The Taste of Greater Danbury Connecticut Sept. 10-11

Danbury has always been a place about community and nowhere can the community celebrate with all its citizens, friends and visitors better than downtown. Nothing proves this more than the long awaited popular Taste of Danbury that begins on Saturday, September 10 and ends on Sunday, September 11. In it’s 11th year, the Taste of Danbury promises more food, more fun for the entire family and more music than ever before! This is an event that is not to be missed.

On Saturday, September 10th, the Taste is kicked off with the Regional Y Kid’s Run at 10 am. That is followed by the 3rd Annual Run for Children at 10:30; the Regional Y Awards will be at 12:30 PM. The Official Opening Ceremony and the Walk of Honor takes place from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. From 1:30 to 2:30 participants will enjoy the YMCA Family Zumba. At 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM Taste goers will enjoy Sherry Winston and at 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM the Quadrasaurus take over. At 5:30, Kicks 105.5 Country Showdown Winner, Bobby Kendall will perform. He is followed by Pete Herger and Friends from 6:45 PM – 7:30 PM. From 8:00 PM to 10 PM taking front and center stage is Bad Company’s former lead singer Brian Howe, the Taste’s premier act.

On Sunday, September 11th the day begins at 11:00 AM with the News Times Community Parade on Rose Street to Boughton Street. The Parade is followed by DJ music from noon until 12:45. Afternoon entertainment includes: Golden Angels Jazz Band from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM; Bad Company’s Former Lead Singer Brian Howe from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM; Tracey DeLucia and Band from 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM; and In Harmony from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

The Taste of course is not all about music and entertainment – it is also about Food! This year’s variety of foods include: ceviche, hornados, empanadas, patacones, bubble milk tea, thai fried rice, pad thai, spring rolls, lobster rolls, philly cheese steak sliders, New England clam chowder, cubano sandwiches, bbq chicken, tostones, sausage and peppers, rice balls, stuffed breads, pretzels, pizza, ziti, stuffed eggplant, fried dough, pork and beef shish kebabs, ice cream, hamburger, hotdogs, fajitas, kielbasa, bratwurst, paninis, baked goods, cookies, cotton candy, Italian ice, and specialty sodas

Participating area restaurants include: El Sabor, Thai Awesome, The Blue Dog, Teddy’s at the Holiday Inn, Primo’s Deli, Roma’s Deli, Nick’s Restaurant, Romy’s BBQ, Sprinkles Ice Cream, Two Steps Downtown Grille, Fajita Joes, Curro’s, Mysore, Weenie Lynn’s, Bruegger’s Bagels, Stony Hill Bakery, and O’Delli’s Catering.

For up to the minute information check out http://www.citycenterdanbury.com.

Stamford Downtown Summer Restaurant Weeks Through Monday, September 5, 2011

It is back again this year — the Stamford Downtown Restaurant Weeks that runs through September 5th. This annual long awaited and popular three weeks of dining lets you experience lunch or dinner in Stamford Downtown at prix-fixe daily specials. What better way to enjoy your favorite restaurant or try a new one!

There are three tiers of restaurant pricing making sure that there is something for everyone’s budget. The restaurants range from Japanese to Mexican, fish to Italian and even burgers to name a few of the many evocative choices that will please even the most discriminating palate!

The Participating Restaurants

In the $10.11 lunch and $15.11 dinner tier you can dine at: Black Bear Saloon, *Grand Burger (dinner only), Kujaku Japanese Restaurant, Lola’s Mexican Kitchen (excludes Fri./Sat.), Lucky’s Classic Burger and Malt Shop, SBC Downtown Restaurant and Brewery, *Tiernan’s Bar and Restaurant, and Volta Gelateria Creperia.

Restaurants offering fare in the $12.11 lunch and $20.11 dinner tier are: Butterfield 8 Restaurant and Lounge, Capriccio Cafe (lunch only), Kotobuki Japanese Restaurant, Quattro Pazzi (excludes Fri./Sat.), Remo’s Brick Oven Pizza Company and Tengda Asian Bistro.

In the final tier dining establishments offering lunch at $20.11 and dinner at $30.11 include: *Aria Restaurant, *Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bar Rosso (excludes Fri. & Sat.), *Capital Grill, Chez Jean Pierre (excludes Sun.), Columbus Park Trattoria, *Emme of Capri, EOS Greek Cuisine (excludes Fri./Sat.), Mitchell’s Fish Market, *Morton’s Steakhouse (Dinner only), Nappa and Co. (lunch only), Tappo Restaurant (excludes Fri./Sat.), and *ZAZA Italian Gastrobar (excludes Fri./Sat.).

