Tag Archives: CT Bites

Adam Goldberg: Pop (Up) Goes The Bagel

What can be better than a pop-up bagel shop?

Two of them.

Last week, “06880” featured Sugar & Olives’ Saturday morning pick-up service. Today we highlight a delicious Sunday option, courtesy of Adam Goldberg.

Bagels represent the third career for the longtime Westporter. In 2012, after years in structured finance, he bought the rights to flood mitigation company Aquafence.

He still operates it. But the pandemic hit that industry hard, like so many others.

With time on his hands — and a lifelong love of cooking and entertaining — he began baking. After a year and a half on the keto diet (and a mild case of COVID), Goldberg was ready for some lockdown carbs.

He made sourdoughs, pizzas and pastas.

Then came bagels.

Using his own recipe, Goldberg invited friends to stop by. He’d send out a text at 6 a.m.: “I’m baking today. Stop by.”

This was a great way to see them — if only to hand them his bagels through a backyard pick-up window, while chatting for a minute or two.

Adam Goldberg, his wife Jen, his bagels, his back yard, and his window (background).

He had no set schedule. That didn’t matter, because every day blended into every other one.

Word spread. His text chain grew. Now Goldberg was getting requests for bagels from “tertiary friends.”

November 1 was his birthday. In normal years, he throws a party. This time, he teamed with Filling in the Blanks, the Norwalk non-profit that provides weekend meals to needy children. His bagel sale raised around $1,000.

That drew more attention. Soon, 1200 people were requesting bagels. Most were strangers.

Help came when Rachel Golan reached out. The wife of Don Memo owner Bill Taibe offered their kitchen on a Sunday morning.

Goldberg was not sure if that would work. “Bagels are sensitive,” he notes. “I didn’t know if the oven or the process would be right.”

In early December, he took a chance. He baked 300 bagels.

All were quickly gobbled up.

A few of Adam Goldberg’s many bagels. (Photo/Jen Goldberg)

For his second Sunday, Goldberg devised an advance online ordering system. He cut that off at 500 bagels.

His third and fourth efforts were capped at 1,000 each. Both sold out — within minutes.

He, his wife and local kids he hired hand-delivered bagels over the holidays. They too sold out in seconds.

This past Wednesday, it took just 82 seconds for all bagels to be spoken for. Another 155 names joined the wait list.

“I never set out to sell,” Goldberg says. “But people keep knocking. I’ve been in the flood business for all these years. I never had 500 people on my mailing list.”

He no longer works alone. Golan helps bake; so do a doctor, fashion executive and hedge fund woman.

“It’s 6:30 in the morning. The radio is on. I’m with good friends, rolling bagels. There’s no place I’d rather be,” Goldberg says.

Behind the scenes in the Don Memo kitchen. From left: Rachel Golan, David Levinson,
Jason Epstein, Adam Goldberg. (Photo/Ria Rueda)

Recently, he got a state license. It allows him to cook non-perishable items at home, for sale.

Goldberg’s goods have gained notice — and not just from normal, run-of-the-mill bagel lovers.

CTbites recently included Pop Up Bagels on its “Top Eats for 2020” — by 2 separate food writers. Goldberg was listed along with some of the top restaurants (and chefs) in the state.

The past months have taught the bagel baker some important lessons. For example: “It’s exciting to grow a business. It’s always tricky to scale something done at home. But if you make a great product, there’s a market for it.”

That market includes many people with “childhood memories of eating great bagels,” Goldberg says. Seemingly all grew up in the tri-state area.

Those memories are strong. When he ran an online contest (the prize: a dozen bagels) asking for recollections, the nearly 100 responses were “off the charts. People remembered smells, sights, everything. There’s a lot of nostalgia for bagels.”

Each Sunday, he gets feedback.

“Thanks for letting me buy your bagels,” one customer wrote. “I feel like I won the lottery.”

“This Long Island girl finally feels at home here,” another said.

Such comments are gratifying. They could turn a bagel maker’s head. But Goldberg is not biting. He tells people who urge him to expand: “We’re taking our time. We want to be sure to hit it right.”

He pauses. “It’s a hobby gone wild.’

(Goldberg typically bakes salted poppy, sesame, Maldon salt, cinnamon raisin, everything and plain bagels; occasionally he adds honey whole wheat. Don Memo offers an artisan schmear, when you pick up your bagels. To be notified of upcoming sales, follow popupbagels on Instagram or click here.)

