Back 40 Kitchen: Taste their Values


Back 40 Farm, Washington, CT. Image courtesy of Back 40 Group

Back 40 Farm, Washington, CT. Image courtesy of Back 40 Group

If you care about authenticity and a clear vision that begins on a family farm, bringing the freshest ingredients possible to your plate, you’ll love Back 40 Kitchen as much as we did.

Every detail of the recently opened farm to table restaurant is an expression of Bill and Lesley King’s mission to bring organic ingredients to the table while respecting the land  and the people who tend it.

No cliches here, folks. This is the real deal.

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Swooning over Babke Swirls at Padoca Bakery

Photo: Liz Rueven

Photo: Liz Rueven

When Florence Fabricant, longtime food critic for the New York Times, mentioned a newly opened Brazilian bakery in NYC that creates guava and cheese babke swirls I was all lit up I guessed that the roots of  Padoca’s treats, including challah french toast and black and white brownies, extended beyond Sao Paolo.

Indeed, owner Marina Halpern, grew up in a tight knit and vibrant Jewish community in Sao Paolo. When she was 11, she converted to Judaism in order to study for her Bat Mitzvah with her classmates at Hebrew day school. After arriving in NYC, she trained at the French Culinary Institute (now ICC) and cooked at the Dutch and the Mark before heading to London for a stint at a cafe known equally for creative dishes and customer service.

Marina Halpern and  chef/baker Rachel Binder (who baked at Maialino, Tabla and Savoy)  are a dynamic duo, pooling their talents and cultures in this bright spot on the corner of 68th St. and First Ave. Continue reading

Here’s to Authentic Mexican Goodness- SALUD


Next time you’re in SOHO (NYC) and wondering where to get a “not a big deal” kinda meal, wander west and onto Thompson Street to find authentic, organic, and very vegetarian friendly Mexican eats and smoothies at SALUD. Gluten-free and dairy free? You’ll have an easy time here. Continue reading

Persian Flavors From the Family Kitchen

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Persian cooking is distinctive with flavors of pomegranate, funegreek, preserved limes, barberries, sour cherries and nuts. Lots of lentils and rice, and plenty of eggplant and garlic are often part of the mix. Don’t forget the more familiar baklava with all varieties of native nuts between many layers of pastry sheets moistened with honey.  Once I get the urge for these unique flavors I just gotta have ‘em.

So when my lunch date cancelled the other day, I kept my plan to eat at Parmy’s Persian Fusion in the East Village, NYC. A recent review in the NY Times got my motor going and I couldn’t shake it. Continue reading

What’s Cooking at The Granola Bar?

The Granola Bar - the bubby

contributed by Katy Morris; photos by Liz Rueven

After their highly successful launch of O.A.T.S. Granola, Westport “mom-preneursDana Noorily and Julie Levitt have jointly opened an “enlightened” Westport eatery called The Granola Bar where you can pick up some of their famous granola, sip on some delicious coffee from Tobey’s Estate in Brooklyn, or nibble on simple, clean, whole foods.


Why do we like this place so much?  Continue reading

From Farm to Pizza Truck and Making Your Own

Into the Fire

contributed by Katy Morris; photos: Liz Rueven

Farm to table is right up Jeff Borofsky’s alley…literally.

Jeff is the proud founder of Skinny Pines, LLC, Fairfield County’s only farm to table focused mobile wood-fired brick pizza oven. He uses only local, seasonal ingredients to create simple and fresh concoctions whilst incorporating sustainability in every aspect of the business.  I sat down with Jeff recently to get the skinny on his concept and unique pizza. Continue reading

Vegetable Heaven for Omnivores, Too

Market Sides, Count 'Em!

I’ve fallen hard for the easy neighborhood vibe and colorful, vegetarian dishes at Westville in NYC. The reason is simple, which is a lot like their menu offerings.  Last time I dined at Westville there were 21 market vegetables offered on their daily board. Veggie sides like Curried Okra, Sauteed Kale with Shallots, and Artichoke Hearts with Parmesan are not afterthoughts here. They are front and center for those who chose, or seasonal sides for anyone wanting to add on to their generously sized entrees.  Continue reading

Vegetarian Dishes Abound at Aladin, Indian Bistro

Manchurian Cauliflower, photo: Chuck Dorris

Manchurian Cauliflower, photo: Chuck Dorris

contributed by Katy Morris

Celebrated Chef Kausik Roy, a culinary expert who has mastered the intricacies of authentic Indian cuisine and has been successfully satisfying the palates of East Village and CT diners for years, has opened the doors of his newest eatery in Fairfield County, Aladin Indian Bistro. When crafting the menu, Continue reading

Mediterranean Flavors Sparkle at The Cleveland

dusk on Cleveland patio

On my first visit to The Cleveland we scored a table on their beautiful back patio. As the skies darkened over SOHO/NoLita we appreciated being snugly cocooned from the busy neighborhood.

 Co-owners Paul Shaked and Hudson Solomon are in their mid-twenties and bring a youthful energy and a bit of Brooklyn vibe to their restaurant. Their chef, Tal Aboav, came from Balaboosta’s kitchen via Israel. His Mediterranean inspired ingredients and menu choices often point straight back to his roots.

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