Cosimo’s: traditional Italian family recipes with farm to table freshness

The Mid Hudson Valley has so much to offer and if you live in the area or are visiting some of the local attractions such as the spectacular Walkway Over The Hudson State Park , you will of course need to dine.   Minutes from the Walkway is Cosimo’s Poughkeepsie  and it’s the perfect spot to dine.  This eatery featuring traditional Italian cuisine is located in a freestanding building that is inspired by an Italian villa.  The interior features high ceilings, brick oven, bar, and four separate and more intimate dining spaces.  Walls are adorned with photos of scenes from Italy.  There is also an elegant private room upstairs that reminds one of a fine wine tasting room.  A Vespa scooter is  perched high up on a shelf.

If you are hungry, then you have arrived in the right place.  Cosimo’s has a full menu for everyone in your dining party.  There is a list of 21 wines available in glass or bottle and reasonably priced at $7-11 per glass.  If beer is your preference then  there are 17 types of beer available at $5-$6.  There are even pitchers of Sangria for the table.  The menu relies on sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local farms in the Hudson Valley.

Appetizers are plentiful with 13 on the menu ($9-$16) with options from Calamari, to Caprese to Crispy Polenta.  We sampled the Crispy Polenta which featured cubes of cornmeal polenta, fried and served with pan sauce,  local baby kale and parmigiano and was very good.  A nice starter to share if you do not want to fill up.

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Crispy Polenta

Wood fired Pizza is very big on the menu with 18 types available ($11-16) and you can even make your own from a list of ingredients on the menu.  The pizza is made right in the oven near the bar, so you know it will be fresh and hot.  We sampled the La Grigliata Pizza,  a veggie lovers delight with roasted zucchini & squash, local Kale, roma tomatoes, garlic, and EVOO.  It was excellent and so healthy and the crust was light and crispy.

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La Grigliata Pizza

We also ordered two pasta dishes including the Eggplant Sicliliano, a delicious blend of brick oven Roasted Eggplant, pepperoncino flakes, plum tomato Sauce, garlic and fresh mozzarella.  The use of the brick oven to roast the eggplant which was then diced was key to this dish. A real healthy and not too filling entree.

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Eggplant Siciliano

The other pasta was the Grilled Chicken Penne which was a delightful mix of grilled chicken, hearty pesto sauce over penne.  Another nice and healthy dish.  Pastas can be ordered as whole wheat or gluten free.

We could not pass up on some of the classic Italian restaurant dishes so we opted for the  traditional Eggplant Parm and Chicken Parm which were both prepared the same with tomato basil sauce, mozzarella, and parmigiano served with penne pomodoro.  Both were classic Italian comfort dishes and really hit the spot on the cold January day we visited.  The portion was large enough that we were able to take a bit home for another meal.

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Classic Eggplant Parm

Cosimo’s delivers a great meal with a wide variety of items for everyone in your party.  I would love to see them add some mussles and more clam dishes to their menu.   But rest assured, everyone one will leave the restaurant full and happy.   If you are local, or are visiting the area, Cosimo’s is a great place to stop with a menu that is reasonably priced and made with traditional recipes and locally sourced ingredients.

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Cosimo’s

120 Delafield Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

tel.845.485.7172

https://cosimospoughkeepsie.com

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The Whitlock: an exciting new restaurant brings flavor to Katonah

Katonah has welcomed its newest eatery, The Whitlock to the neighborhood.  The Whitlock is a wonderful addition to the area and seemingly has already been warmly accepted by locals and foodies who are filling the establishment each evening.   The Whitlock takes its name from the first business in old Katonah which was a mill and a tavern owned by Whitlock and Wood.  The village would grow up from these humble beginnings to create a community.  The Whitlock is continuing in that tradition.  Operators Matt and Christina Safarowic have opened a restaurant that creates a warm and inviting place to drink and dine.  Food is locally sourced and the menu has been crafted to focus on flavors unique to each dish as well as a simple but elegant presentation.

Upon entering you feel instantly comfortable and at home, a  unique feeling in a new restaurant.  The Whitlock is small with three separate dining areas, two with tables and the bar room with seating at the bar and at cozy pub tables.  The design is upscale tavern with dark painted wood,  and softened by art work decorating the walls.  A recent Saturday night was filled with families, couples and groups of friends enjoying the fun atmosphere and food on a chilly January evening.

