Judy’s Bar + Kitchen: Low Country on High Ridge

Pulled-pork, Maryland-style crab cakes, or an award winning crispy chicken & bacon cheddar waffle sandwich, Judy’s Kitchen + Bar offers a contemporary taste of the old South. Tucked into a tiny shopping plaza on High Ridge Road close to the Merritt, this one almost slipped by us…but we’re sure glad it didn’t. Owner Judith Roll turns out Southern-style food in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere that’s as warm and comforting as her home-baked brownie with gooey house-made caramel and thick, rich chocolate sauce. At a brunch a few weeks ago, we had an opportunity to sample a selection from the menu and were impressed by the creativity and care put into every dish!

Every good brunch starts with a Bloody.

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Shrimp and pickeled veggies.

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Low Country meets the Lower East Side with these batter-dipped and fried chicken livers – the onion jam dipping sauce is with the trip alone!

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A selection of house made biscuits and cornbread (goes really well with the onion jam!).

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Slow cooked ribs, brisket, and wings with a side of smoky, brown-sugar baked beans and creamy cole slaw.

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The big mac attack! Four perfectly blended cheeses worth blowing your diet for.

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Judy’s crispy fried chicken and bacon cheddar waffle sandwich took “Best Of” at the Greenwich Wine + Food show in September and it’s no surprise why…sweet, savory, salty, smoky all in one big bite of deliciousness.

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And if you prefer your fried chicken perfectly un-dressed, Judy a big platter of that too!

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A more low-key (but no less tasty) option is the pulled pork Cubano sandwich – smoked pulled pork, ham, gruyere, whole grain mustard, house made pickles, and spicy jalapenos pressed between grilled sourdough bread.

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Shrimp and grits…because no Low-Country menu is complete without this classic.

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Finally, a few desserts to top off the meal. All desserts are hand-made by Judy.

Brownie with homemade caramel and hot fudge sauce.

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The best banana pudding this side of Savannah!

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Apple pan-cake with cinnamon ice cream.

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Judy’s Bar + Kitchen is located at 927 High Ridge Road, Stamford. Live music, craft cocktails, and darn good food served in a welcoming, casual atmosphere!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

We just wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading Fairfieldista throughout the year and express our gratitude for your continued support!

Wishing you and yours the very happiest of holidays…now go eat!!

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Vine Wine Room Opens in Westport

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There’s no shortage of great restaurants in Westport, but we can add a new one to the list with Vine Wine Room. Located at the top of Main Street, in the former home of Luxe Cocktail Bar, Vine offers more than just fine wines and top-shelf cocktails. In the newly expanded kitchen Toni Ann Bailone Sapienza, who was the owner of Toni’s Tuscan Table in Black Rock, whips up homestyle Italian fare.

Vine’s menu includes a selection of bites (meatballs, arancini), salads (classic Caesar, Caprese, and more inventive options including a delicious roasted golden beet salad with fig infused goat cheese and drizzled with honey and pistachios), hearty pasta dishes (cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage, pasta fagoli penne alla vodka), and entrees (chicken or veal Milanese, chicken Sarpiello, red snapper). Toni’s Italian comfort food is hard to beat – in fact, she was a winner on Beat Bobby Flay and Kitchen Casino!

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The modern all-white decor, lively music, and chic-yet-cozy atmosphere at Vine is welcoming and great for groups or couples looking for a night out.

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Vine is open Wednesday to Sunday 5 to 10 pm!

 

Greenwich’s Master Chefs Team Up to Fight Diabetes

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Some of Fairfield County’s hottest chefs will team up in an event to support the American Diabetes Association at the Greenwich Country Club on November 15.

In a master chef face off, Chef Rui Correia of Douro Restaurant, Chef Frederic Kieffer of l’escale Restaurant, Chefs Lisa & Stephen Maronian of Sweet Lisa’s, Chef Conor Horton of The J House Restaurant, Chef Edward Varipapa of Leon’s Restaurant, Chef Marc Weber of On The Marc and Fleisher Craft Butchery, will participate in an interactive cooking adventure through a live video feed from kitchen to ballroom. Guests enjoy a five-course farm-to-plate diner paired with wines specially selected by Val’s Putnam Wine &Liquors. The Emcee of the evening Victor Rallo Restaurateur, Wine Critic and TV Personality of EAT! DRINK! ITALY! guides guests through a culinary experience while attendees watch, laugh and enjoy!

Proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association Camp Carefree, Research, Advocacy and Wellness Education. Over the last three years the Change the Future Chef Event has raised over $400,000.

For tickets: diabetes.org/changethefuture or contact Hope Jayes at the American Diabetes Association at 203.639.0385 ext: 3536 or hjayes@diabetes.org.

