Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Find Fall Faster in Connecticut

Drive No Farther Than Connecticut to Find Fall Faster

Connecticut encourages leaf peepers to travel less and “Find Fall Faster” — by taking advantage of the state’s close proximity to major Northeast cities as well as the fact it offers the longest foliage season in New England. What's more, to help visitors plan the perfect fall getaway, the state is offering an array of new travel-planning resources, all conveniently accessible in one place:

“In half or even one-third the time it takes to drive farther north, visitors can enjoy a dynamic blend of quintessential and novel New England experiences right here in scenic Connecticut,” says Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism.

From the new Find Fall Faster hub on Connecticut’s official state tourism website, travelers will discover:

  • The Connecticut Fall Foliage Finder, a week-by-week report highlighting what areas of the state will likely offer peak colors when.
  • Nine ways to enjoy 90 days of fall, suggestions visitors can use to create their own fall bucket list including such must-do activities as apple picking, pumpkin hunting, corn-maze adventures and antiquing.
  • Leaf peeping guide full of unexpected ways to view the foliage — including zipline canopy tours, steam train excursions, wine trail trips, biking the 37-mile covered bridge route, hiking to the vistas and B&Bs with a view.
  • Scenic driving loops with information on specific routes to take and suggestions on where to eat, stay and play along the way.
  • Twenty pre-planned fall getaways that feature picturesque small towns, hotels and B&Bs with scenic fall views, great hiking/biking trails, fireside dining and more.
  • Other inspirational articles and suggested attractions to help tailor a perfect New England fall foliage experience.

“We predict Connecticut will have a magnificent 2016 foliage season, with the vibrant colors that make a trip memorable,” said Christopher Martin, Director/State Forester, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “Better yet, Connecticut’s foliage season typically runs longer than northern New England states — offering travelers even more opportunities to see and experience the autumn beauty.”

“Visitors to Connecticut will find all the quintessential activities that make fall such a spectacular season in New England — all within close proximity to each other,” says Randy Fiveash. “So rather than spending time driving the highways, visitors can get out and experience more of the crisp autumn air, scenic vistas and colorful adventures that make Connecticut the ultimate destination for fall.”

More fall travel inspiration and resources are available in the 2016 Official Fall/Winter Connecticut Visitors Guide, which is free to view and download at The visitors guide features in-depth stories and interviews, travel ideas, event listings, a state map and stunning photography. The mobile-friendly guide is a great travel companion this fall and winter. 

For timely updates on the foliage, consumers are encouraged to join the Connecticut tourism social media community on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest and use #CTvisit and #FindFallFaster all season long.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Pirate Invasion in Mystic Connecticut

Pirates To Invade Downtown Mystic 

September 30 – October 2

Fun for the whole family!

Swashbucklin’ fun for the whole family during the annual Mystic Pirate Invasion Friday-Sunday, September 30 – October 2!

Landlubbers beware! Pirates be on their way to make landfall in Mystic this October. The rowdy arrival will bring swashbucklin’ fun for the whole family at the 4th Annual Mystic Pirate Invasion to be held in downtown Mystic from Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2. Visitors will enjoy a sea battle among pirates and militia and food and drink specials at local restaurants and pubs. In addition, guests will find rousing merriment at costume contests, treasure hunts, and kids’ pirate crafts.

The 4th Annual Mystic Pirate Invasion kicks off on Friday, September 30 with an outdoor showing of “Hook” at Mystic River Park, followed by pirate-themed food and drink specials at several downtown restaurants on Saturday, October 1 with shifty, sneering pirates roaming the streets of Mystic.

Then, on Sunday, October 2 at 12:00 p.m. noon, the marauding pirates will invade downtown Mystic from the schooner Argia docked at Mystic River. Visitors will either cheer the militia or raise a Jolly Roger to pledge allegiance to the invading pirates as they engage in an epic sea battle. Little buccaneers and older swashbucklers alike can show-off their best pirate garb in the Pirate Costume Contest at the Ancient Mariner restaurant on West Main Street, while the young (or young at heart) can show off their pirate skills during creative pirate-themed crafts displays on the shores of the Mystic River. In addition, visitors will also enjoy balloons, face painting and more at Mystic River Park, and have the opportunity to participate in a local treasure hunt that travels through historic downtown Mystic collecting pieces of treasure from participating shops.

