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Authentic Poppyseed (or nut) Babka within driving distance of Fairfield County?

Yes, where exactly is this Trumbull cheesecake from? Quite curious...

OMG - another strange random find. Went to rollerberby in Cheshire. They had vegan cupcakes from New Milford, which were fantastic! No idea where this bakery was and I spent quite a bit of time there. An anomaly...don't believe it really exists... :-)

Authentic Poppyseed (or nut) Babka within driving distance of Fairfield County?

Eddy's is totally on my radar screen now that it was mentioned. Next time I'm up there, I'll stop.

Funny story...told Mother of the MOLC about Eddy's and she says..."I don't get good vibes about their babka."

See where I get it from?

Me however - will try most and any all things and make judgements later...

Authentic Poppyseed (or nut) Babka within driving distance of Fairfield County?

Pie in my face! Is that the saying?

Gave the rest of my babka (roll) to mom and she says..."it's one of the best - fresh and moist."

...As if!

We both grew up on the wonderful babka grandma used to make. So, that goes to show you how opinions differ...

JFOOD - doesn't suprise me. Though I hear that's a better locale? For what, I don't know...

Authentic Poppyseed (or nut) Babka within driving distance of Fairfield County?

Braved going to Stew Leonard's for the sole purpose of grabbing a poppyseed babka per one of the suggestions above. Arrived at opening so it wasn't as nauseating an experience.

Verdict - overall GOOD...and they have a nut variation too. They are called "rolls". Poppyseed roll & Nut roll. Bravo to them for offering both variations.

but, NOT good if you have Polish hertiage and your grandma baked them fresh at home.

Not good enough for me ever to venture to Stew's again to get a poppyseed babka if I am ever craving one. I'd prefer to drive up to Derby from Westport than go around the corner to Stew's.

Cafe Manolo Westport

I'm a bad one to ask that. I only notice when things are super cheap or super expensive, so I guess they must have been on par for the quality. I think bill for 2 was $122. No idea what my bill for 1 was. Wanted to return for lunch again today but they close at 2. Wish more places served lunch later or all day dining around here.

Jfood returns to Basso Cafe - Norwalk CT

btw, I like La Paella. They have a sister restaurant in Bridgeport too.

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La Paella Restaurant
44 Main St, Norwalk, CT 06851

Jfood returns to Basso Cafe - Norwalk CT

yes, I have been wanting to go to Mikes but it seems every time I attempt to go, it is closed or filled up for a private party. I'm no good at planning ahead and making a reservation - much too spontaneous for that but I look forward to having it synch up for my dining enjoyment one day.

Jfood returns to Basso Cafe - Norwalk CT

I like the Indian place across the street from Basso too.

How about the little Italian cafe in the shopping plaza with the deli - maybe that is where the Double D is? I think that cafe looks promising and not as scary as the Knights of Columbus place or whatever it is.

Jfood returns to Basso Cafe - Norwalk CT

JFOOD - I walked in here once and walked out as they menu didn't appeal to me that night. What I am interested in learning however is whether you've eaten at any of the other places in that immediate area? Behind Basso is some sort of Spanish type place and then in the plaza next to it is an Italian place which looks promising to me. Also, I always an intrigued to go into that kitschy Italian club, or whatever it is that serves dinner on the weekends.

Contes Gone - Rizzutos In? (Westport CT)

Yup, just decent. Glorified pizza place to me and not in a good way (like the place that came and went in New Canaan). But at least it's got a good design & outdoor seating. Have enough to drink and then you can overlook the lack of taste in the food and enjoy being there.

Got truffle ravioli on Easter which I was excited about but dismayed when in arrived in a puddle of butter. My dining partner had lasagne and offered the leftovers to the nightime animals that visit instead of wanting to save it for his lunch.

On another visit, my mother had to send back the pizza, which is a joke because they've got this huge shiny oven that costs about $60K to make the pizza. It came out like dry cardboard and we needed to get a replacement.

That being said, I have had some good dishes there too. I guess it's more hit or miss on the food so stick to the drinks. Though! One day I went for a glass of wine and saw no interesting selections available so decided to buy a bottle of Sancerre for like $60, have a glass and take the rest home. They were out of the Sancerre! Oh vey...

