Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Patio is Open at Rooftop 120 in Glastonbury CT

Sponsored: Social Media Promotion

It's finally spring in Connecticut! The temperatures are rising, spring menus are getting ready, and outdoor patios are open! We had an invite last weekend from Kat at Bird Social Media to visit Rooftop 120 in Glastonbury Connecticut and sample some of their NEW spring cocktails and items from their small plates menu.

This was my first time at Rooftop 120 - and my first time in this particular area in Glastonbury - an area that surely must be known as 'restaurant mecca"! There were some great restaurants that I had heard of all in this square block and Rooftop 120, with its third story location, overlooks them all with an absolutely amazing view of the area. Don't let the third floor scare you off - there is easy access via a lobby elevator.

We started off our tasting with a "Red Flavored" Strawberry Sangria - a fruity bright way to start the day!

Strawberry Sangria

Our first small plate sampling was the absolutely delicious Shrimp and Andouille Sausage with Avocado Butter on a lightly toasted French Baguette. Seasoned  with a slightly spicy piquillo pepper relish this was a dream.

 Shrimp and Andouille Sausage with Avocado Butter
on a lightly toasted French Baguette

Next, we sampled what was likely one of the favorite cocktails of the day, the Havana Breeze, made with muddled lime and zesty mint, with coconut rum and lemonade. It was light and tasty and perfect for a summer afternoon rooftop gathering.

Havana Breeze

Then, we sampled the Nosh Watermelon, made with vodka, watermelon puree, and lemonade. So refreshing!

 Nosh Watermelon

We then moved on to our next sampling, the Smoked Salmon Rillete with pickled onions, chives, and a sour cream and green onion sauce, with a side of fresh greens with a blood orange vinaigrette. What fun this was to dig in and eat and I could have eaten every drop in that Mason Jar, scraped the sides, and licked the spoon clean. So good!!

Smoked Salmon Rillete
Salmon rillettes topped with a green onion sour cream
 grilled pita bread and a simple pickked green salad and citrus vinaigrette 

Smoked Salmon Rillete

Next up we paired a bit of Beef Tartar with a White Guava Cosmo. The tartar had a nice blend of pickled chilies with a mustard vinaigrette with fresh herbs, allowing for a hearty, but bright flavor profile.  And really, who doesn't love a pretty cosmo with an edible orchid garnish.

 Beef Tartar with a White Guava Cosmo

Our final food tasting was Octopus Bolognese made with squid ink pasta, a San Manzano sauce, and roasted tomatoes.

Octopus Bolognese

Our final cocktail sampling was another perfect patio cocktail, the Pineapple Mojito, with muddled mint, rum, lime, mixed with sour mix and pineapple juice.

My tablemates and I made a final toast to good friends, great food, delicious cocktails, and vowed to return as soon as we could to another patio afternoon at Rooftop 120 in Glastonbury Connecticut!

Pineapple Mojito

Be sure to visit Rooftop 120 and enjoy some fabulous food and fine cocktails on their patio and enjoy the view!

This ultra-chic restaurant is open year-round, and features an outdoor lounge with fire pits, small plates, shared plates, flat bread specialties, large plates, & signature cocktails. All that and weekend live music, too!

See more pictures  HERE on the Home Place facebook page

and while you're there don't forget to "like" us!

Rooftop 120

120 Hebron Avenue
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Phone:(860) 430-9989

Disclaimer: We received an invite to sample Rooftop 120's small plate and cocktail menu by members of the public relations and management team, however, all views expressed in the review are our own.

Friday, April 22, 2016

CT Tourism Wants to Help Promote YOUR Connecticut Business Unveils All New State Tourism Website

Mobile Friendly and just in time for peak CT Tourism Season

That's right CT businesses! The Connecticut Office of Tourism wants to help travelers find YOU and your attraction through their NEW easy to navigate website.

