Restaurant Week, one of the most popular culinary events in New England, returns to New Haven this Sunday, Oct. 30, and runs through Friday, Nov. 4.
Twenty-eight New Haven restaurants will participate in the event, which is organized by Market New Haven, a nonprofit that aims to promote commerce and the arts, in partnership with Citizens Bank. Residents can eat three-course lunches for $20.16 and dinners for $34, and restaurants can showcase their menus and broadcast their images to both new and returning customers.
Most menus feature variations of their signature dishes, but Restaurant Week is also a chance for chefs to be playful and inventive and experiment with seasonal ingredients, said Ryan Howard, managing partner of Elm City Social.
“With the special prices and menus, we can expand beyond our core demographic of graduate students and young professionals,” Howard says. “We can attract different crowds — the elderly, undergraduates and people from outside New Haven.”
His eatery, American with a new-age twist, will feature such delicacies as roasted pumpkin salad, pan-seared grouper cheek, a strawberry rhubarb tart, and a foie gras push pop.
With a reduced parking rate, only $4 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. in Temple and Crown street garages, and unparalleled dining discounts, Market New Haven anticipates that food aficionados everywhere will flock to Elm City next week.
“It’s a great opportunity for the restaurant community to showcase New Haven as a whole,” Howard said. “And, it’s great to give back to the customers — to give them a piece of what we do at a discounted price.”
He added that Restaurant Week is a gift to eateries and eaters alike.
The giving does not stop there. Last fall, Restaurant Week raised $14,742 for the Connecticut Food Bank, an organization that sources and delivers food to those in need nearby. The charitable effort will continue this year.
“Every dollar donated gives enough to prepare two meals for those in need,” said Paul Shipman, communications and marketing director at the Connecticut Food Bank. “It is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get together and support us — to turn dollars quickly into food. We love the enthusiasm and visibility that it generates. We all benefit, the local economy, too.”
When guests receive their checks, they are invited to make a $1 donation to support the Connecticut Food Bank and contribute to #buckforatruck, an initiative to stock a refrigerated food truck delivering food to pantries and soup kitchens in six Connecticut counties. Unlike other distributors, the food bank aims for 35 percent of its offerings to be fresh and local fruit, vegetables and meats.
Marina Gonzalez, who owns the Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant Olea, said she is proud that her restaurant is a part of the event even though she must serve food at a significantly lower price. A three-course dinner without drinks would typically cost about $60.
“It is important to get the community involved in supporting charities like the Connecticut Food Bank,” Gonzalez said. “A dollar goes a long way, especially during the holidays.”
This year, Restaurant Week’s prices have increased, which incentivizes more expensive restaurants to participate but excludes those with lower price points. For this reason, Prime 16, one of New Haven’s top-rated beer and burger destinations, will not be joining.
Though manager Larry Townsend said he respects Restaurant Week’s goals and charitable work, he explained that Prime 16’s involvement would not be fair to his customers.
“The simple fact is that we would have to raise the prices on our menu to meet Restaurant Week’s criteria,” he said. “We have our own events to draw in customers, like Happy Hour Monday through Friday.”
But Megan Bresnahan, general manager at the participating Caseus, a fromagerie and bistro, thinks the increase in prices is fair, adding that even though the price has increased, restaurants offer an enormous discount to students.
The normal prices at these New Haven eateries make Restaurant Week a deal for diners. Without beverages, an appetizer, entrée and dessert at Elm City Social or Caseus would cost about $44. At Harvest, a snack, starter and entree goes for about $55.
This year, WEEKEND received a record number of applications (or at least we think so — we’re not good with numbers) for our Valentine’s Day Blindest Date contest. There were many qualified candidates for very few — 20! — available spots. Without further ado, we present a set of guys and gals for your judging. They are charming, witty, potato-loving! At the end of our online voting session, the top Bachelor and Bachelorette will be paired together in a rendezvouz for the ages. Get yo’ love guru on.
Major: I’m an architecture major, but I’m not artsy. Or hipster.
Interests: I enjoy running, reading, drawing and cooking – and by cooking I mean eating (especially trying new restaurants).
Hidden Talent(s): Unfortunately, I don’t have any hidden talents, but I’m pretty competent at the oboe and organizing plans. Oh! I also love traveling and will go anywhere on a whim, so I suppose I’m spontaneous.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: My spirit animal would probably be a polar bear because they’re aggressive fighters and gentle lovers.
