Sunday, February 28, 2016

Robert Irvine at Foxwoods' Vue 24 for Savor CT

Foxwoods Resort Casino and Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine 
Kick Off the Second Annual Savor Event

Savor: A Celebration of Food, Wine, and Spirits.


Last week I had the opportunity to visit Foxwood's newest restaurant, Vue 24, to meet with Chef Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and host of Foxwood's upcoming Savor CT, a three-day food and wine culinary celebration!



Chef Irvine was welcomed by members of the Foxwoods Resort Casino’s culinary and leadership team, Adam Odegard, Vice President of Food & Beverage, Executive Chef Edward Allen, Executive Pastry Chef Franck Iglesias and Felix Rappaport, President and CEO. In addition members of the Hartford's CT Convention Center welcomed Savor back, and Plan B announced their sponsorship of  an exclusive dinner and tasting during Savor CT.



Vue 24, located on the 24th floor of the Grand Pequot Tower, features exquisite Continental-based cuisine with a modern flair. In addition, the restaurant offers stunning panoramic views of the south east Connecticut countryside.



Savor is a supporter of the Robert Irvine Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that honors the men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. Local military members and veterans were also in attendance to help launch this year’s event. Savor will once again donate a portion of event ticket sales to the foundation.

Photo Courtesy of Foxwoods


I would be remiss if I didn't show a sampling of Vue 24's luncheon offerings during our visit, which are also a preview of some of the amazing types of fare that Savor CT exhibitors will feature.

Vue 24 Fingerling Potato and Hericut Vert Salad

Vue 24 House Cured Salmon Salad

Vue 24 Salad

Vue 24 Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Vue 23 Yogurt Shooters


Desserts

Savor will once again be THE event of the season with chef demonstrations and tastings from some of Connecticut's premier dining destinations. See a list of sponsors and exhibitors HERE


More about Savor CT for 2016

When: April 7 – 9, 2016

Where: Connecticut Convention Center
Savor will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center which boasts a dramatic riverfront setting overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River at Adriaen’s Landing. 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.


Savor the Legends: Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Kentucky style soiree and taste all five years of Pappy! Plan B kicks off the Savor weekend with a delicious Kentucky inspired menu, bourbon cocktails and more. Don’t miss this legendary night presented by Plan B!

Savor’s Grand Tasting: April 8 & 9, 2016

A two-day celebration that will spotlight top talent in the culinary industry including Robert Irvine, host of Restaurant: Impossible on Food Network. Chef Irvine will be joined by other celebrated chefs and world renowned vintners sharing their expertise. Tickets to The Grand Tasting are all-inclusive, where guests will sample bold cuisine, stylish wines, world-craft beers and the leading trends in inspired spirits. A fantastic line-up of chefs will perform on the Savor Culinary Demonstration Stage and share their signature recipes and trade secrets with you!

Savor in Style Charity Gala: April 8, 2016

Hosted by Robert Irvine, will feature some of the nation’s top chefs and highly successful regional chefs paired with well-respected winemakers. Following a Champagne Reception, these masters will lavish guests with their sumptuous creations, where every dish will be paired with an exceptional wine or other luscious libation. Don’t miss your chance to see artistic genius up-close!


Connecticut Convention Center
100 Columbus Blvd.
Hartford, CT 06103

Get Tickets Here: https://www.showclix.com/event/SavorinStyleCharityGala

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 Foxwoods.com.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

23rd Annual Taste of Stamford Returns for 2016

The 23rd Annual Taste of Stamford 

Better Than Ever for 2016






EVENT: 23rd Annual Taste of Stamford
PLACE: Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa
ADDRESS: 243 Tresser Boulevard
DATE: Thursday, February 25, 2016
WHEN: 5:30PM Until 8:30PM
COST: $60.00 prepaid ticket Register HERE
             $70.00 at the door


Experience Fine Cuisine from the Menus of:

  • Amore Cucina
  • Bev Max
  • Brother Jimmy's BBQ
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Cantina Southwest Grill & Tequila Bar
  • Capital Grille
  • Columbus Park
  • David's Catering
  • Del Frisco's Grille
  • Dichello Distributors
  • Dimare Pastry
  • Franklin Street Works Cafe
  • Grade A Shoprite
  • Kona Grill
  • Myrna's Kitchen
  • Nestle Waters
  • Olio Restaurant
  • Paloma
  • Saffron Road Foods
  • Sign of the Whale
  • Sushi Village Caterer 
  • Tawa Indian Cuisine
  • The Inn at Longshore
  • The Waters Edge at Giovanni's 
  • WB Mason Coffee
And more to come!


The 23rd Annual Taste of Stamford
Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa
243 Tresser Boulevard
Stamford CT 06901

Register HERE



Want to know what to expect? Read my recap of a past event HERE

For more pictures from a previous Taste of Stamford visit the Home Place facebook page HERE and don't forget to "like" us!