Travelers can now find information on more than 4,000 places to visit, stay and eat in Connecticut as well as hundreds of inspirational travel stories, vacation deals and event listings all in one place,

The completely redesigned and rebuilt website, launched in late April 2016 by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, makes it easier for visitors and residents alike to learn more about Connecticut's major attractions as well as its hidden gems (is that YOU?) and to plan their next getaway in just a few clicks.

 Just in time for summer travel, the new site is highly visual, content rich and entirely mobile responsive. Leveraging the latest interactive technologies, it features:

  • Connecticut Attractions: Information on 4,000+ tourism attractions, accommodations and restaurants ­ more than double the number of listings offered on the previous website
  • Connecticut Activities: Intuitive navigation that organizes information based on types of businesses.
  • Activities (Do), 
  • Accommodations (Stay) 
  • Connecticut Getaways: Suggested getaway itineraries and travel stories for visitors looking for Ideas based on the type of experiences they enjoy
  • Event Calendar: A Calendar of events that can be filtered by date range, type of event or region and a special "What to do This Weekend" feature  
  • Sort by Region: Regional site views which provide visitors with an in-depth opportunity to explore the unique offerings in each region of the state 
  • Your Own Page: Individual pages highlighting each destination, which are free to the businesses and allow them to showcase photos, videos, upcoming events, travel deals and can even automatically bring in their social media feeds and TripAdvisor® ratings
  • Destination Tip: The "While You're in the Neighborhood" feature which serves up suggestions and directions for other attractions, hotels and restaurants that are close by the destination you¹re viewing 

Wow! This is big! This is so important for Connecticut to promote and support its own LOCAL businesses!

With nearly a year in the making, this new site was a collaborative effort involving Connecticut's many different kinds of tourism businesses, local associations and other Connecticut state agencies.

Yay for Connecticut!!!

Regional tourism districts also worked closely with the state¹s tourism office to enhance content and aggregate listings so that visitors could enjoy a seamless experience of all Connecticut has to offer.

Read what some of those involved had to say about the process and the new end product!

Connecticut now has a state-of-the-art website to support our $14 billion tourism industry, which supports 80,000 direct jobs. The new site, a key component of our still revolutionary Connecticut marketing efforts, makes it easy for visitors to find and explore our state's rich array of destinations, which will help keep tourism a thriving industry in Connecticut!
-Catherine Smith
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development

"In our research, we learned that potential visitors, even our own residents, wanted more specific ideas of things to do in Connecticut. So we designed the new to bring our state¹s dynamic blend of offerings to life using lots of great imagery, engaging content and streamlined navigation,"
-Randy Fiveash
Director, Connecticut Office of Tourism

"The new site gives the tourism regions the best tools we have had in years to market not only destinations and experiences in our own footprints, but also to build interest and exposure for events and attractions a short drive away. The whole state benefits!"   
 -Ed Dombroskas
Executive Director, Eastern Connecticut Regional Tourism District

"This has truly been a team effort involving tourism businesses from all across the state, the Connecticut Office of Tourism, the regional tourism districts, the regional visitors' bureaus and many local organizations. We could not be happier with the process - and the result. Potential visitors to Connecticut now have such a breadth and depth of information and inspiration at their fingertips."
-Andrew Wood
SVP, External Relations, Mystic Aquarium

"It's exciting to see it all come together. This has been a research-driven, inclusive process. Since the first input session last year, we have all been focused on one key objective: to provide potential visitors and our residents with a great online experience ‹ one that inspires them, maybe even surprises them, and ultimately motivates them to explore more of Connecticut."
-Matt Fleury
President and CEO of the Connecticut Science Center

At every key milestone in the process, from identifying what the site should do to evaluating how it should look,  the team reached out for quantitative and qualitative feedback from consumers (both in-state residents and out-of-state travelers) as well as from tourism business partners across the state. This research guided every phase of the site development process.

The site is also built on a Content Management System (CMS) that empowers tourism partners to manage their own free feature page. They can edit their information, post events, add deals, update imagery - making it easier to keep the entire site¹s content fresh.