Cafe Manolo Westport

Funny how they are not that many reviews on the place?

First off, the staff is excellent. As I get more and more jaded with finding good restaurants, I find a big part of my dining experience has to do with the people at the place. Well, everyone from the jovial front door guy with a passion for wine, the chef/owner to the waiters are stellar.

I went back a second time in one week simply to drink the Chalone chardonnay which used to be easy to find out in Cali but not here. This request got me into a discussion with the door guy/sommelier/restaurant consultant and an impromptu tasting of some of the interesting wines he chooses. I will definitely be back again to enjoy the selections he shared with me (maybe lunch today...)

I forget whether the menu changes nightly or weekly? Last week we had halibut in a leek sauce with two sides - whippped Yukon Gold potatoes and a vegetable medley stacked with goat cheese. Each component of the meal was inventive, tasty and excellent. Cheesecake for dessert was whatever...

Last night I had a risotto made with wild mushrooms (I think sorels), fava beans, mascarpone cheese and one other vegetable was in there. It was so awesome I wish I got the double sized portion. That's a cool little thing of this place - all entrees are offered at two price points. I planned to get a dessert as they all looked appetizing but got sidetracked with all the different glasses on wine on my table. Again, the staff was just excellent and we shared stories of the places we liked in the area. I even got a few leads for some NYC restaurants from them.

I hope this place stays around. I'm not too down with the overall restaurant choices we have here in Westport. To me, this place excels at the 3 things I need to turn an ok dining experience into a great experience - interesting food, kick ass wine and a homey staff.

Cafe Manolo Westport

Have people been talking about this place? I feel like a nerd. It's around the corner from me and I just went for the first time last week and again tonight but guess it's been open since last summer.

New in SoNo - Las Orchetas

yep, that's it - La Sorpresa. You went there once too, how funny. See, it's not a place that makes you want to run back right away.

louuuu - you are a sweetie pie, aren't you?
:-)

I've got a lead on local pupusas and will report back once the mission is complete.

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La Sorpresa
61 Cedar St, Norwalk, CT 06854

New in SoNo - Las Orchetas

that's sweet - I appreciate it!

New in SoNo - Las Orchetas

Wait until you see all the different sizes and shapes of all the corn variation offerings. And, they offered two different types of bunuelos - I only tried one..

Oh, I wish I knew the name of the other place. I only know how to get there. Around the Best Buy/Kohls/Silver Star diner area in Norwalk, is a street that is an overpass to i-95. You take that, get to an island in the road, which you can't miss, and there are a couple commercial places on the right. The street may even head straight over and down to the SoNo area.

Others probably know the name because when I seeking it out, it seems everyone directed me to this place. I can't remember if I was looking for plaintains or Spanish donuts or a cortado at the time? No gringos in here at all but I didn't really like anything I tried.

New in SoNo - Las Orchetas

Went for breakfast yesterday.

JFOOD - you didn't have a mystical moment like my friend in Paris as English is on the menu in teeny tiny print.

It's such a nice place with nice people running it. Sunday morning was very familial with the owner out and about talking to the patrons. I was the only gringa there which I like at times.

The most popular dish was eggs, something that looked like a meat hash and arepas with cheese. The eggs looked fluffy and delicious and filled with butter or some other appealing ingredient. The arepas are not like they are at Valencia but more of a patty with a slice of cheese on top.

I tried some cheese ball bread. All the baked goods look interesting and it'll take me some time to make it thru the case. The balls were only slightly hinted with cheese (barely at all) and sugar. Very tasty and light.

They have alot of corn variations on the menu - corn shaped into all different concoctions with all sorts of fillings. I tried one that looked like a huge peanut filled with mashed onions and some other sort of spice. Light, airy and delicious.

My main course was a simple rice, beans, plantains and they threw another corn concoction on top. Another ball and perhaps it was just a light corn/flour mixture? That's what I meant initially when I commented on this place - all the things available in the case are unlike anything I've ever tried before and the variations are so slight you are not quite sure what you are eating.

This place is much better than that other Columbian restaurant in Norwalk which had been the only go to spot for Spanish baked goods to my knowledge. It doesn't even compare. I like the baked goods here and will keep returning for awhile.

OMG - my bill....$7.20!