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We started with cocktails and the Whitlock provides a full bar with 15 beers available including 9 craft beers.  Wine is available by the glass or bottle with fine selections from Italy, France, Spain, Argentina and California.   A pleasant selection of craft cocktails awaits including two we sampled, Strawberry Fields Forever with Tito’s Vodka, strawberry and other flavors and the more potent Maria Maria, a tequila based cocktail with raspberries, lime, prosecco and agave.

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Fish Tacos

For appetizers there are four salads available (full or half) and 12 other appetizers with pork, seafood, chicken, beef and veggie selections.   We choose the Fish Tacos ($14) and the Tuna Tartare ($16).  The fish tacos come three on a plate and are filled with seared cod, cabbage and a mango jalapeno relish.  A fantastic dish to enjoy on your own or share.  The fresh cod and relish combined to create a unique flavor that lingers on the tongue.   The Tuna Tartare was served in a bowl featuring a vibrant and flavorful medley of fresh tuna, avocado, cucumber, grapefruit, jalapeno, and coconut milk.

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Tuna Tartare

For entree’s The Whitlock offers 8 different items including seafood, pork, beef and chicken and  a veggie burger as the sole vegetarian option.  We ordered the wonderful Wild Salmon ($26) and the Organic Chicken ($26).    The salmon was delicious, cooked to perfection and served with wild mushroom farro, citrus and celery root salad.  So often salmon can be served under or over cooked and here the chef was spot on, delivering a dish full of healthy flavor.

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Wild Salmon

The Organic Chicken was served french cut (chicken breast with the wing attached) which is an attractive cut.  The herb roasted organic chicken was a delight, and was served with a comforting helping of grits, honey, and spinach.  The perfect dish on a cold winter’s evening (and probably anytime).

 

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Organic Chicken

If you desire dessert, The Whitlock offers seven selections and we sampled the Apple Crumb Cake served with Longford’s (of Rye) ice cream, and almonds.  A nice and comforting dessert to round out our dining experience.

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The Whitlock has already opened its doors to the community and has created a fun place to gather with friends and family  and enjoy  a wonderful menu of New American cuisine and drink.  It is only a matter of time before word spreads that Katonah’s  newest eatery is the place to be.

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The Whitlock

17 Katonah Avenue Katonah NY

tel. 914.232.8030          web:  https://www.thewhitlockny.com

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A Chorus Line high kicks into the Westchester Broadway Theater

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The Tony Award winning Broadway smash, A Chorus Line is now onstage at the Westchester Broadway Theater for a run through April 1, 2018.  The musical was first  staged in 1975 and would go on to an incredible run until 1990.  A Chorus Line would receive 9 Tony Awards and 7 Drama Desk awards and even a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  At one point it held the title of being the longest running play on Broadway.

A Chorus Line is a unique musical in which the play is about the trials of a Broadway dancer.   The setting is 1975 in an era when Broadway was in decline and the classic era of great Broadway musicals was seemingly in the past.  The play is staged on an empty stage and we meet a group of professional dancers who are all auditioning to be in the chorus line of an upcoming musical.

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The director, Zach has the task of putting the auditioning dancers through their paces as he tries to narrow down the field.  He is present onstage and sometimes offstage where the audience hears his voice talking to the actors.  Interestingly as part of  the audition the director questions and engages the actors about themselves and their lives.  As each actor is alone on the empty undecorated stage, they  are vulnerable and reveal their thoughts, fears and most personal feelings about themselves.   The effect is  quite moving as the audience sees them not just as synchronized dancers in a line, but real individuals full of emotion.

There is also references to the struggles the theater is going through during this period as each actor questions their future as declining performances and competition create an underlying anxiety with regards to their profession and the health of the theater during  that period.

The cast of 23 actors filled the stage at the Westchester Broadway Theater on opening night and the complicated dance moves with so many dancers on the stage was well choreographed and impressive.   Many of the 12 songs are sung by the company and they harmonized well.  Stand  out songs from the musical are I Hope I Get It,  Nothing,  The Music in the Mirror and One (Singular Sensation).

Director and Choreographer Mark Martino has done a fantastic job with the large cast of 23 talented actors and dancers.

A Chorus Line will have you tapping your feet and high kicking even after the house lights are raised!