Learn more about CT Tourism through this video

About The Connecticut Office of Tourism

The Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), created the Connecticut still revolutionary strategic marketing initiative to build pride among residents and bolster the state¹s reputation as a tourism and business destination. Connecticut offers such a diverse mix of activities and attractions, all in such close proximity to each other, that visitors can enjoy multi-dimensional experiences within a short drive ­ from the exciting and relaxing to the historic and innovative to the culture and nature-focused. For more information, visit and join the Connecticut still revolutionary community on social media on FacebookTwitter, PinterestYouTube and Instagram.

9th Annual Elm City Iron Chef Competition at Omni New Haven

Gateway Community College 
to Host 9th Iron Chef “Elm City” Competition 
at Omni New Haven Hotel 
May 1st 2016

Save the date and get your tickets NOW to the "Elm City" Iron Chef competition!

That's right!

The Elm City Iron Chef returns, hosted by Gateway Community College (GCC) on May 1st at The Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, 155 Temple Street, New Haven.

The event begins at 11:45 a.m.

This year, they have a smokin' hot theme ==>> Hot in the Kitchen: CT Firefighter Chefs!

Heck, yes!

Elm City Iron Chef Competing Chefs this year will be:

  • Chef Danny Brelsford (Consiglio’s Restaurant, Bridgeport Fire Dept), 
  • Chef Whitney King (Personal Chef, Norwalk Fire Dept), 
  • Chef Christopher Moore (The Big Green Pizza Truck, Danbury Fire Dept), and 
  • Chef Billy DiLegge (Pasta Cosi, New Haven Fire Dept).  

Your Elm City Iron Chef Hosts:

  • Emcee: Jocelyn Maminta, WTNH-TV’s Emmy Award-nominated medical reporter, will emcee. Maminta is an Emmy Award nominated News 8 Medical reporter, and has anchored and reported for televisions stations in North Carolina, Milwaukee, Texas and at News 8 in Connecticut. A political science graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Jocelyn works tirelessly for many nonprofits across Connecticut. She has been honored countless times for her efforts.
  • Sideline Reporter: Todd Lyon will be the “kitchen commentator,” reporting on the chefs’ progress throughout the competition. Lyon has covered the New Haven restaurant scene for 20-plus years, writing for the New Haven Register, Connecticut Magazine and the New Haven Advocate. She currently pens the monthly “Players” column for New Haven Living magazine, and is co-owner of Fashionista Vintage & Variety, a clothing store for eccentrics.

This is going to be interesting!!!

Celebrity Elm City Iron Chef Judges include:  

  • Layla Schlack, Senior Editor of Fine Cooking, a national food magazine where she produces and edits feature stories, as well as the Repertoire, Try This, Go Shopping, and On Location departments; 
  • Priscilla Martel, food writer, former restaurateur and author of two best-selling culinary textbooks: On Cooking and On Baking; 
  • Todd Ruiz, executive chef from the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, last year’s Iron Chef winner.

The Elm City Iron Chef Secret Ingredient:

What will the secret ingredient be this year??? 
Stephen Fries, GCC Hospitality Management Program Coordinator, host of New Haven's Culinary Walking Tours, and regular New Haven Food Columnist and Contributor says, “Join us on May 1st for a fun and food-packed afternoon to find out. Let the competition begin!”

The Elm City Iron Chef Reception

The reception includes tastings from the competing restaurants and samples by the “secret ingredient” sponsor.

Guests will enjoy samples from Gelato Giulana, Deep River Snacks, Willoughby’s Coffee, Kennedy’s Kettle Popped Corn, Holly’s Oatmeal , Sabra Hummus  Katalina’s Bakery, Guilford Spice & Tea Exchange, Tony’s Square Doughnuts, Four Flowers Bakery, Calabro Cheese, Chabaso Bakery, and, SuperSeedz.

