Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana to Open in the Greater Boston Area

You've heard the rumors, now here's the real deal!

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, a third-generation owned and operated pizzeria, touted as a “New Haven Institution”, has entered into an agreement to acquire the space that is currently operating as The Fireplace (since 2001) in Brookline, MA. Fireplace Chef / Owner Jim Solomon, who hails from New Haven and is a huge fan of Frank Pepe’s pizza, released a statement  on July 29, 2014 announcing his departure from the 1634 Beacon Street restaurant and his plans to focus on his thriving catering business.

For Frank Pepe’s, this is an opportunity to answer the public’s call to open a location in the Boston area and for the business to grow its family of Napoletana style pizzerias that patriarch Frank Pepe began nearly 90 years ago in 1925. The Frank Pepe team is thrilled with the prospect of joining the booming culinary scene that the Washington Square neighborhood of Brookline has become known for.

“With so many great pizza places here, the bar has been set extremely high,” says Gary Bimonte, the grandson of Frank Pepe who, along with members of the Frank Pepe family, continues to run the business to this day, “We’re excited to have Bay State pizza lovers try our pizza. Can there ever be enough good pizza in the world?”

Frank Pepe’s is beyond thrilled over the enthusiasm and support from their Connecticut customers and equally excited about the outreach they have encountered from eager Boston based fans, many of whom hail from CT or who make a Frank Pepe stop along their routes between New York and Boston. 

So now the real work begins. From now until the end of the year, the Frank Pepe team will be developing and submitting plans for their coal-fired pizza restaurant to the town and upon approval, hope to begin construction and the behind the scenes process of opening their new location. Once the dough rises and all goes according to plan, the Greater Boston area can look forward to a Summer 2015 opening of what The Daily Meal has deemed “The #1 Pizza in America (October 2013)” and TIME Magazine hailed as “The 13 Most Influential Pizzas of All Time (May 2014)”.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Annual Potato and Corn Festival in North Branford CT

The North Branford Potato and Corn Festival (PoCoFest) returns for its 13th year!

Running from July 31st to August 3rd 2014 
at the 
Tototek Valley Park and Augur Farm
298 Forest Road, Rt. 22, Northford CT

Festival Hours
Thursday and Friday: 4pm to 11pm
Saturday: 9am to 11pm
Sunday: 9am to 6pm

Sponsored by the North Branford Parks and Recreation Department, the annual Potato and Corn Festival is a fun-filled family weekend! The festival started as a one-day affair back in 2002, and has since grown to a four day week-end spectacular festival with over 25,000 attendees.

Here's an abbreviated agenda of what's happening over the weekend


Thursday July 31st
4:00 pm to 11:00 pm Food Vendors and Craft Vendors
4:00 pm to 11:00 pm Amusement Rides
4:00 pm to 10:00 pm DJ Anthony Esposito under the Food Tent
5:00 pm NBHS Select Chorus and the National Anthem Main Stage
5:00 pm Kaylee and Carissa Duo Main Stage
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Cinnamon Sky - Tent Stage

Friday August 1st
4:00 pm to 11:00 pm Food Vendors and Craft Vendors
4:00 pm to 11:00 pm Amusement Rides
4:00 pm to 10:00 pm DJ Anthony Esposito under the Food Tent
5:00 pm Kenny Arauljo from the Voice and Lauren Celantano Acoustic Duo Tent Stage
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Car Show with DJ
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm The Rubber Band - Main Stage
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm Gear Junkies Main Stage

Saturday August 2nd
9:00 am to 11:00 pm Food Vendors and Craft Vendors
8:00 am to 6:00 pm Tractor Pull
9:00 am to 11:00 pm Amusement Rides
11:00 am to 7:00 pm Hayrides
9:00 am to 10:00 pm DJ Anthony Esposito under the Food Tent
1:15 pm to 2:15 pm Pete & Chris Amusements Kids Show - Tent State
2:30 pm to  3:00 pm NBHS Cheerleaders Tent Stage
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Vocal Productions - Main Stage
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm G Network - Main Stage
7:00 pm  to 9:00 pm Mass Conn Fusion - Main Stage
9:00 pm Fireworks

Sunday August 3rd
9:00 am and 9:30 am 1K Tator Trot and 5K Spud Run/Walk
9:00 am to 6:00 pm Food Vendors and Craft Vendors
9:00 am to 5:00 pm DJ Anthony Esposito at Food Tent
10:00 am to 1:00 pm Motorcyle Show with DJ
11:00 am to 5:00 pm Hayrides
11:00 am to 12 noon The Mediums - Main Stage
Noon to 1:00 pm Mark Abelli Common Ground Main Stage
1:00 pm to ??? Cow Chip Raffle
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Kerry Boys Main Stage
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Dudley Farm String Band Main STage
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Dan Tressler and Friends  Main stage
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Little Ugly Main Stage
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Squeezebox Stompers Main Stage

