FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Many Fairfield County restaurants are hoping to take home the top prize at this year's Chowdafest Competition on Feb. 2.
Now in its sixth year, the event from Westport resident Jim Keenan is a fundraiser for the Connecticut Food Bank. Among this year's participating restaurants is Bernard’s of Ridgefield, voted best overall restaurant in the state in Connecticut Magazine. The magazine surveyed their readers in 35 categories and Bernard’s ranked best in four categories: overall excellence, French restaurant, bistro and brunch.
“I think people will be surprised to see a French restaurant in the competition and the fact we’re entering a classic New England clam chowder” said chef and co-owner Bernard Bouissard. “We are looking forward to competing in Chowdafest against the great chefs and restaurants in our state”.
Other magazine award winners and participants include The Spread in Norwalk, recognized as the best new restaurant and appetizers in the state. They also came in second for overall excellence and cocktails plus ranked as third best brunch.
Chowdafest will also feature Fairfield’s Mecha Noodle Bar voted as best Asian restaurant and second best “hidden gem”.
“Mecha Noodle Bar adds a dynamic new element to Chowdafest. There’s a void in great Asian cuisine and we are excited to see them in the competition,” said Stephanie Webster, CT Bites.com food blog founder and editor in chief.
Tikkaway Grill in New Haven is also participating in the competition. The restaurant was recognized as the third best Indian restaurant in Connecticut and will be competing in the soup & bisque category. Super Duper Weenie of Fairfield won second place for best road food and will be entered in the new traditional category exclusively for Manhattan and Rhode Island chowders. The Wood ‘n Tap restaurant from Orange, who is competing in the traditional New England clam chowder category was recognized as the third best family dining experience.
This year’s Chowdafest Competition features 32 entries from 29 restaurants including Bistro 7 (Wilton), Brennan’s Tap Room (Norwalk), Brewhouse (Norwalk), Cask Republic (New Haven, Stamford), Close Harbour Seafood (Planstville), Donovan’s (Norwalk – defending New England clam chowder champion), Guvnor’s Brewery (Norwalk), High Tide Gourmet (Madison), Indigo by the Water (Milford), Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale (New Haven), Liquid Lunch (Shelton, Milford), Mansion Clam House (Westport, two-time champion), Old Post Tavern (Fairfield), Parallel Post (Trumbull), Post 154 (Westport), Rory’s (Darien), Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood (Rowayton), Southport Brewing Company (Southport, Stamford, Branford, Milford – two-time champion) and Tavern on Main (Westport)
Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for kids 6-12. Chowdafest will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 2, at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.