Stamford Chamber of Commerce
773 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06901
Phone: 203.359.4761

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sign of the Whale Launches New Seafood Driven Menu



Sign of the Whale Embraces its Waterfront Locale 

with a New Seafood Driven Menu


Harbor Point’s Original Restaurant and Gathering Place Continues to Evolve
A Destination for a City at Work and Play



There's something unique going on in Stamford's Harbor Point district. Wonderful restaurants and high rises snuggle up along an industrial Stamford Harbor, a stone’s throw from the high-octane pulse of a big city at work,

And one of the originators to pull ashore was Sign of the Whale, who dropped anchor in September of 2014, embracing an up and coming destination known as Harbor Point. As the largest, multi-dimensional restaurant space in this waterside community, The Whale’s bold statement instantly made its mark on this new development on the outskirts of the city. With a main level dining and bar capacity for over 250 people and a rooftop bar which accommodates up to 300 people, The  Whale continues to capture a vibrant social scene, as well as the city’s corporate sector.


The Whale’s street side level is framed in dark wood furnishings, blue textiles and low lighting, distressed paneling, and panoramic views of the Harbor Point neighborhood. Warmer months guide sun-seekers to the rooftop where a full service bar, patio furnishings, potted shrubberies, and an eclectic music playlist fill the space. With a stunning view of Stamford and the city of New York in the distance, the visual experience is complete.


“As the food scene continues to evolve throughout the area we are acutely aware of the lack of seafood restaurants,” says General Manager AJ Polizzi, “In keeping with our namesake and waterfront locale, The Whale is excited to take our menu to the next level, highlighting the region’s abundant seafood supply.”



This week The Whale is launching its new seafood focused menu, a mash-up of American tavern fare and New England’s best seafood, including raw bar favorites and coastal water, market fresh fish.

Small plates include; ahi tuna tartare with soy, ginger, caper aioli, avocado and wasabi, served with fried wanton chips; crab cakes with spaghetti squash and saffron remoulade; pan seared octopus legs with celery, potatoes and Spanish paprika; shrimp tempura served with sautéed cabbage and sweet chili sauce; shrimp gumbo; New England clam chowder; and fresh raw bar selection of oysters, clams, and shrimp.
Photo Courtesy MaxExPR

Entrées include; salmon burger topped with arugula, house dressing and pico de gallo on a black sesame bun; seafood pizza topped with fresh calamari, shrimp, clams, alfredo sauce,  mozzarella cheese, arugula and tomatoes; pan seared sea scallops with parsnip puree, shiitake mushrooms, wilted spinach and truffle honey glaze; lobster and crab filled ravioli with pancetta cream sauce; and pan roasted Atlantic salmon prepared with a lemon and white wine sauce and served with chorizo couscous and fresh asparagus.


Photo Courtesy MaxExPR

Tavern fare and customer favorites include: handmade chipotle barbecue beef empanadas with Argentinean chimichurri; The Whale burger, porcini dusted, topped with applewood smoked bacon, gruyere, fried egg and truffle spread all on an English muffin and served with fries; roasted chicken with garlic aioli, potato spears, mixed greens and bleu cheese; tacos – shrimp, ahi tuna or buffalo chicken; and beer braised short rib prepared with their neighbor’s Half Full Bright Ale.

Photo Courtesy MaxExPR

Another main event at The Whale is their over the top Sunday Brunch – an afternoon of decadent brunch dishes, DJ spun music, playful and flavorful breakfast shots, bottomless sparkling cocktails, and their soon to be famous ultimate Bloody Mary Bar. Menu highlights include; breakfast pizza topped with bacon, egg, hash browns, cheddar and spicy aioli; old fashioned eggs benedict with lump crab meat; lobster waffle made with fresh lobster and cornmeal waffles, all laced with lobster butter sauce; and sweet banana nut French toast.

Photo Courtesy MaxExPR



The fun continues with High Tide Happy Hour, Monday thru Friday from 4-7 PM, and Jazzy Thursdays featuring live music, $25 bottles of wine and $2 oysters all night long. The Whale also morphs into an exciting sports bar, with large screen TV’s throughout, and of course there’s The Whale’s popular music series featuring local bands performing on the weekends.


Visit Sign of the Whale soon!

Sign of the Whale

6 Harbor Poit Road
Stamford CT 06902
203.883.8282

http://www.signofthewhalect.com

Monday, February 15, 2016

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters and Two Roads Brewery

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters Collaborates with
CT Beer Icon Two Roads Brewery
To Create Espressway Cold-Brew Coffee Stout



If there's one thing I love it's a great coffee stout! So you can imagine how excited I am to hear that Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters is pairing up with Two Roads Brewing to create Espressway Cold-Brew Coffee Stout!



A little background on Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters... they are Fairfield County’s first and only 100% USDA* Certified Organic & Artisan Coffee Roaster, and continue to evolve as the region’s premiere coffee roaster, supplying their small batch roasted coffee to specialty markets and high-end restaurants and cafes throughout the state.

Owner Ed Freedman, who recently added Running Rapids Ready-to-Drink Cold Brew Coffee to his repertoire, can now lead consumers to a different type of “brew” which utilizes his premium roasts with the launch of Two Roads’ newest year-round beer style – Espressway Cold-Brew Coffee Stout. Espressway merges the flavors of Shearwater’s locally-roasted, organic Ethiopian/Sumatra blend of coffee beans with a rich oatmeal stout utilizing a proprietary cold brew beer process.