$20.00 Ride Wristband for Thursday
$25.00 Ride Wristband for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday


Thursday, July 31st
6:00 pm Wheelbarrow Race - all ages please bring a partner
6:30 pm Potato Peeling - adults
7:00 pm Hula Hoop - all ages
7:30 pm Jump Rope Run - all ages

Friday August 1st
5:00 pm Three Legged Race - all ages bring a partner
5:30 pm Jump Rope Run  all ages
6:00 pm Corn Husking - children
6:15 pm Corn Husking - adults
6:30 pm Corn Eating - children
6:45 pm Corn Eating - adults
7:00 pm Pie Eating - all ages
7:30 pm Potato Sack Race - all ages

Saturday August 2nd
11:30 am Potato Peeling Contest - adults
Noon Corn Husking - children
12:15 Corn Husking - adults
12:30 pm Corn Eating - children
12:45 pm Corn Eating - adults
2:30 pm Sponge Bucket Game - For Ages 5 and Younger
3:00 pm Potato Toss at Mr. Potato Head - all ages
4:30 pm Pie Eating - children
5:00 pm Pie Eating - adults
6:45 pm Jump Rope Run - all ages
7:00 pm Hula Hoop - all ages
9:15 pm Fireworks - Seating in the Upper Field

Sunday August 3rd
Noon  Mashed Potato Making - adults
12:30 pm Jump Rope Run - all ages
1:00 pm Sponge Bucket Game - Ages 5 and Younger
1:30 pm Hula Hoop - All ages
3:00 pm Mashed Potato Toss - All ages - bring a partner
4:00 pm Pie Eating - children
4:00 pm Pie Eating - adults

Parking ETC
A free shuttle will be available Thursday Night, Friday Night, All Day and Evening Saturday, and All Day Sunday from the NBHS Parking Lot at 654 FoxonRoad and the Stanley Willimams Parking Lot at 1332 Middle Town Avenue

There will be $10.00 General Parking, $10.00 Handicap Parking
and a $15.00 Premeir Parking available on side. Free Parking for North Branford Residents with a valid NB Drivers License.

All time and events subject to change
Home Place is not responsible for errors in information, times, or costs.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Greenwich Food+Wine Festival Returns September 25th--27th 2014

The 2014 Fourth Annual Greenwich Wine+Food Festival returns on Thursday September 25th through Saturday, September 27th!

And once again this FABULOUS Three Day Event will Benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

This year there will be more than 100 Participating Restaurants and Vendors

Here's all the information you need

The fourth annual GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL presented by Serendipity to benefit the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, will be taking place Thursday, September 25th through Saturday, Setember 27th at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park Greenwich, CT.

September 25th through the 27th (See below for agenda of events)

Sherman Baldwin Park, Arch Street, Greenwich, CT

Schedule of Events (see more below)
Thursday   September 25,    6:30pm   to  9:00pm:    Top Bartender Challenge
Friday       September 26,    6:30pm   to  10:00pm:   Most Innovative Chefs Gala
Saturday    September 27,   12:00pm  to 10:00pm:   Culinary Village Event

Top Bartender Showdown (Thursday): Thursday evenings Official Weekend Kickoff brings the first annual Top Bartender Showdown!  The area’s best bartenders will create the most epic cocktails to be crowned the Serendipity Top Bartender. The evening’s proceeds and wine and food-themed silent auction will benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

Most Innovative Chefs Gala (Friday):  The 2014 Most Innovative Chefs Gala with special guests Geoffrey Zakarian and Jean-Georges will take place on Friday, September 26. Serendipity 2014 Most Innovative Chef winners, plus Jean-Georges, will serve an incredible tasting menu. Experience their ingenuity and inventiveness first hand!
Most Innovative Chefs (Friday Only): Devin Bozakaya of Bedford Post, Gustave Christman of Fortina, Adam Truelove of Napa & Co., David Snyder of Char, Christian Petroni of Fortina, Samantha Eichenberg of The Dessertist, Nancy Roper of Truck, Giorgio Giachinto of Da Giorgo, Nick Martschenko of South End, Forrest Pasternack of Baileys Backyard, Ryan Fibiger of Saugatuck Craft Butchery, and Anthony Goncalves of 42.
This enchanting evening will also include elite wines, premium liquor, and an exclusive auction.
==>Friday evening there will be a live musical performance by Marshall Tucker Band

Culinary Village (Saturday):  Saturday, September 27th will feature “The Culinary Village” from 12-5pm with Celebrity Chef & Sommelier Demonstrations, Celebrity Book Store & Signings, 100+ food, wine and spirits tastings and “The Taste of the South” from 3-10pm with the Fourth Annual Burger Battle judged by Celebrity Chefs, Beer Garden, BBQ Pit Masters Tasting Tent, Food Truck Corner, a special ticketed event: Aaron Sanchez’s Tostadas & Tequila.
Ambassador Chefs (Saturday Only): Rui Correia of Douro Restaurant, Clifford Crooks of BLT Steak, Rafael Palomino of Bistro Latino, Eric Gabrynowicz of Restaurant North, Frederic Kieffer of L’Escale, Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie, Eric Korn of Good Life Gourmet, Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale Restaurant, Debra Ponzek of Aux Délices Foods and Bill Taibe of LeFarm & The Whelk.
==>Saturday evening there will be live music by world renowned artists Alabama!.