Looking for: I’m not really sure what I’m looking for. If I could condense it to one statement: Natalie Portman in male form. Obviously someone who would make me laugh and bring snacks and coffee to the arch studio at three am would be ideal.
Interests: Night runs; blowing soap bubbles; dancing in heels; going on adventures with Hercule Poirot.
Hidden Talent(s): Predicting relationships before they happen; reciting Friends dialogues verbatim; doing that thing with your tongue where it looks like a clover; cooking minute mac & cheese in 57 seconds (bam!)
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Emma Stone
Looking for: Someone who can microwave popcorn without burning it; can convince my suitemates to let me adopt a lab; will wear a bowtie; can decipher what Sean Paul is saying in “Temperature” because let’s face it, that man is utterly incomprehensible.
Major: Psychology so I can basically learn to read people’s minds.
Interests: Eating the chocolate brownie pudding dessert thing from the dining hall with ice cream, procrastinating on anything and everything, watching How I Met Your Mother and admittedly, the Bachelor, getting annoyed when people mistake cross-country skiing for downhill, and listening to One Direction, which is what I’m during currently.
Hidden Talent(s): Being able to hold my breath for a grand total of 47 seconds, making things awkward for myself and running kind of fast.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Diego from “Ice Age,” because he’s sassy.
Looking for: Someone who is really, really ridiculously good looking, thinks I’m funny, eats as much ice cream as me, can deal with my sarcasm and loves cats. The loving cats qualification is probably the most important. Meow.
Interests: eating dancing singing potatoes
Hidden Talent(s): N/A
Celebrity spirit animal: Scrat from “Ice Age.”
Looking for: potatoes
Major: Get back to me in a year
Interests: Eating bagels, listening to Australian radio, talking about people, making puns, taking really long showers
Hidden Talent(s): All my talents are pretty overt
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Chris Lilley
Looking for: Someone who can still understand me when I’m at a party and the music is loud (or just moderately loud. or no music. its the accent). Or really just anything with a heartbeat, lets be honest.
Major: I’m an Anthropology and Biology (intensive) double major, so basically I’m a super nerd.
Interests: I’m interested in evolutionary medicine, and hiking, and camping, and hanging with friends, and drinking (woooo 21!), and turning all activities into nude activities.
Hidden Talent(s): I’m not very good at hiding anything, so I wouldn’t say any of my talents are hidden, but I’m super awesome at finding people apartments (which I do to avoid thinking about finding myself an apartment).
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Ellen Page
Looking for: Someone to join me for a free meal I guess. I guess that somebody cool would be cool too.
Interests: Cycling, froyo, building and designing sets, froyo, my bike, architecture, froyo—and I’d like to let everyone know Amy made me do this.
Hidden Talent(s): German Pictionary (somehow I’m better at illustrating words in German).
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Jennifer Lawrence? Or is this supposed to be an animal that is a celebrity? The Taco Bell Dog?
Looking for: That they know how and when to not give a fuck (I’m still figuring that out).
Interests: I’m a human of the female variety. By that I mean I’m a girl. I have a tendency, which some people find annoying but which you (significant other) might find endearing, of clarifying myself constantly. Some things I like are koalas, the Yankees, ice-skating, my three dogs and two younger brothers, and World War II history.
Hidden Talent(s): I am secretly good at sailing and spiraling a football. I am also good at Pictionary and I love camping.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: I have no celebrity spirit animal.
Looking for: Someone who is honest and direct at all times, funny most of the time and who will accompany me on snowy adventures. He also must enjoy looking at paintings (not all kinds of paintings, but some paintings) and talking about them.
Major: Economics and Theatre Studies
Interests: I love to sing, dance, horseback ride, hike, run, color, travel, zip-line, and eat. Oh and I love stories.
Hidden Talent(s): I can lick my elbow, stand on top of my toes, and have a twisted vertebra in my back!
Celebrity Spirit Animal: My celebrity spirit animal would probably be a mix of Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel if you can imagine that…a bit of smart class with a whole lot of quirk.
Looking for: I guess I just want someone who’s obsessed with all music, and love to just try everything. Optimism is essential because I think that anything is possible, and I want someone who encourages that mindset not someone who will shoot me down. However I need someone comfortable in their own skin with their own opinion… I have to be with someone who’s interesting and curious about the simplest things.
