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Williamsburg Snack Shack re-opening for season tomorrow

Yes thx-I was very pleasantly surprised when I drove by and found it open for the season last Thursday! Not so happy when they told me they closed at 7 and it was 7:12 however. Luckily I was able to return the next day and noticed that instead of the usual alternating scallops/clams on the weekends, they had BOTH!

They also have a website now.

http://www.williamsburgsnackbar.com/

Apr 22, 2013
gunksny in Southern New England

Thoughts on the Pioneer Valley

I really enjoy Joe's but maybe that's because of all the time I've spent there in the past. - everytime I go it feels like I've gone back in time as its hasn't changed a bit in the last 3 decades since I've been going. Pizza is good, (agree that the meaty ones can be greasy), as are the house salad, mussels and calamari.

Also have had a few meals at Hope and Olive in Greenfield and really enjoyed it. Kid friendly, solid beer list and very high quality and well prepared food.

As far as ice cream goes, I used to think that Herrell's was the only game in town, but we recently went to Flayvors at Cook Farm and it was excellent - less $$, more spacious and you can go pet the cows afterward.

Oct 10, 2012
gunksny in Southern New England

Williamsburg Snack Shack re-opening for season tomorrow

Thanks! I love whole bellies, but I've never had the scallops and they've gotten rave reviews so I'm looking forward to checking them out!

May 31, 2012
gunksny in Southern New England

Williamsburg Snack Shack re-opening for season tomorrow

Hi- Anyone know if the Snack Shack is serving fried scallops or whole belly clams this weekend (June 2)?

I think they alternate weekends so maybe someone ate or drove by there last weekend and took note??

May 31, 2012
gunksny in Southern New England

Good place for lunch with kids around Deerfield? (Perfect Pint / Hope and Olive are current contenders)

Hi - will be headed to the Deerfield area this weekend with 5 yr old children. Have heard great things about both the Perfect Pint and Hope and Olive in Greenfield? Any preference of one over the other for lunch with kids? Or any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Feb 01, 2012
gunksny in Southern New England

Where are Asian grocery stores near Stamford, CT?

The Oriental Market on Hope St (CVS Plaza across from Hope Pizza) is still there, although I have no idea how it stays in business. They have a very old, meager selection of mostly packaged and canned foods at astronomical prices along with an assortment of gifts and dvds. Pine tree car air fresheners hanging above the food doesn't build confidence either..

Kam Sen in White Plains is the best Asian market I found in the area, but its a bit of a drive from FC.

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Hope Pizza Restaurant
230 Hope St, Stamford, CT 06906

Nov 08, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Five Guys Burgers & Fries coming to Stamford !!

I think 'sucks' is a little strong, but in general I agree its not worthy of all the hype. I like the fries there and its definitely better than the only other option in the area which is BK. I'd still like to see In & Out move east.

Oct 12, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Five Guys Burgers & Fries coming to Stamford !!

Five Guys Burgers & Fries, will open their newest location at High Ridge near the Merritt as early as next Summer (2012)

Supposedly its going in between the A&P and Global which is going to make traffic in that area even worse than it already is.

http://blog.ctnews.com/lunchbreak/201...

Oct 12, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Bulk Foods in Fairfield County?

Thanks. I guess there is also Ms. Green's, but still nothing great. For a short while Costco had big bags of organic short grain brown rice , but no longer .... too bad! (They still have organic quinoa however.)

Sep 15, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Bulk Foods in Fairfield County?

Anyone have a good source for Bulk Foods in Fairfield County? I've checked Fairway and Whole foods and haven't been impressed with their pricing. Specifically looking for organic grains/beans.

Thanks!

Sep 15, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

One Saturday night, one Sunday morning in Stamford...

Also consider Bar Rosso (Collaboration between Napa's owner and the chef from Harvest Supper in New Canaan) :

http://www.barrossoct.com/

For a good greasy spoon breakfast, try Joey B's Chili Hub in Cos Cob. I recommend the 'Hacksaw'. They also have a wide assortment of vegetarian, egg white omelets etc for those trying to be healthy.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/joey-bs-famou...

Sep 15, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Is there ANY good Sushi in CT???

+1 for Fin II in Stamford. Atmosphere isn't anything special but the fish is always very fresh.

