Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Other Side of MA - at the Emily Dickinson Museum

Social Media Promotion
Portions of this trip were sponsored

The Emily Dickinson Museum

One of the first stops on our itinerary for the weekend to "the other side of MA" was a visit to the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst MA. My English lit classes were a VERY long time ago - so before we left I did a bit of research to refresh my poetic memory. I quickly found that one of my mom's favorite quotes to her bookworm daughter (me!) was Emily Dickinson's “To travel far, there is no better ship than a book.” 

It was the perfect way to start this  "girl's getaway" travel weekend that my friend Gayle and I, both avid readers, had embarked on! 

Emily Dickinson Museum Amherst MA
The Emily Dickinson Museum
"The Homestead"

The Museum offers several different guided tours of the Dickinson houses as well as an audio tour of the outdoor grounds. We began our visit to the Emily Dickinson Museum at the Tour Center which is part of the original Homestead where Dickinson lived. The tour center includes a free exhibit about the publication of Emily Dickinson's poetry which is also located in the Tour Center. The Tour Center is open to the public but tours beyond the lobby have a fee charged.

Emily Dickinson Museum Amherst MA
About Emily Dickinson
From the Emily Dickinson Museum

Tours are scheduled throughout the day  fees (see and tickets are sold in the tour center's lobby on a first-come, first-served basis.  Tour size may be limited and visitors cannot reserve tickets in advance of the day of the visit unless a group tour has been pre-arranged.  The Museum is happy to arrange tours for groups (parties of six or more people). Reservations for group tours must be made at least two weeks in advance and are subject to availability.

For additional information about Group Tours, please visit

Emily Dickinson Museum Amherst MA
Emily Dickinson Museum

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to photograph anything beyond the museum's center but the tour we chose was titled "This Was a Poet" (from Dickinson's poem) and included the following:

  • a 45-minute guided tour of the Homestead (Emily Dickinson's house)
  • history of he home and Emily Dickinson by discussing her family, her education, and her poetry.
  • the parlors, library, and Dickinson's bedroom
  • an informal participatory reading of a few Dickinson poems

The museum notes that this tour is especially suitable for visitors who are new to Emily Dickinson, including families with small children.

Emily Dickinson Museum Amherst MA
Emily Dickinson Donor Statue
"I'm nobody, who are you?"
The line is from a short lyric poem
by Emily Dickinson first published in 1891

We especially found interesting the fact that the home was sold to a local Amherst family where it remained a private residence until Amherst College, recognizing Dickinson's growing literary stature, purchased it for private tours and a faculty residence. In 2003 the museum was created where it currently is in the process or refurbishing the home with some furniture consistent with the times. While none of the clothing or furniture in the rooms are Dickinson's they are true to the style of the times.

Emily Dickinson Museum Amherst MA
I loved this beautiful Radiator
found in the Museum's Center

There is still much work to be done to bring the homestead to true museum quality stature - so the museum holds many fundraising events to help with costs. For information see

For those visiting from Connecticut, the museum is about a 1.5 hour drive from my native New Haven CT and about an hour from Hartford CT. The museum is great place to visit for Dickinson fans when touring local colleges, other museums, and area attractions.

The area is a great destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway!  For more area attractions visit

Emily Dickinson Museum

280 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002

About Amherst MA

Amherst is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River valley. With a population of 37,819 (2010 census), it is the largest community in Hampshire County. The town is home to Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Disclaimer: This visit was part of a trip sponsored in part by Visit Western Massachusetts, however all opinions are my own.

© Home Place 2017

The Other Side of MA - At Johnny's Tavern in Amherst MA

Social Media Promotion:
Portions of this trip were sponsored

Johnny's Tavern in Amherst MA 

As part of our girl's weekend road trip to "The Other Side of MA" Gayle and I found a great little food and shopping district about a half mile from the museum that we were slated to visit. This central district offered  SO MANY great dining choices - but we decided to go with the first one we spotted - and were so happy with our choice - Johnny's Tavern in Amherst MA.

