’t been to a Dishcrawl event yet, and Kelly, our Fairfield County Dishcrawl Ambassador, recently invited me to attend the first Brunchcrawl – SWEET! Brunch is one of my absolute favorite meals, and I am very excited about this event. Feeling like exploring Stamford’s downtown brunch options? Come Brunchcrawl with us on June 8th!

 

For more information check out Dishcrawl’s website (above), or email Kelly, our Fairfield County Ambassador, at: kellyf@dishcrawl.com.

Food for Thought: The Ritual of Slow Sundays

23 Mar

There’s nothing like a slow Sunday. A slow awakening, a slow brewed cup of coffee, a slow breakfast and a Sunday paper, or that book you’ve been meaning to read.

There is a ritual involved in a slow Sunday. We take our time and maybe even brew or press an entire pot. We indulge in brunch or a pastry along with our coffee for an extra happy Sunday. Maybe you even have time to include some baking, or better yet, a nap after baking. No matter how you choose to spend it, I wish you all a slow and peaceful Sunday with coffee and your favorite breakfast foods.

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21st Annual Taste of Stamford

20 Mar

I keep a list in the notepad of my iPhone. The list is called “Restaurants To Try”. A few times a month we try a “new” place on my list. The “new” part means, more often than not, that they’re new to me and a place I’ve been hearing about. As you can guess it’s going to take me a while to get through my list, and that is part of the fun. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about an event that would enable me to try several new restaurants and even revisit some of my favorites all at once!

I was recently invited to attend the 21st Annual Taste of Stamford. Sponsored by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce and held at the beautiful Stamford Marriott, Taste of Stamford is the perfect event to try some local restaurants you might have on your must-try list all in one place on one evening.
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The price of a ticket ($50 prepurchase, $60 at the door) allows you to sample food and beverages from over 40 exhibitors. My only regret is that I hadn’t attended Taste of Stamford sooner!

Taste of Stamford certainly has something for everyone from barbecue to sushi and everything in between including samplings of wine, beer, coffee, and several brands of water.

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Beverages
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On hand at Taste of Stamford with samples of wine and beer were BevMax-Warehouse Liquors, Dichello Distributors, and Stamford Wine & Liquors.
20140318-225116.jpg I really enjoyed a glass of Catapanus, 2012, a white wine from Italy recommended by Stamford Wine & Liquors.

Non-alcoholic beverages were provided by Coffee Distributing Corp., Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters, Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, Poland Spring, Resource Spring Water, Robeks Juice, and S. Pellegrino.

20140318-230429.jpg Cucumber, mint, and Perrier is really a perfect combination. I make cucumber water regularly at home, especially during the summer, but I hadn’t thought to add mint. Together this makes a very refreshing drink and I can’t wait to make this at home.

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Food
There were so many delicious foods to try at Taste of Stamford that we didn’t know where to begin. Participating restaurants included: Acqua Panna, Bar Rosso, The Capital Grille, Capriccio Cafe, Cask Republic, Columbus Park Trattoria, David’s Soundview Catering, Dinosaur BBQ, Fairway Market, Fiesta Atlantic, Fish, Grade A ShopRite/Sushi Village Caterer, Kona Grill, Little Gourmet Shop, Morton’s Steakhouse, Myrna’s Kitchen, Napa & Co, Olio Restaurant, Riko’s Pizza, Rizzuto’s Italian Kitchen, Rodizio Grill, Stamford Marriott Hotel, Tabouli Grill, Tomato Tomato, Villa Italia Ristorante, and The Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s.

Here are some of my favorites…

The Capital Grille
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The Kona crusted Filet Mignon and Lobster Mac n’Cheese from The Capital Grille was so excellent we went back for seconds! The filet was seasoned and cooked so perfectly. What I liked about the Lobster Mac n’Cheese is that you weren’t overwhelmed by the taste of lobster. Instead, a bite of the Lobster Mac n’Cheese meant a balance of flavors of the lobster, cheese, butter and a little breadcrumbs.

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Cask Republic
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I am a big fan of Cask Republic - everything I’ve tried so far has been truly delicious with such attention to detail that you’ll appreciate the food even more. For Taste of Stamford Cask Republic presented Pork Confit Sliders and Eggplant Caponata (pictured) to tantalize our taste buds.

Dinosaur BBQ
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If you like barbecue, you will like Dinosaur BBQ. People were loving the beef brisket slider on a potato roll with pickled onion and jalapeño relish by Dinosaur BBQ at this event.
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Fish
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As I walked around the room I heard people talking about food they had sampled and their favorites. One dish I heard about over and over was the PEI Steamed Curried Mussels from Fish. A new restaurant, Fish is part of the Quattro Pazzi family.

Grade A ShopRite/Sushi Caterer
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I was pleasantly surprised by ShopRite – their assorted salads and sushi were very good! Plus, did you know ShopRite caters?

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Little Gourmet Shop
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When you hear fellow diners talking about a dish you listen, whether you’re in a restaurant or at an event like Taste of Stamford. People were talking about the Roasted Brussels Sprouts by the Little Gourmet Shop and I listened. Brussel sprouts have become popular again, and it’s flavorful sprouts like these from Little Gourmet Shop that will make you want to eat your brussel sprouts!

Morton’s Steakhouse
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Morton’s has a reputation for their steak, and their Sliced Filet Mignon was a perfect example of why people always smile when they talk about Morton’s steaks – they’re so very good!


Olio Restaurant

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Olio’s housemade cavatelli bolognese made me say, “Oh!” because it was that good! The flavor and freshness of the ingredients really got my attention and I can’t wait to visit Olio.
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Rizzuto’s Italian Kitchen
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Rizzuto’s is a personal favorite of mine, and their Meatball Sliders and Hot Cherry Pepper Wings were delish!