Major: English and Economics
Interests: My favorite books are Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. My favorite movies are Romeo and Juliet (1996), Cruel Intentions, and American Psycho.
Hidden Talent(s): My hidden talent is snowboarding (you probably wouldn’t guess that looking at me hehe).
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Nemo is probably my celebrity spirit animal; I’m a pretty curious individual and a bit of a thrill seeker!
Looking for: I’d say that I am interested in someone with a big heart and a happy disposition. I’m looking for someone that knows what he wants with his life…if he can quote literature, that’s a plus!
Major: How would you define a biology major who also believes in divine creation?
Interests: What would you say about someone who has as much fun baking cookies as he does doing competitive online Pokemon battling?
Hidden Talent(s): Does reciting an entire book of Jack Prelutsky poems from memory qualify as a talent?
Looking for: Would it be so wrong for a self-designated Idris Elba to ask for a woman with a robust sense of humor and a love of NBC mockumentaries? Or that she be willing to watch me sample every flavor at Ashley’s before getting a waffle cone with two scoops of Butter Crunch once a week for the rest of my life? Am I just looking for someone to answer all my questions?
Interests: I like football. I play football. Sleeping and scratching my body.
Hidden Talent(s): Pastry chef since age 15.
Looking for: When it comes to dating, I look for women who are athletic, down-to-earth and smaller than me. That’s it. And somebody who can scratch me. In fact, even writing this is really hard because I have to scratch myself for five minutes after every word. So this is 150 words x 5 minutes per word = 150 x 5 = 150150150150150 minutes. Anyways, I will close with this short rhyme:
I ain’t gonna rhyme.
Interests: Despite being a natural at rowing, he is a true gentleman, and it has been said that [Bachelor #3]’s wit makes lesser men tremble. He’s currently on the varsity crew team and on the Canadian national team at home. He likes to think of himself as an outgoing individual who loves to please other people. He would love to take you on a nice quiet walk or chat with you over a candlelit dinner.
Hidden Talent(s): Unfortunately, his hidden talents will remain a secret.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Seabiscuit, because of his determination to achieve.
Looking for: His ideal woman would be one who is athletic, outgoing and likes to have fun but who also wouldn’t mind spending a romantic night at home.
Interests: Cycling, music, robotics, traveling
Hidden Talent(s): I can drive stick shift, Greek dancing
Celebrity Spirit Animal: John Stamos
Looking for: Someone easy to talk to, fun, genuine. And someone who can tolerate my love for bad puns.
Interests: Nature, piano, basketball, wakeboarding (back in the day)
Hidden Talent(s): I can wiggle my ears and hair at the same time. Also, I’m really good at certain video games.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Billy Crudup
Looking for: Hopefully a human being. After that, it’s pretty much gravy, but someone who listens well would be nice.
Major: Cognitive science with a concentration on decision-making and morality
Interests: I am a man. I have the potential to grow a beard, but rarely do. I see myself going into something creative and entrepreneurial — likely a vegan restaurant or bakery. I am a man. Or maybe I’ll go into radio journalism.
Hidden Talent(s): I am a man. I can juggle apples and eat one of them at the same time. I can also make a pun out of anything. How you like dem apples? I look forward to eating your (vegan friendly) food.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Baloo from the Jungle Book.
Looking for: I’m looking for someone who can make me laugh and who I can be totally at ease with. Preferably someone who likes folk and jazz music; if they can sing, all the better.
Interests: Dancing (with the Yale Ballet Company and Sabrosura), Gogol, helping others, and star-gazing (duh 🙂 )
Hidden Talent(s): 8+ years of playing acoustic and electric guitar leads to an occasional serenade 🙂
Celebrity Spirit Animal: None other than my most passionate man crush — Ryan Gosling!
Looking for: A down-to-earth personality not averse to a romantic relationship and affection, open-mindedness, a sense of humor and honesty.
Interests: Music, theater, musical theater, the Art Gallery, critical thought, spirited argument, witty repartee, tea, comparative mythology, archetypal quest stories
Hidden Talent(s): Playing songs by ear, voice acting/ vocal impressions, really good at remembering names
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Mark Hamill
Looking for: Someone to share the view at the top of the world (or at least the top of East Rock) with, and to have a deep conversation with during the climb.
Interests: Urban development … but like taking classes from a variety of disciplines like philosophy and political science.