The 4th Annual Mystic Pirate Invasion

Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2
Mystic, Connecticut

Schedule of Events:

Friday, September 30

  • “Hook” movie showing, Mystic River Park, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 1

  • Pirate Crafts, Mystic Noank Library, all day
  • 11:00 a.m., Wii U Gaming Club, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mystic Noank Library
  • 3:30-5:00 p.m., Petting Zoo, Mystic Noank Library
  • 4:00-7:00 p.m., Costume Contest, Harp & Hound
  • 6:00 p.m., Costume Contest, Ancient Mariner

Sunday, October 2

  • Facepainting and Balloon creations, Mystic River Park, All Day
  • 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Kids Treasure Hunt (map pick up), Mystic River Park
  • 11:00-11:45 a.m., Sirena and the Sirens and Mystic's Mermaids
  • 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Kids Crafts, Mystic River Park with Michael's
  • 12:00 p.m., Pirates arrive on Argia, Mystic River Park
  • 12:00-1:00 p.m., Kidnappings - Hostages for Ransom, to benefit TBBCF
  • 1:00 p.m., Militia arrives - SEA BATTLE! Symfoni docks, Steamboat Wharf
  • 1:00 p.m., Pirate Story Time, Bank Square Books, 53 West Main St.
  • 2:00 p.m., Costume Contest, Mystic River Park
  • 4:00 p.m., Pirates depart aboard Argia, Symfoni docks, Steamboat Wharf
  • 5:00 p.m., Special Haunted History Pirate Tour, Mystic River Park

For more information, please visit

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Greenwich Wine + Food Fest 2016 Participants!


The sixth annual GREENWICH WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL, presented by Serendipity magazine ([ benefitting Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Wholesome Wave and The Greenwich Department of Parks and Reicreation, has announced the 200+ food and beverage participants that will be taking part in the centerpiece of the entire festival, the Culinary Village, on Saturday, September 24 from 12:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich.

Participants in this year’s Grand Tasting will offer samples from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and include:

  • Angelini Wine, Ltd.
  • Bakery On Main
  • BGOOD Greenwich
  • Blue Tulip Chocolates
  • Brotherhood, America's Oldest Winery
  • Brown Dog Fancy Mustards
  • Cabot Creamery Cooperative
  • Calcutta Kitchens
  • Chelsea Piers
  • Churncraft
  • Cielo e Terr Winery - Murphy Distributors
  • Citarella
  • Colby Davis of Boston
  • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
  • Connecticut Cookie Company
  • Cutco Cutlery
  • Dan Rooney's Restaurant
  • Darien Social
  • DeCicco and Sons
  • Delamar
  • Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
  • Don Julio
  • Don Sebastiani & Sons - Murphy Distributors
  • Drunken Fruit LLC
  • Dubrovnik Restaurant
  • Entrée Nous
  • Fishers Island Lemonade
  • Fjord Fish Market
  • Flinders Lane
  • Fourth Creek Foods
  • Frank Family Vineyards - Murphy Distributors
  • Full Moonshine
  • Gates Restaurant
  • Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill
  • Ggachi Bakery
  • Gifft Wines
  • Greenwich Cheese Company
  • Hilton Club New York
  • KAS Spirits
  • Latitude Beverage
  • Le Pain Quotidien
  • Little Mexican Café
  • Little Pub
  • Malai
  • Maple Craft Foods
  • Martin Miller's Gin
  • Meatball and Co. 
  • Mt. Kisco Smokehouse of Greenwich
  • MW Coastal Goods
  • New Canaan Olive Oil
  • NoMa Social
  • Nonno's Trattoria
  • O.N.E Coconut Water
  • Pepsi
  • Pinot's Palette
  • Polpettina
  • Punzone Italian Vodka - Murphy Distributors
  • Pure Leaf
  • Rosemary and Vine
  • Rudy's Executive Transportation
  • Ruth's Chris Steak House
  • Rutini Winery - Murphy Distributors
  • Rye House
  • Saltaire Oyster Bar
  • Sap on Tap Maple Water
  • Schweppes Seltzer
  • Sea Bags
  • Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters
  • Simply Delicious Catering
  • Sonora Restaurant 
  • Spiked Seltzer
  • Stella Artois
  • Stubborn Soda
  • Sweet Lisa's Exquisite Cakes
  • Teff Stamford
  • Thaithentic
  • The Ginger Man
  • The Granola Bar of Greenwich
  • The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp
  • The Olive Oil Factory
  • The Pine Leaf
  • The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood
  • The Rye Roadhouse
  • The Two Oh Three
  • Tomatillo Taco Joint
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand
  • Uber
  • Val's Putnam Wines and Liquors and Val's Fine Wines and Liquors of Glenville
  • Veal Made Easy funded by the Beef Checkoff
  • Waterbands
  • Wave Hill Breads
  • Whole Foods
  • Wholesome Wave
  • Winam Wines
  • Wine Wise
  • Wooster Street Meats
  • WUJI
  • Zesty Z 

