Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Parallel Post for Sunday Brunch in Trumbull CT

Media Promotion

Brunch at the Post!

This week we headed back to Parallel Post to check out their NEW Sunday Brunch menu and offerings. If you haven't noticed already, this Trumbull CT eatery is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to meet up with family and friends. The menu features timeless American fare with a modern twist, highlighting dishes according to seasonal availability.

There's always something new at Parallel Post!

One of my favorite things about Parallel Post is the comfort factor.  Decor is bright and light-filled, tables are big, chairs are roomy,, and the dining room is arranged so that even when the restaurant is at capacity, there is an air of intimacy and private dining.

We started with the amazing Bloody Mary Bar that was packed with a multitude of items to flavor your own Bloody Mary! Everything from lemons, limes, olives, pickled cucumbers, jalapenos, hot sauce, and horseradish to  pepperoni, and bacon. Did I say bacon??? YES!!

Here's what I mixed together for a great Bloody Mary:
1 oz Vodka
Bloody Mary Mix
1 quartered Fresh Lemon Squeezed
1 Tsp. Horseradish
2 Olives
2  Pickled Cucumbers
2 slices of Pepperoni
1 Hearty Dash of Frank's Hot Sauce
1 slice of Bacon and Celery to Garnish
As we sipped on our cocktails, we sampled the southern staple,  Buttermilk Biscuits with White Sausage Gravy. The gravy was a bit lighter than the traditional sausage gravy that my southern husband prepares for me, (and that's a good thing!) and had a nice bright flavor brought about by the addition of fresh herbs, with finely crumbled sausage throughout the mix. Yup. The cowboy is kickin' himself for not coming with me!

Buttermilk Biscuit with White Sausage Gravy

Next we moved on to even MORE appetizers: the Grilled Asparagus, Prosciutto, Frizzy Leaks, Manchego Cheese, and a Fried Egg; Whole Pan Fried Sardines with a Lemon Escobeche; Seasonal Fruit Plate with Yogurt; and Heirloom Tomato and Strawberry Salad, Pepper Cress, Walnuts, Burrato Cheese.

Parallel Post Appetizers

To start, I ordered the Whole Pan Fried Sardines with a Lemon Escobeche, and they were spectacular! Flash cooking them gave them a tender, buttery taste. And these fishies were HUGE. I took a tape measurer out and they were a whopping 9" long!

Whole Pan Fried Sardines with a Lemon Escobeche,

Another standout from the appetizers was the Grilled Asparagus, Prosciutto, Frizzy Leaks, Manchego Cheese, and Fried Egg. I nibbled on one of the asparagus shoots and noted that char-grilling them enhanced their delicate sweetness, kept their tenderness, and there was a wonderfully light citrus flavor as well. The dish was beautifully prepared, and looked like a gift wrapped brunch offering on a plate!

Grilled Asparagus, Prosciutto, Frizzy Leaks, Manchego Cheese, and a Fried Egg

Chef de Cuisine, Ali Goss was able to visit us for a few minutes between courses and loved seeing her creative genius being devoured by the food paparazzi! I love that Chef Ali was also willing to share some of her secret spices when ever we asked what the burst of flavor was in many of our dishes.

Chef Ali and the Food Paparazzi

Before moving on to our entrees, I switched to a lighter cocktail to enjoy with my main meal. Parallel Post's resident mixologist Greg (aka 'Bootleg Greg') is featuring some fabulous cocktails on the brunch menu, and we were the first to try their Champagne Float! This first week, only the Raspberry Champagne Float was available, but in the upcoming weeks they will be featuring Mango and Passion Fruit Champagne Floats, as well. Uhhmmm, YUM!

Say Hi to Greg and a Raspberry Champagne Float!

Next we moved on to our entrees, ordering a wide array of items, from a Frittata to Crab Cakes to Steak and Eggs!

Spring Vegetable Frittata with Sea Salt Fries with Spicy Ketchup
Secret ingredient to that delicious spicy ketchup?  Sriracha and fresh ginger!

Grilled Pork Chop, Anson Mills Bacon Grits, Scrambled Eggs

Fried Chicken, Belgium Waffle, Fried Farm Egg, Maple Syrup

Grilled 12oz NY Strip Steak, Herb Roasted Potato, Eggs Over Easy

Seared Crab Cakes, Toasted Brioche, Poached Farm Eggs, Cajun Hollandaise

And of course we satisfied our sweet tooth by indulging in some of the desserts!

Below, Cappuccino, the Cardamom Rice Pudding, Pear and Cherry Chutney, Pistachio Cream; and Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar with Oatmeal Whip Cream, and Caramel Bananas.

