Monday, May 22, 2017

The First Annual West Hartford Wine and Food Festival - 2017

The First Annual 

West Hartford Wine and Food Fest!

Save the date - and get your tickets NOW 
to the first annual

If you follow my website you know I love a good wine and food festival - especially when they are held in my native Connecticut! Fairfield County has it going on every year with the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival, and Mystic County has Mohegan Sun's Wine and Food Fest.

And now Hartford County has answered the call 

That right! The VERY First Annual West Hartford Wine & Food Festival is coming Saturday, June 17th from 1-6pm at Kingswood Oxford School

I attended a preview event for the festival few weeks back at Maximum Beverage that showcased just a few of the foods and wines that will be featured from some of Hartford County's favorite places! There will be OVER thirty local restaurants, farms and bakeries. (AND ALL are included in your ticket price!)

Here's what I sampled at the preview event!

From the Rockin' Chicken:

Tigre de Leche from the The Rockin' Chicken
Tigre de Leche
The Rockin' Chicken

Fish Escabeche from The Rockin' Chicken
Fish Escabeche
The Rockin' Chicken

From Park and Oak Restaurant

Pimento Cheese  from Park and Oak Restaurant
Pimento Cheese
Park and Oak Restaurant

From India Restaurant

India Restaurant

From Cafe Louise

From Cafe Louise
From Cafe Louise

From Cafe Louise
From Cafe Louise

Let's move on to the WINES!

Believe me, this won't be your typical wine festival, the wines available for tasting at this wine fest are those that run around $20/bottle and go up to $100!

We sampled a few that will be available at the festival. My favorite was a wine I'm familiar with a nice Sauvignon Blanc from Justine Wineries!

Sauvignon Blanc from Justine Wineries!
Sauvignon Blanc
from Justine Wineries!

And there's EVEN MORE!

Local craft beer, wine and spirits tents, and non alcoholic options will be available as well!

Also on hand at the wine fest will be some talented local musicians, and contests with one of the world's first Master Sommeliers, Joseph Spellman!

Here's a list of Participating Restaurants

  • Millwright's
  • Grants
  • Firebox
  • ON20
  • Blind Pig
  • Park & Oak Restaurant
  • Student Prince
  • Carbone’s Kitchen
  • Local’s 8
  • Rooster Company
  • The North house
  • Cavey’s
  • @The Barn
  • Table 570 Asian Fusion
  • The Rockin Chicken
  • Butchers & Bakers
  • 4 Eat & Drink
  • Noble & Co.
  • Ideal Tavern
  • Café Louise
  • Seoul BBQ
  • Chango Rosa
  • Zohara
  • Popover Bistro & Bakery
  • OINK Pop Ups
  • Sub Edge Farm
  • Killam & Bassete Farmstead
  • Hartford Baking Company

VIP Grand Cru Tasting

  • Flemming's
  • NORA Cupcake

Be sure you get your tickets and we'll see you at the WeHa Wine and Food Fest!

  • General Admission $149.00 (or get the four-pack for $500.00)
  • VIP (includes General Admission and Grand Cru Tasting $249.00
  • Designated Driver Ticket $75.00 (no alcohol included)

Please allow 1 week before pick up at Maximum Beverage. 
All tickets must be picked up BEFORE June 17th.

Only a limited number of tickets are available and a sell out is expected!

Event Location:

Kingswood Oxford School
170 Kingswood Road
West Hartford, CT 06119

The event will benefit multiple independent schools in West Hartford with need based financial aid and scholarships including our hosts, Kingswood Oxford, as well as The American School for the Deaf, the Intensive Education Academy, Renbrook School, The Watkinson School, Northwest Catholic, Solomon Schechter Day School, and St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership School

© Home Place 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mohegan Sun's Private Pool Cabanas

Mohegan Sun Introduces Private Pool Cabanas
And Al Fresco Dining
For The Summer Season

It's time for some hot summer fun in the sun at Mohegan Sun at their renovated Sun Terrace Pool!

That's right - Mohegan Sun is proud to present the resort’s first outdoor food and drink experience at the Bean and Vine Terrace.

Resort guests and visitors are invited to embrace summertime at one of the East Coast’s premiere destinations with the Sun Terrace Pool’s enhanced amenities and contemporary updates, including brand new cabanas and pool furniture. Capturing the essence of summer, Mohegan Sun unveiled the new Bean and Vine Terrace, its first al fresco casual dining spot, featuring all day menu options ranging from hand-crafted coffee and breakfast specialties to sommelier-selected wines and seasonal small bites for sharing.

The new cabanas are available starting Saturday, May 27, and the Bean and Vine Terrace opens to the public on Thursday, May 25.

