If you’ve been following along with us either here on the site or on our social media pages, you know by now that this year, What’s on the Menu? was invited to be a part of the 2015 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival presented by Serendipity. I fully admit to being quite excited about this. While, despite the name, WOTM isn’t really a ‘food’ site, I do pride myself in letting people know about happenings in Stamford restaurants, bars and events. Maybe you’ve seen our new tagline on Facebook (thanks to DJ Mark—aka Dancin’ Mark—Smith for coming up with it), “What’s on the Menu is literally a gourmet menu of tasty events happening on any given night in Stamford.” To be invited to such an amazing gathering of chefs, mixologists and beyond? Well, I was more than honored to be asked and certainly hope to have other opportunities such as this one in the future. So enough of that…let me tell you about this fantastic day…
Held at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park on the waterfront in Greenwich, we were welcomed by the nicest people and the greatest weather. As we passed through the gates, white tents greeted us proudly. As we walked around taking it all in, the Celebrity Cruises rep stopped me and asked me to sit “in the big chair”. I kid you not, this was a humongous chair! Ever want to feel like a kid again? This did it. It’s always great to start off a day with a bit of humor. After getting my first photo out of the way, it was off to the tasting tent itself where over 150 food, beverage and other vendors awaited us.
That’s me in the BIG chair! :)
Every kind of food and drink imaginable was available to us throughout the day. In the span of the first ten minutes that I was in the Grand Tastings tent, I tasted gourmet beef jerky, champagne ketchup, absinthe chocolates and a Bloody Maria. As the day progressed I would go on to try pulled pork, smoked sausage, prize winning hamburger sliders and my first ever taste of buffalo meat tacos.
Representing WOTM and our motto of “Keeping it Local”, I had walked into Saturday’s event with the mindset that I would like to check out as many Stamford’s vendor tables as I could. I’m proud to say, Stamford was very well represented at this gathering.
Starting with the gentleman from Barcelona Stamford who was busy hand carving meat for each guest. I do apologize for not getting his name, but what a welcoming guy he was! I’m a fan of Barcelona (fiddlehead ferns are an addiction of mine) and it’s always nice to know that their people are just as friendly off-site as when you dine with them.
Pinot’s Palette was the next stop on my ‘Stamford tour’. I’m sorry to say I did not get to meet anyone from there, but they had the easels all set up and folks painting up a storm at each and every one. What a great souvenir to take home! I then got to shake hands with the nice gentleman from Tomatillo Taco Joint from the Stamford location on Broad St. handing out the handcrafted tacos. Have to say, their setup was as welcoming as their smiles.
Fun at the Pinot’s Palette tables.
Now, as someone who is a fan of BBQ, let me tell you how happy I was to see that both Dinosaur BBQ and Brother Jimmy’s were there in the Grill Master Party tent! I was able to get the pulled pork in both spots and I could have easily set up a chair at both locations and just ate there the whole day. The ‘Dino’ guys were very much in synch with each other and I’d like to say thanks to the Brother Jimmy’s girls who were serving that day for talking to me for a few minutes. Considering the lines, this was hard to do. But they were so outgoing and were smiling the whole time!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a particular Stamford-based company who was also in the Grill Master Party tent. Barbecue and beer go together SO well, so imagine my happiness to turn and see Stamford’s own, Half Full Brewery serving up their best. I was able to try both their Toasted Amber and Pumpkin ales as well as have a chat with Brian who was just the nicest guy. This is a man who loves what he does and it was so great of him to take the time to talk to me. There is a lot happening at the brewery, so please make sure to click their link to see a list of events and to sign up for their email alerts as well!
There was so much to take in during the day. The Empire City Casino tent had the roulette wheels spinning and hosted the 2015 Top Bartender Showdown hosted by Greg “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate, there was the Tacos and Tequilla tent which had, just what it says…tacos and tequila. This is where I tried the above mentioned buffalo meat taco. There was the Cocktail Demo Tent, there were wine and beer parings, celebrity book signings and for the VIP’s, the Big Easy dinner with Chef Alex Guarnachelli and food by Stamford’s own, OnTheMarc Events! And of course, the big stage where later in the evening, CMA & Grammy winning band Little Big Town would perform for the crowd.
Speaking of celebrities, I think my favorite event of the day was the Budweiser and Burgers Challenge. The emcee for this grilled beef on a bun extravaganza was Travel Channel’s Adam Richman and the judges for the challenge were…from Food Network: Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnachelli and Terry French as well as Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle and the one and only celeb chef, Rocco DiSpirito. These folks got to eat the best burgers around and I didn’t envy them their job of trying to decide which one was the best of the best. But when all was said and done??? Plan B was crowned the Best Burger in the Budweiser and Burgers Challenge!