Tomato Tomato
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The meatballs and penne vodka by Tomato Tomato was so so good! The meatballs were flavorful and the vodka sauce was thick and creamy – just the way I like my vodka sauce.

Villa Italia Ristorante
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I really enjoyed the Mozzarella Caprese sliders from Villa Italia Ristorante, one of my favorite sandwiches, and the Chicken Scarpariello with hot sausage had just enough kick to it.

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The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s
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The Seared Angus Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola salad from The Waters Edge was cooked perfectly and the Gorgonzola complimented the filet and made their salad stand out.

Dessert

DiMare Pastry Shop
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I can’t say enough good things about DiMare – the several pastries and cookies I sampled were delicious! The hard part was choosing what to try.

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Volta Gelateria Creperia

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I have been dreaming of Volta’s Hazelnut gelato since Taste of Stamford. Creamy yet light, as gelato should be, Volta’s Hazelnut gelato is excellent. It’s the gelato you’ll be telling everyone about once you try it.

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Taste of Stamford is the perfect event to explore the amazing food Stamford’s dining scene has to offer. Mark your calendar for next year because you don’t want to miss this event!

Taste of Stamford
Stamford Marriott
243 Tresser Boulevard
Stamford, CT

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this event, however all the views and opinions expressed herein are my own.

The Buzz: The Cheesecake Factory Might Be Coming Soon To Trumbull!

18 Mar

The Trumbull Times reported today that the Cheesecake Factory is seeking permits for outdoor dining and liquor from Trumbull’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

If the permits are approved it looks like the Cheesecake Factory is planning on moving into Westfield Trumbull Mall. Fingers crossed this one gets approved!

Famous for their decadent and creative cheesecakes (over 50 cheesecakes and desserts) and a menu that boasts over 200 items made from scratch, the Cheesecake Factory would be a welcome addition to Trumbull’s dining scene.

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For more information on the Cheesecake Factory and their nearest locations check out their website and FaceBook page.

Celebrate Pi Day With Two of My Favorite CT Pies

14 Mar

Pie.

The word alone or combined with other wonderful words like Jes’, apple, blueberry, chocolate, banana creme, peanut butter, or pecan grabs my attention. Make it a la mode and you have a culinary masterpiece, unless you’re a pie purist (and on some days I am just that) and then a piece of pie by itself is perfection.

Why the ode to pie? Today is Pi Day, as in Pi = 3.14…so why not celebrate Pi with pie?

One of my favorite flavors is banana creme pie and two local Connecticut restaurants make a banana creme worthy of shouting about from the rooftops.

Parallel Post, Trumbull
Located inside the Trumbull Marriott, Parallel Post has a reputation for one of the best burgers in Connecticut, creative cocktails, and some of the best seafood and steak in the area, but did you know their dessert menu is just as amazing?
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The banana creme pie at Parallel Post is an individual sized pie made with a graham cracker crust, layers of creme and bananas, topped with toasted coconut, and plated with caramelized bananas. The toasted coconut and caramelized bananas make this banana creme more sophisticated than most. Plus, there’s something about having your own little pie that makes it extra special.
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Parker Eatery and Bar, Stratford
If you prefer a traditional piece of banana creme pie then you should head over to Parker Eatery and Bar. A graham cracker crust is the foundation for this absolutely amazing banana creme pie. Layers of bananas and a light and creamy filling are added and then topped with a generous amount of homemade whip cream. When you bite into Parker’s banana creme you will smile, and maybe dance in your seat a little like I do. This is the piece of pie you won’t want to share because it’s so good, but you’ll certainly want to tell everyone about it.
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The banana creme pie is on the menu daily at Parker and it sells out fast. My advice? Order the pie when you sit down and they’ll put a piece aside for you.

Happy Pi(e) Day Everyone!

Food for Thought: “All The World’s A Stage,” Including The Bar

14 Mar

The stage is often no longer round and sometimes the stage itself becomes a different venue – school auditoriums, festivals, and even the park – play host to his characters and his words. Yet no matter where we watch a performance, Shakespeare always remains Shakespeare, the bard with the ability to teach us about human nature and entertain us through tragedies, comedies, and histories.

Whenever any opportunity arises for me to attend a performance of Shakespeare, I’m in. So when my friend asked me to go with her to see a performance of Macbeth in a bar, naturally I said, “YES! Wait, really, Shakespeare in the bar?” Yes, really. Then again, Shakespeare did say, “All the world’s a stage,” so why not include the bar?

20140314-111003.jpgPhoto source: sipstirs.com

Yesterday evening I watched the Valley Shakespeare Festival Theater Group perform Macbeth in the bar, Porky’s bar in downtown Shelton. The show was interactive: teams were created to keep track of how many people are murdered in the play while we dined on Porky’s wings and pizza, and some audience members were pulled onstage (aka into the center of the bar room floor) to participate, and yes, I was pulled onstage! Hello acting debute, which I think is so appropriate it happened during Macbeth, one of my favorites, and in a bar surrounded by food and libations.

For me one of the highlights of the night was when the director, who also played a role or two, ordered a beer at the bar mid-performance and sipped on it while giving his lines. Somehow, I feel the Bard himself would have approved! Plus, I think the final battle was the most unique bar fight I’ve ever witnessed.

While I’ll always enjoy a traditional performance of Shakespeare’s works, watching it while having a drink and munching on some food at the bar might just be my new favorite way to watch a play.

Porky’s Cafe
50 Center Street
Shelton CT

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