The Other Side of MA - Johnny's Tavern
Johnny's Tavern in Amherst Massachusetts

Johnny's Tavern, your typical local pub with an upscale feel, is located in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. Their menu is INCREDIBLE! The management team is proud of their extensive item selections which feature organic produce, sustainable seafood, hormone-free meat and poultry where ever possible. Known for their excellent customer service, delicious food, professionalism and hospitality, this tavern is a great place to dine with friends, or have a casual date night.

I was a bit parched and hankering for a citrus-y cocktail and spotted a fun "Beyoncé Lemonade" on their cocktail menu! The perfect thirst quencher - and garnished with a thick slice of cucumber - it was a great start to our lunch.

Because we knew we were going to have a huge dinner that evening, we decided to go on the lighter side for lunch. Gayle ordered one of their flatbread choices, the Chicken Pesto Flatbread Pizza and I went with their Salmon Salad.

Chicken Pesto Flatbread Pizza
house made basil pesto, grilled chicken, goat cheese, tomatoes 

Salmon Salad
grilled, 5 oz, greens, roasted red pepper, olive, 
cucumber, feta, lemon pepper vinaigrette 

Johnny's Tavern in Amherst MA - Lunch
Lunch at Johnny's Tavern in Amherst MA

For those visiting from Connecticut, this restaurant is about a 1.5 hour drive from my native New Haven CT and about an hour from Hartford CT. It's a great place to have brunch, lunch, or dinner when touring local colleges, museums, and area attractions. Immediately following our lunch we visited the nearby Emily Dickinson Museum.

The area is a great destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway!  For more area attractions visit

Johnny's Tavern

30 Boltwood Walk
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 413-230-3818

About Amherst MA

Amherst is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River valley. With a population of 37,819 (2010 census), it is the largest community in Hampshire County. The town is home to Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Disclaimer: This visit was part of a trip sponsored in part by Visit Western Massachusetts, however all opinions are my own. 

© Home Place 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlet Easter Events

Come to Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets 


Visit with the Easter Bunny

This bunny -- or her brother or sister, will be making his or her annual appearance at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlet in Clinton Connecticut this year! Make sure you're there for a fun meet and greet with the Easter Bunny!

Visit Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets to shop for some beautiful spring outfits at one of their many retailers and while you're there take a picture with the Easter Bunny!

The Strolling Easter Bunny will be at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets from 1PM to 4PM on April 8th and 15th, 2017. The outlet’s Easter Sunday hours are 12 PM to 6 PM.

The Strolling Easter Bunny at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlet from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

  • Saturday, April  8, 2017 from 1pm-4pm
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 1pm-4pm

And who knows! Maybe the Easter Bunny will make an appearance on Sunday! 

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlet

20 Killingworth Turnpike
Clinton, CT 06413


Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets’ web page:

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About Clinton Crossing Premium Outlet

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets®, located along the Connecticut Shoreline, is a charming outdoor village center conveniently located on I-95 en route to Boston or New York. Enjoy savings of 25% to 65% off every day prices featuring more than 70 designer and name brand outlet stores.

Viceroy Publik House comes to Downtown Stamford CT

A new restaurant fusing the best of British and Indian heritage and tradition is coming to Stamford CT. That's right, The Vicery Publik House, soon to be THE cultural connection in downtown Stamford is set to open in April 2017!

Viceroy Publik House in Stamford CT

Taking a page from history, from what is now referred to as the “British Raj”, the British rule over the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947, Viceroy Publik House pays homage to this now proud British and Indian cultural connect, offering a high energy English pub setting featuring London curry, pakoras and pints, and an edgy live music venue which is just as diverse as its menu. Located in Downtown Stamford, CT, Viceroy Publik House brings together these two cultures, rich in history and with a strong food and drink identity found in pubs throughout London.