Added Bonus - Who Will Be There
Suni Unger, Founder and CEO of Serendipity magazine
Representatives from The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
Marshall Tucker Band (Friday evening only)
Alabama (Saturday evening only)
Jean George (Saturday only)
Geoffrey Zakarian (Saturday only)
Aaron Sanchez (Saturday only)
Gretchen Thomas (Saturday only)
John Stage (Saturday only)
George Reisch (Saturday only)
Marc Stroobandt (Saturday only)
Chef/Performer Neil Fuentes of “The Sensational Singing Chef” (Saturday only)

Where can you get tickets:

Online at

CONTACTS: For Tickets: or 203-588-1363

About The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
Founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a community dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses. Through summer sessions and family weekend programs at the Camp in Ashford, Connecticut, and year-round outreach to hospitals and clinics throughout the Northeast, the Camp serves more than 20,000 children and family members annually. All services are free of charge.

About Serendipity
Serendipity is a lifestyle magazine celebrating family discoveries and unexpected moments for readers throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties and beyond, covering relationships, goodwill, health, style, food, travel and more. The publication is distributed bi-monthly and enjoys a readership of more than 90,000. For more information, visit

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Greek Food? Greek Diner! The Townhouse Diner in Branford CT

Every now and then you just have a hankering for some Greek Food.

You know the flavor profile I mean...that briney delicious Greek and Mediterranean flavor profile.

Greek cooking traditionally consists of using organic cheeses, oils, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables. This is because Greece's climate is perfect growing for olive trees. And their cooking involves a creative use of spices, garlic and other herbs such as oregano, basil, mint, and thyme. Proteins include lots of seafood, as most of the Greek coast boasts fishing villages, and their inland communities use goats, lamb, whole roasted pigs, chicken, and beef.

I typically get my dose of Greek sampling at the yearly Greek Festival held in Orange CT (This year held Labor Day Weekend Aug 29, 30, 31, Sep 1, 2014 12 noon to 10 PM (Fri. Sat. Sun.) 12 noon to 8 PM (Mon.) - See more at:

But because I was in the mood NOW - I headed over to my local Greek diner, The Townhouse Diner in Branford CT to partake in some hearty Greek food!

The Branford Townhouse Diner

I started with Townhouse's version of a Greek Salad made with icy cold shredded lettuce, crumbled feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, thinly sliced red onions, and a few Greek olives, served with a crisp vinaigrette dressing.

 Townhouse Greek Salad

For my meal, I ordered the Gyro Deluxe (with fries and salad). I loved that the sandwich was served open face, so I could assemble it the way I like! I broke up the block of feta cheese, and pulled apart the tomatoes and onions, so that whole pieces wouldn't come out with every bite I took!

Townhouse Diner Gyro

And here's what it looked like after I assembled it. I did have to ask for extra Tzatziki Sauce.
Gyro at Townhouse Diner

What I didn't like was not having the deli paper that often times comes with a Gyro to help keep the excess sauces and juices from dripping out. Luckily, a nearby waitress came to my rescue by bringing extra napkins. (And got a good chuckle out of my Tzatziki covered face!). No pictures please!

And of course, for dessert, I had a nice wedge of Baklava

Baklava at Townhouse Diner

This was a little more dense and less syrupy than I'm used to - but the delicious combination of nuts, honey, and flaky light pastry came shining through. Just look at that fork full of flavor below!


So if you're like me, and get a hankering every now and again for some delicious Greek Food - head to your nearest diner to satisfy the urge and craving.

About the restaurant / diner. They've been in Branford for almost 20 years, and relocated to the "pretzel" area in 2011. The outside property and grounds are well kept and maintained. The inside, maybe not so much, as the aisles were full of crumbs and tiny bits of papers ignored by most of the employees. Eventually, about 20 minutes after we were seated, one waitperson did carpet sweep the area.. Note to restaurants and staff everywhere. Please don't seat customers until the entire area is cleared, table, chair,  AND floors included! It only takes a second to tidy up!

This was my first visit to the Branford Townhouse...and in spite of my floor complaints, I'll definitely be back. It's just a little pet peeve of mine.

Branford Townhouse Diner
18 North Main Street (Route 1)
Branford, CT 06405

Open 7 Days A Week
M-S 7AM - 11PM, Sunday 7AM-10PM

Follow them on Twitter:


Do you have a favorite Greek dish?

Do you have a soft spot for your local diner?

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Whole Foods Local & Organic Showcase in Glastonbury CT

Did you know that your local Whole Foods holds daily / weekly / monthly events and specials?

