Chef Ryan Durant of Branford’s Assaggio Competes For Food Network’s “Sexiest Chef Alive”

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Ryan Durant, owner and executive chef of Assaggio in Branford, has been picked to compete for the title of "Sexiest Chef Alive" on the People Magazine/Food Network joint venture show by the same name, airing November 1st. CTBites spoke with chef Durant about the experience.

How did you get involved with the show?

People magazine randomly called me, one of the servers picked up the phone and they said it was something with the magazine's sexiest man issue. It had to do with a cooking segment I did on "Better Connecticut" with Scot Haney three years ago. He said something about me being married, but I wasn't then, and it went viral. Somehow People saw it and they called me. This one is a one-off, one hour show, and it's basically a "day in the life" kind of thing.

What's your history as a chef, and how did you come to open Assagio?

I started working all kind of restaurant jobs: bussing, barbacking, dishes, all that, around the Prospect/Waterbury area where I grew up. After that, I had the opportunity to be partner at Assaggio before I bought out my partner, and I've been the owner for ten years. It was open before I got here so I didn't name the restaurant or choose what we served at first. The show actually has good timing because we're changing the menu over completely in November, and following up with an updated interior space thanks to my wife, Gil, who is a designer. 

My philosophy is we approach Italian cooking less as a recipe book and more as a way of doing things, focus on regional specialties. We don't import Italian ingredients and just make them the way they "should" be made, but focus more on using local products in a seasonal way with Italian dishes, and a real eye on the wine, which is important to me. The idea is to make menu items more exclusive instead of just our take on common food. Everyone's a foodie now so we're dealing with a more knowledgeable customer base, much more so than when Assaggio opened 17 years ago, before I got here.

What can you tell us about making the show so far?

It was one ten hour day with a bunch of interviews and cooking segments. It took a while to get used to the cameras and hot mics. I didn't know when it was going to happen exactly, so the camera crew actually popped up in Branford when I was getting a haircut. I was much more comfortable at the segments in the restaurant. My wife, Gil, is in the episode when I made one of first dishes I ever made for her. We cooked that one at home. The interviews were fun because I got to talk more about my food philosophy and things I care about.

Did you ever see yourself being in the running for a title like "sexiest chef"?

I was skeptical at first and didn't think I wanted to be a part of it at all, but I looked into it and saw past chefs like Anthony Bourdain had been on the list, and it was people with chef's awards and cooking shows, and I thought I'd be in on it.

See Ryan on "People Magazine: Sexiest Chef Alive" on November 1st at 8p.m. the Food Network.

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Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ Comes to New Haven @ The Stack (Biergarten & Brewery)

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 Bear’s Restaurant Group, which includes Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ in Windsor, Hartford, and South Windsor, Blind Pig Pizza in Hartford and Chango Rosa in Hartford, today announced its first location on the Connecticut shoreline.  “The Stack,” featuring Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, a brewery and Biergarten, will be opening over the coming weeks at District, the revitalized 9-acre technology and innovation campus at 470 James Street in New Haven, formerly the site of the CT Transit bus garage. 

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“New Haven has been generating so much buzz for its vibrant food scene, so it was the obvious next step for the expansion of Bear’s Restaurant Group,” said Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, Co-Owner, Bear’s Restaurant Group.  “We will be bringing all of our barbeque favorite to this new location – pulled pork, brisket, ribs and “moink balls” – with a really unique twist – our own, in-house beer brewery and Biergarten.  We are working in collaboration with Jason Sobocinski, a veteran of the New Haven food scene with Ordinary and Caseus, who is providing not only his expertise of the food scene, but also his experience in brewing (Black Hog Brewing) when we open the brewery later this year.”

The food menu at The Stack will feature the brand’s celebrated barbeque favorites, smoked in the Kansas-City style that McDonald enjoyed growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, including Baby Back Ribs, Pulled Pork, Pulled Chicken, Kielbasa, Turkey, Texas Sausage, Brisket and Burnt Ends served as a Sandwich, Entrée or Combo Plate.  Other favorites served with a choice of smoked meat include Paw Paw’s Poutine (hand-cut fries smothered with cheese), Bear Bowl (cornbread topped with BBQ beans) and Super Spud (baked potato topped with mac & cheese, sour cream, bacon, red onion and cheese), as well as appetizers (including Moink Balls, bacon-wrapped meatballs), salads, classic side dishes and desserts.  Family meals and meat by the pound will also be available, as well as a Cub Meal for younger barbeque fans.  The menu will also include items inspired by the Biergarten featuring local cheeses, sausages and breads.