Celebrity Judges at the Budweiser and Bugers Challenge
One more thing before I move on…this event is called the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival and so far, I’ve only really talked about the food. I do need to mention a few ‘spirits’ before all is said and done. Now, I’ve mentioned the Bloody Maria (for those who are unaware, it’s a Bloody Mary made with tequila instead of Vodka) and the beer from Half Full Brewery…here are a few other things I sampled: an incredible white wine from Angelini Wines, a new chocolate-mint Vodka from Iceberg Vodka (which tasted like a peppermint pattie and can already see putting some in hot cocoa this holiday season) and my favorite drink of the day—the Cow Wow. What is this concoction you ask? It’s Butterscotch Schnapps mixed with ‘cereal milk’. They actually take milk, pour it over corn flakes, brown sugar and cinnamon and let it soak for hours. Then drain it and use the milk in the drink. I can’t express how awesome this drink was!
There is still so much I could write about this day and know that I’ve forgotten to mention quite a bit. However, I don’t want to end this article without mentioning some people who really helped to make the GWFF run as smoothly as it does. I really need to do a special shout-out to both the volunteers and the Greenwich PD. They did a wonderful job, were super friendly and kept smiles on their faces throughout. And to the couple who selfishly gave up their food to two of Greenwich’s finest after they waited online only to find the vendor had run out of food? Outstanding and really, I couldn’t ask for a better story to come out of this whole day. The two officers I spoke with were so grateful and touched that anyone would do that.
One thing that really made this day so special is that the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival is also a fundraiser for the Hole in the Wall Camp. Founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, this group is dedicated to giving seriously ill children and their families a ‘different kind of healing.’ For more information on how you can help, volunteer or donate to this awesome cause: http://www.holeinthewallgang.org/
Before I leave, I’d like to say a special thank you to Shelley K. for asking me to attend this event and also, to all those who made the 2015 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival possible thank you as well. It was an incredible day and one that I was so, so happy to be a part of. Until next year…
Alex Guarnachelli and myself!
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#GWFF2015 #GWFF #serendipity #serendipitysocial #wotm #WOTMNation #keepitlocal #greenwichwineandfood
WELCOME TO FALL STAMFORD!!!
So if you are the type to enjoy good weather, run/walk/get the kids outside, there are a lot of events coming this weekend to tell you about.
Starting tomorrow, Thursday 24th: 6th Annual United at the Cove 5k run/walk; NamasDay 5th Annual Yoga Party at Harbor Point (please see Harbor Point FB page for more info on this)
Saturday: St. Jude run/walk at Harbor Point, Stamford CT; Spartan Kids Race at Mill River Collaborative
Sunday: Liver Life Walk at Harbor Point; 3rd Annual One Step Closer to Home Walk-a-Thon; 3rd Annual Miles for a Mission 5k Run/Walk and Dogapalooza
For info on the races both this weekend and beyond, please check outFleet Feet Sports Stamford‘s Local Races page:http://www.fleetfeetstamford.com/races/other-local-races
Remember to keep up with daily postings on our Facebook and Twitter pages–and follow us on Instagram as well–never know what we’ll post!
Hope everyone had a great Summer and (despite the heat) you are getting ready for Pumpkin-everything season. There is a lot on the horizon as far as happenings around our fair city…football season is here, Arts and Crafts on Bedford is coming up and before you know it, I’ll be posting the annual Halloween Happenings list! Incredible to think that it’s that time of the year already.
All that aside, there is a definite reason for this post. A little unorthodox for this site, but you will see where I’m headed in a moment…
If you know anything about WOTM, you know that for the last few years we have been all about “Keeping it Local”. We are Stamford proud. We are also very much about helping publicize local fundraising events. (as you may have noticed on our FB and Twitter pages) We have an event to tell you about now that has become an annual tradition around this area.
The 5th Annual Greenwich Wine and Food Festival will be held this year from Sept 23rd thru the 26th. This event has been growing each year in both popularity and prestige. Celebrity chefs take part in special dinner presentations each evening, tastings will be going on with offerings from 150+ food and beverage vendors from all around our area. There will be food battles, book signings, crafted burgers, taco madness, grill masters doing their thing and so much more! Also, the final evening will culminate in the LIVE music performance of CMA Award Winning band, Little Big Town!!