Whole Foods Glastonbury Events and Happenings
In early July I attended Whole Foods in Glastonbury's Local and Organic Food Showcase on the same night of EVERYTHING's CHERRIES! What fun! We got there early and were able to visit a few of the cherry tastings that were going on to celebrate that day's $1.99/lb Cherry Special!

Everything's Cherry at Whole Foods Glastonbury 7-11-14
(L) Ice Cream with Brandied Cherries - (R) Sirloin Steak with Cherry Cole Slaw

We then moved on to the Local and Organic Showcase and met up with some of Whole Foods Glastonbury's favorite local vendors!

First we started with Project Fresh Juice, a local company out of New Haven, CT. Project Fresh uses a natural cold pressure process to keep their juices safe, full of flavor, and bursting with fiber and protein — with no need for additives, preservatives, or pasteurization. Offered in flavors like Spicy Maple Lemonade, Carrot Apple Ginger Blend, Whole Deep Kale Blend, Whole Deep Beet Blend, and Easy Pink Lemonade. My fave, the spicy maple lemonade. What a kick! And oh so good!

Project Fresh - All Natural Cleansing Juices
Then we visited with Bakery on Main from Glastonbury CT and sampled some of their natural and gluten free granola. We loved learning the background of founder Michael Smulders' story of listening to his clientele who had dietary issues with Celiac, etc. so he made it his mission to offer products his customers needed.

Bakery On Main Gluten Free Granola
Then we stopped and sampled some of the delicious mixers available from Ripe Bar Juice of New Haven CT! Lucky for me it was National Mojito Day (Who Knew??) and so of course I sampled the Agave Mojito Mix! Ummm --- YUM! Even without the rum! The Cowboy sampled the San Marzano Bloody Mary Mix and absolutely loved it!  Also available are Agave Margarita, Lemon Sour, Punch Bar.

Ripe Bar Juice

Then we sampled some of the refreshing ice cream from Tea-rrific! GOOD!!! Tea-rrific Ice Cream is just what it sounds like - tea infused ice cream. I loved the delicate and subtle hints of the Chamomile, Masala Chai, London Mist, Ginger Matcha, and Chunky Ginger Matcha, that they are made from. My fave was the chunky Ginger Matcha as I loved the play on texture.

Tea-rrific Tea Infused Ice Cream

Then we learned all about natural soap from the soap nut lady (that's what the cowboy keeps calling her) from YoreGanics, makers of all-natural soap products and skin care. I absolutely loved founder Kim Mendes' story about her holistic journey to health and her family's skin care issues. You simply must try her products. I've been using her Yore Balm - Bye Bye Dry skin care balm on my dry skin patches, and already 7 days later I'm experiencing a marked improvement!

YoreGanics Products and Skin Care
Next we met up with the baked goods from Bella Sophia Baking Co. who create yummy desserts like whoopie pies, biscotti, and uglies. Don't ask me why they call them uglies - because they are such GOODIES! But in any case they taste like funny bones! I do know however that the company is named after the chief baker's adorable daughters "Bella" and "Sophia" - and what could be sweeter than that (except her baked goods!)

Bella Sophia Baking Company
Last, but certainly not least was the ice cream sampling from Arethusa Farms in the Litchfield Hills of CT who pride themselves on their  award-winning purebred Jersey, Holstein and Brown Swiss cows. In addition to ice cream, Arethusa Farms also produces milk, yogurt, and cheese products. And oh my goodness! Their coffee ice cream is AMAZING!!!! So creamy with a strong coffee flavor!

Arethusa Farms

Finally I rounded all these wonderful and gracious vendors up for one final group picture! Thank you ALL for taking time from your busy schedules to tell us about your wonderful products!

The Whole Foods Glastonbury Local and Organic Showcasers!

All of the above products are available in the Whole Foods Glastonbury CT store. If you are looking for a product shown in this article, please visit the company's websites as many products are available online.

Special thanks to the Whole Foods Glastonbury peeps who always put on a wonderful and informative showcase of their products!  Remember to Buy Local - Shop Local - And Support Local!

55 Welles Street
Glastonbury CT 06033


Are you lucky enough to have a Whole Foods Market near you?

I love taking the ride to the Whole Foods in the Hartford area.

And I keep a-wishing-and-a-hoping that one will come to my 
shoreline community of Branford  / Guilford / Madison someday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

JoJoTo Venezuelan Restaurant to Open in Branford CT in Mid-August 2014

JoJoTo Brings Venezuelan Cuisine to Branford, CT

UPDATE: Read my recap at==>>

The Singing Chef Neil Fuentes Presents the Food He Grew Up With Plus Mango Martinis and a Little Bom-bom Shakin’.

Ain't nothin' wrong with that!!