Bud and Burgers Tent will feature the following restaurants sampling their artisan burgers for guests to taste and vote on their Foodies’ Choice Award from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.:
  • Anhueser-Busch
  • b Restaurants
  • Bareburger CT
  • Brown Dog Fancy Mustards
  • Cask Republic
  • Dan Rooney’s Restaurant
  • Flipside Burgers and Bar
  • The Blind Rhino
  • Westchester Burger Company

Grill Master Tent will feature the following restaurants sampling everything from grilled meat to pizzas from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.:

  • 10 Barrel Joe IPA & Golden Road Wolf Pup 
  • Amore Cucina & Bar
  • Baked and Sauced
  • Benjamin Steakhouse
  • Brother Jimmy's BBQ
  • Elysian Spacedust IPA & Elysian NightOwl          
  • Festivities
  • Gentry Bourbon
  • Greatest Blaze & Co.
  • Hoodoo Brown BBQ
  • Mike's Organic Delivery
  • Pizza Luca
  • Shock Top & Shock Top Pretzel
  • Skinny Pines Mobile Wood Fired Catering
  • The Pizza Truck Company
The Ultimate Sandwich Tent will be serving unique and innovative sandwich creations from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with participants including:

  • Black Hog Brewing Co.
  • Blue Point Toasted Lager & Blue Point Oktoberfest
  • Corbo's Corner Deli
  • Garden Catering
  • Goose Island IPA & Goose Island Sofie 
  • Judy's Bar + Kitchen
  • Pearl at Longshore Restaurant & Bar
  • Tabouli Grill
  • The Pine Leaf
The South of the Border Tent, presented by Don Julio, will offer samples of Mexican dishes and festive cocktails using Don Julio tequila from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and include:

  • Bodega Taco Bar
  • Don Julio
  • Halstead Ave Taqueria
  • Hapa Food Truck
  • Sonora Restaurant
  • Tomatillo Taco Joint
  • Val's Putnam Wines

Please note that all participants are subject to change.  The Grand Tasting Tent, Bud and Burgers area, Ultimate Sandwich Tent and South of the Border Tent are open to all Saturday ticket holders, in addition to the Demonstration Tents, Celebrity Green Room, presented by Serendipity, viewing of the 5th annual Burger Battle, hosted by Adam Richman, the 3rd annual Top Bartender Showdown in the Empire City Casino tent, the 1st annual Ultimate Sandwich Take-Down, Diane’s Books (celebrity bookstore), presented by Barbara Zaccagnini and co-headliner musical performances by Ziggy Marley and Old Crow Medicine Show on the Main Festival Stage, presented by Pepsi.

Tickets for Saturday’s events are available starting at $150.00, with VIP tickets available for $375 (this includes access to the Festival VIP Tent, which is equipped with a private lounge and restrooms, full bar, secluded seating areas, private restrooms and parking, private concert viewing area and a special VIP Sustainable Dinner, hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy and Michel Nischan, featuring more than a dozen Ambassador Chefs serving an incredible feast sourcing all proteins, seafood and produce locally and sustainably to ensure the highest quality and minimal impact on the environment) and VIP tickets with the addition of an Intimate Dinner with Marcus Samuelsson and Red Rooster Harlem beginning at $450.  For all ticketing options, visit the Festival’s website:

The multi-day event will also include Friday’s Master Chef Dinner, hosted by Adam Richman, with food, wine and cocktails from this year’s class of Most Innovative Chefs and Ambassador Chefs from Connecticut and New York, and a live concert by The Bacon Brothers (tickets start at $325 per person). 

Tickets can be purchased online, or by calling 203.588.1363.

The event’s Facebook page,, and website will also continue to post event news, restaurant participants and schedule updates over the coming days.

The event will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants and those with 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 and Wholesome Wave Organization.  The festival is presented by Serendipity magazine, along with Pure Leaf, PepsiCo, Citi®, Empire City Casino, and Stamford Lincoln.  Other official sponsors include Coldwell Banker Preview International, Cabot, Stamford Tent, Barbara Zaccagnini, Whole Foods, Westy Self Storage, Rudy’s Executive Transportation, Dacor, Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits, Granoff Architects, Shearwater Organic Coffee and Wusthof.  

SunBrewFest 2016 at Mohegan Sun

SunBrewFest Returns October 1st to Mohegan Sun Resort Casino

Hey beer lovers! It's time to let the good times and great beer flow at Mohegan Sun's 5th annual Sun BrewFest located in the Uncas Ballroom on Saturday, October 1st.

 Step into a brew lover's paradise and sample over 150 beers including craft brews, microbrews, imports, domestics and ciders while enjoying rockin' live entertainment, fun games, an epic cornhole tournament and delicious signature food from local restaurants. Plus, don't miss the all-new evening event, "A Toast to New England," a special tasting featuring the region's best local brewers!