“The guest experience is our priority at Mohegan Sun and we take special care and pride in continuously adding new amenities for our guests to enjoy,” said Ray Pineault, President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun. “Whether hungry for the finest in dining, catching major headliners and live concerts or wanting to discover the best in gaming, we at Mohegan Sun are proud to offer guests premier entertainment, gambling, shopping and relaxing experiences this summer!”

About the Sun Terrace Pool Cabanas at Mohegan Sun

Guests can experience the ultimate in comfort and relaxation in the new cabanas at the Sun Terrace Pool, which offers the ideal warm-weather escape amidst Mohegan Sun’s beautiful resort setting, located on the third floor of the Sky Tower. The new pool cabanas feature a cool outdoor space for hot summer days amidst plush pillows and soothing colors – perfect to relax with a summer book or create an outdoor entertainment lounge for friends and family.

Each cabana comfortably seats ten people, comes with a television, mini-refrigerator and towels, and features sturdy shutters around the perimeter providing both sun protection and privacy for guests. Beginning this summer, daily cabana reservations are available for $400 Monday through Friday, $600 on Saturday and $500 on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and guests receive a complimentary $100 food and beverage credit when they book. In the evenings, cabanas can be reserved between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. for a lower rate of $250 Monday through Thursday, $350 Friday and Saturday, and $250 on Sunday, with a $50 food and beverage credit.

Guests are encouraged to place their cabana reservation through Mohegan Sun’s concierge (Ext. 2-1230) for both future and day of bookings, with a 24-hour cancellation policy.

The outside Sun Terrace Pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting.

About the Bean and Vine Terrace at Mohegan Sun

The Bean and Vine Café & Wine Bar, located in Mohegan Sun’s recently opened Earth Tower, will launch outdoor food and drink service on the new Bean and Vine Terrace, beginning Thursday, May 25. The first al fresco casual grill spot at the resort will seat up to 120 guests on a contemporary designed patio matching the indoor restaurant’s modern style, where guests are invited to enjoy small bites at the Bean and Vine Terrace Thursdays through Saturdays. The Bean and Vine Terrace menu features shared plates such as chips and guacamole with salsa, a Mediterranean hummus platter, hot poke bowls with guests’ choice of beef tenderloin, chicken or shrimp, and grilled chicken, beef or shrimp skewers served with a summer salad and naan triangles. The restaurant will also offer $7 cocktails and Moet champagne by the glass, as well as outdoor entertainment on Thursday nights as part of Mohegan Sun’s annual Hot Summer Fun celebration, which kicks off in June.

These new features are part of Mohegan Sun’s multi-million dollar revamp initiated last year. The project includes several stages of renovations for the property’s original 1,200-room Sky Tower, and opening of the brand new Earth Tower last fall. The Earth Tower brought 400 hotel rooms to Mohegan Sun’s riverfront property, featuring the full-service Mandara Spa along with a fitness center, pool, a fire pit lounge outside on the Earth Tower Terrace and now the newly introduced Bean and Vine Terrace.

To learn more about the all-encompassing resort property in Uncasville, Connecticut and experience the Sun Terrace Pool and Earth Tower Terrace this summer, visit Mohegan Sun!

Mohegan Sun 

1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
Uncasville, CT 06382
General Information: 1.888.226.7711

About Mohegan Sun

Owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Mohegan Sun is one of the largest, most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in the United States.  Situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is home to three unique casinos, 1,600 deluxe hotel rooms, 2 world-class spas, a golf course, over 80 shops, restaurants and bars as well as three award-winning entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat Arena. Mohegan Sun is within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country. More information is available by calling 1.888.226.7711 or visiting Connect with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @mohegansun, view them on YouTube and find them on Snapchat at username MoheganSun.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Farmington's New Restaurant: Butchers and Bakers

Social Media Promotion:  Sponsored  

Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar in Farmington CT

I love this time of year when everything in Connecticut starts 'greening' up and the days get warmer, and daylight lasts longer. It's a sure sign of spring and new beginnings. The first thing I want to do when the days get longer is hop in the car and take a ride to find some great new places to wander about in!

Thankfully this impulse just happened to coincide with an invitation to visit Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar located in "The Exchange" in Farmington CT!

Farmington CT is located about an hour from New Haven, and it's just minutes from Hartford. Butchers and Bakers serves new American cuisine, prepared using fresh ingredients seasoned in twin coal-fired ovens.

But why the restaurant name?

In addition to the beautiful coal fired ovens that bakes up some delicious artisan breads - they feature daily fresh cuts of meat, butchered in their very own kitchen.