Which means there will be some added heat coming to the Branford, CT coastline this summer in the form of Jojoto, Venezuelan Restaurant + Bar. Owner Victor Figueroa has teamed up with culinary / entertainment powerhouse Neil Fuentes, a.k.a. The Singing Chef, in creating a restaurant and bar that features the cuisine both Victor and Neil grew up with in their home country of Venezuela.

Located in the beachy shoreline community also known as "Short Beach" on Shore Drive in Branford, CT, the petite restaurant and bar, formerly Augie’s Restaurant, has been transformed into a vibrant, high-energy, Latin infused locale for authentic Venezuelan dishes.

Jojoto, which means “corn on the cob”, gets its cues from its namesake, with many of its food preparations utilizing this versatile grain (when harvested past maturity) and vegetable (when harvested before maturity). The dining room, which seats 40, is framed by large glass windows and bright sun kissed walls, enlarged by an over-sized mirror. The sleek bar boasts a large screen TV and striking cityscape prints of Caracas, Venezuela.

In addition to the sound of singing coming out of Neil’s kitchen, there are plenty of bold flavors and from-scratch recipes at play. The “traditional” side of the menu highlights more rustic, peasant style dishes including; Arepas stuffed with shredded beef and Reina Pepiada stuffed with potato chicken salad; Empanada Tasting; Toston, garlic seasoned, deep fried unripe plantain with slaw and spicy shrimp; Cachapa, fresh sweet corn pancake with cheese; Mejillones a la Vinagretta, chilled stuffed mussels; and Guacucos, clams with lime, shallots, shrimp fume and homemade linguini.

More refined dishes highlight land and sea preparations such as; Costillas de Res of sofrito and cabernet braised short ribs with polenta, gremolata and truffle essence; Venezuelan BBQ with beef tenderloin, chicken, pork, choice of chorizo or blood sausage, yuca, guasacaca and crema fresca; Hamburguesa Venezolana piled high with lettuce, tomato, ham, queso, avocado, bacon, crushed potato chips, slaw, ketchup, mustard, garlic sauce, topped with a duck egg and served with truffle fries; Pabellon Criollo with rice, black beans, shredded beef and sweet plantains; and Gallinita Rellena, deboned, crispy skin Cornish hen stuffed with leeks and sweet plantain with an orange, lemon grass and honey reduction . Seasonal paella preparations and market fresh fish dishes change daily.

The beverage program stays true to Jojoto’s Venezuelan roots. Martinis and specialty cocktails are made with mango, passion fruit and fresh citrus juices and purees. (YUMMM!!!)  Top shelf spirits, house made infusions, craft beers and a select wine list of varietals from Spain and Argentina round out the beverage menu.

Look for a mid-August opening.

About Chef Neil FuentesNeil Fuentes

Raised on a farm in Venezuela and upon graduating from performing arts school, Neil Fuentes’ combined passion for food and entertainment led to his popular persona, “The Singing Chef”. The Sensational Singing Chef, airing on Connecticut Style on WTNH Television in New Haven, CT since 2009, continues to be a highly rated show for the network, garnering numerous awards and a cult-like following. National appearances include The Food Network’s hit show Chopped, Sabra Humus’ Recipe Makeovers, as well as Neil’s on-going series on Food Channel’s Hot Spots, where Neil takes viewers on culinary tours throughout New England.

About Victor Figueroa

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and one of six children to a single mother, Victor learned what hard work meant early on. In addition to a strong education, Victor was very passionate about anything that flew, which led him to the Venezuelan air force at the age of 17 and paragliding off mountains while he pursued an accounting career. In 1996 he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello.

After working as an auditor in Venezuela for many years, due to political unrest Victor decided to pursue a master’s degree in the United States and in 2006 he completed his MBA.  The lessons he learned from his mother about hard work had paid off when his employers paid his tuition and sponsored his green card. Victor’s dreams continue to come true as he and his wife Nichola raise two beautiful girls in Branford.  And now another dream has now become a reality - bringing a taste of Venezuela to his home, to his family and to this country in the form of Jojoto.

TEL 203-208-4141

ADDRESS  130 Shore Drive Rd, Branford CT 06405

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The CowParade is Coming to Hartford CT

This summer, the CowParade comes to Hartford  Connecticut!

The CowParade is partnering with the Hartford Courant to celebrate TWO ANNIVERSARIES!

The first, will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Hartford Courant, America’s oldest continuously published newspaper,

The second, to hallmark the 15th anniversary of the first CowParade exhibit staged in Chicago in 1999.

The Hartford CowParade will benefit The Connecticut Science Center and Hartford’s Camp Courant. The event, is planned to open in August in downtown Hartford.

I was lucky enough to visit Austin Texas and see one of these beautiful cows up close and in person! Don't miss this great event that is now coming to CT!

Austin Texas' CowParade

The CowParade Website reports: 

CowParade, based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, has staged 75 exhibits in 32 countries. CowParade produced CowParade events in West Hartford in 2003 and 2007, which were reported to have attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to West Hartford Center.