Now Cooking: Food For Behind The Lines

Among the many casualties of COVID-19, some of the first — and 3 months later, still hardest hit — were food service workers.

Tens of thousands of Connecticut chefs, cooks, servers, dishwashers, bartenders and others in the area were instantly out of work. Though unemployment, stimulus checks and food stamps have helped, thousands are not receiving any benefits.

Cruelly, men and women who spent their lives putting food on our table are now food insecure themselves.

A grassroots initiative — Food for the Front Lines — did a spectacular job supporting both the state restaurant industry, and healthcare workers on the front lines.

In just 8 weeks, the group — started by Westporter Nicole Straight — raised $130,000. They paid 40 Connecticut restaurants to deliver over 10,000 meals to hospitals and first responder units throughout Fairfield County.

State Senator Will Haskell (3rd from left) helped prepare food boxes, after a recent drive at Aitoro Appliance.

As the crisis evolved, the group did too. Food For the Front Lines is now “Food for Behind the Lines.” They’re working with local chefs to identify and support people in the industry in need. They conduct food drives, then distribute boxes of donated and purchased food to their families.

Chefs also help by purchasing food at reduced rates from their distributors.

Food For Behind the Lines has already hosted 3 food drives, and distributed 500 food pantry boxes to unemployed food workers.

Driving forces behind the group include 4 Westporters: CTBites founder and editor Stephanie Webster; Terrain Café and Amis Trattoria executive chef Jes Bengtson, and Food Rescue US volunteers Ria Rueda and Allison Sherman.

Besides food collections, Food For Behind the Lines seeks donations. $25 feeds a family of 4 for a week.

Now there’s a great way to give — and get something food-related in return.

Popular food website CTBites — founded and edited by Westporter Stephanie Webster — has published a “Connecticut Chefs Recipes for Restaurant Relief” online cookbook. It features 100 recipes from popular chefs throughout the Nutmeg State.

The e-cookbook costs $25. 100% of the proceeds benefit Food For Behind the Lines. (Click here to order.)

How’s that for a great tip?!

COVID-19 Roundup: Family Fun; What If?; Podcast Answers; Beechwood Arts; Holiday Meals, And More

Marley Brown is a clever — and now homebound — Staples High School freshman.

Last week she challenged her family to a week of “theme nights.” Everyone had 30 minutes to create their own costume. Then they took a photo together, and ate dinner dressed up.

Themes included Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Gala, Movies and Broadway. “Gala night” ended up with a dance party. On Sunday her brother, Pierce, picked the winner. (It was his 13th birthday.)

“It was a great idea to break up the monotony of our days, and give us a way to jump start our creativity each evening,” says her mom, Shandley McMurray.

What’s your family doing to break up routine? Email dwoog@optonline.net!

A typical night in the Brown house.

Years ago, Miggs Burroughs wrote a book. The What If? Book of Questions is a quick and simple read — but it’s hardly quick and simple. The thought-provoking, inspirational work gets you thinking in random, odd ways. You think about things you’ve thought of often, and things you never imagined would enter your brain. For example:

What if the most important moment in your life is this one? Can you handle the power it gives you to choose how you will spend the next one?

Westport knows Miggs as a brilliant graphic artist and photographer. He is the go-to guy for designing company and non-profit logos, t-shirts, even the town flag. He is very generous with his pro bono work.

Once again, Miggs’ generosity knows no bounds. Though What If? is still available on Amazon he’s now providing a free digital version. It’s “a way to offer a small distraction and meditation on our current situation.”

Click here to download, at no cost. Then, What If you have your own questions about the crisis? Just click “Comments” below!

Like many of us, Peter Saverine knows the importance of wearing a mask.

His day job is director of development at STAR Lighting the Way. But he may have a second career as a designer.

He created his own (very) inexpensive mask using a cheap coffee filter, 2 rubber bands and scotch tape. Then he let his imagination run wild.

The result is below. Enjoy — and to show off your own creations, email dwoog@optonline.net.

Staples High School 2004 graduate Brittney Levine hosts a podcast: “Be My Neighbor.”

Yesterday, her guest was Rebecca Boas — a neighbor, and a Staples 2005 grad.

What makes this particularly COVID Roundup-worthy is that Rebecca is now Dr. Boas. She’s an assistant professor of medicine at NYU.