There is a small but tasteful wine selection, a fun cocktail menu, and a full service bar. In addition to a good sized bar, dining room, and loft dining area perfect for small parties, there is a spacious outdoor patio. The atmosphere is fun, relaxed, and casual and the dining area is tastefully decorated with cute food themed wall art and kitchen utensils. It's bright and airy and comfortable.

I started with a delicious and tart Tito's Moscow Mule.

And when the rest of our crew arrived we sampled some more of the fun cocktails like the Pisco Sour and the Rum Swizzle. Joining us for this tasting were Greg and Wendy from Connecticut Lifestyles Magazine , Ron from Ron's Food Trips, and Gina from Gina Zammit's WanderLaughs

Then the small plates started arriving! We shared some delicious starters like calamari, meatballs, red lentil hummus, garlic bread - and more!

Artichoke hearts + roasted pepper + sliced olives

House-made focaccia + Gorgonzola cream

Garden-fresh crudité + tahini + smoked sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil + grape tomato + dried chili .

Butchers and Bakers famous meatballs
+ basil + house-made ricotta

Smoked mozzarella fondue

And you know that with these beautiful coal fired ovens that there was some amazing pizza goin' on!


Blue Cheese and Arugula

Blistered cherry tomatoes + prosciutto +
Luzzi Brick Oven Mozzarella

San Marzano tomato + I
talian long pepper + fontina + mozzarella

Before moving on we decided to clear our palates with a little salad.

And we sampled the day's "Butcher Board" - which changes daily. On the day we visited it was a rib rack and some bratwurst with some made on premise hearty mustards.

Today’s cut + chef’s presentation of farm vegetables
+ house-made condiments

And then we moved on to the entrees and pasta portion of the menu!

Smoked sweet potato puree + cardamom sautéed Brussels sprouts ...

Pork belly + horseradish crumbs + soft fried egg

Shrimp + chicken + cod + cockles
+ saffron + smoked paprika

And we finished the night off with some decadent desserts!

Ganache + raspberry coulis

Grass Roots Creamery ice cream
+ house-made honey nut tart shell

Chef's Latin heritage shines through with his delicious seasonings and creative offerings. We enjoyed all the delicious food we sampled and got to catch up with one another while we waited between courses for the next round of plates! 

There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of dining with good friends, laughter, and fun times --- in a beautiful and scenic restaurant with great food!

Eating should be an experience and I hope you experience Butchers and Bakers soon!

Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar

270 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032. 
 (860) 470-7414

Disclaimer: I was invited to Butchers and Bakers Kitchen and Bar by members of their marketing and management team, however all view expressed are my own.

The post Farmington's New Restaurant: Butchers and Bakers first appeared on Home Place on May 14, 2017.

© Home Place 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring 2017 at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Social Media Promotion: Sponsored  

Spring Savings and Specials at Clinton Crossing

There's so much going on this spring at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets that I hardly know where to begin!

A few weeks ago I was invited to their spring preview event and had a chance to talk to so many of the merchants there and found out there's some great savings and fabulous fashions to be found!

In addition to seeing some great spring looks, we learned about all the happenings at Clinton Crossing - so many great spring specials like the Susan Komen More Thank Pink Campaign (read about it HERE) that offers UNBELIEVABLE savings, the Artisan Market (see more HERE) held one day a month through October, and the Return of the Gourmet Food Trucks (read it HERE) where you can catch some delicious food while you shop and nosh!

Here are some of the spring fashions available now at Clinton Cross that we previewed!

At Dooney and Bourke Factory Outlet Center

Originating in 1975 in Norwalk CT, Dooney & Bourke creates accessories and are best known for their timeless American style with attention to craftsmanship. I had two favorite purses from their display, the cream colored one, because of its clean and classic lines, and the smaller key lime toned chain purse because of its spring-like color!

Dooney and Bourke  Factory Store at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Dooney and Bourke  Factory Store at
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Dooney and Bourke  Factory Store at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Dooney and Bourke  Factory Store at
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

At Bass Factory Outlets

GH Bass is known for shoes - but they also manufacture apparel and accessories. A New England mainstay since 1876, this Maine manufacturer has a reputation for quality, comfort, and durability. I fell in love with these turquoise flip flops, but ended up purchasing them in hot pink and white!

Bass Shoes at  Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Bass Shoes at
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Bass Clothing at  Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Bass Clothing at
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

At Chico's Factory Outlet

Chico's motto is to make women look as great as they feel. Founded in 1983 as a small boutique selling Mexican folk art and cotton sweaters on Sanibel Island in Florida. Their factory outlet center lives and breathes the Chico's motto with helpful sales associates that help every women feel fabulous with their colorful accessories and ultra-chic clothing.