Hidden Talent(s): I was going to say cooking … but I think it is more like eating! I guess it is not a talent per say, but I love eating food, eating food with people, sharing food with people, making food with people.
Celebrity Spirit Animal: Tom Hanks. I have been told that my spirit animal in general is either a St. Bernard or St. Bernese Mountain Dog.
Looking for: I am looking for someone who is introspective yet outgoing, someone who will challenge me yet be able to compromise and someone who is dependable and independent.
Clarification: Feb. 14
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the response to the “Looking for” section of Bachelorette #10’s profile.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months, you know that tomorrow, Nov. 6, is Election Day. What you may not know, however, is that all U.S. Shake Shack locations are giving out coupons for a free cup or cone of custard to customers who fill out a “Pledge to Vote” card TODAY.
Ever wonder who’s responsible for making the food at Mory’s? Jeff Caputo, executive chef at one of New Haven’s most iconic restaurants, sat down with the News to talk about his style. Caputo previously served as Executive Chef for Scoozzi, a restaurant that abruptly closed October 2011, before he took his skills to Mory’s.
Q: Why do you love cooking?
A: Well, cooking to me is different than being a professional chef, because it’s total freedom. I get to experiment and do what I want, but I wouldn’t put the term cooking into being a professional chef.
Q: Well, then why do you love being a professional chef?
A: Because it encompasses so many different kinds of expertise, from cost management, which involves labor, food, equipment, and budgets, to being able to put in my passion. My passion is creativity with food. You get to see your results on a day-to-day basis, so it’s always changing, it’s always interesting, and it’s sort of timeless.
Q: How did you come to Mory’s?
A: Originally Ken Adams [General Manager] asked me to come on as consultant and work with the chef that was here. But I guess there was some sort of falling out at some point with the chef who was here, so I came on to help on an interim basis. One thing led to another, and they offered me a position.
Q: Mory’s has quite a bit of tradition, what does that mean to you?
A: Right now, I’m trying to integrate what I do into the tradition here. I feel an obligation to that tradition, in some way to carry it on, and in some way to put my own footprint in it with the food. Every chef will inevitably leave some sort of footprint with what they do. At Scoozzi, I went into a very good restaurant that at the time was sort of floundering and I put my footprint on it and went on to be there for 12 years. With the tradition here, it’s somewhat of an honor to be the chef at Mory’s, so I’m doing my best to get the food back on the map here.
Q: So what are you looking to change?
A: I’d like to ground the menu a bit. I think the menu I walked into was a little bit scattered and unidentifiable to me as a chef professionally. I’m trying to ground the menu in some traditional preparations and modernize them a bit. Grounded just means we’re getting everyone down to basics and putting out very good quality food without over-the-top preparations. It’s traditional yet contemporary.
Q: You think there will be a new favorite dish on your menu?
A: You know what? I would hope so, but that’s totally something a chef can’t choose — it finds its own way.
Q: Well what’s your favorite thing you guys make?
A: Oh my, honestly I don’t have a favorite dish. I honestly don’t. We’ve been making this bolognese because one thing that’s been requested was that we could put some of the Scoozzi favorites on the menu. People really loved our risotto and our bolognese, so I put both of them on the menu, and we’ve been getting a lot of compliments from members. But I’m proud of everything on the menu. I’ve never had a favorite — I get more hyped about doing the specials because I can be more creative on a day-to-day basis.
Q: Fun fact?
A:I’m a rabid surf caster. Crawl out onto the rocks, put on a wetsuit, and fish for striped bass. No bait. It’s really a niche sport, when you’re going out through four- or six-feet waves to get to an offshore rock it gets a little crazy. But that’s my relaxation.
Watch out, Yale Dining, the fast food restaurants just keep coming. The latest is Panera Bread, joining the ranks of Shake Shack and Chipotle in New Haven, the New Haven Independent reported.
The bakery-café will open next-door to Starbucks at 1060 Chapel Street. For the past 30 years the spot has been home to News Haven, which sells an international selections of newspapers and magazines. The New Haven Independent reports that Panera has already signed a lease on the 4,000 square-foot space. Shake Shack is one block away at 986 Chapel and Chipotle Mexican Grill will soon open at 900 Chapel. The Independent also quoted Navin Jani, the owner of News Haven, saying that he plans to close by mid-October.