These days, she’s very busy. But she took time out of her Sunday to answer all kinds of listeners’ questions about treatment, masks, etc., etc., etc. Click below for the fascinating segment.

Beechwood Arts’ next immersive, interactive event is this Wednesday, April 8 (6 to 7 p.m.). The theme is “Homebodies,” which should resonate with every Westporter. There’s live music, art and special guests. For more information — including how to log in — click the video below.

Still wondering where to order a Passover or Easter meal? Click on the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s 2 great lists of restaurants, grocery stores and markets that may offer them (scroll down on the home page). OneWestport is another site with similar information.

Statewide, CTBites has its own lists too (including a few caterers).

The crowd may be smaller this year. But the food can be as good as ever.

They should call it “Face the Nation Featuring Scott Gottlieb.” For the 2nd straight week — and 3rd time in 4 — the former FDA commissioner was on the CBS Sunday morning show.

Once again, he appeared live from his Westport home. Click below; jump to 5:58 to see our neighbor. (Hat tip: Dennis Jackson)

And finally, an opera singer serenaded residents of a retirement community in Santa Cruz, California. But he wasn’t the only one there who could sing!


Take A Bite Out Of Hunger

As Westport heads toward the holidays, many of us will dine well.

We’ll enjoy meals at fine restaurants, with friends, family and colleagues. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

But it’s not such a great time for our neighbors who are hungry. So, as we eat and drink, we should also look for this logo:

“Hunger Bites” is a month-long campaign to end local hunger. Co-sponsored by Food Rescue US — a national organization (with a strong Westport presence) that moves fresh, usable food that would have been thrown away by restaurants and grocery stores to families that desperately need it — and the CTBites website, the month-long drive is a way to make a donation on your restaurant bill. It goes directly to folks in need.

With the cost of delivery just 5 cents a meal, adding just $1 to your check provides 20 meals.

National board member (and Westporter) Simon Hallgarten notes that this is far below the norm for most food non-profits. Food Rescue US is so efficient because there is no cost of storage or delivery. They crowdsource their volunteers, so there is no direct cost for pickup or delivery.

Participating restaurants in Westport include The Cottage, Jesup Hall, Kawa Ni, Match Burger Lobster, Tarry Lodge, The Whelk and Winfield Coffee & Deli.

We’ve got a lot of choices for great dining over the next few weeks. Those places should be on everyone’s list.

Farmers’ Market Vendors Grow Food — And Businesses

Westport Farmers’ Market asks a lot of its vendors. In return for space at the Imperial Avenue lot every Thursday from May to November, the nearly 3 dozen sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, coffee, meat and more must post about the market every week on social media; adhere to certain sign regulations, and participate in the market’s community service programs.

So, director Lori Cochran wondered last year, what was the Farmers’ Market doing to help those vendors?

Looking around, the energetic, forward-thinking director realized that while some businesses like Nothin’ But had shot to the top — thanks to solid financing and a strong business model, the maker of granola bars and cookies now sells in airports and to Whole Foods — others just moseyed along.

“They’re beautiful at creating what they do,” Lori says. “But they don’t have the time or the expertise to really grow.”

Westport Farmers' Market vendors are great at what they do. Director Lori Cochran wants to help them expand.

Westport Farmers’ Market vendors are great at what they do. Director Lori Cochran wants to help them expand.

Lori has a soft spot for mom-and-pop companies. “Our country was founded on them. And they’re still crucial.”

This year, Westport Farmers’ Market rolled out a 3-pronged educational program. Sessions are held at Sugar & Olives, the very cool restaurant/bar/ cooking school/event space just over the Norwalk line.

Sessions last 2-3 hours, and include general information followed by private, 1-on-1 meetings. Of course, they’re free.

Fairfield County Bank offered a session on finance. Topics included loans and micro-financing. It was so successful, a follow-up focusing on taxes is planned for fall.

An insurance broker will talk about changes in that industry, while next month the Cohen and Wolf law firm discusses ideas like whether a vendor should become an LLC.

September brings a session on social media, courtesy of CT Bites’ Stephanie Webster.

The Westport Farmers' Market is held every Thursday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) at the Imperial Avenue commuter parking lot.

The Westport Farmers’ Market is held every Thursday (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) at the Imperial Avenue commuter parking lot.