Chico's at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Chico's Colorful Clothing
at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Chico's at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Chico's at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth

Saks Off Fifth offers the labels you love and discount designer clothing, handbags, and more. The first part of the store I always head to is their amazing shoe selection and look at the navy and white Jack Rogers I found!

Jack Rogers at Saks Off Fifth Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Jack Rogers at Saks Off Fifth
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Clinton Crossing has more than clothing and accessory stores - they are also home to some great stores like Le Creuset, Swarovski Crystal, Sunglass Hut, Lindt Chocolate, Vera Bradley, Yankee Candle AND MORE!

See the complete list of stores HERE

At Lindt Chocolates

Lindt at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Gourmet Chocolates from Lindt
at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

At Yankee Candle

Yankee Candle at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
Beautiful Gift Sets from Yankee Candle
at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

20 Killingworth Turnpike
Clinton, CT, 06413

Disclaimer: I was invited to this spring fashion preview by members of Clinton Crossing's marketing and management team, however all view expressed are my own.

The post Spring 2017 at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets first appeared on Home Place on May 14, 2017. 

© Home Place 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mother's Day at "The Fez" in Stamford CT

Spend Mother's Day at The Fez in Stamford

Treat mom to a little bit of pizzazz 

in Stamford's own "The Fez" on Summer Street.

Sunday, May 14
11:00am - 3:00pm

Dessert at the Fez Stamford
Photo Courtesy Bird Social Media and The Fez

The Fez is now accepting reservations for Mother's Day Brunch.

Nothing says "Mother's Day" more than the gift of family time! We all know Mom deserves a day out with family, friends, and loved ones! Take her where she'll be treated like royalty and enjoy a delicious meal.

Live Music featured:

The Broadbelt Duo will serenade you with their a bravura performance of Latin, Flamenco and Classical guitar sounds. Coming to the Fez from Brooklyn, the duo has played for audiences at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, Jazz at the Smithsonian in DC, The United Nations, Rockefeller Center, and Lincoln Center. And now they're playing for YOU!

Here's what's on the menu for Mother's Day


Parfait fresh berries layered between vanilla bean-infused yogurt topped with honey $8

Deviled Eggs spices and flavors from around the world with fresh fruit $10

Shrimp Cocktail with house-made Moroccan 7-spice sauce $12

Muffins freshly baked mini muffins served with strawberry infused butter $8


The Fez Salad grilled veggies with arugula, pine nuts, and flamed goat cheese
with almond pesto dressing $12

Kale and Spinach baby kale and baby spinach with candied walnuts, carrots, cucumber, hearts of palm, dried figs, cranberry vinaigrette $12

Main Dishes

Fez Breakfast three eggs to order, with rosemary home fries, olives, merguez sausage and buttered toasted pita bread $14

Moroccan Eggs Benedict served on a buttered pita with lamb and hollandaise sauce and roasted fingerling potatoes $12

Chicken Shwarma Breakfast Wrap our famous marinated grilled chicken with haloumi cheese, scrambled eggs, tomato salsa, and potatoes $14

Roast Leg of Lamb freshly carved lamb, rich wine reduction, with herbroasted potatoes and garlic sautéed spinach $18


Briwats House Specialty North African variation of baklava, but even better! $9

Martini Clad Cinnamon Caramel Ice Cream served in a martini glass, 3 large scoops of ice cream with fresh mint, & cinnamon stick - whipped cream available please ask server $9

Children welcome with a wonderful menu starting at $6.99

Relax with the Fez's Bottomless Mimosa or Bloody Mary — $14

Happy Mother's Day from The Fez!

Call to reserve (203) 324-3391 

The Fez

227 Summer Street
Stamford CT 06901
(203) 324 - 3391

About the Fez:

The Fez, downtown Stamford’s popular Moroccan inspired restaurant, eclectic wine bar, and live music locale invites you to be transported to an inviting retreat where the flavors of the spice route meet the sound of music that spans across many genres. The Fez first made its mark on the local dining scene in 2010. Its “Spice Route” cuisine was quickly embraced by those looking for a unique dining experience. The menu is followed up with a refreshingly different wine collection, exclusive spirit infusions, creative cocktails, and a live music program unlike anything Fairfield County has ever seen.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The More Than Pink Campaign at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

Susan Komen 

- Be More Than Pink -

(and save 25% on an item)

at Clinton Crossing

Clinton Crossing is hosting the Susan Komen Be More Than Pink Campaign where from April 10th thru May 31st, you can donate $10 to Susan G. Komen at the Mall Office and receive a special discount card offering 25% off one item at over 25 stores at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets.