A Publik House, “Pub” for short, was artfully designed by the British, dating as far back as the 1300s. Its focus was that of a gathering place where beer and cider were merely offerings within the pub’s social or political confines.  Over the years the concept grew and other cultures (Irish, Canadian, Australian, etc) brought their own food, drink, and entertainment to these neighborhood haunts, often a product of a town or family’s legacy.  Viceroy Publik House embraces its British namesake as the public face of the British presence in India, which ultimately carried with it strong Indian influences found throughout the British culture, namely its artistic and culinary presence.

 Located in a bi-level townhouse at 211 Summer Street, music promoter and innovative Stamford restaurateur Eric Monte has created an elevated pub experience lifted from the streets of London. Shepherd’s pie, fish & chips, Faroe Island salmon, and bangers ‘n mash share space with spicy vindaloo, madras, and samosas, favored pub fare to be accompanied by a pint.

 “The wheel has already been invented, “explains Monte, “Our goal was to simply create a style of restaurant and bar that spoke to the core values of a traditional English pub – historic influences and all.”

Owned by entrepreneur Ramya Lakshman, Viceroy Publik House enriches the dining scene along downtown Stamford’s “Little Summer Street”. Its entranceway is marked by the car hood of a vintage Triumph Bonnet, and suspended within the first floor’s picture window is a ‘68 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle, a product of the UK ethos. The street level dining room and bar is framed in carved mahogany wood and regal chandeliers, offering guests a menu filled with classic English pub fare, Indian curries, and libations presented in an intimate setting.

Viceroy Publik House in Stamford CT

 The Tiger Room, Viceroy’s second story alter ego and music lounge is home to Monte’s signature musicians’ den. Featured on The Tiger Room’s Heineken Stage is an on-going spirited jam session among underground musicians, pop culture artists, and rock ‘n roll royalty with national acclaim. Monte, a consummate host with either a menu or a microphone in hand, has assembled a house band which will be the backbone to a robust schedule of music genres, as well as the area’s first live music karaoke night.

Set to Open April 2017

Viceroy Publik House

211 Summer Street
Stamford, CT

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Shell and Bones Oyster Bar is Ready for Spring and Summer Brunch

Get Ready for Brunch at Shell & Bones Oyster Bar

Now that the spring season is finally upon us, in spite of the temperatures still being in the teens, we can start dreaming of the bright and sunny spring mornings and balmy summer temperatures that await us. This time of year makes me think of getting together with friends and family, and on the Connecticut Shoreline the best places to do that are at some of our favorite restaurants - those restaurants with a view!

Brunch Cocktails at
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar

 One of the best views in my local New Haven County is at Shell & Bones Oyster Bar, located right on the water in the City Point section of New Haven. And they're getting ready for the spring and summer brunch season by releasing some delicious new cocktail libations and non-alcohol selections too, on their brand NEW Brunch Cocktail Menu to go along with their delicious brunch offerings.

Waterfront Dining at
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar

Here's another great thing about Shell & Bones - they serve brunch from Friday-Sunday beginning at 11:00am. That's right FRIDAY BRUNCH! Talk about FRI-YAY!

To go along with their delicious brunch staples like Eggs Benedict, Specialty Omelets, Specialty Frittatas, Steak and Eggs...and more ---  they have a great new cocktail menu that compliments everything there is to compliment about BRUNCH!

The new cocktails include:

  • Gordon’s Breakfast – Waypoint Spirits spicy Vodka, cucumber, lime, chipotle and brown sugar
  • Johnny the Fox – Old Forester Bourbon, Martini & Rossi Dry, lemon, egg white, nutmeg
  • Brian Wilson – Mizu Shochu, grapefruit, cucumber, Prosecco
  • The Aeroplane Flies High – Aviation Gin, Crème de Violette, Lazzaroni Maraschino, lemon

Gordon's Breakfast at
Shell & Bones Oyster Bar

These four new additions join the restaurant’s signature morning drink – “The Breakfast” Bloody Mary – featuring Tito’s Vodka, ripe San Marzano Bloody Mary mix, chorizo, cocktail shrimp, bacon, cornichon and olives, as well as the Classic Mimosa and Classic Bellini.