To download PDF’s of the menus of the above restaurants visit: http://www.stamford-downtown.com.

Stamford’s Restaurant Weeks Don’t Forget the Kids!

In partnership with the Stamford Hospital, Stamford Tables will host KIDS’ FANS 5-2-1-0, a program designed to promote nutrition and fitness in Stamford. All children under the age of 12 will be offered a healthy lunch for $6.95 and dinner for $9.95 at all above listed restaurants except those with a *.

Popcorn and the Avon Theatre

A special highlight of Restaurants Weeks includes a fabulous offer by the Avon Theater. The first 3,000 patrons will receive a voucher for a free small popcorn with the purchase of a general admission ticket to the Avon Theatre on 272 Bedford Street. The voucher is valid through 9/30/2011. The Avon Theater is a member based non-profit Art Deco Theater that offers the best of independent, world and documentary films, foreign and Hollywood classics, and educational programming. For a list of events, please visit http://www.avontheatre.org.

Fine Fare, Friends & Fun in The Litchfield Hills at the 26 Annual Taste of The Litchfield Hills Sept. 3-5

Connecticut’s Oldest Food and Wine Festival Announces Menu for Labor Day Weekend.

From comfort food to gourmet dishes and from live entertainment to a shopping bazaar, you and your friends will enjoy a menu of fine fare and fun at the 26th Annual Taste of The Litchfield Hills.
Connecticut’s oldest food and wine festival will be held on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, 2011, at its new location, Ski Sundown, 126 Ratlum Road, New Hartford.

Each year, since 1985, the festival has attracted thousands of guests for a sampling of the region’s food and wine, plus upscale shopping and live entertainment.

This year’s menu will feature such dishes as Angus beef sliders, baked mac and cheese, cedar plank roasted salmon, corn and Maine blue crab fritters, cherry-smoked chicken, fried goat cheese salad, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled pizza, Lao crispy egg rolls, lobster salad sliders, mesquite-smoked pulled pork, New England clam chowder, seared scallops & braised short ribs, sesame chicken, shrimps in a blanket and many other delicious delicacies.

Sweet offerings will include apple cider cinnamon donuts, banana & toffee pie, dessert crepes, fruit smoothies, New England kettle corn, pumpkin chiffon roulade and many other delectable desserts. Northwest Community Bank is sponsoring an Internet download link for the complete 2011 Menu at http://www.LitchfieldFestivals.com.

Foodies will enjoy “grazing-sized” portions of house specialties prepared by chefs from regional restaurants, bistros and other purveyors of fine food with prices ranging from $4.00 to $8.00 per item. Table seating will be available in the festival’s Culinary Tent, at outdoor picnic tables and inside the air-conditioned ski lodge. Plus, guests are invited to picnic on the grounds with their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Participating culinary vendors include Chatterley’s Restaurant (New Hartford); Backstage Restaurant (Torrington); Faddy’s Donuts & Ice Cream (Bloomfield); Farm Restaurant (Avon); The Foothills Delery (Pine Meadow); The Green Papaya (Canton); The Green Room (Winsted); Little Sister’s Grilled Cheese (New London); Indochine Pavilion (New Haven); Infinity Bistro (Norfolk); KJ’ Grilled Pizza (Torrington); Mustard’s Last Stand (New Hartford); Rocket Fine Street Foods (Torrington) and Summertime Sno-Balls (New Hartford).

The festival will offer wine by the glass from Litchfield Hills wineries, including Hopkins Vineyard (New Preston), Jerram Winery (New Hartford), Miranda Vineyard (Goshen), Sunset Meadow Vineyards (Goshen) and White Silo Winery (Sherman). Thomas Hooker draught beer, plus a variety of soft drinks will also be served.

New this year is the The Farmers Market which will showcase locally grown and raised foods. Barden Farm, Hayes Dairy, Marwin Farms and other family farms located in the Litchfield Hills will offer native fare to enjoy at the festival and to take home.