The beverage program will complement the barbeque and Biergarten concepts, offering easy-to drink beers, BBQ-infused cocktails and wines on draft.  The bar will feature a combination of local and German Lagers, Pilsners and lighter Ales in cans and on draft, and when the Brewery opens later this year, will also offer five draft lines of house beers, in addition to selling the house-brews in cans.  Creative cocktails include the Smoke Stack Manhattan (Brisket Fat-Washed Old Forester Bourbon, Smoked Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters, Smoked Maraschino Cherries), Bacon Maple Old-Fashioned (Bacon Fat-Washed Pinhook Rye Whiskey, Maple Syrup, Black Walnut and Angostura Bitters), Stack Fall Sangria (Cabernet Red Wine, Apple Brandy, Citrus Vodka, Allspice, Lemon, Bubbly) and All About Our Coco Stout (Old Forester Bourbon, Stillhouse Coconut Whiskey, Black Hog Coffee Milk Stout, Licor 43, Simple Syrup).

The 6,700 square feet restaurant will feature indoor seating for 200; the 6,000 square foot Biergarten, which will be partially covered and house fire pits and heaters to make it a year-round destination, will add an additional 250 seats.  

The Stack will be open seven days a week: Sunday-Wednesday (11am-9pm) and Thursday-Saturday (11am-10pm).  The restaurant also offers take-out, catering, food truck and on-site event options.

The District campus features ample free parking and ease of access from I-91, as well as the Mill River Trail.  In 2019, a kayak and paddleboard launch will also be opened for those seeking ease of access from the Mill River, and an Amphitheatre will open offering both family-friendly and adult programming, with views directly from the restaurant’s Biergarten seating.

For more information, visit www.bearsrg.com or call (203) 350-9060.

About The Stack: 

The Stack brings Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ to the District New Haven campus, located at 470 James Street.  The barbeque restaurant, brewery and Biergarten, opening in Fall 2018, features the award-winning cuisine of Jamie “The Bear” McDonald of Bear’s Restaurant Group.  Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the location offers free parking and ease of access off the Mill River Trail, as well as a paddleboard/kayak launch.  For more information, visit www.bearsrg.com.  The Stack can also be found on Facebook (coming soon) and Instagram (@thestacknh).

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Kashi Sushi Bar Opens in Stamford: Japanese With Bling!

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Located in a 2-story townhouse on Downtown Stamford’s Restaurant Row, the brick façade of Kashi Sushi Bar and Japanese Restaurant gives way to a multi-sensory experience. Introduced to the city’s thriving restaurant scene in January of 2016, Kashi’s modern industrial design element combined with its innovative and artistic approach to sushi and Japanese food preparations quickly landed this exciting new restaurant on the radar of local food enthusiasts.
 
Partners / Restaurateurs Sky Lin and Daniel Li, owners of 4 successful Kashi restaurants dotted throughout Long Island, ventured to Fairfield County, Connecticut with the goal of expanding the Kashi brand into both Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

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“We knew there was an appreciation for this type of cuisine in this area, “says Lin of the local sushi bars scattered about the area, “Our concept is a more elevated style of sushi and a new approach to Japanese dishes, combined with an atmosphere that’s visually energizing and social.”

Kashi takes advantage of the bi-level space and industrial structures throughout and accentuate them against black furnishings, white leather seating, bold dangling glass light fixtures, and radiant color lighting that illuminates the many pockets of space. The focal points of the restaurant are the two levels of sushi bars, beautifully backlit to show off the radiant colors of the market fresh fish and the showmanship of Kashi’s sushi masters.  Large sake barrels are on full display. Billowy curtains frame the large windows, and soft textile walls and plush banquette seating add warmth to the sleek décor. The second story dining room, bar, and sushi bar is a great space for private events.

The new menu features seasonal dishes, including; miso grilled baby eggplant with yuzu miso sauce; smoked duck wrapped in cucumber with avocado, mandarin orange, and yuzu cherry dressing; crispy Chilean seabass with baby bok choy, shitake mushroom, and brown butter ginger broth; and beef tenderloin with truffle polenta, pumpkin, baby carrot, asparagus, with a brown butter sherry sauce. Flavorful and beautiful sushi creations include; the takaashi sushi roll with blue crab, avocado, cucumber, topped with spicy lobster salad and kabayaki sauce; the deep blue sea roll of blue crab, avocado, mango, topped with seared spicy tuna and spicy eel sauce; and the Volcano roll made with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, cucumber, topped with tuna and salmon, served with sriracha and spicy kabayaki aioli.
 