This Festival, presented by Serendipity Magazine as we mentioned, is also a fundraiser. And this year, the event will be benefiting two wonderful organizations. The first is Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. This group helps sick children and their families as they go through the illnesses together. They provide “a different kind of healing” and if you’d like more information on this organization, please visit their website: www.holeinthewallgang.org The second is The Greenwich Parks & Recreation Scholarship Fund which (we are taking this right from the GWFF2015 website): provides income eligible families exposure to positive experiences, and active lifestyles, as well as opportunities to gain and refine life skills, and to develop positive personal and social assets. 100% of the donations to this fund go directly to support scholarships for Greenwich’s youth.
So why are we telling you about an event that is happening in Greenwich? Well again, this is a wonderful fundraising event and are more than happy to let you know about it. Also, if you head to the festival’s website, you will see that Stamford is very much represented here! Chefs and vendors from local Stamford restaurants and businesses will be participating and how wonderful that is.
Also, we are very, very proud to announce that yours truly will be a member of the press at this year’s festival! I cannot tell you what this means to me to be able to be a part of this amazing event and would like to publicly thank the organizers for inviting What’s on the Menu? to be involved in such a gathering.
Without further ado, we give you the 2015 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival (and website!). Hope to see you there…it’s going to be a great time for two great causes. And yes folks, we are certainly Keeping it Local!
2015 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival <–all info, tickets and more can be found here.
#wotm #keepitlocal #wotmnation #greenwichwineandfood #GWFF2015
So it’s been a while since I’ve posted here on the site…but if you follow on our FB/Twitter/Instagram…you know I’ve been posting up a storm on there!!
As for the site, just updated the Sunday Brunch page. While we’re about to get a heat wave, that doesn’t mean you can’t cool down with some mimosas, fresh food and in some places, BEATS!
Check out the list of restaurants–I’ve added their menu links so you’ll know the best places for you to go. And one spot is even doing Beats and Brunch. ;) Sunday Brunch Stamford-Style
Please be sure to follow us on social media. I post several times a day on FB & Twitter and you don’t want to miss what’s going on: http://facebook.com/onthemenuct http://twitter.com/onthemenuct and on Instagram: http://instagram.com/onthemenuct.com
Thanks for Keeping it Local Stamford–4 1/2 years and counting!!!!!!!!!!! Love you guys!!!
#WOTMNation #wotm #keepitlocal #loveourfollowers
We’ve been posting what we now call “quick-hit” happenings on our Facebook page nightly.
What do we mean by ‘quick-hit’?
Well, we used to spend HOURS each night, trying to find what was going on all around Stamford to post a nightly happenings list. Frankly, it got to be a little much.
However, after giving it a break for months and getting feedback from our loyal followers, we did want to start posting something again. Especially with the busy season ahead.
So now we grab about 5 happenings, in no specific order that we know are going on around town. This way it gives you guys and idea of where to go, maybe inspires you to go out or try a place you’ve never been and also, maybe you didn’t know a place was having live music or a dj!
Be sure to ‘like’ our FB page to get updates on nightly happenings and so much more.
Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram too!! :D
Keep it Local Stamford!!!
#wotm #keepitlocal #stamfordct #WOTMNation
Hey guys, we’re sure this list won’t be complete, but we wanted to put a little something together to get you in the festive spirit. Keep in mind, some of these celebrations start early and some, the party changes every hour. (oh just tell the boss you’re leaving work early today) For the most part, we’re going to paste in just what they wrote as to not cause any confusion…so ladies and gentlemen…start your livers!
(and we encourage designated drivers and the use of taxis and uber)
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List is in no particular order:
Lola’s Mexican Kitchen Stamford: Headquarters for every Cinco de Mayo! All day celebration complete with DJ Chevy…please see their link for more info: http://www.lolasstamford.com/site/cinco_de_mayo.php
Cinco de Mayo-ish:
KEEP IT LOCAL STAMFORD!!!
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Kentucky Derby and Fight Night Venues in Stamford
Hudson Grille CT: Derby party complete with the wearing of the hats! Best three hats win a prize and there will be champagne specials flowing.
Brother Jimmy’s Stamford: Showing the whole Triple Crown and doing $8 mint juleps all three races! And don’t forget your big hat!!
Cask Republic Stamford: Bulleit Party from 3-7pm $6 Bulleit Juleps, $12 Bulleit Flights. Dress to impress!