There are 1,591 Panera Bread operations in U.S. and Canada, according to the company’s website. An opening date for the New Haven location has not been set.
Yes, you read right: a work permit posted at the former location of Caffé Bottega, 900 Chapel Street, says that a Chipotle Mexican Grille will fill the space. It’ll be at the intersection of Chapel and Temple Streets, a block from Old Campus, just down the street from Shake Shack on the New Haven Green.
There’s no sign of current construction at the restaurant, and Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
Chipotle is known for its high-quality “fast casual” burritos and Mexican food. Headquartered in Denver, the restaurant first opened in 1993 and currently operates over 900 locations nationwide. The closest location is in Milford, and students have been clamoring for a Chipotle in New Haven for years now.
We’ll get back to you with more news on the restaurant’s opening as it comes in.
City health inspectors gave student favorite Box 63 two weeks to clean up its act after it failed a recent health inspection.
In the latest round of health inspections that ended last week, Box 63, which opened its doors in New Haven last fall, received a score of 70 out of 100. Inspectors cited the presence of fruit flies, rodent droppings, chipped paint and an unsanitary staff bathroom among the health risks that the restaurant must address.
Box 63 and three other eateries that received a score below 80 were given two weeks to make changes before inspectors returned. But none of the restaurants were so unsanitary that they needed to be closed immediately, as has happened during inspections in the past.
Sanitarians from the city health department tested 22 restaurants over the course of five days, 18 of which passed with need for further inspection. Louis’ Lunch, which claims to have offered the world’s first hamburger, received the inspection’s high score of 95.
City inspectors typically review every establishment that serves food between one and four times per year.
Over the past few days, the coffee shop made a number of changes to its interior décor. One wall is now painted lime green, while another is now made of brick. There’s new wooden (and cushioned!) chairs, and swanky bar along the far wall with raised bar stools. And to top it off, the shop added 15 new outlets along the bar for customer use, which one barista said are a huge hit with customers.
Fingers crossed other cafés near Willougby’s add more outlets too!
A new sign appeared Tuesday afternoon above the former location of ¡Ay! Salsa, a Latin restaurant at 25 High St. that closed its doors in late December. Workers have been on site over the past few days moving equipment into the shop, and signs in the windows read “Arepas!!!!! Coming soon.”
A Tuesday afternoon call to the number on the sign went unanswered, but when contacted at his food cart, Ernesto Garcia, the chef behind ¡Ay! Arepa, said the new restaurant would re-open after Spring Break.
In early January, A worker who was clearing out the former home of ¡Ay! Salsa said that the restaurant had left, and that another business would be taking its place, although he did not know what business that might be.
When a fire broke out at the newly-opened Da Legna restaurant on State Street over the weekend, everyone inside got out unharmed — every human, that is.
After the fire, clean-up workers found Spooky hiding in a closet to protect himself from the smoke and the cold air, CT Post reported today. He was immediately taken across the street to the New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, where he received oxygen treatment. A dog named Mona and a cat named Sammy were also rescued, but three cats did not survive the blaze.
The owner of the apartment and the pets, Mike Simonelli, a veteran, was hospitalized after a car crash last Friday. When the building caught on fire, he was still in serious condition and was not able to pick up his injured animals.
Residents in the neighborhood are raising money for the hospital bill and have already collected more than $1,000. Donations can be made at the SoHu Neighborhood Association’s website.
Workers at Alpha Delta Pizza have a new uniform, and you can too!
The wenzel wizzes on Elm Street are now sporting new pinnies that read “Alpha Delta Pizza” on the front, joined by the greek letters alpha, delta and pi. The back features the expressions “wenzel” and “1 button.”
Interested patrons can purchase a pinnie of one’s own at onebuttonwenzel.com — the pinnes are listed under the toppings and are available in small, medium, large and XL. They cost $5 each.
As some of us are already giving up our New Year’s resolutions for self-improvement, Gourmet Heaven started 2012 with a number of big changes itself.
The furniture on the upper level of the store has been replaced with sleek wooden tables and benches. The old chairs were unstable and diners could potentially fall over while sitting in them, said Adam Juarez, GHeav’s night-time manager. The other renovations, which closed GHeav from Dec. 19 to Jan. 3, include freshly painted walls (orange) and ceiling (off-white), in addition to freshly-waxed floors.
As for the bacon-egg-and-cheeses, nothing has changed.