Purchase tickets HERE



$30 | 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Taste up to 150 different types of draft, import, micro & domestic beers and ciders. Entertainment provided by Chris Mackay and the ToneShifters.


$100 per team of two | 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Entry fee includes an exclusive VIP experience with an extra half hour provided to indulge in all of BrewFest's samples before your tournament!


$50 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Taste the best New England has to offer! Meet with local brewers and enjoy their fall classics in this exclusive tasting session. Includes Pepe's Pizza slices.


  • 10 Barrel Brewing
  • ACE Premium Craft Cider
  • Alchemy & Science
  • Allagash Brewing Company
  • Angry Orchard
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company
  • Black Hog Brewing
  • Blue Point Brewing Company
  • Cottrell Brewing Company
  • Dos Equis
  • Duclaw Brewing Company
  • Elysian Brewing Company
  • Golden Road Brewing
  • Goose Island Beer Company
  • Grey Sail Brewing
  • Guinness
  • Half Full Brewery

  • Harpoon Brewery
  • Heineken USA
  • Jameson
  • Leinenkugel
  • Long Trail Brewing Company
  • McKenzie's Hard Cider
  • Narragansett Beer
  • Nauti Seltzer
  • New Belgium Brewing
  • Ommegang (Brewery Ommegang)
  • Otter Creek Brewing
  • Outer Light Brewing Company
  • Revival Brewing
  • Sam Adams
  • Shock Top Beer
  • Smirnoff Ice
  • Sol, Tecate, Bohemia
  • Spiked Seltzer
  • Stone Brewing
  • Stony Creek Brewery
  • Strongbow Cider
  • These Guys Brewing
  • Thomas Hooker Brewing
  • Truly Spiked & Sparkling
  • Twisted Tea
  • Two Roads Brewing 
  • Victory Brewing
  • Wachusett Brewing
  • More beer exhibitors to come!


  • Arooga's Route 32
  • COMIX Mohegan Sun
  • Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana
  • Jersey Mike's
  • NoRa Cupcake Co.
  • The Whey Station
  • These Guys Brewing


  • Channel 3 Kids Camp
  • Crafty Drinker
  • Connecticut Sun 
  • Crystal Rock Water
  • New England Black Wolves
  • Fizzics 
  • Silverleaf Resorts
  • Stark Originals (Beer T-Shirts)


  • Allagash Brewing Company
  • Alchemy & Science
  • Angry Orchard
  • Back East Brewing Company
  • Black Hog Brewing Co.
  • Cottrell Brewing Company
  • Crystal Rock Water
  • Grey Sail 
  • Harpoon Brewery
  • LongTrail
  • Narragansett Beer
  • Otter Creek Brewing
  • Outer Light Brewing
  • Revival
  • Spiked Seltzer
  • Stony Creek Brewery
  • Thomas Hooker Brewing
  • Two Roads Brewing
  • Wachusett Brewing
  • Sam Adams
  • Truly Spiked & Sparkling
  • Twisted Tea

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wine Pairing Dinner at Ella's in Rhode Island on 9-21-16

Ella’s Fine Food & Drink to Host French Wine Dinner 

Chef Jeanie Roland’s Elegant Three-Course Menu Celebrates the Flavors of the Season with a French Influence

Ella’s Fine Food & Drink, a casually-elegant dining hot spot located at 2 Tower Street, in Westerly Rhode Island, will host a French-inspired wine dinner on Wednesday, September 21st.

Seven-time James Beard-nominated chef Jeanie Roland has created a three-course menu that will be paired perfectly with a selection of wines from throughout France.

The cost is $65.00 per person; tax and gratuity are additional.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit or call 401-315-0606.

The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., featuring a selection of hors d’oeuvres, including Lobster Tartlets, Saigon Skewers with peanut sauce drizzle, and Truffled Pate Puff Bites with pear-ginger compote.

Dinner will begin with grilled and butter-poached Swordfish with a tomato, peach, and apricot confit and paired with the 2014 Domaine Les Chardons Sauvignon Blanc. From the Loire Valley, this Sauvignon Blanc has lovely aromas and flavors that range from crisp cucumbers to lemon drops.

The second course will feature a Trio of Duck: salad of frisée and smoked duck; foie gras fondue; and a crispy duck confit dumpling with berry glacé, complemented by the smoky dark berries, minerals, and candied licorice notes of the 2013 Chateau Montmirail Cuvee de Beauchamp Gigondas, a Rhone red blend rated a ‘90’ by Vinous.

A third course of Boudreaux Risotto with Wild Mushrooms & Grilled Octopus with saba, aged balsamic, and brown butter will follow, paired with the 2011 Chante Perdrix Chateauneuf du Pape, rated a ‘91’ by the International Wine Report for its notes of dark cherries, plums, spices, and roasted herbs; rich, silky texture; and long, velvety finish.