Live entertainment will include country singer-songwriter Courtney Drummey (Saturday, 1-4 p.m.), oldies band The Rockin’ Hearbeats (Saturday, 5-8 pm), jazz recording artists The Christine & Elliot Spero Duo (Sunday, 1-4 p.m.), blues artists The Andy James Band (Sunday, 5-8 p.m.) and jam band Flipper Dave (Monday, 1-4 p.m.).

Festival goers will also enjoy an upscale shopping experience in the festivals’ outdoor bazaar featuring such unique gift items as artisan-crafted jewelry, gourmet food products, kitchenware and other products and services.

Hours for A Taste of the Litchfield Hills will be 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 3 & 4, 2011, and 12 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. Ticket prices are Adult (age 12-64): $10 On-Site or $8 Advance Purchase; Senior (age 65+): $8 On-Site or $6 Advance Purchase; and Child (Under 12): Free admission. Advance tickets and more information is available at http://www.LitchfieldFestivals.com. Admission does not include food and beverage, which is purchased separately.

Ski Sundown is located at 126 Ratlum Hill in the charming riverside town of New Harford, Conn., just a few minutes from the intersection of Routes 44 & 219. This central location makes this Taste of Litchfield Hills Festival an easy day-trip from Albany, The Berkshires, Hartford, The Hudson Valley, Metro New York, New Haven and Springfield.

With its antique shops, art galleries, covered bridges and quaint villages, the Litchfield Hills is an ideal get away destination for this three-day holiday weekend. Lodging optionsin the Litchfield Hills include dozens of charming bed and breakfasts, cozy country inns, and world class resorts, hotels and motels.

For more information on where to stay and what to do visit: http://www.litchfieldhills.com

Sheffield Island Opens for the Season

The Norwalk Seaport Association has kicked off its summer season with the opening of Sheffield Island that is home to the 142-year-old Sheffield Island lighthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

From May through September, visitors can board the Seaport Association’s 45-foot C.J. Toth catamaran for a cruise to the island then tour the lighthouse, observe wildlife in their natural habitat in the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, hunt for shells along the beach, dine on a picnic lunch, play on the lawns around the lighthouse or simply unwind and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them. A special treat when visiting the island is a climb to the lighthouse tower that affords magnificent views of Long Island Sound and, on a clear day, of the New York City skyline.

A special offering by the Seaport Association is the Wednesday Sunset Harbor Cruises from 6:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m. This relaxing sunset cruise on the Seaport’s new 45-foot ferry is a spectacular way to explore the beauty of Fairfield County’s “gold coast”, Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound. Advance reservations for the popular sunset cruise are strongly recommended.

A favorite of young and old alike is the Thursday Evening Clambake at Sheffield Island Lighthouse. Every summer, the Seaport Ferry in South Norwalk carries hundreds of hungry passengers to the historic 1868 Sheffield Island Lighthouse for this famous Thursday night outing. A true New England dining experience, the evening allows participants to dine in the festive tented pavilion on the lighthouse lawn, with tours of the lighthouse itself included in the cost. Roundtrip cruise and dinner is either $58 or $78 per person, depending on entree. Advance registration only. To dine in the shadow of the historic 1868 Sheffield Island Lighthouse and look out to the skyline of Manhatten is truly and unforgettable summer experience. The Clambake begins June 30, 2011 and runs through August 25, 2011.

The Seaport Association also offers a popular Bird Watching Cruise that leaves the dock at 7:30 am and returns at 10:30 am. Birding enthusiasts will join Larry Flynn, Master Wildlife Conservationist, Division of Wildlife, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, aboard the Seaport Association’s ferry, to learn about the birds that make Long Island Sound their home. The first tour for 2011 is Saturday, June 4 from 2 pm to 4 pm. This years dates for the special birding crusies are: Sunday, June 12 and 26; Sunday July 10, Tuesday July 12, Sunday July 24, Saturday July 30, Sunday August 7 and Wednesday August 10. For reservations call 203-838-9444.

The ferry service to Sheffield Island is Monday-Friday — 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on weekends and holidays the ferry runs at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Round-trip ferry tickets: $22 adults $20 seniors/NSA members $12 ages 4-12; $5 ages 3 and younger. To buy tickets call 800-838-3006 (24/7) visit the website http://www.seaport.org or call 203-838-2898 on the day of the ferry ride.

The ferry leaves from the Sheffield Island Lighthouse dock located at the corner of North Water Street and Washington Street in Historic South Norwalk. Parking is available adjacent to the dock and the Norwalk Maritime Center Garage. The 2011 Season begins May 28, 2011 and ends September 25, 2011. It is advised to arrive at the dock 15 minutes before departure.