We recently tried Kokoro in Greenwich which had a more asian fusian style menu and hip atmosphere. It was good but pricey.

Aug 23, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

cocktails Amherst/Northampton?

I haven't spent much time there in quite a while, but the last I was back, we had brunch at a spot in Northampton called the Dirty Truth. Long and narrow with sort of minimalist, hip decor, a short but good menu, and a great list of craft beers (40 taps, lots of bottles!). We were told it gets pretty crowded at night. If you're into craft beer, it doesn't get much better than this.

More reviews here : http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

Aug 23, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Rico's Pizza Stamford CT, a Kinder, Gentler Colony?

Pics :

Jul 14, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Rico's Pizza Stamford CT, a Kinder, Gentler Colony?

We ordered in from Rico's last week at the office. I was shocked when I opened the box and found what looked exactly like a Colony Pie - but wait, these were paid for by credit card AND delivered - I was confused. Upon further research, I discovered that the rumor is that this place was recently opened by former Colony employees. Apparently they weren't shy about taking the entire pizza recipe, process and menu with them.

The pies are very very similar. But, there is something about them that isn't exactly like Colony. The dough and crust seem slightly soggier and the tops a touch more cooked. Maybe its the boxes they come in. I haven't eaten in house at Rico's. That will be the true test.

All in all a very good copy of Colony and the fact that they deliver and take credit cards is a huge plus far outweighing any minor shortcomings in the pizza.

Jul 14, 2011
gunksny in Southern New England

Confirmed Dead Product List (What ever happened to.... Dept.)

So artificially delicious out of the bottle from the vending machine as a kid - FANTA RED CREAM SODA :

May 14, 2010
gunksny in General Topics

Haagen Dazs Five: high overrun?

ALL varieties (Regular, Reserve, Five + bars) on sale now at Shop Rite for $1.66 each. NO limit. Nice!

I tried the Passion Fruit Five - nice tart flavor and very creamy. Not my favorite, but very good.

May 14, 2010
gunksny in General Topics

Oh Boy Stamford...BIG NEWS!

From their website :

The store will be located in the Harbor Point Development of Stamford, at
the intersection of Market and Canal Street, just a minute from I95. Slated
to open in fall 2010 this will be the biggest and best Fairway to date.

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Harbor Point
Harbor Point Rd, Cummaquid, MA 02637

May 14, 2010
gunksny in Southern New England

Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts Food Eating Challenges

Feb 18, 2010
gunksny in General Tristate Archive

Stew Leonard's vs. Fairway

Agreed - no contest.

The ONLY thing that might be better at Stews is their fresh mozzarella. I cannot wait until Fairway opens in Stamford.

Much better selection at Fairway - better prices on most everything - especially produce.

Dec 21, 2009
gunksny in Southern New England

Source for Black Truffle Oil in Fairfield County?

Thanks for the input everyone. Sadly, I ran across this archived article from the NYT in my search :

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/din...

Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles
By DANIEL PATTERSON

A TRUFFLE by any other name may smell as sweet, but what if that name is 2,4-dithiapentane? All across the country, in restaurants great and small, the “truffle” flavor advertised on menus is increasingly being supplied by truffle oil. What those menus don’t say is that, unlike real truffles, the aroma of truffle oil is not born in the earth. Most commercial truffle oils are concocted by mixing olive oil with one or more compounds like 2,4-dithiapentane (the most prominent of the hundreds of aromatic molecules that make the flavor of white truffles so exciting) that have been created in a laboratory; their one-dimensional flavor is also changing common understanding of how a truffle should taste.

When I discovered truffle oil as a chef in the late 1990’s, I was thrilled. So much flavor, so little expense. I suppose I could have given some thought to how an ingredient that cost $60 an ounce or more could be captured so expressively in an oil that sold for a dollar an ounce. I might have wondered why the price of the oils didn’t fluctuate along with the price of real truffles; why the oils of white and black truffles cost the same, when white truffles themselves were more than twice as expensive as black; or why the quality of oils didn’t vary from year to year like the natural ingredients. But I didn’t. Instead I happily used truffle oil for several years (even, embarrassingly, recommending it in a cookbook), until finally a friend cornered me at a farmers’ market to explain what I had should have known all along. I glumly pulled all my truffle oil from the restaurant shelves and traded it to a restaurant down the street for some local olive oil.