Dinner is served prior to the performance and is included in your ticket price.  Come see Broadway talent right in the heart of Westchester.

for tickets and more information: http://www.broadwaytheatre.com

Westchester Broadway Theatre

1 Broadway Plaza

Elmsford NY

 tel.  914 592-2268

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Taste of Fairfield-Winter Fest: food,wine, craft beer and entertainment! Sunday January 28th

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Looking for something to do this coming weekend.  There will be no football on Sunday and if you are looking for something different then The Taste Of Fairfield-Winter Fest may be the perfect way to take care of the winter blues. The event is on Sunday January 28th from 12 noon to 4p.m.

Taste of Fairfield-Winter Fest  is a great event that brings together in one place restaurants, wineries, distillers, craft brewers and markets.  Samples of their products will be available to taste for all attendees.   I attended the fall Taste of Fairfield event a few months back and had a great time.

The focus of this event will be on comfort food, party food and the food you might serve at a Super Bowl Party.   The party is indoors at the beautiful Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield Ct.  This is a great party space and in addition to the food there will be live music, silent disco, bowling, stand-up comedy and even roving entertainment.  Sounds like a great afternoon!

Tickets:  $50 in advance.  $100 for VIP tickets which includes open bar and access to the private lounge. Tickets at the door are $10 in addition to the advance ticket price.  Parking is free!   There is a charity, Operation Hope that will be receiving proceeds from  the Chances to Win drawing.  Winners will receive a weekend stay at a resort in Nantucket.

Taste of Fairfield -Winter Fest is a production of Town Vibe, the publisher of magazines in Fairfield, Westchester, and Litchfield Counties.

For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-fairfield-winterfest-tickets-38665831543

Taste Of Fairfield-Winter Fest

presented by Town Vibe

Brooklawn Country Club

500 Algonquin Road Fairfield Ct.

 

 

 

 

Wall Street Theater of Norwalk: Exciting concerts, Tae Bo and more coming soon!

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The Wall Street Theater, of Norwalk Ct. which recently opened its doors after undergoing a $10 million-dollar renovation, has released its schedule of upcoming events at the historic theater located at 71 Wall Street in Norwalk, Connecticut.  There are some fun musical events coming in the next month to this great venue.    The renovated theater is a real treasure and part of the rich history of the area.

Saturday, January 20 at 7:00pm

Norwalk Band & Brew Night will present five local acts, including Brian Larney of The Town Hall, Casey Schroeder of The Burroughs, James Darling of The Nuclear Heartbreak and Crown Colony.  The show is 21+, and includes one complimentary beer with each ticket purchased.

Saturday, January 27 at 7:30pm

The Wall Street Theater hosts the Norwalk Now City Limit Concert Series, featuring local musicians Tom the Suit Forst, Jason Gidder Band and The Doug Wahlberg Band.

Sunday, January 28 at 12:00pm

Fitness legend Billy Blanks will lead a Tae Bo Fitness Event, inviting guests to participate in a master’s fitness class.

Sunday, January 28 at 7:00pm

Improv in the Lob, presented by Yes & Company, presents some of the most ridiculous improvisers around to entertain.

Thursday, February 8 at 7:30pm

Funk Rock band The Werks will perform original songs from their four highly acclaimed studio albums. Connecticut up-and-coming band Cabin Fever will serve as the opening act.

Friday, February 9 at 8:00pm

Reggae musician and former singer of Tom Tom Club Mystic Bowie will be returning to The Wall Street Theater for his Annual Birthday Bash, featuring special guest performers and a performance from the soulful and legendary Freddie McGregor.

Saturday, February 10 at 6:00pm

The music of The Delfonics – an R&B/Soul vocal group made famous in the late 60s/early 70s for such hits as “La La Means I Love You” and “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind” – is brought to the stage by Gary Stevens, who partnered with original member (and Norwalk native) Major Harris before his death to continue to share the soulful style of the historic group. The evening will begin with a performance by Tim Currie’s Motown Review Band.

Saturday, February 17 at 8:00pm

Allman Brothers Band  and Grammy award winning artist Johnny Neel performs with Screamin Eagle Band, a modern southern rock band. *This show is 21 and over.

 

Wall Street Theater Norwalk

71 Wall Street Norwalk Ct 

web  https://wallstreettheater.com

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Patio 3 Restaurant: Authentic and Modern Mexican menu in Mt. Kisco

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I recently had the opportunity to dine at Patio 3, located in the heart of Mt.Kisco.  Patio 3 is a Mexican restaurant which features a menu of authentic and modern Mexican cuisine.  While  the typical Tex Mex style offerings are present, they are not as heavy and saturated in cheese and sauce.  The eatery offers a refreshing selection of healthy dishes and features  wide variety of items with fresh ingredients as well as emphasis on modern interpretations of traditional dishes. Vegetarian dishes are also available with veggie  fajitas, quesadillas, and burritos on the menu. The soft muted colors of the restaurant with tile floors and wood pergolas created a warm inviting space.