A striking bar is a convivial respite, perfect for pre/post show cocktails, happy hour, or late night food and drink. The beverage program boasts a large selection of sake, Asian beer, premium spirits, a moderate wine selection, and creative cocktails which infuse exotic flavors such as passion fruit, yuzu plum wine, and more!


Kashi 131 Summer Street, Stamford, CT 06901 | 203.890.9995

 

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Plant Power: 13 Restaurants for Hot New Vegan Dishes

Sorry not sorry, butter and bacon, but animal-based proteins and products aren’t requisites for creating vibrant and flavorful recipes. Case in point are these 13 restaurants for new vegan dishes that won’t have you missing meat. Not near one of these eateries? Check out our just-released lists of the 50 Best Restaurants America for Vegetarians in America 2018 and the 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in Canada 2018, or browse menus and more restaurants on OpenTable.com to find your next best dining experience near you. China Poblano, Las Vegas, Nevada Coconut gets the ceviche treatment. Generous chards of pure white young coconut are presented with verdant avocado, bright red teardrop peppers, slivers of purple-accented onion, and cilantro sprigs. This colorful panoply is dressed with coconut water and fresh citrus juices. Make a reservation at China Poblano. Edwins, Cleveland, Ohio  The short stack gets a savory twist. Portobello mushrooms are piled […]

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Nibble: CT Food Events, Dinners, Festivals, & Tastings for Week of October 28th- December 4th

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Bodega's Dias de los Muertos festivities last an entire weekend! Join them 11/1-11/4.

The Great Mac & Chili Challenge takes place on Sunday November 4 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport from 11am to 3pm. Enjoy unlimited sampling of chili and mac 'n cheese dishes from twenty fantastic local restaurants. Just like Chowdafest, your vote determines who has the best! 

Olmo and Ordinary in New Haven will be collaborating on Halloween with a fun filled night of Mario Kart 64, meatball subs, spicy sausage subs, snacks, and themed cocktails.

On Thursday November 1, attend a Cheese and Wine Tasting Luncheon with Darien Cheese & Fine Food.  Ken Skovron will lead you through a selection of eight cheeses while Megan Ruppenstein of Four Forks prepares a delicious seasonal salad. There will be wine and sparkling cider as well. 

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill will be hosting a Halloween Costume Party on Monday, October 29 at 9pm. The evening will feature live music, cocktail specials and a costume contest. Additionally, all guests who wear a costume to join in the fun will receive a “5 Clams Token” for their next visit to the restaurant. 

Tim’s Kitchen at Wakeman Town Farm invites kids to a Halloween-Themed Class on Monday October 29.  Little Trick-or-Treater’s will learn some tricks while making Pumpkin Fudge and Witch Hat Cookies.  Email wakemantownfarm@gmail.com to register and for additional information.

On October 31, Max Fish in Glastonbury presents Whiskey Around the World. Enjoy small production whiskeys, cigars, and a special menu by Chef Stinziani.

Bull & Swine's State Street Spook Fest will be filled with Halloween spirit. On Wednesday 10/31 starting at 8pm, join them for a costume dance party complete with a piñata, pin the tail on the skelton, an open bar, unlimited BBQ buffet, and more.

Community Table in Washington presents a Withers Wine Dinner on November 1.  Winemaker Andrew Tow will guide you through his wines while Chef Paul Pearsons serves up a Four Course Dinner.  Tickets are $185. 

Park & Oak Restaurant in West Hartford will hold an Interactive Craft Cocktail Class on November 1.  Restaurant manager Jeff Fiorino will teach the basic principles of bartending over small bites. 

Taco Loco will be hosting its first ever Día de Muertos event on November 1. Enjoy an evening of music and fun including a tequila tasting table, a DJ, face painting, and cocktail specials all night! 