In addition, there will be raffle for a chance to taste the competing chef’s dishes using this years’  ”secret ingredient” as well as a silent auction.

The event’s format is based on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” program and features culinary experts as judges. Stephen Fries, the event producer and a GCC professor and Coordinator of Hospitality Management Programs and food columnist for the New Haven Register said, “the competition promises to be exciting from start to finish – showcasing four acclaimed firefighter chefs, Maminta as host, a panel of esteemed judges and a “kitchen stadium” at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale, where the audience will be able to walk around and be in the middle of the action. GCC hospitality and culinary students will be on hand assisting the chefs.”

The chefs are provided with a list of five possible “secret” ingredients a week before the event. At the competition, the “secret” ingredient is unveiled and the chefs are required to create an appetizer, entree and dessert using the ingredient – all in one hour.

Past year’s secret ingredients were locally made favorites including Calabro Cheese, Lyman Orchards apples, Willoughby’s coffee, Hooker Beer, Deep River Snacks, Holly’s Oatmeal, Kennedy’s Kettle Popped Corn, and Super Seedz.

Elm City Iron Chef Competition

Omni Hotel at Yale
155 Temple Street
New Haven, CT

May 1st 2016 at 11:45am
Purchase at:

Proceeds benefit scholarships for GCC’s hospitality management and culinary arts students and programs.

Tickets are $45.
There are limited $65 tickets (preferred viewing) and can be purchased by going to and click on Iron Chef or Gateway Community College Foundation.


Click HERE to purchase tickets

Parking will be validated for the Temple Street garage.

For questions, please call 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519.

Here's a look back at last year's competition


About Gateway Community College

Gateway Community College is one of the state’s fastest growing community colleges and the 10th largest institution of higher education in Connecticut. GCC offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs and serves more than 11,000 credit and non-credit students each year. GCC serves students in 24 towns and cities in the greater New Haven area, including: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Bridgeport, Cheshire, Clinton, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge. For more information, visit

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Firehouse Subs in Glastonbury CT

Sponsored: Social Media Promotion

The first Firehouse Subs in Connecticut 

is now open in Glastonbury CT!

Firehouse Subs Glastonbury CT
Firehouse Subs Glastonbury CT

Owners Jeff and Jen Finnerty are bringing Firehouse Subs, a U.S.-based fast food chain to Connecticut in their beautiful community of Glastonbury. Adjancent to the Fox Run Shopping Center (where Whole Foods Market is housed) this neighborhood focused sub shop is located in the heart of Main Street Glastonbury!

Firehouse Subs
2520 Main Street
Glastonbury CT 06033

Step into this bright sandwich shop and prepare to be dazzled! There are bold bright red and white tiles, firehouse memorabilia, and friendly, smiling faces to greet you. With its brick facade, chunky wood tables, and comfortable "firehouse red" seating, it invokes a feeling of the community firehouses of yesteryear!

Owner Operator Jeff Finnerty (center)
and members of the Firehouse Sub Crew

Invited as part of a soft-media information session, I was able to sample a few of their signature subs and listen in on the background of the business from the organization's co-founder Robin Sorenson, a former firefighter who now oversees franchise operations in 44 states and over 960 locations!

I sampled two subs, the Hook & Ladder® Sub and the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket™ Sub - both were delicious, piled high with meat, flavorful sauces and spreads, and soft fresh bread. 

Hook and Ladder Sub - Firehouse Subs
Hook & Ladder® Sub, served with fresh sliced daily 
smoked turkey breast and Virginia honey ham 

smothered with Monterey Jack cheese.

Smokehouse Beef and Cheddar Brisket - Firehouse Subs
Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket™ loaded with USDA choice beef brisket
smoked for at least 16 hours in an authentic Texas smokehouse
topped with melted cheddar cheese and a special combination of sauces,
including Sweet Baby Ray’s® Barbecue Sauce.