About Ella’s Fine Food & Drink

Ella’s Fine Food & Drink, located at 2 Tower Street in Westerly, RI, opened in 2011 by Chef Jeanie Roland, a seven-time James Beard nominated Chef, and her husband and business manager, James Roland.  A premier dining destination for coastal, southern New England, Ella’s features French-Asian inspired fare imbued with Chef Roland’s passion for cooking with the freshest seasonal ingredients. In her pursuit of perfection, everything is made from scratch, from breads to desserts and everything in between, and menus change frequently in an effort to highlight the best available ingredients and to challenge Chef Roland and her culinary team. She has been quoted as saying that perhaps, "she has yet to create her best dish!"

In addition to being a seven-time James Beard nominee in two regions, Chef Roland is one of a select few contestants to “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network.  In 2016, Ella’s was named in the Top Five restaurants for overall cuisine in all of New England by OpenTable

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in Connecticut Contest

Who doesn't love a great Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Think you have what it takes to make the best chocolate chip cookie?

Then this contest just might be for you!

Attendees of the Emmanuel Church's Family Fair on September 17th 2016 are all invited to enter the ever popular, “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie in Connecticut” contest --  with a panel of local judges, including Katy Piazza, Emmanuel’s Priest-In-Charge, The Weston Forum Editor Patty Gay, Weston Women’s League President, Margaret Krauss, Weston Middle School Principal, Daniel Doak, and other Weston organization members.

Photo Source Foodista

Prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third Place. Bakers of all ages are encouraged to enter at no charge. Bring one dozen, homemade chocolate chip cookies, a list of ingredients (required for entry) and your name and contact information to the contest table by 12:00 noon, the day of the fair. Creativity is welcomed -- the only rule is that the cookies include chocolate chips. Guidelines can be found on the church website (

When: Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 - 4:00 (Contest check in at NOON)
Where: Emmanuel Church,  285 Lyons Plain Rd., Weston.
Cost: Admission is free and all are invited.
Additional Details:  visit  

About the Emmanuel Church Family Fair

Fun will abound at Emmanuel Church’s popular 110th Family Fair on Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, on the parish grounds, 285 Lyons Plain Road, Weston. Fairfield County residents and beyond are invited to attend this family-friendly event, that will take place rain or shine.

Photo (Left to right) Kit Hamilton, Mallory Rogers and Patti Stuebe
 head up children’s games at last year’s Emmanuel Family Fair.
Photo by Andrew Dominick

The festivities planned are many and varied. Fair goers will be entertained by St. Luke’s Steel Band between 11:30 - 2:00. Traditional carnival fare including hamburgers and hotdogs will be on tap as will ice cream, popcorn and other snacks. In addition, kids will relish pony rides, face painting, an inflatable obstacle course and a variety of children’s games.

Shoppers will delight in the selection of treasures sold via booths of every sort to include toys, collectibles, furniture, jewelry, baked goods (at Emmanuel’s popular “Country Kitchen”),  art and autumn plants. Great finds are sure to be discovered throughout the Family Fair. Cash and credit cards accepted; no checks please.

Additionally, the younger set is invited to Story Time in the church from 10:30 - 11:30 with Hurlbutt Elementary Principal and Emmanuel parishioner, Laura Kaddis and Rev. Katy Piazza.

 All can bid on a Silent Auction sporting a vast array of items donated from community businesses, vendors, artisans and the like. Attractive items include Mets tickets, a round of golf and lunch at Country Club of Fairfield, a Westport-Weston YMCA birthday party, original art-work and more. Themed gift baskets and other sought-after surprises will also grace the auction.

 “I look forward to our 110th Family Fair with great enthusiasm. It’s a time honored tradi-tion that promotes fellowship among our congregation and beyond parish borders. It’s also a day of relaxed fun for people of all ages -- and the perfect vehicle through which to extend Emmanu-el’s hospitality. The Family Fair exemplifies the true meaning of community,” said Katy Piazza, Emmanuel’s Priest-In-Charge.

Fair Committee Chair, Kit Hamilton, also commented.  “Having worked on Emmanuel’s Fair several years running, I can say with sincerity, it’s a memorable happening. Families flock from all across the state to enjoy the children’s activities, great deals and entertainment. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest is also always a big draw. I’m thrilled to lead our team as we plan and put on this year’s event.”

110 years old, the Emmanuel Family Fair proudly fosters a home-grown atmosphere and promotes a true sense of community -- a sure-fire, winning combination. Additional details can be found at or by calling the church office at (203) 227-8565.

