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47 Kitchen and Food Hacks That Will Change Your Life

You don't have to crumple up a whole wad of it. Just tear off a small sheet, enough to cover the surface, and press it against the ice cream so that you've pushed out as much air as possible.

Jun 05, 2015
yngvai in Features

Cafe Mirage in Port Chester

Their old location was perfect for me.
Looks like their new location will be on Westchester Ave across from T&J's. Much bigger pain in the ass to park there.

What do you use Duxelle for?

I know this reply is a little late to the party, but I made a duxelle today for the first time.

I had bought some packaged white mushrooms earlier in the week that were larger than I normally see. I figured this would be a good time to give a duxelle a try.

Removed the stems, and had another 8 oz of brown mushrooms.
Pulsed in the food processor.
Minced 1 shallot and 1 clove of garlic.
Heated olive oil in a skillet, everything into the oil, sprinkled on some dried tarragon, salt, fresh ground pepper, over med-low heat.

After about 10 minutes, I added some half-and-half, cooked down, added red wine, cooked down, repeated with the half-and-half and the wine.

While this was going on, I put the mushrooms caps on a rack on a sheet pan, brushed on oil, into a 350 oven for 20 minutes.

Back at the skillet, moved the mixture to the side, threw in a handful of spinach to wilt down.

A little more half-and-half to keep it from getting too dry...

Stirred in "some" Pecorino Romano cheese and gluten-free breadcrumbs (maybe a tablespoon's worth of each?), and a little more half-and-half. Cooked until it tightened up a little.

Took a taste, good to go.

Spooned into the mushroom caps, back into the oven for 8 minutes, the filling was plenty flavorful, no need to top with more romano.

Very happy with the result. If I was doing this for a different audience I'd probably've added sausage and used real breadcrumbs, but this was tasty enough on its own.

A few big spoonfuls left for the missus to use with her eggs during the week.

Next time I make this I'll probably double everything, use a larger skillet, and freeze the leftovers.

Greenwich/Stamford First Date

Only because it was where I went on my first date with my wife...
Even though it's not warm weather, Capriccio on Bedford St in Stamford is moderately priced, good food, not too noisy, not sure about their wine selection, though. Plenty of parking behind.
(Actually, it's probably nosier in the warm weather when you eat outside.)

Mar 05, 2015
yngvai in Southern New England

Fresh seafood lower Fairfield County?

No, not unhappy with New Wave at all. Just looking to see what my alternatives are.

Thanks to both of you.
I'll check 'em out!

Dec 23, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England

Fresh seafood lower Fairfield County?

Looking for a good fishmonger around Stamford/New Canaan/Darien/Norwalk.

New Wave on Camp Ave in Stamford is good. With Stamford Dish & Seafood in Bulls Head closed, I don't know what else is that's worth going to?

I've read good things about Pagano's in Norwalk.

Any suggestions?

Dec 22, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England

Working in Greenwich - Nearby lunch options for take-out/delivery

For a good burger in Greenwich, try Two Door Restaurant, which is really a bar, but makes a fantastic burger.

Since you're venturing into PC as well, try Cafe Mirage. I wouldn't know what style to call them - American, I guess - but they've always been very good.

Oct 16, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England

5th Annual CT Cheese & Wine Festival: A Perfect Fall Feast at Hopkins Vineyard

From someone who went to last year's festival, I suggest bringing a few extra dollars with you to try some of the food that isn't available as samples. There was some locally made sausage being grilled (can't remember from what farm) that wasn't available for sampling, but was out of this world!

Sep 18, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England


Fairway sells pretzel buns, in the bins near the bagels.

Aug 04, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England

Prime Rib in Fairfield County CT

I was going to say Trip's, too, when I saw your reply.
We love to go and split an order of prime rib and an order of shrimp maren. Hits the spot!

Feb 21, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England

Great Food near UConn

Willington Pizza House (in Willington) and Bidwell Tavern (in Coventry) were great about 20 years ago. Haven't been around there since, but I see they're still in business.

Jan 24, 2014
yngvai in Southern New England

Xmas brunch Stamford/Greenwich area?

Thank you, tried them, they're not open on the 25th.

Dec 22, 2013
yngvai in Southern New England

Xmas brunch Stamford/Greenwich area?

Other than the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, does anyone have any good suggestions for places to go for brunch on Christmas day in the Stamford/Greenwich area?

Dec 21, 2013
yngvai in Southern New England

Webster Bank Arena/ Bridgeport area restaurants?

Don't know if you're approaching from the north, but if you're driving in from the south, getting off at exit 24 will get you to Super Duper Weenie. It's right by I-95, and only 3 miles from the Arena. Just made that stop myself on the way to an AHL game.

Dec 12, 2013
yngvai in Southern New England

VIlla Italia - Stamford - moving?

Just saw that Villa Italia on East Main in Stamford is going to be moving to Mill River this winter. Noooooooo!!!!! It's so nice to be able to walk there, regardless of the crappiness of the shopping center it's in. Does anyone know the inside story? Is it moving into where Spice Affaire is at the Hampton Inn? Why move? Is it for more seating? Did their rent get raised? As long as they will still deliver...

Nov 02, 2013
yngvai in Southern New England

Athens Pizza - Stamford - for sale

Saw this:

Never been a fan of Athens, I'm a Hope (Street) Pizza guy, and loved Acropolis when it was around.

Maybe some new blood will change that!

May 09, 2013
yngvai in Southern New England

restaurants in Springdale section of Stamford

I've been to Olio twice and have loved it each time. bbqlover is right, though, it is on the $$$ side. But it's probably the best restaurant in Springdale.