The Taste of West Haven will take place at the West Haven Rotary Club on November 2.  You'll sample food from over 20 local restaurants and enjoy wine and beer tastings provided by Ye Old Liquor Shoppe.  100% of the money raised through ticket sales will help fund a number of service projects the club oversees.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-west-haven-tickets-50378137365?aff=aff0eventful 

Mezon’s annual Dia De Los Muertos party takes place on Friday 11/2 with doors opening at 7.  There will be a bartending competition, a DJ, $7 drinks, and special plates.  Plus, they’ll have a prize for best costume or sugar skull face.  https://mezonct.com/ 

Putnam Park in Redding invites you to their 240th Anniversary Reenactment on Saturday November 3.  Join them for Artillery demonstrations, Drill demonstrations, a Battlefield skirmish, Colonial craftsman, food, and more.  https://www.facebook.com/events/2209301875982317/ 

Comedian Lisa Lampanelli is bringing her humorous 90minute storytelling show, LISA LAMPANELLI’S LOSIN’ IT! to CT. The show will make its worldwide debut at FTC’s StageOne on Saturday, November 3 with 2 showings: 3pm and 8pm.  A generous portion of the proceeds from the performances will benefit Lampanelli’s chosen charity, The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, CT.  https://boxoffice.fairfieldtheatre.org/single/syos.aspx?p=7814 

Celebrate the opening of the Knobloch Family Farmhouse at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center on Sunday, November 4 from 10am-4pm! There will be apple cider, home-baked donuts, holiday pies, storytelling, a photo booth, face painting, arts and crafts, animal demonstrations, an autumn scavenger hunt, and more.  http://www.stamfordmuseum.org/farmhouse-festival.html 

The Chef's Kitchen at The Walkley Barn in Haddam presents a hand-on workshop for making biscotti on November 4.  In this workshop, you’ll walk away with the results, recipes and the experience making two kinds of crunchy twice-baked cookies: French Honey-Almond Croquettes and Italian Chocolate Biscotti.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hands-on-workshop-biscotti-tickets-48301281433?aff=ebdssbdestsearch 

Fig Cooking School in Milford now offers 1 day culinary workshops for kids ages 10-17!  On November 4, the theme is “Fall Frolic.”  They’ll learn to use seasonal staples like apples, pumpkins, cinnamon, and more.  http://www.figcookingschool.com/event-calendar/2018/11/kids-workshop 

Guilford Mooring has launched its fall food and cocktail menu in celebration of the turn of season.  Seasonal additions to the food menu include Tempura Lobster, a 505 Pastrami Sandwich, Bolognese, and more.  Additionally, the restaurant has brought back its popular Brunch service on Sunday from 11:00a-8:00pm.

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Veg Yeah! OpenTable Reveals the 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America 2018

With interest in vegetarian and plant-based diets skyrocketing, more diners are seeking restaurants that cater to their herbivore needs. We are excited to release our list of the 50 Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in America 2018. Featuring restaurants coast-to-coast across 15 states and Washington, D.C., the list includes a variety of cuisines ranging from American to Indian to Mediterranean — perfect for vegetarians everywhere and even omnivores accompanying their veggie-loving friends. From vegetable-heavy offerings at Nix in New York City to gourmet, plant-based Cafe Gratitude in San Diego to vegetarian-friendly Mediterranean cuisine at Zaytinya in Washington, D.C., the Best Restaurants for Vegetarians list has it all. With 11 restaurants on the list, New York is the most recognized state, followed by California with nine and Washington, D.C. with seven. Additional states represented include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington. The 50 Best Restaurants […]

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50 Best Restaurants in Canada with Vegetarian Options 2018, According to OpenTable Diners

The number of vegetarians in Canada has grown from 900,000 to 2.3 million over the past 15 years, according to studies conducted by Dalhousie University. Whether vegan, vegetarian or simply interested in a nutrient-rich diet, everyone’s dining needs and preferences can be catered to with great dishes from the country’s top restaurants. This is why we’re pleased to announce our list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Canada with Vegetarian Options 2018, to connect vegetarian diners and those who love them, with top restaurants featuring menu items that can excite everyone at the table. Restaurants from coast to coast round out the list, with Ontario having the most restaurants featured (26), followed by British Columbia with 7 and Quebec with 5. Alberta (7), Atlantic Canada (4), and Manitoba (1) also have establishments in the top 50. The list features a range of restaurants including Toronto’s Rosalinda, a Mexican restaurant with a […]

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Next Door in New Haven Hits the Spot for Small Plates and Pizza via CT Magazine

 Photo: Courtesy of Next Door

Photo: Courtesy of Next Door

Connecticut Magazine shares a great new pizza and small plates in New Haven. Put this one on the list.