The Norwalk Seaport Association was established in 1978 and stewards the Sheffield Island lighthouse, which celebrates 142 years as the jewel in Long Island Sound.

Famed Connecticut Chef And Restaurateur Carole Peck Opens Zeeburger In Woodbury CT

Trend-setting chef and noted restaurateur, Carole Peck is opening a casual eatery called Zeeburger, whose hamburger menu will reflect her love of local and farm fresh. Located in the Sherman Village Plaza at 670 Main Street in Woodbury, not far from her acclaimed and award-winning restaurant, Good News Café, Peck, following 18 years of serving high-end cuisine to diners far and wide, and many noted celebrities who have homes in Connecticut, will now turn her eclectic and tasteful art of cooking to a more grounded hamburger, hotdog and shake fare that the whole community can enjoy.

With the influence of her French husband Bernard Jarrier who refers to a hamburger as “Zeeburger,” Peck says the proximity of her new eatery close to Good News Café is an ideal situation that she couldn’t pass up.

“I see a real need in town for a family place where people who are pressed for time can enjoy a burger that’s tasty, healthy, and fun, and that’s what Zeeburger is all about,” Peck says. “Burgers are totally hot again and everyone loves them, so why not engage the community by giving them what they love and support our local and regional farms.”

Peck is indeed supporting area and regional farms. She is sourcing meat for the burgers from several organic and grass-fed farms. The milk for Zeeburger’s milkshakes and floats will come from Arethusa Farm Dairy in Litchfield, and she’s created a maple syrup shake using fresh maple syrup processed in Woodbury.

Zeeburger will offer a moderately priced menu appealing to both meat eaters and vegetarians. The hand-formed organic beef burgers, all served on brioche buns will include: Zee 5 ounce Burger with cheese, Zee Compact Burger, Zee Monster Burger, Zee Juicy Lucy Blue Burger, and Zee Bacon Cheeseburger. For those looking for an alternative to beef, there is: Zee Meat without Feet Salmon Burger, Zee Shroom Burger, Zee Falafel Burger, Zee ground Hot Dog on a pretzel roll and Zee on-going Grilled Cheese with bacon. Burgers and hot dogs all come with different toppings and can be accompanied by Zee hand-cut French Fries and Sweet Potato Fries.

For those who want a lighter, vegetarian fare, Zeeburger offers three types of Zee Green Goods: Caesar Salad, Chopped Salad and Crunchy Kale Salad.

Fresh dairy beverages sure to be a hit among children and adults alike are real and hand-dipped milk shakes and floats that come in either two ounce or 12 ounce sizes with a variety of flavors, including, chocolate, vanilla, malted, coffee, banana, raspberry, mint, hazelnut and maple syrup. Beer and wine will be served for adults.

For more information about Carole Peck, Zeeburger and The Good News Café, visit: http://www.zeeburger.com, http://www.good-news-cafe.com. For information about Litchfield Hills Connecticut visit http://www.litchfieldhills.com.

Celebrate a Traditional Burns Night In Washington CT

Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns, will be honored at a Highland Feast with a piper, Celtic music, and Haggis on January 29 at St. John’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, Washington Green. This Burns Night celebration, a Scottish tradition, will feature a six-course meal with smoked salmon, venison, partridge, and a tasting of 6 to 10 single malt whiskies.

It may not be Scotland, but anyone can celebrate the anniversary of the famed poet’s birth, and St. John’s is ready to do it in style. A piper will announce the Haggis, delivered to the main table by the chef. Haggis, a sheep’s stomach filled with the sheep’s intestine and oatmeal, is a big part of the tradition, although there will be plenty of other good things to eat at this Burns Night. Scottish fare includes tatties (potatoes) and neeps (turnips), and a pudding called a “Tipsy-Laird-Trifle.” The meal will be preceded by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served with dinner.

Kilts, trews and tartans are encouraged and everyone will join in the recitation of favorite Burns poems, toasts, prayers, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The Highland Feast is $95 per person, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit St. John’s Community Outreach Committee. For more information or to make reservations, call St. John’s at 860-868-2527. St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 78 Green Hill Road, just across from the Washington Green. The Parish Hall faces 9 Parsonage Lane, with plenty of convenient parking.