All presentations are pro bono. “These people are great,” Lori says. “They come in as educators, not salesmen. They understand our mission: helping the community. And the community includes our vendors, not just our shoppers.”

She has watched with joy as the Farmers’ Market businesses learn about — well, business.

“They’re talking to each other, and sharing ideas,” she says. “Our vendors are forming a real community.

“This is such a simple program. But it’s actually accomplishing a lot.”

CT Bites. Chew On That One.

If you’ve lived here a while, you know that in many ways, Connecticut bites. (Just check out the comments here last week, about a survey placing our state 49th in a poll of places residents would most like to move out of.)

But we do have a fairly robust (and ever-changing) food scene. And CT Bites covers it like guac on nachos.

The clever, wide-ranging, sometimes-irreverent-but-always-interesting look at food in Fairfield County includes information on restaurants, recipes, cooking classes, food festivals, wine tastings, chef comings and goings, teaching kids to cook, family-friendly spots, gadgets, and of course a chance to “dish” on whatever readers want.

A typical CT Bites page includes plenty of information.

A typical CT Bites page includes plenty of information.

Now, editor-in-chief/founder Stephanie Webster and executive editor Amy Kundrat have collaborated on a handsome — and very handy — new book.

It’s called Extraordinary Recipes from Fairfield County Chef’s Table, and it features recipes from over 50 excellent restaurants.

Westport is well represented:

  • Bobby Q’s (Brisket and Beef Burnt Ends; Pit Beans)
  • DaPietro’s (Ravioli Alla Campagna with Salsa on Burro a Nocciole)
  • LeFarm (Burrata with Sweet & Sour Summer Squash; Brined Pork Chops with Corn & Pepper Chow-chow)
  • Matsu Sushi (Ruby Angel; Salmon Confetti Salad)
  • Michele’s Pies (Apple Raspberry Crumb Pie)
  • Saugatuck Grain & Grape (New Beginning)
  • SoNo Baking Company & Cafe (Caramel-Apple Tart)
  • Tarry Lodge Enoteca Pizzeria (Pizza Margherita)
  • Terrain Garden Café (Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Apple-Corn Bread Waffles)
  • The Whelk (Shrimp & Grits with Jalapeño Butter & Tennessee Country Ham; Seared Scallops with Farro, Corn, Beans & Bacon)

There’s also a recipe from The Dressing Room (Goat Burgers with Bacon & Apple Marmalade), which goes to show that putting together a book takes a loooong time.

Clockwise from upper left: the book; Amy Kundrat; Stephanie Webster; Sugar & Olives' pancakes.

Clockwise from upper left: the book; Amy Kundrat; Stephanie Webster; Sugar & Olives’ pancakes.

The recipes are great. The photography is fantastic. But there’s much more.

Each restaurant and chef gets an in-depth write-up. Sidebars cover food charities; farms and farm dinners; “diners and dives”; coffee roasters; frozen treats; burgers; food trucks; juice bars; noodle bars; pizza — even train station eats (who knew?).

Whether you make Seared Ahi Tuna and Lime-Chutney Polenta with White Chocolate, Jalapeño & Cilantro Sauce (Chocopologie) — or just reservations — for dinner, this book deserves a place at your table.

Martha Stewart: “Eat” your heart out.

(To purchase a copy, click here. This Saturday — May 17, 1 p.m. — Stephanie Webster and Amy Kundret will be at the Westport Barnes & Noble for a book-signing and Q-and-A. They’ll be joined by chef Jon Vaast of Norwalk’s Sugar & Olives, who will bring his Chocolate Pancakes with Bourbon Whipped Cream recipe.)

4 Jewish Women Walk Into A Google Hangout…

…and 8 weeks later, come out with a cookbook.

But bubbe, not just any cookbook. This one is 4 Bloggers Dish Passover: Modern Twists on Traditional Flavors. The recipes cover the whole megillah — traditional, vegetarian, gluten-free; appetizers, soups and salads, main courses, sides, desserts. From beet latke with cucumber jalapeño relish, through “nuts for you” chicken schnitzel, to creamy vanilla cheesecake with matzah nut crust, these are not your grandmother’s recipes.

Though she would be very, very proud.

And– we have to kvell — one of the 4 authors is longtime Westporter Liz Rueven.