That truffle oil is chemically enhanced is not news. It has been common knowledge among most chefs for some time, and in 2003 Jeffrey Steingarten wrote an article in Vogue about the artificiality of the oils that by all rights should have shorn the industry of its “natural” fig leaf. Instead, the use of truffle oil continued apace. The question is, Why are so many chefs at all price points — who wouldn’t dream of using vanillin instead of vanilla bean and who source their organic baby vegetables and humanely raised meats with exquisite care — using a synthetic flavoring agent?

Part of the answer is that, even now, you will find chefs who are surprised to hear that truffle oil does not actually come from real truffles. “I thought that it was made from dried bits and pieces of truffles steeped in olive oil,” said Vincent Nargi of Cafe Cluny in Manhattan, which made me put down my pen and scratch my head. The flavor of real truffles, especially black, is evanescent, difficult to capture in an oil under the best of circumstances.

But, much as I did for years, chefs want to believe. Stories of sightings of natural truffle oil abound, like a gourmand’s answer to the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. One chef told me in an excited, slightly conspiratorial tone that Jing Tio of Le Sanctuaire in Santa Monica, Calif., who sells high-quality specialty ingredients to chefs, mixed his own oil to order.

This seemed unlikely. When I asked Mr. Tio, he gave me a funny look. “Natural?” he said, rolling his eyes. “Nooo ...”

Truffle companies are secretive, and speaking to their representatives does little to illuminate their production techniques. I was told by Federico Balestra at Sabatino Tartufi that its oil is now “100 percent organic,” made from dried truffles and other ingredients with flavors “similar to truffle.” Vittorio Giordano of Urbani Tartufi called its manufacturing method, though conducted in a laboratory, a “natural process.” He described the essence that his company uses as “something from the truffle that is not the truffle.”

Whereas once truffles were hallmarks of local cooking — black in France and white in Italy — the globalization of cuisine has led to worldwide demand for an ingredient whose output continues to decline. As with some highly collectible wines, the virulent combination of high value and scarcity have created an environment ripe for fraudulent behavior. French agencies conduct chemical analyses of black truffles to ensure that they are not inferior Chinese or Spanish truffles soaked in truffle oil or juice. White truffles from other areas of Italy have been known to show up at the Alba market, summer truffles passed off as winter. But when it comes to the oil, chefs are helping to perpetuate the fraud. Why?

Call it the LVMH-ization of cooking. Truffles have become a luxury brand, one that connotes a way of life as much as a style of cooking. “Chefs use truffle oil because it’s easy to add a gloss of glamour with it — and because it helps sell dishes,” S. Irene Virbila, chief restaurant critic of The Los Angeles Times, said in an e-mail message.

Although the scent of a truffle just dug can be one of the most profound gustatory experiences of the Western world, it’s one that not many people in this country have had on truffles’ native soil. Once there were only a few expensive and exclusive restaurants that recreated that experience, which only select customers could afford. Truffle oil has simultaneously democratized and cheapened the truffle experience, creating a knockoff that goes by the same name.

The competitiveness of the restaurant scene has a lot to do with this trend. What most people know of truffles is truffle “aroma,” which has helped shape their expectations of what they’re paying for — and how much they should have to pay to get it. “Price is definitely a factor,” said Shea Gallante of Cru in Manhattan, who uses black truffle oil to reinforce the flavor of real black truffles in a midwinter pasta dish. “If I didn’t use the two drops of oil I would have to add another 8 to 10 grams of truffle,” he said, making the dish too expensive for his clientele. Many chefs agree that the quality of truffles in this country has fallen in recent years, added to the fact that every minute a truffle spends out of the ground enervates its flavor. The increased scrutiny of imported goods hasn’t helped; prolonged stays in customs might be keeping the country safe from exploding fungi, but it’s not doing much for the truffle’s aromatic intensity.

And Americans, as many were quick to note, like big flavors. “People expect the slap in the face of truffle oil,” said Jonathan Gold, the restaurant critic for LA Weekly. “They have lost their taste for subtlety; they want bigger than life flavors that are amped up with aromatics. That’s American cooking at the moment.” Many chefs are turning to truffle oil as a way to get truffle aromas that, as many chefs put it, “jump off the plate,” often dressing real truffles in the oil before sending them to the table to heighten their effect. It raises the question, What will happen when there is a synthetic heirloom tomato scent or an imitation ripe peach flavor? Are we moving toward an era of fake food?