We started our meal with a bowl of fresh guacamole that was prepared tableside and served in a  stone bowl.  The fresh avocados, onion and spices served with chips made for a nice beginning to our meal.  Drink selection is excellent and we enjoyed  Mango margaritas on the rocks with fresh juices and fine tequila. One of the best margaritas I have enjoyed in some time.  There is also a selection of beer and at our table one of our party enjoyed the Bull Dog Margarita which features a bottle of Corona inverted into the frozen margarita.  The drink is a real crowd pleaser and you must be thirsty to take on the challenge of this large drink.

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Our main courses included traditional and some lighter, healthier fare.   A special on the menu was the Squash Quesadillas which was made with Butternut Squash, goat cheese, black beans and red onions, served on soft tortillas with guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo. A unique and healthy dish that was light and delicious.

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Squash Quesadilla

Also enjoyed was Camerones Al Tequila, a nice seafood dish made with tequila jumbo shrimp with garlic, chili powder, red onions, and  lime juice served with squash, zucchini and Mexican rice.  A well executed dish that was tasty as it was healthy.

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Camarones Al Tequila

The Paella Mariscada was a delicious take on the traditional Spanish dish with shrimp, scallops, clams, mussles, red snapper, chorizo, calamari, saffron rice and mixed vegetables.  This is a seafood lovers delight.  I ordered mine without the chorizo and all their dishes can be made to order if you wish.

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Seafood Paella

For something more traditional, the Chicken Chimichangas, crispy rolled flour tortillas with chicken, cheese, and served with a mild sauce, sour cream and guac.  Gone was the typical dish saturated in sauce and cheese and instead a dish where you can truly enjoy the crispness of the tortilla and the fresh ingredients.

Do not leave without tasting the fine after dinner coffees as well as the desserts.  We sampled the Bonelo Berry Tower, and the churros.  The desserts are delicious and worth sharing .  Patio 3 is a delightful restaurant that will make you want to return to again.

The Patio 3 Restaurant

222 Main Street Mount Kisco NY     tel. 914-864-2600

web http://thepatiorestaurant.net

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New Year, New You. Open House January 18th at Advanced Rejuvenation Centers

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A fun and informative evening is coming up at Advance Rejuvenation Centers on Thursday January 18th 2018 from 5 to 8pm.   Here you can learn and ask questions about rejuvenating your skin, body and hair.   Learn about the exciting procedures such as tru Sculpt 3D and SculpSure.

The event is free, and attendees will be able take advantages of discounts that are available for these procedures.  There will be a raffle, door prizes and refreshments served.

Looking to get a jump start on the swim suit season?  This is a great way to your body started to a new look for 2018.

RSVPs are appreciated.     tel 914.500.9594

ADVANCED REJUVENATION CENTERS

3020 Westchester Ave  Suite 306      Purchase New York   (right off I-287)

web: http://www.advancedrejuvenationcenters.com/

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Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woodie Guthrie at the Westport Country Playhouse. A musical that strikes a chord.

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A wonderful musical, “Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie” is now on stage at the Westport Country Playhouse.  This is a very limited engagement that runs until January  20th 2018 and is not to be missed. The show ran off Broadway in the summer of 2017.

Woody Guthrie is an icon in American music and culture.  The play follows the arc of his life from his humble roots growing up in Oklahoma, to his days as a wandering musician who traveled the nation during the depths of the Great Depression.  This era of grinding poverty, dust bowls and unrest in our country made a  tremendous impression on Guthrie and influenced his music.  Most American music up until his time was polite and trivial fare with little awareness for reality.  Guthrie’s experience with the Dust Bowl of the Mid West, the foreclosure of farms, the vast migration of poor farmers to California all became the subjects of his songs.   The fact that the police in California blocked the migration of Americans into California, or that many were huddled into impoverished camps became his subjects and he their champion.  These Americans had no voice and Woody gave them one by way of his music.  He would become pro-union, anti-fascist and even serve in World War II.  Although he would later be blacklisted in the post war era, his message and his music would influence a generation of singer/songwriters from Pete Seeger, to Bob Dylan and  the protest singers of the 1960s.