The family-friendly event takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 - 4:00, on the Emmanuel Church grounds, 285 Lyons Plain Rd., Weston. Admission is free and all are invited. For details, visit

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lord & Taylor in Stamford Connecticut Fall 2016 Events

Upcoming events at Lord & Taylor in Stamford Connecticut 

To celebrate their major renovation in the Stamford CT location of Lord & Taylor the store is holding a series of events to precede and promote their grand opening!

That's right - Lord & Taylor is in the final stages of its massive renovation to the company’s Stamford store, one of the company's earliest branch locations. The renovation, which began in early 2015, touches all three levels of the store and is being designed to have a more intuitive flow, new finishes, and upgraded services, as well as new brands added to this location. 

As the building façade’s banners state, “Nothing Stands in the Way of Fashion”. It’s been business as usual throughout the renovation process with some slight in-store traffic re-routing and creative planning. In anticipation of the official grand opening of Lord & Taylor Stamford, which will kick off the holiday season in stylish form, shoppers can look forward to a series of in-store and community driven events this fall at the 110 High Ridge Road location.

Back to Campus Fashion Event - Saturday, September 17, 12-5 PM
On Saturday, September 17, from 12-5 PM, Lord & Taylor will host a Back to Campus Fashion Event, highlighting the fall season’s latest styles for fashion-savvy young adults and those looking to head back to campus with a fresh new look. Event highlights include a fashion presentation, cosmetic makeovers and enter-to-win opportunities.

And there are more events coming our way!

Saturday, September 24      11am & 2pm   Cosmetic Trend Show

Friday, September 30 &       9am-11pm     Charity Day benefitting American Cancer Society
Saturday, October 1             

Wednesday, October 19      5:30pm           Paint the Town Pink Fashion Show, benefitting Stamford Health

Saturday, November 19       9am-11pm     Shop Smart, Do Good Charity Day benefitting local non-profit organizations
                                          2pm-4pm           Meet H Halston Fashion Director, Cameron Silver

 Lord & Taylor

110 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06905

The Gallery at Ella's Fine Food and Drink

Ella’s Fine Food & Drink Announces 
‘The Gallery at Ella’s’
Featuring Local Artist, David Black, 
at Acclaimed Westerly Restaurant

Ella’s Fine Food & Drink, Westerly’s casually-elegant hot spot located at 2 Tower Street, is pleased to announce that its walls will now be home to artwork from local artists, revolving throughout the year.

The first to show will be renowned painter David Black, a resident of nearby Stonington, Conn., at Ella’s inaugural exhibition. “I am honored that Ella’s chose my work,” Black said. “I love dining at Ella’s! Every meal is a work of art!”

David Black's Paintings
at Ella's Fine Food and Drink

Black’s line drawings were first seen in 1983 by renowned artists Patrick Caulfield and John Hoyland of London’s Royal Academy of Art. As a result of that viewing, Frederick Gore, CBE, head of its exhibition committee, chose 40 paintings for a widely-lauded solo show in London. “David Black is a serious painter and his paintings are fun,” Gore said at the time, adding that Black is "an extraordinary natural talent and a voracious observer of humanity.”

What a great partnership this is!

Chef Jeanie Roland, owner of Ella's Fine Food and Drink says, “Ella’s is a true community restaurant and we are passionate about supporting those who make our corner of the world as special as it is, from local farmers and fishermen to artists and craftsmen,”  She continues on to say, “Creating a program to feature outstanding area artists allows us to enhance what we hope is an already unparalleled dining experience.”

A celebration of Black’s artwork will be held at Ella’s on Thursday, September 8th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Chef Jeanie Roland and the opportunity to meet the artist. Yes! Come meet David Black!

For more information, please call 401-315-0606 or visit

The following works by David Black are among those on display and available for purchase at Ella’s. For more information about the paintings, please visit or call 212-620-0078.

About Ella’s Fine Food & Drink

Ella’s Fine Food & Drink, located at 2 Tower Street in Westerly, RI, was opened in 2011 by Chef Jeanie Roland, a seven-time James Beard-nominated chef, and her husband and business manager, James Roland.  A premier dining destination for coastal, southern New England, Ella’s features French-Asian inspired fare imbued with Chef Roland’s passion for cooking with the freshest seasonal ingredients. In her pursuit of perfection, everything is made from scratch, from breads to desserts and everything in between, and menus change frequently in an effort to highlight the best available ingredients and to challenge Chef Roland and her culinary team. She has been quoted as saying that perhaps, "she has yet to create her best dish!"