The “Temperance” cocktails are served without alcohol, though a shot of house spirits can be added. The new offerings include:

Temperance Offerings at Shell & Bones Oyster Bar

  • Stevie Ray – lemon, pineapple, ginger, maple, angostura, soda
  • El Pilluelo – lime, grapefruit, rosemary syrup, soda
  • The Raleigh – cucumber, lime juice, mint, soda water

See what's on the Brunch Menu HERE

Shell and Bones Oyster Bar

100 S Water Street
New Haven, CT 06519
(203) 787-3466

About Shell and Bones Oyster Bar

Shell & Bones Oyster Bar, located on the waterfront in the historic City Point area of New Haven, Connecticut, offers the finest in seafood and steak, receiving accolades from Connecticut Magazine, New Haven Living Magazine and a “Very Good” review from The New York Times since opening in July 2015.  Acclaimed Executive Chef Arturo Franco-Camacho incorporates fresh and sustainable ingredients to present new takes on classic dishes, including his award-winning New England Clam Chowder, with all soups, stocks, sauces and desserts made in-house.  In addition to its cuisine, Shell & Bones offers an extensive wine and beer list and creative cocktail menu, with several beers, liquors and wines sourced locally in Connecticut.

The restaurant features both indoor and outdoor waterfront dining with an indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pits, complimentary parking and private event space.  Shell & Bones is open for dinner seven days a week, and offers Brunch Friday-Sunday beginning at 11:00am.  For more information, visit  The restaurant can also be found on Facebook (ShellandBones) and Instagram (shellandbonesoysterbarandgrill).   

Monday, March 20, 2017

Food Trucks Return April 1 to Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets


WHAT: Gourmet food trucks are returning to Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets on April 1. Among the returning trucks, Sugar Bakery and Munchies have been named as Best Food Trucks in Connecticut Magazine.


Sugar Bakery Cupcake Truck
Sugar started in 2004 by mother/daughter team Carol Vollono & Brenda DePonte using family recipes with a twist. They have received acclamations from CT Magazine, The New Haven Advocate & Food Network. Most recently, Brenda and her family appeared in Vineyard Vines Clothing Catalogue. They boast to supplying a Sugar Boost to Sugar addicts all over the state.
Food Extrovert
The Food Extroverts' kitchen is an ever-changing eclectic menu. A few popular items include the mac-n-cheese and grilled cheese which has items like blue berries or buffalo chicken added to create a new taste.
Munchies was just named one of The Best Food Trucks 2017 Expert Picks in Connecticut Magazine. They enjoy using their family recipes to create their versions of old school classics with multi-cultural influences giving their fare unique and bold flavors.
Owner, Jon, began his business after a trip to Brussels, Belgium and his experience with eating frites out of a paper cone. His passion for hand-cut french fries and specialty dips has become a favorite.
Taco Pacifico
Offers authentic Mexican cuisine. Ask for a bag of Amorinas, their signature tortilla chips with a little pico de gallo and fresh guacamole to go with it.
Greekin Out
Greekin Out will be returning to Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets in 2017 a few times throughout the season! Their menu consists of authentic Greek cuisine, and they offer hand-stacked gyros, souvlaki, spanakopita, Greek salads, crispy feta fries, rice pudding, and baklava.
Teriyaki Express

WHEN: Saturday, April 1

WHERE: Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets
20 Killingworth Turnpike
Clinton, CT 06413
Food Truck Court, across from J. Crew and Bose

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets’ web page:

Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets’ Facebook page:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

7th Annual Greenwich Wine and Food Festival 2017

Save the Date! 