Fairfield’s CRAVE Your New Neighborhood Spot

Remember the line from there theme song to the iconic TV show, Cheers? “A place where everyone knows your name…” that’s the feeling you get at Crave in Fairfield…right down to the big square bar with locals seated around sipping their favorite beer or beverage. Singles, families, tired commuters, and groups of girlfriends, Crave evokes that neighbood feeling many local bars and restaurants aspire to, but few achieve. Oh, and the food is darn good too!

Chef Rigo Lino, offers American comfort food and a dash of Italian favorites on his fall menu. I had the opportunity to attend a press dinner last week which offered a sampling of appetiers, entrees, and yes, a few desserts, paired with some excellent and well-priced wines from their extensive beverage program.

We were truly impressed with the freshness, quality of preparation, and service. Well worth a try…you might even become a regular! Crave Bar and Grill is located at 52 Sanford Street, Fairfield. 

You have to start the night off with a cocktail! Go if only for this Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita!

Blood Orange Jalapeno Margarita
1.5 oz. Chinco Tequila
1 oz. Blood Orange Puree
.5 oz. lime juice
¾ oz. Jalapeno simple
Soda
Slice of Jalapeno garnish

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Super fresh and expertly seared Ahi Tuna encrused with black and white sesame seeds and served with wasabi and soy ginger glaze.

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I’m still craving these eggplant stacks layed with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil.

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Not just for kids! A blend of three cheeses and bacon top this mac & cheese dish.

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Hearty rigatoni Bolognese is prepared with a blend of lean ground pork and beef simmered with carrot, onion, and garlic and zesty tomato sauce.

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Fresh-caught grilled Atlantic salmon served with asparagus, roasted potatoes, and a tropical salsa fresca!

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Richly flavorful pork belly rubbed with 16 spices and served over a salad of baby arugula and a drizzle of citrus vinaigrette.

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Finally, a selection of desserts from the menu.

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Stop by Monday-Friday for Happy Hour featuring drink and snack specials or to watch your favorite team on their 14 big screen tv’s…or just meet up with friends from the neighborhood!

 

 

Coffee Cocktails at Sign of the Whale

You’re meeting a friend and she asks, “Coffee or cocktails?” Why not have both? Stamford’s Sign of the Whale is offering coffee based drinks made with their own nitro infused cold brew coffee on tap – they steep their coffee in cold water for 24 hours and then nitro infuse it, creating a smooth mouthfeel and rich creamy beer-like head. Check out some of these amazingly delicious coffee drinks they’ve created and try some of the tasty appetizers on their fall menu!

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Rum Diary: fireball whiskey and RumChata

 

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Dirty Sailor: Sailor Jerry Rum and vanilla simple syrup

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Irish Goodbye: Jameson and Bailey’s Irish Cream

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Americana: hazelnut liquor and vanilla vodka

Sign of the Whale is located at 6 Harbor Point Road in Stamford and their rooftop bar with water views is perfect for sipping and nibbling while enjoying the beautiful fall weather!

Taste of Fairfield Foodie Event

taste-of-fairfield-logoFairfield is home to so many terrific restaurants and talented chefs. To celebrate this dynamic food scene, TownVibe and Fairfield Magazine have announced what’s sure to be the food-lover’s party of the year—Taste of Fairfield—on Sunday, October 9, 2016, from 1pm to 5pm, held in the outdoor tented patio area of Southport’s Delamar Hotel.

Foodies and other fun-loving folk can enjoy tastes and sips from more than two dozen restaurants and specialty markets from the Fairfield area, all in the spacious courtyard of the Delamar and Artisan Restaurant. In addition to fine cuisine, craft cocktails, artisanal wine, craft beer, and sweets, there will be live music from local favorites Otis & The Hurricanes and The Mill River Band, along with “roving” entertainment.

The restaurant list is still growing but to date includes Artisan, Asylum Distillery, Aspetuck Brew Lab, B.Good, Brick & Wood, The Cakebox, Crave, Donut Crazy, Fairfield Craft Ales, Fairfield Cheese Company, Freshii Fairfield, Flipside Burger Bar, Geronimo Tequila Bar, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Little Goose, The Little Pub, NOM-EEZ, Old Post Tavern, Quattro Pazzi, Mecha Noodle Bar, Riverside Baking Company, Rive Bistro, Sono Baking Company, Sweet & Simple Bake shop, Shearwater Coffee Roasters, Taberna Tapas, Taco Loco, Toto, and The Whelk/Kawa Ni. Together, these restaurants create an array of delicious and diverse options for participants. Cuisine ranges from sustainable and seafood-focused to old-school Italian comfort food to nouveau-Mexican cuisine. The event will also offer various wines, beers, and cocktails to create the perfect ensemble—all available for one ticket price. Special “chances to win” great prizes and food drives will be held to benefit charity partner Operation Hope. Sponsors on board include Balducci’s, Cannondale Generators, Land Rover of Milford, Atria Senior Living, Sacred Heart University, and Yumi Ecosolutions. The event is also the precursor to Fairfield’s Fifth Annual Restaurant Week which begins October 16 and includes two dozen restaurants.