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The play is composed of mostly songs and is linked by Guthrie’s own words as his story is brilliantly told by David M.Lutken who devised the play and portrays Woody.  Lutken brings charm, gritty realism and humor to this famous musician.  Much of the Guthrie songbook is presented in the two act play.   Rousing renditions of This Train is Bound for Glory, This Land is Your Land, The Ballad of Tom Joad,  Jolly Banker and Pastures of Plenty were complimented by the moving  Deportees (about the death of deported migrant workers), Sinking of the Reuben James,   Vigilante Man, and I Ain’t Got No Home. 

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The cast includes Lutken as Woody(Broadway: Inherit the Wind, Ring of Fire, The Will Rogers Follies)  David Finch (Broadway credits: Cabaret) , Katie Barton (regional theater) and Leenya Rideout (Broadway credits: War Horse, Cyrano De Bergerac, Cabaret).  The cast sings, acts and plays numerous instruments during the performance including, guitar, banjo, dulicimer, mandolin, stand up bass, harmonica, jaw harp, and fiddle.  The performance was directed by Nick Corley.  The set design was simple but effective. And like Guthrie himself, it was all about the music and the message.

The opening night audience gave the actors a standing ovation for a great performance.  Do not miss this special musical.  A truly wonderful and fast paced evening of talented musicians, great music and subject matter is so relevant in today’s national economic and political climate.

Tickets are $35, $45, $50

for more info and tickets: http://www.westportplayhouse.org

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court  Westport Ct      tel. 888.927.7529

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Killer B’s SoNo: A new year and new expanded menu at this hip eatery

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In December 2017 Killer B’s of SoNo  (South Norwalk,Ct.) celebrated its first anniversary with a new menu which truly expands its traditional offerings.  The B’s in the name stand for Beer, Burgers, Bacon and Bourbon, and while those pillars of the menu remain, the chef has made a bold move to be more inclusive by adding vegan and vegetarian items to the menu which give everyone in your party a chance to enjoy this cool eatery.

Located on Washington Street in the hip SoNo section of Norwalk Ct., Killer B’s new menu, cocktails, and wide selection of craft beers and bourbons make this a must visit.  The interior blends the traditional architecture of SoNo with a modern industrial look that creates a fun atmosphere.  The crowd that night included singles, groups of friends of all ages and families.

Having built its brand with burgers and a variety of bacon, Killer B’s  has expanded its menu to attract a wider audience with delicious and healthy options.  The night our party dined we sampled a number of the new items.

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Buffalo Veggie Wings

We started with the Veggie Wings ($14) made with seitan (wheat gluten) and is a nice meat substitute and available in a number of flavors including Buffalo which we sampled.  A spicy an interesting alternative to meat.

Next up we tried both the Beef Sliders($10)  and the Eggplant Sliders ($9).  The Eggplant Sliders were delicious and  were panko breaded and pan fried and served with a tomato onion jam.

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Eggplant Sliders

 

For seafood lovers we tried the delicious Bourbon Brown Sugar Shrimp Skewers ($11) served on a bed of spinach and tomato.  Sweet and tasty.   The Seared Ahi Tuna Flatbread ($12) was by far my favorite and was fresh and served with avocado, tomato and a wasabi drizzle.   We also sampled the healthy Pear and Goat Cheese flatbread ($10) which satisfied with its contrasting tastes of sweet pear offset by the goat cheese.  These are just some of the wide variety of  dishes I did not expect from an eatery specializing in beef and bacon.

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SoNo Sunrise Burger

For our entree we chose the Salmon ($14) with spinach, red pepper and a drizzle of lemon cream which was fresh and a good alternative to the large selection of burgers.  The SoNo Sunrise Burger ($14), a larger beef burger topped with a fried egg, avocado and special sauce is true to the restaurant’s faithful customer who craves a filling burger.

A real pleasant surprise was the  Beet Burger ($12) which was a great meat alternative.  I love beets but was skeptical how this would translate into a burger patty.  It was delicious and full of flavor with eggplant bacon, lettuce, sriracha ketchup and served on a pretzel bun.

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Ahi Tuna Flatbread

Killer B’s still delivers its fan favorites, but the new menu really adds a new dimension to this hip eatery.  With its extensive craft beer list , bourbons, and signature cocktails, you should start off the new year with a visit.

Killer B’s SoNo 

80 Washington Street Norwalk, Ct.     tel 203.853.2326

online:  http://www.killerbsono.com

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