While Robin was filling in the rest of our group in on the history of Firehouse Subs, I had the chance to sit and chat with franchisee Jeff and hear his vision for the shop. He's so proud of his community roots and is looking to grow the Firehouse Sub brand in more towns in Connecticut! Lucky us!

Besides serving really great sandwiches made with fresh ingredients, what separates Firehouse Subs from other sandwich shops is their dedication and commitment to the community, specifically the civic services. In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation® with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations.​ Many first responders make do with older equipment and have limited or no access to needed resources. The 501(c)(3) Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has given more than $17 million to hometown heroes in 44 states and Puerto Rico.

Each restaurant recycles leftover, five-gallon pickle buckets, available to guests for a $2 donation to the Foundation. Donation canisters on register counters explain the nonprofit’s mission and collect spare change, while the Round Up Program allows guests to “round up” their bill to the nearest dollar. All funds raised benefit the Foundation.
Above info from

Firehouse Subs  in Glastonbury offers both eat in and take out options and also does party platters as part of their catering services. In addition to their traditional subs, and sub combos, they offer healthy size options, all under 500 calories, as well as salads.

Sub-Combo Menu

Sub Combo Menu
Menu Options from 4-13-16
Prices and availability of items are subject to change

Lighter Fare Menu

Lighter Fare
Menu Options from 4-13-16
Prices and availability of items are subject to change

Have a sweet tooth?

They also offer delicious cookies! While I was there I sampled a Lemon and White Chocolate Cookie, that had a beautiful bright citrus burst of flavor!

Owners Jeff & Jen Finnerty welcome you to their beautiful establishment! 

Jen and Jeff Finnerty
Firehouse Subs - Glastonbury CT

Be sure to stop in and experience some of their delicious subs and sandwiches.

Open from 10:30am to 9:00pm daily, the shop is already a neighborhood hit!

Visit them soon!

Firehouse Subs

2520 Main Street
Glastonbury CT 06033

Disclaimer: I was invited to this sampling by members of Firehouse Subs Public Relations and Marketing team, however, all views and opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Greenwich Wine and Food Fest 2016 Returns in September




Greenwich Wine + Food Festival

Multi-Day Event to Benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and
The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation

It's back! Save the dates -- September 23rd and 24th!

The 6th Annual GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL, presented by Serendipity magazine ( and benefiting Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation, will be taking place Friday, September 23– Saturday, September 24 at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut.  

The festival will feature a Master Chef Dinner at Water’s Edge on Friday, September 23 and the Saturday Festival on Saturday, September 24.

We are excited to be back for our sixth year honoring the best of food, drink, charity and music,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Unger Publishing and the Founder & CEO of Greenwich WINE+FOOD Festival.  “We have some exciting changes this year, including an expanded Friday evening event with even more local talent preparing their creative fare for our guests.  For Saturday, an all-new event, the Ultimate Sandwich Take-Down, will be added to the day’s line-up, and additional ticketing options for the headline performance including premium seating and unique food service will be added to our previous offerings.” 

In addition to unique culinary samplings and competition there is fabulous music! 

This year the event is featuring Ziggy Marley, Old Crow Medicine Show, and the Bacon Brothers!

“We wanted to give our guests an extra special night of music to cap off Saturday’s festival this year, so are featuring two co-headlining acts that are sure to get the crowd on their feet,” said Suni Unger, Founder & CEO of Serendipity magazine and the GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL. “The combination of Ziggy Marley’s reggae with the American string band Old Crow Medicine Show will entertain everyone in attendance.”

“We are also excited to once again welcome back Connecticut’s own Kevin Bacon, along with his brother Michael, to join in our celebration and offer their unique blend of folk, country and rock music to an intimate group of attendees at the Master Chef Dinner on Friday night,” added Unger.

In addition to the musical acts, celebrity chefs Michel Nischan, Adam Richman and Marcus Samuelsson will participate in this year’s festivities, conducting cooking demos, mingling with guests and signing cookbooks.