In addition to being a James Beard nominee in two regions, Chef Roland is one of a select few contestants to “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network.  In 2016, Ella’s was named in the Top Five restaurants for overall cuisine in all of New England by OpenTable diners.  Chef Roland and James also own and operate The Perfect Caper restaurant in Punta Gorda, FL. For more information, visit

More on Artist David Black

After his London debut, Black’s career as an artist took off. The National Arts Club in New York published a book of Black’s line drawings that the Guggenheim Museum acquired for its permanent collection. The DFN Gallery in SoHo exhibited his works. The New Yorker devoted an entire page to his self-portrait. 

Black’s work also was chosen for the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program, which led to a Fulbright Travel Grant from the American Embassy in Tunis, to meet with a group of emerging artists practicing a new art form. (Black’s paintings had been hanging in the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Tunisia.)  

He later brought the new art form, Tunisian Collaborative Painting, to the United States, prompting then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to name Black an honorary diplomat. “By introducing this unique art form to the United States at a time when the Tunisian artists who pioneered it could not travel, you built a bridge that artists from both countries are now able to cross,” she stated.

Before his artistic career, Black was a Tony-Award winning producer of 18 Broadway shows, presenting many of the theater world’s brightest stars. He also has authored three books: The Actor’s Audition, considered a “bible” for aspiring actors, The Magic of Theater; and most recently, his memoir, Falling Off Broadway. 

For more information about the paintings, please visit or call 212-620-0078. 


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Nickel & Nickel Wine Dinner at VUE 24 Foxwoods

Social Media Promotion : Sponsored   

Foxwoods' VUE 24 Wine Dinner 

featuring Nickel & Nickel Winery

This summer has been so busy and filled with such fun activities! I'm still catching up with all my blog recaps and it seems like summer is slipping away quickly. Luckily we've been pretty fortunate here in Connecticut - the summer was quite temperate until mid-August when the heat and humidity hit. I'm not complaining, because fall is quickly approaching, which means winter is right around the corner. 

As I sit here getting caught up with my writing on this three day Labor Day weekend I'm sipping a glass of Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay that I first sampled this summer at a Wine Dinner we were invited to in August at Foxwood Resort Casino's VUE 24 Restaurant.

There is nothing quite like a wine dinner where you get to learn about the vineyards and wine growing techniques and how important the weather, location, and harvesting are. Representatives from the restaurant and the winery filled us in on the details of each of the wines served and believe me, in addition to delicious, it is always quite informational.

Not only do we learn about the wine, but we learn how and why the food is paired with each selection. It's a wonderful way to sample some new wines and find out the reasons why you like them - and ways that you can partner your favorite wines with your favorite foods!

Because the cowboy was unable to attend, I asked Nicole who was home that weekend to accompany me. It was her first time visiting Foxwoods Resort Casino so of course we stopped in the casino for just a few minutes before dinner. In spite of being lucky to be invited to the wine dinner, the slot machine luck just wasn't there for us that night. Oh well! We proceeded to the Grand Pequot Tower to let the fun tasting begin!

Upon arrival we sampled some delicious hors d'oeuvres which were paired with a delicious Veuve Clicquot. We loved the combination of the Smoked Salmon Crostini, Scallops and Pork Belly Bites, and Infused Goat Cheese on Crispy Sesame Seed Crackers, and (not pictured) some delicious Consommé - with the delicious Veuve Clicquot.

Smoked Salmon Crostini,

Scallops and Pork Belly Bites,  
Infused Goat Cheese on Crispy Sesame Seed Crackers

Our first course was "Crabe Bleu" pairing a delicious Soft Shelled Crab with Hearty Heirloom Tomatoes, along with some Sweet Watermelon, and Vidalia Onions. This was paired with Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses which is bottled absolutely beautifully (the bottle is rose shaped). We learned that it comes in rosé and white. and that Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan. This wine was fresh and fruity and partnered with the contrasting flavors of the sweet watermelon and crab wonderfully.

Pan-Fried Soft Shell Blue Crab, Heirloom Tomato,
Watermelon, Vidalia Onion, Basil, Cassis Vinaigrette
Paired with Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses

Our second course was headlined as "Morue Noire" - loosely translated to the black cod of the ocean. This course featured a Butter Roasted Black Cod, with the sweetest Smoked Littleneck Clams, served with a Mangalista Jam, along with Braised Swiss Chard, Lemon Bercy. The wine paired with this dish was Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay Truchard Vineyard. This chardonnay did not disappoint and the pairing brought out the fruit flavors, controlled acidity and that minerality that make Chardonnays so distinctive.

Butter Roasted Black Cod, Smoked Littleneck Clams,
Mangalista Jam—n, Braised Swiss Chard, Lemon Bercy
Nickel & Nickel Chardonnay Truchard Vineyard

Our entree, the third course was "Veau" - a delicious Summery Cherry Dusted Veal Ribeye, with Melted Onion, Summer Pea Ragou, and a Cabernet Sauvignon Demi-Glace. My veal was absolutely divine, perfectly cooked and oh so tender. And kudos to Chef Michael Yaffe for that divine demi-glace sauce which was bold enough to stand up to the wine and the veal. Absolutely delicious!