New Haven is the opposite of a pizza desert. World-renowned pizza, er, apizza options abound, from Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern to BAR and relative newcomers such as De Legna. So when I heard that pizza was one of the specialties at Next Door, a new bar and restaurant on Humphrey Street, I admired the restaurant owner’s chutzpah but privately wondered if the concept would work. Arriving at the restaurant on a recent evening, I learned that Next Door is about far more than just pizza.

Opened in June, in the space that once held the venerable restaurant Humphrey’s, the expansive interior includes two distinct, yet linked, bar and dining areas. Each has a warm and welcoming neighborhood feel. In addition to its creative pizzas, Next Door has a wide variety of well-crafted and interesting food options, and the bar features 32 craft beer taps as well as excellent cocktails.

The restaurant is owned by three veterans of the New Haven food scene: Douglas Coffin, who launched Big Green Truck Pizza (a mobile, wood-fired pizza truck business); Dom Giannotti, who owns Dive Bar & Restaurant in West Haven; and Robin Bodak, the owner of Coco Tamale, a New Haven street cart and catering company. The owners met while working “next door” to Next Door’s location at the adjoining garage that houses the Big Green Truck Pizza fleet.

Read the complete article at Connecticut Magazine.

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CELEBRATE Halloween in CT : 30+ Restaurants & Bars for 2018

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Get out your costumes… Halloween is right around the corner!  Connecticut restaurants, bars, and farms are offering spook-tacular specials and parties.  We’re not trying to trick you- we’re just trying to make sure your holiday is a real treat!

  1. Evarito’s, Norwalk: Evarito's invites you to a Day Of The Dead party Saturday October 27. They'll have costume contests, giveaways, and more!

  2. Cook and the Bear, Hartford: On Sunday October 28, The Cook and the Bear hosts a Halloween Brunch Costume Party.

  3. SBC, Milford: SBC's Halloween Party on 10/27 will have a DJ and costume contests.

  4. Troupe429, New Canaan: Troupe429’s Halloween Party takes place Saturday 10/27. They'll have a DJ, costume contests, a dance party, and more.

  5. Tim’s Kitchen @ Wakeman Town Farm, Westport: Tim's Kitchen at Wakeman Town Farm invites kids to a Halloween Tasting Class. Tickets are $50 and the class can hold 12 students.

  6. Saltbar, Stamford: On Thursday October 25, Saltbar in Stamford invites you to a Pumpkin Carving Party from 7-9pm. A $25 ticket includes a pumpkin, carving tools, and a beer.

  7. Shell and Bones, New Haven: Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill will be hosting a Halloween Costume Party on Monday, October 29 at 9pm. The evening will feature live music, cocktail specials and a costume contest. Additionally, all guests who wear a costume to join in the fun will receive a “5 Clams Token” for their next visit to the restaurant.

  8. Brookfield CT Parks & Recreation, Brookfield: Parents and children are invited to “trick or treat” at Brookfield's Town Hall on Halloween Day from 2-3:45 pm.

  9. Stew Leonard’s, Danbury: On Wednesday October 24, take the kids for Trick-or-Treating at Stew Leonard’s in Danbury! From 4-5:30pm, children can come in costume. They’ll receive a map of the store and head to different departments for candy! 

  10. The Spread, Norwalk: Get out your best 90s costume! The Saved by the 90's Halloween Party takes place at The Spread SoNo on Saturday 10/27 starting at 9pm.

  11. Stratford Trick-Or-Treat, Stratford: The Russian Lady, Hartford: The Russian Lady in Hartford will have a Nightmare on Ann Street Block Party for those who enjoy nightlife. It starts at 8pm on Saturday October 27 and goes until 3am on Sunday.

  12. Widows Café, Danbury: Visit Widows Café in Danbury for a themed Halloween party.

  13. Black Rock Farmers Market, Bridgeport: The Black Rock Farmers Market's 5th Annual Harvest Hootenanny returns on Saturday 10/27 from 1-5pm. There will be plenty of food trucks, local beer and wine corn hole, and more.

  14. L’escale, Greenwich: Halloween soirée from 9pm till ?? with prizes for best costume, DJ, wine magnum ++

  15. Washington Prime, Norwalk: On Friday October 26, Washington Prime in SoNo invites you to their Back to the 80s Halloween Party!