At the Master Chef Dinner on Friday evening, Adam Richman will award Serendipity’s Most Innovative Chefs from across Fairfield and Westchester Counties (honorees TBA) who will serve their signature dishes. Festival Ambassador Chefs will also be in attendance, preparing their best cuisine. The special evening is rounded out with renowned wine selections, creative cocktails and an auction.

The celebration of local and national talent continues on Saturday, the signature day of the GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL. The lineup features tastings and demonstrations from more than two hundred of the area’s finest food, wine, spirits and product vendors in the Grand Tasting Tent, as well as the Burger & Brew Tent, Grill Master Tent and Taco Party! There will also be a number of lively competitions, including the first annual Ultimate Sandwich Take-Down, the fifth annual Burger Battle and the third annual Top Bartender’s Showdown. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy sommelier presentations, celebrity book signings, and Q&A sessions with top culinary experts.  

Saturday VIP ticket holders ($375 per ticket) are invited to the Sustainable Dinner with three-time James Beard Foundation Award winner Michel Nischan, highlighting exquisite, locally-sourced ingredients, served under a private tent with premium liquor, wine and beer. Ticket holders also have access to exclusive lounge areas (open throughout the day), private restrooms and a premium viewing area for the evening’s musical performance.  

The Saturday VIP Pass with Intimate Dinner, featuring Marcus Samuelsson and Red Rooster Harlem, will give attendees the opportunity to sample the best of Harlem in a stunning waterfront setting. Award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson will prepare a meal inspired by the roots of American cuisine at a seated dinner with table service (6:30-8:30pm). Attendees can take in the evening’s musical performance from private tables on an elevated stage ($525 per ticket) or from reserved, lawn table seating ($450 per ticket). Table packages will be available as well. 

The Master Chef Dinner at Water’s Edge on Friday evening will feature not only this year’s awarded Most Innovative Chefs from across Fairfield and Westchester Counties serving their signature dishes, but also Festival Ambassador Chefs will prepare their most innovative cuisine.  The intimate evening will also feature renowned wine selections and creative cocktails, an auction and live musical performance.

The Saturday Festival, the center of the entire GREENWICH 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL, will offer tastings and demonstrations from more than two hundred of the area’s finest food, wine, spirits and product vendors in the main Grand Tasting Tent, as well as the Burger & Beer Tent, Master Griller Tent, the first annual Ultimate Sandwich Take-Down and Taco Party!  

Culinary demonstration tents and stages will house cooking presentations by celebrity chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson (“Chopped,” “Iron Chef” and winner of “Top Chef Masters”), and local talent. Guests will also enjoy sommelier presentations, celebrity chef book signings, Q&A sessions with top food and beverage talent, the fifth annual Burger Battle, the third annual Top Bartender’s Showdown and a live musical performance (talent TBA).  

VIP ticket holders ($375 per ticket) will also enjoy a Sustainable Dinner by the water’s edge, prepared by local chefs featuring the finest, locally-sourced, sustainably-produced ingredients under a private tent with premium liquor, wines and beer service, secluded lounge areas open throughout the day, private restrooms and and a premium viewing area for the evening’s musical performance. 

A special ticketed event, Saturday VIP Pass with Intimate Dinner featuring Marcus Samuelsson and Red Rooster Harlem, will give attendees the opportunity to enjoy the best of Harlem by the water’s edge, featuring the roots of American cuisine from award-winning chef, restaurateur and multi-titled cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson.  Featuring a seated dinner with table service (6:30-8:30pm), attendees will also enjoy the evening’s musical performance from private, tables on an elevated stage ($525 per ticket) or from reserved, lawn table seating ($450 per ticket).

Visit for more information and updates about the event schedule, participating celebrity and local chefs, musical talent and more. 

Follow updates on Greenwich Wine + Food Festival's Facebook page,, for restaurant participants and schedule happenings!