Liz Rueven (Photo/Emily Hamilton Laux)

Liz Rueven (Photo/Emily Hamilton Laux)

She got her 1st taste of writing at the Westport Writers’ Workshop. She contributed to CTBites. Then nearly 3 years ago she began Kosher Like Me. Like many who keep kosher at home and honor its rules in restaurants by eating vegetarian, she craved “exhilarating, varied” choices — not always the same ol’ salmon.

Her recipes, restaurant and product reviews, personal profiles and calendar listings drew a devoted audience. Not all keep kosher — or are even Jewish. Many readers just love Rueven’s great vegetarian style.

(It sounds meshugenah, but Relish.com named her 1 of the top 5 Jewish bloggers, thanks to her post-Thanksgivukkah recipe for beer-braised turkey tacos. It was to die for.)

Kosher Like Me also catapulted Rueven into the wide world of food bloggers (and the smaller niche of kosher and vegetarian writers). There she met Sarah Lasry of the Patchke Princess (“my crazy kosher life!”), Whitney Fisch of Jewhungry (“recipes and stories from my shvitzin’ kitchen”), and Amy Kritzer of What Jew Wanna Eat (Henny Youngman they ain’t.).

Through a series of circumstances, the women decided to collaborate on a Passover cookbook. But they only had 8 weeks, from the moment they agreed to the deadline.

Oy veys mir!

Liz Rueven - coverWorking through Google Hangouts — they’ve never all been in the same space together — they wrote and edited feverishly. They were brutally honest with each other. If any woman couldn’t stand the heat, she would have left the kitchen.

But none did. The result — an e-book, fitting today’s fast-moving world — hit #1 in 2 Kindle categories. (Jewish Foods and Kosher Cooking. You had to ask.)

Some of Rueven’s favorite contributions are a slow-roasted salmon with easy beet relish appetizer; a French onion soup with cheesy matzah crackers, and a cheesy spinach matzah lasagna. (The lasagna uses local greens, and is topped with a traditional French sauce to stay moist. “Matzah can get pretty dry,” Rueven notes.)

Every recipe, from all 4 women, offers a twist. Even the cover shows mini-potato kugels — not the usual heavier-than-a-bowling-ball variety.

So which of Rueven’s recipes will she make for her own Seder?


“I’m going to Israel,” she says. “My in-laws are there. They do it all. I can rest and relax. It will be great!”

(Click here for sample recipes. But then click here to buy 4 Bloggers Dish Passover from Amazon. Hey, big spender: It’s $3.99!)

Cheesy matzah lasagna -- mmmmm! (Photo/Liz Rueven)

Cheesy matzah lasagna — mmmmm! (Photo/Liz Rueven)




The 3rd Time’s The Charm

Actually, the 1st 2 are pretty charming as well.

Bill Taibe — owner of Le Farm and The Whelk — will open his 3rd Westport restaurant early this summer.

CT Bites reports that the site is the short-lived Bistro 88 space in Bridge Square — formerly Peter’s Bridge Market. It’s just a few steps away from The Whelk in Saugatuck Center.

Bill Taibe serves up octopus and squid at The Whelk.

Bill Taibe serves up octopus and squid at The Whelk.

Taibe — much beloved for his fierce dedication to locally sourced farms and distributors — told the food blog that the new spot will “take its culinary and design inspiration” from Japanese pubs. The emphasis is on small dishes, and great drinks.

He called it an Asian version of The Whelk — including a communal table — offering a mix of Japanese and Chinese dishes. You can also buy a bottle, write your name on it and store it for later.

Saugatuck has been on the culinary map for a couple of years now. In June, a new kitchen warms up — and the area will be even hotter.


Fine Dining, Fine Dunking

The blogosphere is filled with Westport dining news.

CTBites — the go-to site for Fairfield County foodies — recently profiled Fortina.

Sure, it’s in Armonk, New York. But area diners will go anywhere for “Italian food, cooked simply, in wood fired ovens” that is elevated “with a thoughtful culinary execution and a familiar, if familial, disarming vibe.”

What makes this just-over-the-border place “06880” worthy — besides its “rustic hipster vibe” — are its owners. Two of the 3 — Rob Krauss and John Nealon — are Staples grads.

They met at a place not normally associated with fine dining: the Wrecker football field. They’ve been good friends ever since.