Our veal was partnered with Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon C.C. Ranch and was our table's favorite of the night.

The winemaker's notes on this year say,
"the Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is elegantly perfumed with delicate floral notes mixed with ripe, red raspberries. These characteristics are reflected on the palate with flavors of raspberry and cherry, blended with a hint of licorice and signature Rutherford dust. Vanilla and toast from the French oak add warmth and flavor, while the wine's lively acidity allows the flavors to linger on the palate. Soft and supple, yet generously rich, this wine is one that pops from start to finish." 
Summer Cherry Dusted Veal Ribeye, Melted Onion,
Summer Pea Ragout, Cabernet Sauvignon Demi-Glace
Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon C.C. Ranch

For our dessert and final course we finished our tasting with "Millefeulle de Fruit Rouges" a light Caramelized Puff Pastry, Lemon Madeleine, Vanilla Cream, with a combination of Mixed Summer Berries. The Dolce Winery Late Harvest wine this dessert was paired with was another hit for me. If you've read my wine dinner recaps before, you know I'm always drawn to a sweet wine, and this one was a winner.This wine delivered a combination of  aroma and flavor, with a velvety sweetness and texture.

Caramelized Puff Pastry, Lemon Madeleine, Vanilla Cream,
Mixed Summer Berries
Dolce Winery Late Harvest

Without hesitation I would recommend that you attend a wine dinner, particularly those presented at Foxwoods Resort Casino's VUE 24. The atmosphere is wonderful, and really, that is what makes any good dinner memorable. Gathering with friends and family, breaking bread, and sipping wine is  certainly one way to enjoy our time together and celebrate life.

In addition to enjoying great company, the views from the 24th floor of the Grand Pequot Tower are amazing, food is always on point with paired wines, and without fail, we walk away educated about the winery and the wines that are served.

VUE 24 is located on the 24th floor
in the Grand Pequot Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino

VUE 24 

Foxwoods Resort Casino
 350 Trolley Line Blvd.
 Mashantucket, CT 06338

About Foxwoods:

Foxwoods Resort Casino is the premier resort destination in the Northeast. As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in six casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick service, world-renowned spas, award-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event. Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit

About Nickel & Nickely Single Vineyard Winery:

Nickel & Nickel winery, located in Oakville, Napa Valley, is dedicated exclusively to producing 100 percent varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinct personality of each vineyard.
Learn more about the wines featured at the VUE 24 Wine Dinner, visit

Disclaimer: I was invited to VUE 24 by members of the restaurant's management and marketing team, however, all views and opinions are my own.

© Home Place 2016

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Anthony Bourdain at Foxwoods CT


Appearing at Foxwoods' Grand Theater on October 8th

The one, the only, Anthony Bourdain!

Photo Courtesy of Foxwoods Resort Casino

See Anthony Bourdain in his hit tour - The Hunger

The Hunger is a live show featuring Bourdain's unparalleled view on the diverse culture, street cuisine and his travels to some lesser-known locations around the world. The monologue will be followed by an open question and answer session.

Bourdain's "The Hunger" is  chock full of laughs, mesmerizing discussions and his trademark unapologetic irreverence.

When: October 8, 2016
Showtime: 8:00pm
Where: Foxwoods Grand Theater
Buy Tickets here =>

Foxwoods Resort Casino

350 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket, CT 06338

About Anthony Bourdain:

Chef and author Anthony Bourdain is known for traveling the globe on his stomach, on his TV show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

He has established himself as a professional bête noir, advocate, social critic, and pork enthusiast, recognized for his wicked sense of humor worldwide. He is as candid of those things he hates as he is about the things he loves.

Bourdain is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, a candid, hysterical, and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into more than 28 languages – as well as the travel journal, A Cook’s Tour, the non-fiction Medium Raw, three crime novels, a cookbook, a biography of Typhoid Mary, the bestselling graphic novel Get Jiro!, and others.

The sequel to Get Jiro!, entitled Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi, was published in October 2015; a cookbook, Appetites, will be published in October 2016.

About Foxwoods Resort Casino:

Foxwoods Resort Casino is the premier resort destination in the Northeast.  As the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods offers a vast array of gaming in seven casinos; AAA Four-Diamond hotels, restaurants from gourmet to quick service, world-renowned spas, award-winning golf, state-of-the-art theaters, and exclusive retailers. Perfect for both recreation and business, Foxwoods provides modern and versatile convention and meeting space to infuse new life into any meeting or event.  Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. For a comprehensive look at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation visit

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