And Greg also tempted us with another new item that will hopefully be on a future brunch menu, a Mother's Milk Chocolate Stout Float! Creamy good!  We also had a Peach Cobbler Crepe with Chilled Creme; a Strawberry Crostata with Crumbled Goat Cheese, and a Chocolate Panacotta, Vanilla Ice Cream, Salted Caramel, with Toasted Hazelnuts

Everything was thoughtfully prepared with an eye on fresh and seasonal offerings. Delicious!

I can't say enough good things about Parallel Post! 

Plan your visit NOW to join them for Sunday Brunch. You won't be disappointed!

Click HERE for this brunch menu

180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull CT 06611
Phone/Reservations  203-380-6380
Located in the Trumbull Marriott - Merritt Parkway

Follow them on twitter

For additional pictures of our brunch items visit the Home Place facebook page HERE - and while you're there, don't forget to like us!

Do you have a special place that you keep returning over and over to because you love the atmosphere so much?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Disclaimer: I was invited to sample the brunch menu by members of  the Parallel Post's Management and Marketing Team, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Coastal Wine Trail - Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival in Wesport MA

Media Event

Who doesn't love Wine Cheese and Chocolate? 

I know, right?

So when the Coastal Wine Trail contacted me about their Third Annual Wine Cheese and Chocolate Festival, you know I was on board! The Coastal Wine Trail is a member of the Southeastern New England American Viticultural Appellation (SENE AVA) that encompasses Cape Cod through the South Coast of Massachusetts and Coastal Rhode Island and Coastal Connecticut. This year the SENE AVA is celebrating 30 years of wine making!

The region boasts a close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and coastline giving it warmer waters from Gulf breezes in the summer and fall. Known as a cool grape growing region, the climate is perfect for superb white and sparkling wines.

Wine purveyors included Connecticut's Stonington Vineyards, Massachusett's  Westport Rivers, Coastal Vineyards, Running Brook Vineyards, Travessia Winery, and Truro Vineyards. Rhode Island's Lanworthy Farm & Winery, Newport Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, and Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard.

Of course we paired our wine with some cheese! I absolutely loved the savory cheesecakes from Wicked Kickin'. They come in a wide variety of flavors, but the two I sampled were a Buffalo Chicken and The New Beige. Both were fantastic, with a nice heat. Yup!!! They were Wicked Kickin'!

I also stopped at everybody's favorite Cabot Cheese Creamery, who were offering a nice pepperjack. We learned that naturally aged cheddar cheese is Gluten Free and Lactose-Free!

After all that heat, it was time to move on to the chocolate portion of the festival. YUM! Look at the offerings from Brigadeiro Barn Truffles and Dorothy Cox Chocolates!

I also loved the custom made copper pizza oven and the gourmet pizzas that were available from the Gilded Tomato Company, a mobile artisan wood-fired pizza catering company.

I loved walking through the festival and seeing EVERYONE having a great time. It was a beautiful New England day and everyone was enjoying both the weather, the atmosphere, and the fine wines, cheeses, and chocolates. Here's one group who were celebrating a friend's birthday at the festival!

This year's event was offered in three sessions at the Westport MA Fairgrounds.
Session 1: 11am-1:30pm
Session 2: 2:30pm-5pm
Session 3: 6pm-8:30pm

Other vendors at the event included organic coffee roasters, honeys and jams, artisan imported olive oils, and several local bakeries.

The Coastal Wine Trail offers many monthly events. Check their website often for upcoming events. If you have the chance, take their passport tour of the Coastal Wine Trail's vineyards which winds through the heart of the Southeastern New England AVA. Make a mini-vacation of it and spend two to three days traveling through historic cities and charming New England villages and visit the nine locally owned wineries that call this beautiful region home.

For more information log on to the Coastal Wine Trail at

For more pictures visit the Home Place facebook page HERE and while you're there don't forget to "like" us!

Have you been to a wine fest recently? 
Or visited a wine trail? 
I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below!

Friday, June 20, 2014

CT Open House Day 2014 - In Guilford & New Haven

Promotional Invite

Connecticut Open House Day turned TEN YEARS OLD!.

That's right! The big One-O! And for the past decade, the state of Connecticut has been rolling out the red carpet for both residents and tourists to enjoy all the fun things to do in our great little nutmeg state!

Once a year, many of the businesses, museums, and travel destinations, fling open their doors, at free or reduced prices!  And now it's become an annual event called Connecticut Open House Day (#CTOpenHouse) sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Tourism.

This year they partnered with some of CT's wonderful network of social media mavens to help get the word out. Wendy of Weights Over and Cheryl from traveled to one portion of the state with their families to visit the Dinosaur State Park, New England Air Museum, and the Southington Drive In.

