About Us

Writer, sports nut, martial artist, boxing enthusiast, craft beer fanatic, movie geek, all around fun guy. I bring it. I am Andrew Dominick.

Graphic Artist and former bartender, with a hint of amateur magician and poet, I appreciate the value of a good home cooked meal and always save room for dessert. I am Robert Koch.

Marathon runner, big fan of traveling, outdoor enthusiast. I love staying active as well as eating all kinds of food. In other words, "I keep things balanced." Huge fan of southern cooking. I am Damion Patrignelli.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Arthur Avenue Markets: A Pictorial Review

Foods. A lot. 

Earlier this year when it was still very cold out, I got invited to go on a walking tour of Arthur Avenue along with some folks from Westchester Magazine, a few writers—including my pal Amy Sowder—and chef Mogan Anthony (Village Social, Locali) and his chef de cuisine Mauricio Nunez. The tour was courtesy of Feast on History, led by the husband and wife team of Christian Galliani and Danielle Oteri. They offer wine-based tours in Italy, but in addition to those overseas trips, the Arthur Avenue tour is one that shouldn’t be missed. 

Christian Galliani and Danielle Oteri, owners of Feast on History.
Christian and Danielle are very informative on the tour, and it’s no surprise considering they both have roots in THE REAL Little Italy. Our group found out about numerous markets, what they sell, what’s good to eat or buy there, and even that Mario’s Restaurant was supposed to be the setting for Michael Corleone’s gun-taped-under-the-sink scene in The Godfather, but they didn’t want to feed into that Italian/gangster stereotype. Great film, cool info that I didn’t know previously.

We didn’t do much of the restaurant scene (and there are some great ones on Arthur Ave.) but focused more on the specialty shops and indoor markets. Prosciutto bread from Addeo & Sons, Italian combos from Mike’s Deli, cured meats from Calabria Pork Store. That’s just a sample. And you damn well know that I filled the backseat of my car with hot/cold bags, coolers, and ice packs, because I basically went grocery shopping.

I wrote something previously that you can read HERE, but I wanted to toss up a blog post just to showcase more of the delicious photos and to hopefully encourage you to stop by Arthur Ave. and not wait decades to go back like I did. It’s safe to say, I’ll never be apart from Little Italy that long again. Next time I’ll make restaurants the focus and maybe I’ll bring just one cooler. Or two. 

Pork ceiling at Calabria Pork Store

Dude in front clearly loves cured meats

Love the bread in the window sill. Self service.

Prosciutto bread is basically buttery, flaky rings of goodness with chunks of meat baked in.

Mario's. Not seen in The Godfather.

It's my namesake, I had to.


Double cheesy

I bought a good chunk of expensive truffle cheese for everyone to try. We all wanted it. Someone had to do it.

Cigar rolling inside the Arthur Avenue Market

The famous Mike's Deli with homemade focaccia. Don't miss the homemade mozzarella here. We got served some fresh cheese that was still warm. MMMMMMM!

Chef Mogan and Mauricio ordering up at Mike's

Star of David signifying the Jewish shops that sold Italian goods years ago and still do to this day

It's pudding. Pudding with pig's blood. I wanted to try it, so did the chefs, everyone else...not so much.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Brunchin’ at Bareburger

Totally brunchworthy.

We're feelin' those weird photos. Animal heads on people! Yasss!
It’s kind of crazy to think that I’ve only ever been to a Bareburger one time. I went to the Ridgefield location shortly after they opened to check the hype, but never reviewed it because I only had a burger, fries, and one of their homemade sodas. The result? It was good. I didn’t jump out of my chair but the burger was solid enough where if I had it again I wouldn’t be upset.

The buzz about Bareburger in Connecticut, and from people I know and trust, is that it’s hit or miss, sometimes good, sometimes pretty average. Recently, the Food Dudes were invited to check out the recently opened Stamford location and we jumped at the chance to not only try a place we heard had some inconsistencies, but also to try their brand spankin’ new brunch menu.

We can sum this experience up in two words…Pleasantly surprised. 

Brussels sprouts with lemon juice and manchego. Fragrant and a good pungent punch from the cheese.  

Sprouts out the bowl = sexy
For this review we stayed true to the brunch theme so there are NO BURGERS mentioned here, although we would’ve downed more than one, I’m sure of it. We strayed from the brunch section just the once and it was for the Brussels sprouts (worth it!).  

Starting brunch with booze is always optimal. If you’re a fan of bloodys, Bareburger offers three: Bloody Veggie (vodka, house bloody mix, fresh horseradish, giardiniera), Big Bear Bloody (with peppered salami instead of giardiniera), and Bloody Maria (with tequila instead of vodka, served with a jalapeƱo popper). Damion and I opted for Old Fashioneds and thought they were solid overall, but could have used a bit more strength. Then again, it was barely 1 p.m., and we’re not drunks. Rob stuck to the brunchy drinks and went with a Salty Dog, an ice cold, refreshing grapefruit and vodka concoction with a salted rim. Worth noting about the drink menu is the decent craft beer selection available in 20 oz, 34 oz, and…wait for it…60 oz! FTW! Probably don’t drive if you do the 60, just sayin! 

Lots of #yolkporn. That's love.

More love.

The ultimate breakfast sandwich? We think so.

After we downed the Brussels sprouts we tried four different dishes. The breakfast sandwiches are musts at Bareburger. The Morning Commute was a simple sandwich with a perfectly cooked and runny sunny side up egg with melted aged cheddar on brioche, and for most that would be a suitable breakfast most mornings. On weekends though, and when you’re nursing that mean hangover, you NEED the Cuckoo’s Nest (onion ring fried egg, brisket & potato hash, cheddar, and habanero mayo on brioche). It’s as good as you think it would be and if it leaves you feeling guilty, who the hell cares? Brunch calories don’t count. This crispy, meaty, melty monster is already one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches ever, anywhere. 

More yolky goodness.

That's what's under there. So damn good when you mix it up a bit and spread that golden yolk.

Just gonna leave this here.
Aside from breakfast sammies, you can get a classic-type plate like the Hungry Bear (three eggs, French Toast, meat choice, potato choice) or the Hungry Cub (two eggs, meat choice, potato choice), and Bareburger has a handful of kid’s menu options. If you’re a Food Dude, you go right for the Fried Chicken & French Toast (maple syrup and candied pecans), basically a mockup of chicken & waffles. The French toast was thick cut, battered nicely, but cooked through the way it should be. The boneless white meat chicken was crispy and juicier and more tender than I thought it would be. If that dish was the Food Dudes’ consensus pick, my personal fave was the Hash Sheesh (two sunny eggs, brisket, potatoes, sweet potatoes, habanero mayo, picante relish). I just happen to really like hash bowls and this one worked for my taste buds with spice, lots of yolk, and meaty chunks of brisket.

Shake flow!

Damion out here straight gettin' it!

Bananas Foster shake!
We came away impressed with Bareburger’s brunch and can’t really speak about burgers this time around. We didn’t find a whole lot wrong here, except our drinks did take a while to come out, but after that the service seemed to hit a nice stride. If you decide to go and indulge in a brunch similar to ours, at least finish it off proper with a thick milkshake and then go home and partake in a weekend nap. You earned it.

21 Harbor Point Road
Stamford, CT 06902
(203) 890-9686
Instagram: @bareburger_ct

Photography by Damion & Andrew