Tag Archives: Bereket

CT Bites

CT bites.

No, it’s not a teenager’s lament on the lame life in the Land of Steady Habits.

CTBites.com is a blog — a clever, wide-ranging, sometimes-irreverent-but-always-interesting look at food in Fairfield County.

That’s food in all its forms.

There are pages on:

  • Eating In (recipes, cooking classes)
  • Eating Out (restaurants, food festivals and farm events, wine tastings, chef comings and goings)
  • Ingredients (ice cream names, green tips to reduce your carbon footprint)
  • Kids Bites (teaching children to cook; family-friendly joints)
  • Gadgets (onion goggles, coffee makers)
  • Food Talk (forums on the best pizza place, best bartenders, and everything in between)

CTBites is the brainchild of Stephanie Webster.  A New Yorker-turned-Seattleite, she’s lived in Westport for not quite 2 years.  But she’s already nailed our food scene.

She launched her blog last July, after realizing that — unless New York and Seattle — Fairfield County foodies did not frequent Yelp.

Or any other restaurant review blog.

In just 10 months, CTBites has grown “exponentially,” Stephanie says.  She’s added food-loving, good-writing friends as contributors.  They attract about 7,000 unique visitors a month — and it’s almost all by word of mouth.

Now, Stephanie says, she’s ready to turn her attention to really marketing — and monetizing — her blog.

The restaurant reviews are the initial draw for readers, and the most popular pages.  “We’re not the standard Patricia Brooks/New York Times reviews,” Stephanie notes.  “We get down to the nitty gritty.”

Readers like the blog’s community feel.  CT Bites has sponsored monthly prix fixe lunches, where contributors and foodies meet and mingle.

CTBites.com sponsored a prix fixe lunch at The Dressing Room.

So how is the food scene in Fairfield County?

“Considerably better than I thought,” Stephanie answers quickly.  “I like the hidden gems.  Places like Le Farm are excellent, but I also like places like Bereket.  It’s a Turkish restaurant behind a gas station in Bridgeport, and it looks like a complete dive.  But it’s just like being in Istanbul.

“This isn’t Manhattan, where you’ve got a great place every 2 blocks.  But there are plenty of good places around.”

Stephanie finds the the farm-to-table movement “exciting.”  She’s also excited by the recent move of John Holzwarth, former executive chef at The Dressing Room, to The Boathouse at the Saugatuck Rowing Club.

“People love that there’s something out there — a window on Fairfield County,” Stephanie says of her site.

“And it goes both ways.  Farmers and chefs like being part of the dialogue too.”

Stephanie Webster is happy to give them — and everyone else in Fairfield County who eats — something to chew on.