In another part of the state, Michelle, a freelance travel writer, and publisher of She Is Going Places, Kelsey from FleishmanHillard representing CT Tourism, and I went on a walking tour of historic Guilford CT.

And later in this post you'll see we met up with Wendy and Greg of CT Lifestyles Magazine for lunch at the hip and healthy Claire's Corner Copia, in neighboring New Haven CT, home to Yale University, and one of the greatest small cities in American (GSCIA!)

Speaking of great little cities and towns - the Connecticut Tourism Bureau is ALSO running a Connecticut still revolutionary Fan-Favorite Town Contest for a fan favorite town. Vote now for your chance to win a getaway to Niantic! The ZIP and ZEN prize package includes a four-night stay at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, $100 gift card to Grace Boutique and a free all-day pass to Niantic Bay Bicycles.

VOTE HERE ===> Fan-Favorite-Town

Back to CT Open House Day!

The cowboy and I started off earlier than our 9:45 meet up at the Guilford Town Hall, and decided to head in to Guilford ahead of schedule to have some breakfast on our own. While we were driving down one of the streets near the Guilford Town Green, we spotted a little Quonset Hut that houses a little restaurant called Perk on Church and some other retail establishments! It looked so cute so we stopped and started with a great breakfast before we set off on our historic walking tour.

It was a fun little place to stop and there is a patio for dining al fresco! The cowboy had three eggs over easy and I had a Southwestern Crepe. So good! So spicy! (wipes sweat from brow, gulps water, YUM)

After breakfast we met up with Michelle and Kelsey, our companions for the walk, and Dennis who runs the Guilford Historical Tours, and Elya and Virginia, our two guides for the walking tour. Elya and Virginia are both college students who grew up in Guilford, and have an affinity and love for their hometown, and the history of Guilford's founding. Virginia earned her Girl Scouts' Gold Award for her research on Guilford and the Guilford Green.

It was a beautiful day in CT - and we set out to learn all about Guilford, who, by the way, is getting ready to celebrate their 375th Anniversary!

Our tour guides explained the rigorous process that homeowners go through to have their homes join the prestigious historic registry in town. The historic society will go through town records dating back hundreds of years to find the original owners of the home. After the society authenticates the home, a placard is made that gives the year the house was built and the original owners family name.

Our guides Elya and Virginia explained each house's style: saltbox, Victorian, cape, colonial, or cottage, and pointed out the different architectural details of each.

And there were more than just private homes on the tour! There were churches, town halls, and schools.

Above is the pride of Church Street - a beautiful Queen Anne!

We learned the history of the churches we visited and all about the town's founders. And a truly inspiring moment was viewing the covenant of the original settlers, inscribed with the names of the founding families of Guilford CT!

The Guilford Covenant

We saw many beautiful homes and buildings and at the conclusion of our tour we crossed the town green, where tour guide Virginia pointed out the plaques that described historic information on the town green. Did you know that Guilford Green is the largest continuous Green in New England? And Virginia had a hand in raising the monies and donations for the plaques as part of her civic project.

Before I move on to the second half of our CT Open House Day, I have to say that the Guilford Walking Tour is a MUST for anyone vising the Shoreline area. Guilford has such a rich and storied history, and the tour guides bring each story to life. From learning the green stripes on the poles markthe New England Trail, to a retail establishment that was once the town's Methodist Church; and from the historic Whitfield House and Museum to the eerie Doll House, each area on the tour has an interesting element to it.

What's more, these young adults are marking their own pages in Guilford's history books. They are knowledgeable about the town, engaged in civic events, and on several occasions stopped to introduce us to present day residents and merchants explaining each individual's personal connection to the town.

Make no mistake about it. History is being made, AND preserved, in beautiful Guilford CT!

For more pictures from the Guilford Historic Walking Tour click HERE.

By now it was past noon and we were FAMISHED! So we moved on to Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven, a short 15-20 drive from Guilford.

Claire's is a New Haven staple, serving organic, sustainable, kosher, vegan, and gluten free dishes. And New Haven was just named the Top Foodie City in 2014 by Although Claire's has been in business since 1975, their first location was in my hometown of Branford! And, I'm ashamed to admit that this visit during CT Open House Day was the first time I've been back to Claire's since they moved to New Haven many moons ago.

As soon as we arrived and got in line to order we were were tempted by the delicious desserts on display in their cases! Just look at them!

We had loads of fun with the staff at Claire's! While I sipped on my Cucumber Lemon Freeze we got to browse through one of Claire's cookbooks.

On to our delicious lunch!