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 2016 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL is a multi-day event that benefits The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a nationwide organization dedicated to providing healing to children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses, as well as The Greenwich Department of Parks and Recreation.  The festival is partnered with Serendipity magazine and Pepsi. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

National Grill Cheese Day with T-Fal USA

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

Photo Source: 5WPR

Who doesn't love a fun foodie holiday?

Not me - that's for sure! So, in honor of the humble Grilled Cheese - let's whoop it up and enjoy the day! (As if we needed an excuse to indulge in a cheesy, gooey, delicious hot melted sandwich!)

The Classic American Grilled Cheese is a culinary staple, but let's face it. Been there. Done that.

So let's do a recipe upgrade, with T-fal's Four Cheese Gourmet Grilled Cheese.

The key to this sandwich's crispily delightful look and taste is that it is grilled to perfection in the T-fal Optigrill Plus, (product info below).  I mean really, a grill cheese with grill marks? Win Win!

T-fal's Four Cheese Gourmet Grilled Cheese

2 Servings / Preparation Time: 5 min.


  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) melted butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • A pinch of black pepper

  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices fresh crusty bread, about1/2-inch (1 cm) thick
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) shredded Gruyere cheese


  1. Blend the butter with the parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic and pepper until well combined. Spread the butter mixture evenly over one side of each slice of bread. Place a slice of Cheddar, on the unbuttered side, of the other 2 slices of bread. Toss the mozzarella with the Gruyere and sprinkle over the Cheddar. Top the sandwiches with the remaining bread, buttered-side-out.
  2. Turn the T-fal OptiGrill Plus on. Select the sandwich program and press OK. Once the purple indicator light has stopped flashing, place the sandwiches on the grill and close the lid.
  3. Cook until the indicator light has changed to red or until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.


  • The combination possibilities for this sandwich are endless! Add bacon, ham, salami, turkey, tomato, basil, sage or roasted red peppers.
  • Substitute any combination of favorite cheeses for those suggested in the recipe.
  • Serve this sandwich with a hot bowl of soup for a warming lunch or light supper.

T-fal OptiGrill Plus

The T-fal OptiGrill Plus is the new, one-of-a-kind way to grill indoors. The innovative OptiGrill Plus features a cooking sensor that guarantees a perfectly cooked meal every time. The built-in sensor automatically adapts to the thickness of your food and delivers perfect doneness from rare to well-done for six different programs: burgers, poultry, Panini, sausage and pork, red meat and fish. The OptiGrill Plus' unique temperature gauge allows the savvy home cook to have total control when cooking foods on the manual setting. Users can customize and adjust the temperature from keep warm, low, medium and high, allowing for a range of preparation options beyond the current preset functions. The OptiGrill Plus features angled plates that allow fat to drip off easily into the extra-large drip tray. The brushed stainless steel exterior is sleek and compact for easy storage and the removable cooking plates and drip tray are dishwasher safe for fast and easy clean up.

Available at Bed Bath & Beyond. SRP: $179.99

Sunday, April 10, 2016

2nd Annual Savor CT at the Connecticut Convention Center

Social Media Promotion

Savor CT in Hartford at the CT Convention Center

This weekend marked the 2nd Annual Savor CT, a three-day celebration of wine, food, and spirits, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.

This event featured some of the world’s finest spirits, premier wines, craft beers and artisan food. Sponsored by Foxwoods Resort Casino, Savor CT is truly a food and beverage nirvana!

The Savor Grand Tasting also showcased some top talent in the culinary industry including Savor's host, Robert Irvine, host of Restaurant: Impossible on Food Network, James Beard nominee Chef Elizabeth Falkner, and Mary Ann Esposito, star of PBS's Ciao Italia. In addition, regional chefs, celebrities in their own right, were on hand giving demos or representing their local restaurants.

The Grand Tasting was all-inclusive and we were able to sample some amazing dishes, wines, craft beers and spirits.