The Brick House Bar & Grill: Will be showing the Derby by day and the fight by night! Fight info: $20 cover includes a free pint of bud, bud light or shock top. Also, be sure to check out the Fight Night Burger- melted cheddar-applewood smoked bacon- avocado-fried pickles- lettuce- vine ripe tomato- chipotle mayo on an everything bagel style brioche bun. Goes great with beer!
FIGHT ONLY–all have a $20 unless otherwise noted–best to call ahead to make sure there is a spot for you:
Tiernans Bar: Call for Details and to reserve your spot. 1-203-353-8566
Buffalo Wild Wings: Be sure to call for info, (we believe) doors open at 8:30pm for this: (203) 324-9453
Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Cafe: (203) 324-9453
Brick House Bar & Grill: 203-353-8892
Sign of the Whale: Tickets can be purchased ONLINE athttps://buyblitztickets.com/PMO9P. Space is limited, advanced purchase encouraged. Also, they have VIP packages available on the ticket site. (203) 883-8282
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Wanted to put a little list of some St. Patrick’s Day happenings for you guys. While this will in no way be a complete list, we wanted to give you a couple of ideas on where to you can go for LIVE music, drink specials and more!
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TIGIN: (taken right from their FB page to prevent mistakes) Doors open at 9am. Free breakfast buffet: 9-10am and $5 breakfast buffet until 11am. LIVE music and $10 cover charge starts at 2pm. 21+ over starts at 1pm. The Last Hoorah plays LIVE from 7-11pm!
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MURPHY’S TOWNHOUSE: Doors open at 11am. Celtic Fare from the kitchen: Lamb Sliders, Corned Beef on Rye, ‘Sir Guinness” Beef Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Bangers and Mash! Then LIVE music with The Irish Band taking the stage from 6-10pm!! https://www.facebook.com/MurphysTownhouseCafe
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TIERNAN’S: The Tub Band plays LIVE tonight at 8pm! https://www.facebook.com/events/612337828902472/
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BRICK HOUSE: St. Patrick’s Drink Specials–$8 Green Bud Light Yards & $4 Jameson Shots! Plus, DJ Shamrock starts at 6pm!! https://www.facebook.com/brick.house.16?fref=ts
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FIDDLER’S GREEN: (again, taking from FB) The Lock City Thieves and Headgun take over Fiddlers Green for St. Paddy’s! Entry is free and there will be a $5 ticket raffle for your chance to win prizes! https://www.facebook.com/fiddlers.green.1293?fref=ts
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PLAN B: Karaoke night at Plan B tonight with your host Chris Jack! Starts at 9:30pm. Great night for hoisting a few and singing some Irish drinking songs!! https://www.facebook.com/events/336971373173169/
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Ok so that’s what we have for you. Again, we know this list isn’t complete but it’s a few places we found with stuff going on–although it IS St. Patrick’s Day so we have no doubt that no matter where you go, you can find some fun!
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Now, just in case you have too much fun, here are some numbers for local cab companies (for those who don’t use UBER):
Eveready Taxi: 203-655-8779
Stamford Taxi: 203-325-2611
USA Taxi: 203-487-0007
Leave the cars home and be safe–the cops WILL be out tonight!!
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Have a great time–SLAINTE!! :)
Hey guys, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s been one hell of a Winter around here.
And while we all are trying to just to make it to Spring, I thought I’d take a moment to post some info for you guys on where you can find out about local issues regarding local snow removal, weather advisories, school closings, warming centers locations and times, all the stuff you probably have memorized by now but should have handy for the rest of the season.
Thank you to the Stamford Government site for much of the information:
www.StamfordCT.gov — weather advisories, emergency info, updated news and more can be found right on their home page
Snow removal information: http://www.stamfordct.gov/road-maintenance/pages/snow-removal
Local Radio Stations/News sites to keep you updated on weather, school closings, etc:
Fairfield County Public Radio (WSHU) – 1400 AM (WSTC)
WSHU Stamford Radio – 91.1 FM
WGCH Radio – 1490 AM
Fox Radio 95.9 FM
News 12 Connecticut, Channel 12
For local closings both school and otherwise: http://closings.news12.com/school_closings.jsp?region=CT
To Prepare for and to Respond to Severe Weather visit:
Be Prepared Stamford: http://bepreparedstamford.org/ColdWeather.htm
CT Dept. of Public Health Cold Weather Safety Tips: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3115&q=472542
FEMA’s Ready.Gov: www.ready.gov
National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
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Hang in there, we’ll get through it. In the meantime, lots of cocoa and be careful on the roads!