Jerry Elbaum, CowParade founder and a life-long resident of West Hartford, stated that the CowParade events around the world have brought smiles to the faces of countless people and have raised over 30 million dollars for charitable organizations, principally ones benefitting children. “We intend for this special CowParade event to draw many thousands of visitors to Hartford, particularly to the Science Center, Front Street and the adjoining corporate plazas, and to raise significant funds for Hartford’s Camp Courant and the Science Center.” The event cows will be auctioned off at a gala following the closing of the event in early November.

“Hartford’s Camp Courant is honored to be a beneficiary of the CowParade’s 15th Anniversary. It is our hope that thousands of visitors come into Hartford and enjoy the rebirth of the City through this outstanding expression of art. Many thanks to the organizers of the CowParade along with our ‘heroes’ at The Hartford Courant for always making children a priority in their giving” - Josh Reese, Executive Director & CEO, Hartford’s Camp Courant

“It’s always exciting to create additional attractions for our visitors to see here in Hartford, and CowParade is going to be a great feature this year,” said Matt Fleury, President & CEO of the Connecticut Science Center. “This will be a great way to celebrate the opening of our beautiful new Phoenix Science Plaza, celebrate the opening of new attractions on Front Street and add to the appeal of a trip to our capital city.”

Sponsorship Opportunities. The  Hartford Courant, FOX CT, and CowParade, together have begun a campaign to solicit businesses and others to become event sponsors. Each cow, or heard of cows has a sponsor or patron. Corporations, community groups, individual merchants and private citizens can sponsor cows beginning at $5,500. Information regarding sponsorships can be obtained by contacting a representative from the Hartford Courant or FOX CT or the CowParade website.

Interested sponsors can email CowParade at or call us at 860-967-0707 x 111 for more information

Monday, July 14, 2014

Indian Neck General Store and The Stand

Take a ride down South Montowese Street in the Indian Neck area of Branford and see what's new!

The Indian Neck General Store and the Stand are undergoing a transformation.

Located across from Lenny's Indian Head Restaurant, the general store was originally an auto repair shop and garage, owned and operated by the Beatty family since 1938.  In recent years the garage expanded to include a convenience store selling various sundries, newspapers, snacks and fresh coffee.

New owners Ted Cwiertniewicz and Kevin O'Neill recently purchased this idyllic property and have plans to eventually expand the store, having already given the vegetable stand a fresh new look. They've added a quaint seating area where customers can sit a spell, enjoy their coffee, and pick up some fresh local and New England vegetables.  And, they still offer the convenience of filling up your propane to help us all fire up those gas grills this summer.

Indian Neck General Store and The Stand

Here's a picture walking tour of some of the things you'll find when you stop and visit at the Indian Neck General Store and The Stand.

Inside the store are boxed and canned goods, ice cream, candy, friendly service and fresh coffee.

Jill and The Cowboy

Outside you'll find an outdoor patio with the most comfortable rocking chairs ever (and they're for sale too) - the perfect place to sit a spell and enjoy a deli sandwich, cold soda pop, or cup of coffee with friends.

Around back, you'll find fresh herbs and vegetables being grown.

There's always fresh produce at The Stand!

And all are from local farmers around CT and New England!

Did I mention there are FRESH PIES???

And handmade goods from my friends at Sunflower Farms!

Beautiful flowers and herbs surround the property...

Stop down and sit a spell! - Buy a soda and a sandwich!

Do some people watching and enjoy the summer weather!

We loved meeting new owner Ted and learning all about his visions for the store. He was so quick to point out that they couldn't be doing all these great things without the support of long time employees, new staff, and most importantly, the Branford Community!

And we're so happy that the tradition of "Buy Local" stays in Branford Connecticut!

The Indian Neck General Store and The Stand

196 South Montowese Street

BranfordCT 06405

(203) 488-0841

Follow them on Twitter:

Follow them on Instagram:

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

Do you have a favorite farm market and general store in your area?

Have you ever been to the Indian Neck General Store and The Stand?

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

Connecticut Food Truck Festival at the North Haven Fairgrounds

We Came - We Ate - Our Verdict ==>  It's a Food Truck Paradise!

North Haven Fairgrounds
300 Washington Avenue
North Haven CT


 The Connecticut Food Truck Festival at the North Haven Fairgrounds is happening on July 19 and 20 from 11:00am to 7:00pm!

The festival admission is $5 per person and includes parking, children under 17 are free when accompanied by a parent.

Don't let the long lines fool you! We did hit A LOT OF traffic coming off the highway -- BUT we found there was plenty of free parking at the fairgrounds and merchants along Washington Avenue were also offering $5.00 parking close by.

Most food trucks did have lines...but most went fairly quickly (about 15 minutes or less) with the exception of the Lobster Roll Truck which understandably had MUCH longer lines.

This was the CT Food Truck Festival's first year and without advance ticket sales I'm sure they had no idea how many to expect. I'm sure next year will shake all the cobwebs out.