 I originally ordered the Cobb Salad and the Cowboy ordered the Pizza Caprese, but when he took a look at my salad, I knew he was going to claim it as his own. What can I looked that good! And I love Pizza Caprese so it was a win-win for both of us!

And here are my tablemates' lunches! More flat bread pizzas, grilled vegetables, a quesidilla, and quiche!

And for dessert, none of us held back! So many offerings that are gluten free, flourless, and just plain good!

What a great day!  For more pictures from our visit to Claire's click HERE

There is so much to do in CT and this was a great example of two fun filled adventures that are 15 minutes from my hometown!

That's what CT Open House is all about - Get out and see what's in your own backyard! From historic towns and tours to trendy eateries - Connecticut has it all! I guess that's why we're Still Revolutionary!

Big thanks to the CT Tourism Bureau for an amazing time, the Guilford Historic Walking Tour for an educational and fun experience, and Claire's Corner Copia for a delicious lunch.

And DON'T FORGET to vote for your Fan-Favorite Town! Vote ==> HERE

For more info on fun events in CT, click the CT Tourism Board ==> HERE

For more info on the Guilford Historic Walking Tour click ==> HERE

For more info on Claire's Corner Copia in New Haven CT click ==> HERE

Explore Connecticut! It's still revolutionary!

What's YOUR favorite thing to do in CT?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I was invited by the CT Tourism Bureau's Marketing Team to participate in this event as their guest. However, the views, experiences, and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Red Bee Farm and Honey Tasting Workshop in Weston CT

Media Sampling

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Red Bee Apiary in Weston CT to attend a Mini Honey Tasting Workshop. Yes, that's right. You read that correctly, not only did we have a mini sampling tasting, but we also had the opportunity to learn about the different flavors and varieties of honey, and have an educational workshop on the hives, honey production, and honey bees.

The Red Bee Apiary Farm in Weston CT

Red Bee Farm is flanked by a classic New England  Boundary Rock Fence

Red Bee Farm is owned and operated by the lovely Marina Marchese, the queen bee of all things honey in Connecticut. All joking aside, Marina truly is the authority on single origin honey, having trained both in Italy and in the States, and is the author of two books on honey, The Honey Connoisseur and  Honeybee Lessons from The Accidental Beekeeper. In addition to her work running the Red Bee Apiary Farm, Marina is the founder of Marina’s Honey Sommelier™ a consulting service for restaurants as well as food and beverage industry professionals to guide them on selecting and pairing honey with food and drink. Marina's tastings and workshops are wonderful ways to educate groups on the background of honey and honeybees.

The passionate Marina explains the origins of her honey to our group

The Mini-Tasting I attended led us through a rainbow of different honeys, alfalfa, thistle, wildflower, red currant, blueberry, and buckwheat. As you can see, the honeybee's diet, greatly affects the shade of their honey production. In addition, it impacts the honey's flavor. The honey colors ranged from a pale golden to a rich dark caramel color.

Sensory Tasting and Pairing

Marina led us though a sensory workshop, instructing us to experience the honey through smell, memory, and taste. In addition, she paired each individual honey with a variety of foods, fruits, cheeses, and chocolate.

With Marina's expert recommendations we paired spicy butterscotch-like thistle honey over a pungent aged cheese, red currant honey drizzled over a rich cheese filled date, and more. The highlight was breaking open a virgin-honeycomb and pairing the freshest honey possible with a rich dark chocolate and bread.

Yes, you can eat the wax from a honeycomb!

Red Bee Hives
Red Bee Honey

Of course, I purchased my very favorite of the day, the Red Currant Honey, and every time I sit at the computer to write this post or edit the pictures, I crave a little taste. I've learned from my Red Bee Tasting to pair it with various foods, and now use my honey frequently as a condiment or dip to bring out the flavors in other foods I'm eating. I've always known about the medicinal purposes for honey. When I have a sore throat or feel a cold coming on I up my intake of organic honey. Now the Red Bee workshop has enhanced my knowledge of honey use and challenged me to pair honey with more and more foods!

You can purchase Red Bee Honey online HERE.

I loved visiting with Marina on her rustic farm in scenic Weston Connecticut. She is a down to earth businesswoman, astute and knowledgeable about her art and craft, and committed to her passion of promoting a natural and eco-friendly way of life, and, of course, beekeeping.

Take an opportunity to participate in one of her informational workshops. See her calendar of events HERE.

Weston, CT

For more pictures of my visit to Red Bee Apiary visit the Home Place facebook page HERE

Disclaimer: I was invited to the Red Bee Honey Tasting Event, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are my own.
Real Time Web Analytics