John Nealon, Christian Petroni and Rob Krauss are the masterminds behind Fortina. (Photo/CTBites)

John Nealon, Christian Petroni and Rob Krauss are the masterminds behind Fortina. (Photo/CTBites)

CTBites says that Rob, John and non-Stapleite Christian Petroni seems “more like a brotherhood” than a partnership. And “this feeling translates across the restaurant’s service team and into its dining room.” All 3 formerly worked at Barcelona (whose co-founder is Staples graduate Sasha Mahr-Batuz).

Krauss says, “There is a complexity to the simplicity.” CTBites believes that applies to the restaurant’s team, as well as the menu. They are “an extended family of sorts that works equally hard at the food as they do cultivating the culture at Fortina.”

Meanwhile, over on Sunday Diners — the blog about Fairfield County’s best breakfast spots, written by 5th grader Alex D’Adamo — the buzz was all about Cocoa Michelle.

Alex says the newest addition to Saugatuck Center makes you feel “like you’re in your own home. Everyone is really friendly, and it was filled with customers including a lot of kids. (She also had Wiki-Stix which kids love.)” He calls the food “exceptional!”

Alex D'Adamo and Cocoa Michelle's hot chocolate. (Photo/Sunday Diners)

Alex D’Adamo and Cocoa Michelle’s hot chocolate. (Photo/Sunday Diners)

Alex got “the kick” he was looking for from the pulled pork sweet potato hash. But he saves his biggest rave for the hot chocolate. And — either because he is an important blogger, or because she is just a really nice woman — owner Michelle Weber gave him “some of their really thick chocolate, the kind you usually dunk churros in.”

Alex’s father had a 3-egg omelet, with crushed rosemary-marble potatoes, buttered brioche with goat cheese, and fines herbes. “He loved it,” Alex reports. 

On his 5-star scale, Alex gives Cocoa Michelle 5’s for every category: food, service, looks and “bathroom.”

CTBites did not grade Fortina. But we are sure its bathroom is as cool as its food, too.

CT Bites Invites: Something New To Chew On

When Ellen Bowen launched the Southern Connecticut territory for Living Social — the website offering daily discounts to subscribers — she liked working with restaurant owners to design enticing deals.

But, she soon realized, the website got a lot better deal than the merchants.

“It brings in traffic,” she says of the discounts. “But most people were spending only the value of the coupon. And there wasn’t a lot of repeat business.”

Her now job — event curator at CTBites.com — is much more satisfying. The Westporter has helped site founder Stephanie Webster move beyond the wildly popular restaurant reviews.

Amy Kundrat, Stephanie Webster and Ellen Bowen (from left) represent CT Bites at last fall's Blues,Views & BBQ Fest in Westport.

Ellen and Stephanie have introduced CT Bites Invites. Each week, the website offers readers a special culinary event. Because Ellen works closely with owners and chefs, the results benefit everyone: the restaurants, those who work there, and Fairfield County’s enormous population of “foodies.”

“We get very creative,” Ellen says. For example, Bobby Q’s paired great barbecue dishes with craft beers.

“You can’t just walk in and ask for that,” she notes. “It’s insider access.”

There’s insider access to chefs too. A 10:30 cooking demonstration by DaPietro’s Pietro Scotti was followed by a special 3-course lunch.

Pietro Scotti of DaPietro's wows his CT Bites Invites guests.

Beyond the great food and behind-the-scenes activity, Ellen says, “It’s very social. People invite their friends. And it’s really creative.”

Since CT Bites Invites began in November (with a pairing of exotic tacos and various tequilas), every event has sold out. Some are so popular, extra dates have been added.

Feedback (ho ho) has been great. And Ellen is having a good time too.

“I’ve learned a lot about food, chefs and restaurants,” she says.

One example: Iberico, a very rare ham. It comes from special pigs in Spain. Raised only on acorns, they’re “happy and totally stress-free,” Ellen says. “Even when they’re slaughtered, there’s music playing.”

The result is “the most tender and delicious ham you can imagine.”

(Also, very expensive.)

Barcelona Restaurant paired Iberico ham with cheeses, wine and sherry. “It was very successful — and educational,” says Ellen.

On January 25, Bonda in Fairfield features an evening menu tasting with chef Jamie Cooper. Participants will give insights — and the results will help shape his next menu.

“For a foodie, learning about chefs’ training, watching them in action, talking back and forth — it’s heaven,” Ellen says.

“This goes way beyond ‘honey, where should we go for dinner tonight?'”

Good food, conversation and education await CT Bites Invites guests.