Authentic Poppyseed (or nut) Babka within driving distance of Fairfield County?

Yes, I mean the strip - stuffed with poppy seeds, or nuts, or prune filling, or cheese and sometimes cherry.

Awesome about the Eddy's recommendation - thanks! Are there any other little finds in Ansonia?

Also close to you - the Shop Rite gets really nice babkas & other Polish goodies delivered on Tuesday morning from a place in NJ. Tell your co-workers to check those out. I drive from Westport to pick them up on that day. That particular store has a really nice bakery/dessert section.

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Shop Rite
1990 W Main St, Stamford, CT 06902

Pasta Fair Norwalk now John's Best

JFOOD - I love you! For real...thanks for turning me on to the link which turned me on to a new restaurant.

OK, let's put aside my recommendation to you for Falafel Inn, which is lovely in its own right and head straight over to BEREKET in Bridgeport.

The best Turkish food I ever ate was in Paris and BEREKET rivals it!!! I am a happy person to have put such lovely food in my belly today. Everything was fantastic and the owner is a delight! He might have tea with you if you smile... :-)

The baklava is in my bag so look forward to trying that out later on.

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Falafel Inn
333 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851

Best Indian Food Restaurants in CT?

How is Zaha? Any good?

Authentic Poppyseed (or nut) Babka within driving distance of Fairfield County?

There is a brand new (to me at least) Polish deli/bakery/grocery store in Norwalk across from Angela Mia - called POLISH DELICATESSAN. It is quite large with a nice hot lunch buffet offering all the typical Polish dishes. They had a fairly substantial bakery section too though I could tell the poppyseed babka was not up to my standards - it looked too dry. Regardless, it's a nice addition to the area to get Polish staples and to grab a simple homemade inexpensive lunch.

Best Indian Food Restaurants in CT?

No, I know Bonani in Norwalk and do go there - I like the chapatis. This Indian client specifically said this place was in the Black Rock area and had been going every night about a month ago. I wish someone else knew of it. I may do a drive by of that strip and try to find it. He said it was filled with India diners.

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Black Rock Cafe
Wrentham, MA, Wrentham, MA

Best Indian Food Restaurants in CT?

Yes, it is the India House restaurant. I see they've been #1 since 1984 and it is really a quick drive from Bradley. Just across the street is a really cool & unique bread bakery called Ghost something (?) & around the corner are 2 coffee shops with great desserts & lots of good vegan selections. Overall, Northampton is a great dining town, IMO.

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India House Restaurant
45 State St, Northampton, MA 01060

Pasta Fair Norwalk now John's Best

As I have written in the past it was 1 meal that outshined Pasta Nostra when I dined at the two establishments back to back. No joke. And that's coming from someone glad to pay $100/person for a good lunch, especially at Cipriani in the city with bellinis flowing and when I make them prepare hamburger well done served on a china plate for my Pekingese friend.

And, I will disagree with you about the quality at Pasta Fair prior to the change. Their pasta was homemade and the sauces fresh. But that is all a thing of the past now with this crappy John's Best. I never ate at those kind of places ever - not even in college.

JFOOD - totally agree about Falafel Inn. Didn't I turn you on to that one? That's a nice little find. People working there are really great too. Have you tried the baklava? OMG. Melt in your mouth heaven!

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Falafel Inn
333 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851

Pasta Fair
690 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk, CT 06854

Pasta Nostra
116 Washington St, Norwalk, CT 06854

Pasta Fair Norwalk now John's Best

...and it is crap!

I originally found Pasta Fair from a Chowhound girl who shared it as her guilty pleasure. I went, I liked and once even had a meal better than Pasta Nostra one night - I swear. It was consistently simple, fresh and casual Italian food.

Well, it has been taken over by John's Best and was simply an awful dining experience. There wasn't even semblance of a manager on staff even though it was lunchtime. Every employee there except one old time waitress spoke Spanish and tried to be accomodating but it didn't work.

Everything went wrong, every dish was awful and it was a big old waste of money. Guess it's time for them to cater to the Wal-mart crowd in the very same plaza. I went to their Westport location once and only once. It didn't annoy me enough to write about it but losing the guilty pleasure Pasta Fair makes me angry enough to write.