For something a little more economical, I'm a big fan of Hope Pizza. Greek pizza place, but they have plenty of other choices there. Try the gorgonzola salad with souvlaki chicken added!

Across from Hope Pizza is Enzo's, a quiet Italian deli that you don't hear much about, but they make great sandwiches.

Another place to try is Trips. I'm probably in the minority to recommend it, most people find it very average, but I've never had a bad meal there. Their Shrimp Maren is my standard go to dish.

Dec 31, 2012
yngvai in Southern New England

Bar Taco in Stamford

If he meant Chavin, I haven't been there for awhile, but aren't they closed?

(edit - 1 minute later)

Ah, OK. Fiesta. Haven't tried them yet.

Sep 06, 2012
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford CT chicken wings

Another vote for Vinnie's. Same people who owned the Fireside, who also had great wings.

Also, although I haven't tried them myself, I've surprisingly heard good things about the wings across the street at Twin Rinks.

Candlelight can be hit and miss. When they're on, they're fantastic. But more than once they haven't been cooked properly (not fried enough) or have been oversauced.

Aug 29, 2012
yngvai in Southern New England

Bar Taco in Stamford

Which South American place, and where?

Jul 03, 2012
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford bistro or nice casual near Bull's Head/Towne Center area

As a head's-up, Bull's Head is almost 2 miles away from the Town Center.

I don't know your price range, but take a look at Chez Jean-Pierre (, Columbus Park Trattoria (, or Barcelona (

I've heard Patrizia's ( is nice, but haven't been.

This site has an extensive list of downtown Stamford restaurants (will open as PDF), color-coded by price-range. No reviews, but it's a good place to start...

Jun 05, 2012
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford Lunch near Fairway

Good to hear! You're very welcome.

Nov 18, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford Lunch near Fairway

You can't go wrong with either one - it just depends upon what your group is looking for. If cost is a factor, then Casa Villa, but other than that there's nothing else that would sway me one way or the other beyond my mood that day.

And chalk another thumbs up for that Brasitas recommendation. Again, I don't know what your budget is, it's a little more expensive than your standard lunch place, but excellent quality.

Nov 14, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford Lunch near Fairway

Thank you on the clarification. I didn't even think of the West Side (original) location as a place for a business lunch!

Nov 11, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford Lunch near Fairway

Here you go - they're both between -1-1.5 miles apart,

Fairway to Casa Villa (East Side):
Map here:

Fairway to Cafe Sylvium:
Map here:

Nov 11, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Stamford Lunch near Fairway

I've never seen the lot at Casa Villa get full, but if it does you can always park on the adjacent side street.

Another place the same distance from Fairway you may want to check out is Cafe Sylvium on Shippan Ave.

I cannot say whether or not they take Amex though.

Nov 10, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Restaurants near JFK

Bumping this up rather than starting a new thread, because I, too, am looking for place near JFK for a Friday night (have a couple hours). Preferably American or Italian or a steakhouse, but it's just me, so the "family style" portions of a Don Peppe would be a bit much.

Actually, it doesn't even near to be right around JFK, I can stop on my drive down. Anywhere near the Van Wyck between the Whitestone Bridge and JFK would be great, preferably that has parking so I don't have to fight for a spot on the street on a Friday night.

I was thinking Kane's Diner, but other than what I see online I don't know anything about them, and am open to other suggestions...

Nov 03, 2011
yngvai in Outer Boroughs

Burger along Merritt/Rt 15 or I-91 between Norwalk-Hartford?

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions.

So I gave Jake's a shot.

It was adequate...and that's about the best thing I can say about it.

Hunk of meat comes out of the cooler and onto the grill. The cook then uses the spatula the press it out flat into a burger - and I'm OK with that type of burger if it develops crispy edges or a deep mahogany crust from the grill. My burger had neither. I ordered a plain cheeseburger, so I could taste it without any other flavors competing, but the end product lacked any good beefy flavor. If I were to taste it without knowing where it was from I'd guess it was from some "regular" fast food place I'd yet to try, not one of the more premium burger places that have risen in popularity in the past several years (5Guys, Shake Shack, BS&F, etc)

Fries were OK, nothing great.

I felt kind of meh about everything. It wasn't terrible, just... not worth the wait or extra cost that comes from a place like this. Looking next door at the Wendy's I felt I could've left with the same level of apathy while saving a few dollars.

"Not as good as 5Guys" was an accurate comment. No need for me to try Jake's again when I travel up that way, not with a 5Guys before the tunnel in New Haven or the Glenwood 5 or 6 miles after in Hamden.

However, I will be heading to Stratford in the next couple of weeks! And after expressing an interest in Bun N Burger or the Sitting Duck my friends there have said BNB is worth trying.

NOTE - across from Jake's was a truck selling "Spanish-American Food", I believe it was called Jesse's. I didn't try it, but Chowhounders who seek out such trucks may wish to give it a go.

Oct 23, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Burger along Merritt/Rt 15 or I-91 between Norwalk-Hartford?

I forgot about them as an option!
Probably because I've never had their burgers - I've never eaten anything there other than chili dogs and onion rings.
Definitely have to remember them for the future.

Oct 13, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England

Five Guys Burgers & Fries coming to Stamford !!

There's a branch of Garden Catering (or is that the original?) a little further down in a small strip center at the corner of High Ridge and Vine. It's nothing earth-shattering, but it's better than BK, you can even get a burger there at 8AM if you want, and along with fries and the seasoning they offer, they also have "potato cones", which are like little bits of mashed potato with a thin batter-y coating and are very addictive.

Oct 12, 2011
yngvai in Southern New England