IMPORTANT ==> Be sure to bring chairs or a blanket because NO seating is provided!

Also, due to insurance regulations - no alcohol is available, nor can any be brought in.

There will be close to 50 food providers and bands playing throughout the weekend.

In addition there will be plenty of family friendly activities going on with  bounce houses, inflatable obstacle course, games, contests and DJ. These are ALL provided FREE for the little ones as well as clowns providing free face painting.

Moonbounce Area

All Saturday attendees will receive a ticket which can be brought back on Sunday to enjoy some of the new trucks that will be joining the festival that day at a discounted admission of $2. 

Clown Face Painting

All the trucks will be selling their top items and many will be doing smaller portions at a reduced price to allow you to try multiple trucks. 

Fun and Food for Everyone!
Above middle is my "Sample" Platter from Double Trouble which consisted of a chili burger, a chili dog, a bacon cheeseburger, and fried bacon wrapped peanut butter and jelly! A bargain at $10.00!!! 

Here's a list of just SOME of the trucks that will be there! And please note that not all trucks will be in attendance on both dates.

  • Amor Food Truck
  • Aurora’s Gypsy Cafe 
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Truck 
  • Big Country's BBQ
  • Bounty Food Truck (Sunday only)
  • Burning Peel Pizza
  • The Buzz Truck Coffee, Caffeine and more
  • Christiano's Pizzaria
  • Deli on the Block
  • DiSorbo’s Bakery Truck & Fried Dough Pizza 
  • Double Trouble
  • FE Food Extrovert
  • Four Flours Bakery  
  • Fruit Whirled 
  • Good Humor Ice Cream
  • Gotta Q BBQ 
  • Granola Bar Truck
  • Grilled Cheeses & Other Comfort Foods
  • Lobstercraft 
  • Local Meatball
  • Mamoun's Falafel Truck
  • Meriano's Cannoli Truck
  • Munchie's Food Truck 
  • Pierogies on Wheels 
  • The Pig Rig BBQ
  • Snowie Shaved Ice Mobile
  • Spinning Smoothies
  • The Spud Stud 
  • Taco Loco
  • Tampa’s Food Truck
  • Ted's Restaurant
  • Vanchetta Porchetta Truck
  • Weenie Lynns
  • The Whey Station 
  • WTF Wrap The Food Truck
  • Zawack Shack
The consensus from Sunday Fest goers was basically the same with an emphasis on long lines and a back up off the highway from people who arrived noon and after. However, early birds report no problems at all.

Next year, I'd recommend advance ticket sales, and two seatings per day to reduce the congestion. But, I'd still say it was a wonderful event and can't wait til' next year!

For more pictures of this event - visit the Home Place Facebook page HERE

First Annual Connecticut Food Truck Festival

Time:  11-7 pm

Date:  July 19, 2014 and July 20, 2014

*Cost:  $5.00 per day, Saturday attendees can purchase Sunday tickets for an additional $2.00


 North Haven Fairgrounds 
300 Washington Avenue 
North Haven, CT

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Post 154 Partners with the SKAL Restaurant Group

Press Release: July 9, 2014

Here's the scoop!

SKAL Restaurant Group is assuming the management role at Westport’s POST 154 Restaurant

The Kelly Family, owners of Westport’s POST 154 restaurant, are thrilled to announce a new partnership between POST 154 and SKAL Restaurant Group. Led by Owner Christian Burns, SKAL Restaurant Group is now spearheading the operations side for POST 154, further managing and enhancing the area’s most exciting new restaurant and gathering space housed in the historic Westport Post Office Building.

SKAL Restaurant Group, no stranger to operating high volume, high energy restaurant spaces, is responsible for such Connecticut hot spots as The Ginger Man in Norwalk and Greenwich and Cask Republic in New Haven and Stamford.

“The plan for Post 154 is to take what is already a magnificent space and further carve out its food and beverage identity,” explains Christian, “The success behind our brands lies within the ability to read our customers, provide a unique dining experience, offer a comfortable social environment, and achieve that through attention to detail, service, and as always, a sense of fun.”

Guests can look forward to seasonal and creative menu changes as well as an added craft cocktail menu,  house made infusions and a beer list fit for today’s craft beer culture .

Enjoy Post 154’s wonderful patio for dining or just plain lounging around on our new spacious and plush outdoor furnishings surrounded by wrought iron tiki torches. Private parties can be accommodated in the main dining room, private dining room, wine cellar, bar or patio and new catering menus have you covered for plated meals, cocktail events and buffet options. Enjoy pre/post show cocktails or dinner when taking in a performance at the Westport Playhouse or the new Pavilion.

Photo Courtesy  MaxEx LLC

Christian and the Kelly Family look forward to seeing you at Post 154, Westport’s very own restaurant, bar and event venue. 

POST 154

154 Post Road 
Westport, CT 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Carl Anthony Trattoria in Monroe CT

Congratulations to Carl Anthony Trattoria on their fifteen year anniversary!