General Admission tickets cost $50: including food, drink, and entertainment. VIP Admission—with access to the Black Rock Galleries Fusion Lounge costs $100 and includes ongoing food service, drinks from VIP bar, entertainment, private parking, and a TV. Tickets may be purchased online at tasteoffairfield.com. Guests under 21 years old are $20 and children under 10 are free. The event is tented, but happening rain or shine, and Star 99.9 will have a radio crew on site.

Terra Sole: Strike Gold in Ridgefield

There’s much ado about the food scenes in SoNo, Westport, Greenwich, and Fairfield, but Ridgefield is quietly emerging as a destination for Fairfield County and Westchester foodies. Bailey’s Backyard and Luc’s Cafe were recently awarded “Best in Connecticut” nods from Connecticut Magazine, and Bernard’s is regarded as one of the finest in the region…but there’s one that’s flying under the radar for those outside the 06877 zip code, and that’s Terra Sole.

Terra Sole’s Italian menu is inspired by owner Pietro Polini’s home in Puglia, Italy. Located in the “heel” of the Italy’s iconic boot, Puglia boasts the longest coastline of any Italian province, so seafood, fresh produce, and, of course, wine, play a starring role here. Polini’s passion for the best of everything is evident in the procurement of his ingredients – many of which are imported from Italy or sourced from the area’s finest farms, cheesemongers, and butchers. In the kitchen, Terra Sole’s team of chefs works magic turning the raw materials into spectacular dishes.

Last week, I was invited to a press dinner showcasing selections from Terra Sole’s current menu and I was tremendously impressed with the food, chic-yet-comfortable atmosphere, and friendly service. Scroll through to take a peek at what Terra Sole has to offer!

We started with a refreshing blood orange Negroni cocktail.

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Followed by a selection of Italian meats and artisinal cheeses (from Murray’s Cheese in NYC)

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Tuna tartare with fava beans and wasabi drizzle

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Tender, to-die-for meatballs

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Fresh figs stuffed with speck and grilled…ah-ma-zing!

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We can totally understand why this is one of their most popular salads. Shaved Brussels with hazelnuts, Pancetta, and dressed with a truffle Parmesan vinaigrette – and the arancini on the side added a crispy crunch!

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Two house-made pastas followed – ravioli with shaved black truffles and spinach cavatelli!

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Since everything is better in pairs, we sampled two fish dishes. Tender and richly flavored black cod  with pea puree and flaky salmon with a medley or farm-fresh organic vegetables.

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The meat course followed with a juicy pork chop Scarpariello accompanied by tangy goat cheese mashed potatoes.

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There’s always room for dessert! Fresh poached pears in a pillow of amaretto whipped cream!

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Terra Sole is pricey, with entrees ranging from $25 to $49, but it’s worth the splurge!

Terra Sole 3 Big Shop Lane, Ridgefield, 203-438-5352

Win 2 Tickets to Greenwich Wine + Food!

greenwich-wine-food-2015-burger-battle-plateSummer is arguably the best time of the year in Fairfield County, but fall brings a windfall of exciting local events to look forward to. One of the most anticipated is the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by Serendipity magazine. On Saturday, September 24, from noon to 5pm, more than 150 food and beverage vendors will offer samples of sweet and savory dishes, craft cocktails, and yes…copious amounts of wine. As the sun sets, the focus turns from food to music (but there’s still wine!). This year, the Festival hosts two performers – Grammy Award Winner Ziggy Marley will perform on the main stage, followed by the bluegrass and folk act, Old Crow Medicine Show.

Tickets for the event are $150 each, but you can win two tickets to the Saturday Grand Tasting Event by telling us your favorite Ziggy Marley song in the comments section below! One winner will be chosen at random on Friday, September 15! Don’t hesitate…enter now!  If you are an email subscriber, go to www.fairfieldista.com and enter at the bottom of this post!

Greenwich Food + Wine Presented by Serendipity at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park
100 Arch St., Greenwich

When It’s Too Hot To Cook, Melt!

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By now, most Fairfield County foodies have discovered Melt Mobile, the area’s only gourmet grilled cheese on wheels. But if you haven’t, you are totally missing out!

Melt Mobile is the invention of Darlene Andersen and Diana Hall – two friends who wanted to bring a unique twist to the burgeoning food truck trend in Fairfield County. Andersen, an experienced entrepreneur, took no short cuts. She had the state-of-the-art “wich on wheels” custom built for what her business-eye lens saw as a wide open market. Hall, a grad of NYU and the French Culinary Institute, is the cheese whiz behind the tantalizing sandwich combos. You can read more about them here – but first, a look at some of the tasty grilled cheese combos!

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Melt Mobile is parked in different locations daily, so check their Facebook page for their current location.