Probably not. Truffle oil seems unique in this regard. Most chefs I spoke with said they were undisturbed by its artificiality, although they are quite concerned with its “proper” usage, which chiefly comes down to restraint: less, in this case, is more. This is curious, considering that the same chefs will say in the next breath that the best way to use real truffles is in profusion. Some call truffle oil “authentic” only when used in conjunction with real truffles, while others maintain that they like it for what it is, something altogether different.

“I used to use white truffle oil a lot, but now I only use a little bit in my liquid black truffle ravioli,” Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago told me. “It adds a little more perfume, a slightly different flavor. I cut my teeth cooking at the French Laundry, and when we were using truffles there was always a bottle close by. But after I was on my own for a while I started to ask myself why I was using it, and I didn’t have a good answer. It doesn’t even taste like truffle.”

Chris L’Hommedieu, chef de cuisine at Michael Mina in San Francisco, used truffle oils during his tenure as chef de cuisine at Per Se in New York, although he said he never developed a taste for them. But when asked how much of his aversion to truffle oil was due to its artificiality, he told me: “One hundred percent. I learned that from Jean-Louis.”

Mr. L’Hommedieu’s recollection involved the late chef Jean-Louis Palladin, with whom he worked at Palladin, a Manhattan restaurant that is now closed. Returning from a trip out of town, Mr. Palladin was enraged to walk into the kitchen and find that in his absence bottles of truffle oil had cropped up everywhere. Grabbing two of them, he called the staff out to the alley behind the restaurant where the garbage was held. He hurled the oil at the side of the building, smashing the glass bottles against the wall. “It’s full of chemicals,” he screamed at his confused and frightened staff members, who scrambled back to the kitchen through the gathering scent of truffle oil mingled with the fetid air of the alley. “No more!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Daniel Patterson is the chef and owner of Coi, a restaurant in San Francisco.

Dec 17, 2009
gunksny in General Tristate Archive

Jfood returns to Osetra (SONO) - Excellent & Thank You

I've just returned to Osetra for another excellent meal a few weeks ago. I too really enjoy this restaurant. Since moving here from NYC 3+ years ago, its the first place I've felt compared to some of the better places in the city. (Not to be confused with the many other restaurants in the area that like to charge NYC prices for an average at best experience).

Dec 10, 2009
gunksny in Southern New England

Source for Black Truffle Oil in Fairfield County?

Hi -

I'm trying to track down a good quality black truffle infused olive oil in the lower CT area .Anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks!

Dec 10, 2009
gunksny in General Tristate Archive

Oh Boy Stamford...BIG NEWS!

Agreed that Stews Beef (and fresh Mozzarella) are likely better than Fairways. And the produce is on par ... but MUCH MUCH cheaper at Fairway than at Stews. Its a shame the opening of Fairway is delayed.

Dec 09, 2009
gunksny in Southern New England

Coalhouse Pizza - Stamford

Heres a pic:

Oct 14, 2009
gunksny in Southern New England

Dim Sum anyone?

I know there are good dim sum places in N. Jersey - but how about further south ie. Toms River/ Manasquan/LBI area?

Sep 24, 2009
gunksny in New Jersey

Is it true that Fairway is opening in Stamford?

Anyone have an update on the Stamford Fairway? Still on track?

Sep 21, 2009
gunksny in Southern New England

LBI fish monger

Beach Haven Fishery is highly regarded. I've also had good luck at M&M's Steam Bar and also at Pinky Shrimps. Everything on the island is going to be pricey. All are close to Beach Haven and all have restaurants attached.

Sep 15, 2009
gunksny in New Jersey

Seeking NJ wine discount store

If its anything like the Stew Leonards Wine in Norwalk, there is nothing special about it. Decent selection, average to above average pricing.

Mar 18, 2009
gunksny in General Tristate Archive

Best Cupcakes in Tri-state area

Another thumbs down for Crumbs from me - completely overpriced mediocrity,

My favorite is the Cupcake Cafe in NYC,

http://www.cupcakecafe-nyc.com/

Mar 15, 2009
gunksny in Manhattan