I attended a Spring Fashion Event last week at Clinton Crossing where I purchased my "Komen Card" that night and in ONE store alone on ONE pair of sandals saved $7.50!  Of course they were pink! (But that's just a coincidence - really!). Those gorgeous pink flip flops (from Bass) retailed for $29.99 and I received 25% off - for a total of $7.50 off. That's a huge discount!

What a great savings!

I almost feel guilty because I know the more that I use it I'll be saving WAY more than my initial donation. Be sure you purchase one so you can reap some amazing savings too!

Here's a list of participating stores

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • adidas
  • Aeropostale
  • Banana Republic Factory
  • Bass Factory Outlet
  • Brooks Brothers Factory Store
  • Calvin Klein
  • Carter's
  • Crocs
  • DKNY
  • Dooney & Bourke
  • Elie Tarari
  • Express Factory Outlet
  • Fragrance Outlet
  • Gap Factory Store
  • Hanna Andersson
  • J.Crew Factory
  • kate spade new york
  • Le Creuset
  • Levi's Outlet Store
  • Maidenform
  • Michael Kors
  • Skechers
  • Talbots
  • Timberland Factory Outlet
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Under Armour
  • Van Heusen - IZOD GOLF
  • Yankee Candle

It's really so easy! Just purchase your $10.00 card and visit the participating retailers to see how YOU can save 25% off one item too!

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets

20 Killingworth Turnpike
Clinton, CT, 06413

Visit the Mall Office or call 860.669.3066 for complete details. Some restrictions apply, see individual stores for details.

The post The More Than Pink Campaign at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets first appeared on Home Place on May 2, 2017.

NIXS Hartford - New Chef - New Look - New Nixs

NIXS in the Front Street District 

in Hartford CT
unveils New Look

NIXS Hartford location is all set to relaunch with an extensive renovation, an enhanced NEW menu and an elite top chef.
Always ahead of the curve, NIXS Hartford location is looking forward to the grand opening of the downtown UCONN campus and Graduate School this summer, NIXS restaurant in Hartford has recently completed an ambitious $100,000 renovation. The sleek, chic and unique décor features custom-made furniture and booths.  Part of the stunning redesign will include an all new café for takeout salads, sandwiches, pastas and espresso set to open this spring, and a large portion of the investment includes an expanded menu created by the restaurant’s new executive chef.

The popular chef Phil Parisse, formerly of Rizzuto's Restaurant in West Hartford, has put his touch on the menu, and added fresh pasta, gourmet salads, and high-end entrees to NIXS’ award-winning appetizers and contemporary cuisine. Customers can still expect the bar’s signature craft cocktails and extensive microbrew selection. NIXS has also created a new catering division to make any occasion special.  All of the company’s enhancements are captured in its new marketing campaign, appropriately titled:

“New Chef, New Look, New NIXS.”

“The Front Street district is destined to draw even more people with the completion of UCONN,” said Abner Kurtin, Managing Partner of NIXS. "We are relieved that we have settled our outstanding issues ... and plan to be part of the long-term success of the area."  
In addition to NIXS’ significant financial commitment, the partners have closed their South Windsor location in order to focus solely on Hartford. The eatery’s relaunch is designed to attract both old customers, as well as new students and faculty coming to UCONN.

In fact, the restaurant is part of the UCONN welcome celebration, the Big Mo’, on Saturday, May 20th. People can enjoy tours of the campus, music, and food from NIXS and other area restaurants. Proceeds from this event support Riverfront Recapture’s parks, free public events and youth programs, while enhancing the quality of life for all who live, work, stay and learn in Metro Hartford.

NIXS is also partnering with other charities such as Camp Courant and the Greater Hartford Arts Council by supporting their fundraising events.

“From day one we have been committed to making Front Street the most vibrant entertainment complexes in the area,” added Kurtin. "“These improvements show that we are here to stay and are looking forward to an exciting future in the city.” Kurtin noted. 
NIXS is one of the Front Street District's premier dining destinations for modern America small plates, contemporary cuisine, and New England micro brews. NIXS is open weekdays for lunch, happy hour, and dinner. On the weekends join them for dinner starting at 4pm, followed by the best nightlife in the city- live bands, DJ’s, and Connecticut's best craft cocktails.

NIXS Hartford

40 Front Street
Hartford, CT

Visit or call (860) 373-9400 for more information or to book a private event.

The post NIXS Hartford - New Chef - New Look New Nix first appeared on Home Place on May 2, 2017. Press release courtesy of Alliances by Alisa Media Relations.

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