On a recent warm summer evening we had the opportunity to visit the Monroe CT Italian Restaurant. It's no surprise that this oasis in Fairfield county has withstood the test of time. Delicious food, great cocktails, and professional service always make for a win - win - win combination.

Owner and Executive Chef Sam DeVellis welcomed the challenge that awaited him when he opened fifteen years ago at the tender age of 22, and he still welcomes the challenges that operating a successful restaurant brings. Pushing the boundaries of his menu to feature classic Italian fare with an edge, beautifully prepared and plated, it's no wonder he stands shoulder to shoulder with his competitors. His "trattoria" is just what the name implies, an establishment that specializes in Italian-style food, less formal than a "ristorante", but more formal than the simple peasant food found at an "osteria".

We started our evening at Carl Anthony Trattoria in the open air lounge where a fun cocktail menu awaited us. We ordered a wide variety of the available drinks, and my favorites were the Mambo Italian (Averno Amara, muddled mint and lemons, topped with ginger ale) and the Black Cherry Mojito (Cruzan Black Cherry Rum, muddled mint and cherry). Other cocktails sampled were the Cucumber Gimlet (Pearl Cucumber fresh basil, lemon and lime juice), the Cin Cin (Aperol Orange Liquer, Fresh Lemon and Angostura Bitters, and the Blood Orange Smash (Jim Beam Honey Bourbon, Thyme, Vermouth, Lemon, and Blood Orange).

Carl Anthony Trattoria Signature Cocktails

However, the piece de résistance cocktail of the night was the Campfire, with a graham cracker rim drizzled with chocolate syrup, Smirnoff Fluff Vodka, Baileys, served with flaming marshmallows. That's right, an alcohol infused s'more, right in a martini glass!

Carl Anthony Trattoria's Campfire Cocktail - a S'More Martini!

With our cocktails we sampled some Blue Chips and the Original Balsamic Reduction Calamari.

Bleu Chips - hand cut potato chips, gorgonzola fonduta, fig jam, and bacon

The calamari was absolutely amazing! The balsamic reduction sauce should be bottled and sold - it was so tangy sweet and slightly syrupy. Who knew calamari and a sweet sauce would go so well?

Original Calamari with a Balsamic Reduction Sauce

We also had the opportunity to chat with Chef Sam, whose easy and relaxed manner was so welcoming.

Then we moved on to our small plates sampling of an Heirloom Tomato Salad Bruschetta, Buratta with Bacon Jam and Pepperoncino. The Tomato Bruschetta was so good with perfectly crisped peasant bread and slightly garliced, sweet ripe tomatoes.

Another stand out was the Charred Heirloom Carrots topped with straciatella cheese, and a cilantro-honey citronette drizzle.

The cowboy loved the Kobe Meatballs - in a hearty tomato sauce with crispy garlic bread. You guessed it!  -- we ordered additional bread to sop up that rich tomato sauce!

And then a beautiful Fig and Beet Salad was presented, made with baby greens, goat cheese ricotta, onion, wildflower honey toasted oats, marconia almonds, and vincotto.

Of course, a red and white wine accompanied our plates, a San Giuseppi Pinot Noir, and a Fianodi Avellino White.

A delicate "Italian" Ramen followed, made with hand-made noodles, chicken broth, a local egg, parmigiano, and pepperoncino.

Italian Ramen

We also sampled the "Loaded Baked Potato" Gnocchi - a hand-made potato pasta pillows, with smoked bacon, broccoli, and a mix of cheddar and Italian cheeses, topped with sour cream and chives.

Potato Gnocchi

Our entrees consisted of Wild Ivory King White Salmon (Alaskan) on a bed of spicy spinach, sultana raisn vinaigrette, and walnut romesco aioli, and a Porchetta alla Romana, a slow roasted pork, with broccoli rabe, pickled farm stand diced tomatoes.

Salmon and Porchetta

Believe it or not, we found room for dessert! Quattro Creme Brulee that featured four flavors of creme brulee, Ice Cream Coffee and Doughnuts with dark chocolate dip, and a Blueberry Upside Down Cake.

Quattro Creme Brulee 

Doughnuts and Coffee

My favorite? The Blueberry Upside Down Cake. The cake was dense and only slightly sweet (reminiscent of an olive oil cake), and the lemon curd and fresh blueberries added a sweet and berry-tart brightness to the dish.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

I wish we had more time to spend at Carl Anthony's Trattoria! I would have loved to enjoy an after dinner cocktail out on the patio.

Don't hesitate to order ANYTHING off Chef Sam's menu. His flavor profiles are on target and portions are plentiful! I can't wait to return to enjoy more!

Clock Tower Square
477 Main Street
Monroe, CT 06468

On the Web:

Like them on facebook at

Carl Anthony's Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: We were invited to this promotional  sampling at Carl Anthony Trattoria by members of  Carl Anthony's Management and Marketing Team, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are our own.
Real Time Web Analytics