The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival 

Returns on September 22-23, 2017

Tickets are now on sale for the Seventh Annual Greenwich Wine + Food Festival Master Chef Wine Dinner! Festival tickets will be available SOON!

The festival is presented by Serendipity magazine ( and will return to the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut with a Master Chef Wine Dinner on Friday, September 22nd, followed by a full day of food, drinks and more on Saturday, September 23rd.

Connecticut's Own Celebrity Chef - Scott Conant -To Host Master Chef Wine Dinner

Connecticut's own Celebrity chef Scott Conant, best known for his "Chopped" judging gig, will be Friday’s honoree; the Food Network star and famed restaurateur will talk about innovation in the restaurant industry and introduce the area’s top chefs who have been named Most Innovative and Ambassador chefs.

Photo Source: @conantnyc Instagram

“Chef Conant’s fantastic New York City restaurants like L’Impero and Alto have made his name synonymous with innovation, so it’s only fitting that he’ll be introducing the incredible lineup of chefs in this region who also push the culinary envelope,” said Suni Unger, Founder and CEO of Serendipity and the GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL.  “We’re also thrilled to have festival favorite Adam Richman back as a special guest who will mix and mingle with Friday night guests!”

The evening will honor Serendipity’s 2017 Most Innovative Chefs and showcase some of this year’s festival’s Ambassador Chefs.

The talented lineup of Ambassador Chefs for 2017 includes:

  • Mogan Anthony (Village Social), 
  • Rui Correia (Douro/Gaia), 
  • Constantine Kalandranis (273 Kitchen), 
  • Michael Kaphan (Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish), 
  • Geoff Lazlo (Mill Street Bar & Table), 
  • Stephen Lewandowski (Harlan Social), 
  • Brian Lewis (The Cottage), 
  • Rafael Palomino (Sonora), 
  • Forrest Pasternack (Baldanza at The Farmhouse and The Barn at The Bedford Post Inn), 
  • Christian Petroni (Fortina), 
  • Debra Ponzek (Aux Délices), 
  • Nadia Ramsey (Méli-Mélo Catering), 
  • Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering), 
  • David Snyder (Char), 
  • Matt Storch (Match/Nom-eez), 
  • Bill Taibe (The Whelk/Kawa Ni) and Luke Venner (Elm).  

The Most Innovative Chefs and additional Ambassador Chefs will be announced soon.

“These celebrated area chefs will prepare and serve their inventive dishes while interacting with guests, making this a unique opportunity for area foodies to meet the men and women behind their favorite restaurants,” added Unger.  “Wine will also play a major role in this year’s dinner, featuring tastings from wineries located around the world, including buzzed-about startups, winemakers with their own labels, and larger, well-known wineries.”  

Platinum-Selling Big Head Todd & The Monsters To Perform Live

Friday night will finish with a live performance from platinum-selling blues rock band Big Head Todd and the Monsters (“Bittersweet,” “Broken Hearted Savior”).

Tickets are now on sale for Friday’s Master Chef Dinner ($325 per ticket) via or by calling 203.588.1363.

Additional tickets, including Saturday General Admission, Saturday VIP and more, will be available in the coming weeks.

 Visit or the event’s Facebook page ( for more information and updates about the event schedule, participating celebrity and local chefs, musical talent, ticket availability and more.

The event will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or strollers, will not be admitted. Animals are also not permitted.

The GREENWICH 2017 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL is a multi-day event celebrating the area’s rich culinary landscape, and showcase innovation in the food and beverage industries. It will benefit multiple charitable organizations including the Greenwich Parks & Recreation Fund and the James Beard Foundation (more beneficiaries to be announced in the coming weeks).  The festival is partnered with Serendipity magazine.  Sponsors to date include Barbara Zaccagnini, Dacor, Empire City Casino, Hospital for Special Surgery, NuKitchens, Wüsthof and 90+ Cellars.*  For more information, visit

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