In addition we got to see a wide array of chefs demonstrate some of their signature recipes and share some of their best tips and hints! Robert Irvine was his usual funny self,  and Mary Ann Esposito is as warm and welcoming in person as she is on television.

On Saturday evening we attended the Savor in Style Charity Gala, hosted by Robert Irvine, where we were able to experience some of the best of the best! Most items, including desserts, included suggested pairings!

We had such a great time at Savor and we are already looking forward to Savor III! As soon as dates and times are announced we'll be sure to share the news with you!

For more information visit Savor at

Savor Gives Back: Savor is a proud supporter of the Robert Irvine Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that honors the men and women defending our country.
About the Connecticut Convention Center: This venue boasts a dramatic riverfront setting overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River at Adriaen’s Landing. The Convention Center is Connecticut’s premier meeting venue and the largest full-service convention facility between New York and Boston also features exceptional highway access at the crossroads of New England, where Interstates 84 and 91 meet.

For additional pictures visit the Home Place facebook page HERE

and while you're there, don't forget to "like" us!

Disclaimer: I was invited to Savor by members of the event's management and marketing staff, however all views and opinions are my own.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Argentinian Wine Pairing Dinner

Now here's an event not to be missed!

The Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Argentinian Wine Dinner

Fresh salt at Saybrook Point
Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point

Prepare to enjoy an international culinary journey featuring reds and whites from one of the world’s most historic wine producing regions

That's right, Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point is hosting a unique food and wine dinner featuring reds and whites from Argentina, one of the world’s most historic wine-producing regions. Held on Saturday, April 16, the dinner will feature signature Argentinian cuisine creatively prepared by Saybrook Point’s  talented Private Event and Banquet Chef Bill Titus and Fresh Salt Chef d’ Cuisine Gesé Rodriguez.

Paired with an exceptional selection of Argentinian Wines,  the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres featuring a selection of fine South American cheeses and cured meats, along with Fried Plantain, Mini Chori Pan (Grilled Chorizo, Onion, Pepper Relish), Manchego-Grilled Polenta with Quince Glaze, and Fogaza; served with 2015 Portillo Sauvignon Blanc

The five-course meal consists of:

  • Seafood Empanada with Crabmeat, Scallop, Shrimp and Tomato Chimichurro paired with 2014 Killka Torrontes; 
  • Carbonata Criolla, (Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash, Corn, Pear, Peach and Potato Gnocchi), served with 2012 Salentein Reserve Cabernet ; 
  • Roast Duck Breast with Grilled Sticky Rice Cake, Caramelized Apples, Charred Cauliflower and Fennel, matched with 2012 Salentein Reserve Cabernet.   
  • The final entrée offers New York Sirloin Matambre Roulade stuffed with Black Bean and Zucchini Fritters, and Salsa Criolla, complemented by the 2012 Salentein Numina.  

The evening concludes with

  • A decadent Chocotorta Dulce de Leche Cake from Pastry Chef Stephanie Schroeder, 
  • Organic and Free-trade Saybrook Point Lighthouse Custom Coffee. 

Seaside Wine and Spirits from Old Saybrook and Spirits of Madison will be in attendance, and guests can place orders for their favorite wine of the evening at specially reduced prices.  The Argentinian Wine Dinner at Saybrook Point’s Fresh Salt is $99.50/person plus tax and service charge.  Reservations are necessary and may be made by calling the Fresh Salt reservations line at 860.339-1318

Where: Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point
When: Saturday, April 16, at 6:30pm
Cost: $99.50 per person plus tax and service charge

Reservations are required. Call Fresh Salt at 860.339.1318

Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point

2 Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475

About Saybrook Point

Situated along the picturesque shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Saybrook Point features a collection of 100 elegantly-appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service SANNO spa, and casual fine dining restaurant Fresh Salt, as well as a unique waterside Lighthouse Suite. In addition, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales luxury guesthouses offer exquisite rooms that convey the story of famous local residents. The pristine Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, serves as a focal point for the Inn. More information is available at

Real Time Web Analytics