  16. Black Hog Brewing Co, Oxford: Black Hog Brewing Co will have its Halloween Party on Saturday October 27. Join them for a candy cask, 12 spooky taps, costume prizes, the Twins BBQ Co. food truck, and the Triple Nelson IPA can and draft release

  17. Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, Oakville: Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes in Oakville hosts their annual Hardcore Halloween Party on Friday 10/26. The adult Halloween party features drag, burlesque, food trucks, and costume contests. A portion of the proceeds will be going to True Colors in Hartford. 

  18. Bull & Swine, New Haven: Bull & Swine's State Street Spook Fest will be filled with Halloween spirit. On Wednesday 10/31 starting at 8pm, join them for a costume dance party complete with a piñata, pin the tail on the skelton, an open bar, unlimited BBQ buffet, and more. They'll even have a different scary movie on each TV.

  19. Bodega, Fairfield, Darien: Bodega's Dias de los Muertos festivities last an entire weekend! Join them 11/1-11/4.

  20. O’Neill’s, Norwalk: O'Neills in Norwalk will have a Halloween party featuring the Ritzy Chickens on 10/27 starting at 9pm.

  21. Avalon @ Mohegan Sun, Uncasville: On Saturday October 27, Mohegan Sun and its nightclub, Avalon, will have a Halloween party starting at 10pm.

  22. Peaches, Norwalk:Peaches's 3rd Annual Halloween Bash will take place on Saturday 10/27 with Otis & the Hurricanes beginning at 9:30pm.

  23. Max Fish, Glastonbury: On October 31, Max Fish in Glastonbury presents Whiskey Around the World a.k.a. Halloween for Grown-ups. Enjoy small production whiskeys, cigars, and a special menu by Chef Stinziani.

  24. Mezon, Danbury: Annual Dia De Los Muertos party! Friday 11/2 doors open at 7.
    Bartending competition, DJ, $7 drinks and plates. Prize for best costume or sugar skull face.

  25. The Russian Lady, Hartford: The Russian Lady in Hartford will have a Nightmare on Ann Street Block Party for those who enjoy nightlife. It starts at 8pm on Saturday October 27 and goes until 3am on Sunday.

  26. Coalhouse Pizza, Stamford: Coalhouse Pizza hosts a Halloween Party on Friday 10/26 from 9pm-12am. Tickets are $50, plus tax and tip.

  27. Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury: The Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury invites you to a Halloween Spooktacular on 10/25 from 5:30-8:30pm. Join them for a creepy cemetery scavenger hunt followed by storytelling. Come in costume and enjoy drinks and autumn snacks. 21+

  28. CT Valley Brewing Company, South Windsor: Connecticut Valley Brewing Company presents its first ever Halloween Brew Bash on Saturday, October 27. They'll have music all day long and Wojo’s Roadside and Hardcore Sweets food trucks.

  29. Mystic Aquarium, Mystic: On 10/28, visit Mystic Aquarium for BOO-reakfast, a special Halloween themed Pancakes with Penguins. The experience even includes a visit from one of the African penguins.

  30. Sport Hill Farm, Easton: Sport Hill Farm in Easton presents “Barn Bon Vivants” on Sturday October 27. The Halloween themed evening for adults will be catered by Chef Anne of The First Bite and Chef Genee of Herbaceous Catering.

  31. Taco Loco, Bridgeport: Taco Loco will be hosting its first ever Día de Muertos event on November 1. Enjoy an evening of music and fun including a tequila tasting table, a DJ, face painting, and cocktail specials all night!

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Seasoned Professionals: 10 Chefs Share Their Favorite Salts + How They Cook with Them

Salt is an essential flavor component in every savory dish and many desserts, too. The Salt Institute proclaims salt the number one ingredient for 8,000 years and counting, citing a myriad of studies that prove salt does a lot of good in the body, both in salient environments and on the plate. Blind taste tests show why seasoning food with salt returns more clean plates to the kitchen. Salt makes otherwise bland veggies just about burst into song and gives meats a succulent zing, while pairing salt with caramel or chocolate has become a trademark of pure bliss. Salt is everywhere, as it should be. Here, a few top chefs share their favorite salts and how to use them. Elliot Cusher, executive chef, Donetto, Atlanta, Georgia “I really like Maldon brand sea salt, which comes from Essex in east England. It has a large crystal that adds a nice finishing […]

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