My lunch bill was $22, which was such a waste of money to be served crap I'm only going to put out for the raccoons this evening. Driving home I saw Da Pietro's advertising a $12 two course lunch special and Napoli offering a $14.50 lunch special - two stellar Italian places - I got ripped off big time.

I guess my new guilty pleasure in the area will now be Italia in Norwalk. I don't like to go all the time though as the super friendly old Italian waiter is always trying to liquor me up and get me to stay longer even though I just like to eat and run at times.

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Pasta Fair
690 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk, CT 06854

Pasta Nostra
116 Washington St, Norwalk, CT 06854

New in SoNo - Las Orchetas

muchas besitos to you jfood & lillydaisy...

jfood - funny question to ask you. was there really english on the menu or did it miraculously appear? i ask because an american friend in paris had a menu placed in front of her in french which she did not know how to read. she put it down and wished she could understand it. she opened it back up and, voila, english words appeared. she swears it was a "miracle" and even called into a radio show to share.

i myself don't recall the menu having english words pero yo hablo espanol.

Best Indian Food Restaurants in CT?

SCARGOD - If you are willing to drive, the very best Indian place I've been to yet in this entire region is up in Northampton, MA. I have never experienced such amazing Indian food and literally drive there specifically for this one restaurant. Only open for dinner - northern most street in town around the corner from the old Inn.

New Milford, CT?

Adrienne's is amazing. She is constantly creating new dishes. She also teaches cooking classes at the Silo. Her desserts are out of this world, especially the fruit tarts, and she along with the Mayflower Inn actually offer FRESH whipped cream. Any place that does that is 5 star in my book. During the warmer weather, there is a lovely patio out back.

In Gaylordsville, just a stone's throw up is the White Peach (hope it survived the winter) which is nice. The owner/chef had come from one of the large places in the area and has a very nice selection of wines.

59 Bank sucks. Though I take that back a little. A salad I had at lunch recently was actually nice but everything else is just ordinary.

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59 Bank
59 Bank St, New Milford, CT 06776

White Peach Restaurant
1 Kent Rd, New Milford, CT 06776

Anyone tried Salsa Restaurant in New Milford, CT? (supposedly Santa Fe-style Mexican)

Salsa is a very nice casual place to eat good food with very interesting flavors and combinations of food. Their specials are always good. Actually surprised we don't have something similar down in Fairfield County. Yes, Geronimo in New Haven is kinda along the same lines....just kinda.

A couple interesting places have popped up in the New Milford dining scene. On the same block is the Puerto Rican place where the catered food place used to be. And, next to the Heritage Inn is an authentic Mexican grocery/casual counter that is always packed now and offering fresh food (though not fresh chips last time I was there), which I think made me storm out, if I remember correctly. I just don't have time to not eat good fresh food.

East Main Street Bridgeport

I would love a discussion of all the little hole in the wall places from i-95 to Beardsley Park on East Main Street. There are so many ethnic places on this street that there have got to be some gems which I haven't yet tried.

To my surprise, Ramirez Restaurant is one of the few (if not only) places other than New Haven to offer cortaditos around here. In New Haven, it's the cigar place that serves them - Owl? Haven't tried the food at Ramirez - it's Dominican and Puerto Rican - I only go to shoot back those lovely little coffee drinks.

Vinny's has old school red sauce Italian comfort food and oily, greasy (in a good way) pizza.

Across the street to the left of the gas station are some of the best egg n' cheese breakfast sandwiches around served behind the counter in a newspaper store.

Large Puerto Rican food restaurant at the old DMV. Nothing spectacular, IMO, but several varieties of mofongo.

And a place that is alluding me - a window in the back of a three story apartment building that serves supposedly amazing Mexican food at lunch - anyone know where that is??!

Best Indian Food Restaurants in CT?

JFOOD - have you tried the little hole in the wall in a strip mall on Route 123 in Norwalk (at Route 7 exit)? I'm pretty sure you once wrote about egg & cheese sandwiches from a place across the street. Wish I knew the name but I've been going there quite a bit to enjoy their low key Indian street food and chapatis and it's always filled with Indians. The three men working the place are great and friendly.

An Indian client of mine also gave a shout out to something called Punjabi in Bridgeport, which sounded like it was in the Black Rock area on Fairfield Avenue.