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Q&A With Mark Barnhart

With Restaurant Week around the corner, we got the scoop from the man in charge

Mark Barnhart at the Fairfield Town Party

Get your appetites ready! Fairfield Restaurant Week is upon us, and it will attract foodies from Fairfield and beyond. Mark Barnhart, Director of Community & Economic Development for the Town of Fairfield, is who we can all thank for bringing this exciting event to our town.

We decided to find out more about the man behind Restaurant Week and his own foodie experiences.

What is the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

On a visit to Peru, we sampled cuy (roasted guinea pig), which is a local delicacy, particularly in the area around Cuzco. That was probably the strangest thing that I’ve eaten in my travels.

If you could eat only one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That is a really difficult question, but I am partial to pizza and fish tacos, though usually not at the same time…

Do you like to cook, and if so, what is your specialty?

I enjoy cooking, but I seldom have time. Usually, my wife and I are scrambling to get dinner on the table, so the emphasis is more on speed. The grill has become more of my domain now, although I have been known to whip up the occasional fish stew or chili now and again.

What is your favorite thing about dining out?

My favorite part of dining out is not having to cook or clean up! But, I’m also drawn toward foods that I wouldn’t usually prepare at home.

What is the most memorable thing you've eaten while traveling?

I’ve had many memorable dining experiences but in Nairobi, we dined at a restaurant aptly named Carnivore, where waiters served different types of game meat table-side until you put down your flag. I sampled crocodile, zebra, impala and several others…all farm-raised, or so we were told.

What is your least favorite food?

There are few foods that I won’t eat, but I’ve never really acquired a taste for liver, probably because I was forced to eat it as a child, since it was one of my father’s favorite meals.

What can make or break your dining out experience?

Unfortunately, there are many ways to ruin a dining out experience, but certainly lousy or uninspired food and poor service top the list. Since we don’t get out to eat as often as we once did, we tend to be a bit more selective and perhaps less forgiving. Thankfully, there are many fine restaurants in Fairfield from which to choose.

There certainly are many restaurants to choose from!

Find out more about Restaurant Week here. Plus, head to the Facebook page to share the info with your friends.

The Fairfield website features information about Restaurant Week Deals, which include restaurants featuring $10 and $15 lunches and $20 and $30 dinners or other discounts on their already existing menus.

The following local places are featuring events and activities in conjunction with Restaurant Week:

  • Fairfield Public Library
  • Fairfield Theatre Company
  • Fairfield Museum and History Center
  • Fairfield University Bookstore
  • Fairfield Sportsplex
  • Fairfield University
  • Sacred Heart University

There will even be prizes, such as a top prize of $500 cash courtesy of The Gray Goose/Little Goose Restaurants. Over 20 additional drawing prizes will be awarded from local businesses.

Take advantage of this exciting week — bon apetite!

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