 Two Roads combines Shearwater’s ground coffee with their oatmeal stout under pressure (like espresso but without the steam) using Two Roads’ German-built “Brewnik” device. The coffee then steeps in the stout for several days, resulting in a true, cold-brewed coffee stout. The end product has the aroma of fresh ground coffee and the distinctive taste of roasted English malts with the nuance of light brown sugar and cold-brew coffee.

"I’m thrilled to be a part of this process “beams Ed, “It further reinforces the quality and rich flavor of the coffee we are producing and the diversity in its uses."

Two Roads’ brewers went through extensive coffee training with Shearwater in order to secure the right blend of beans and brew. From “coffee cupping” classes to extensive tasting sessions with Ed, Two Roads spent months in search of the perfect coffee to complement the full-bodied stout taste.

“I really enjoyed working with Ed Freedman of Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters and my old friend Gerry ‘The Educated Bean’ Nichols, who has become quite the legit coffee expert,” added Two Roads Brewmaster Phil Markowski.


Espressway will be sold in all Two Roads markets on draft starting in late February and in six pack bottles starting in mid-March. The draft version will also be previewed at their first annual Winter Classic outdoor event at the brewery on February 20th.


Shearwater is a family owned and run business. With over two decades of coffee roasting experience, Ed took his passion for producing high quality coffee from the home-roaster stage to a full USDA certified organic 2,000 square foot production facility in Trumbull in 2013. Shearwater Organic Coffee Roaster’s commitment to creating a premium organic product, and their presence as a local artisan producer, is the cornerstone of their success. www.shearwatercoffeeroasters.com/

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cookshop Plus in West Hartford CT

West Hartford welcomes Cookshop Plus!




There's a new kitchen store in town! It's Cookshop Plus, located on Farmington Avenue in beautiful West Hartford CT. This fun store offers unique and useful kitchen and houseware items, and hosts some really fun events!

Cookshop Plus is the newest venture of Australian natives, Terry & Joanne Ryan and James & Samantha Hines.

The family also operates Cookshop Plus Bowral, which is located south of Sydney Australia.  

This unique and amazing store offers a wide range of products in their new location in West Hartford, from everyday kitchen gadgets to high end items, like Le Creuset and MasonCash Stoneware, to select, unique Australian products - such as Hutwoods Candles, which are handmade in Sydney.



In addition to bringing unique items from their native continent, the Cookshop Plus family is committed to sourcing locally within the community. They are proud to stock their in-store coffee bar with Neat Coffee and pastries from the Hartford Baking Company.

Cookshop Plus is excited to be a part of the West Hartford community and looks forward to serving their new customers in Connecticut.

Visit them soon!

Cookshop Plus
977 Farmington Ave
West Hartford, Connecticut
(860) 461-0667


Find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/cookshoppluswesthartford/ 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016 in Fairfield County

 Where to spend Valentine's Day in Fairfield County?

We've got you covered!

Here's a list of some restaurants featuring some sweet specials for you and someone you love this Valentine's Day / Valentines's Day Weekend.

Paloma
Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14
$75pp prix fixe menu both evenings, wine pairings can be added for $30pp
Also serving regular menu
Sunday, February 14 offering Sunday brunch as well with bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas for $20pp

NOIR
Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14
Set Valentine’s Day Menu - $90pp

J House Greenwich and J House Restaurant

Valentine’s Day Getaway Package – Book February 13 – 14
Saturday into Sunday
$399 per couple
A King Deluxe Room
Dinner for Two on Saturday Night
Brunch for Two on Sunday Morning
Late Checkout Time at 2:00pm
Rejuvenating spa services may be added

Valentine’s Weekend Couples Massage – February 12 - 14
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
$300 per couple
90 minute massage
Email their spa director to book, dcervi@jhousegreenwich.com

Valentine’s 3-Course Dinner – February 13 & 14
Saturday & Sunday
$75pp (plus tax and gratuity)
3-Course Prix Fixe
Prosecco Toast

Valentine’s Day Lovebirds Brunch – February 14
Sunday Only
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
$40 pp (plus tax and gratuity)
2-Course Prix Fixe
Bottomless Bloodies and Belinis
Free Pancakes for Kids 10 and Under

Sign of the Whale
Saturday, February 13 – live music by Screaming Broccoli
Sunday, February 14 – brunch 11-3 with a DJ and live music, serving regular brunch menu, but offering complimentary dessert for all diners. 
Regular dinner service and menu in the evening.

Fresh Salt Restaurant to Host Horizontal Wine Dinner


Fresh Salt Wine Dinner to feature French & California Wine


At their upcoming "Horizontal" Wine dinner guests will enjoy a distinctive culinary journey featuring exquisite red and white wines from France and California, all made from the same grape variety, hence the term "horizontal".

The inspiration for this dinner is an event in 1976, when English wine merchant Stephen Spurrier organized a Wine Tasting Event in Paris that featured a blind tasting comparing French and Californian Wines.  The result of this publicity stunt shocked the wine world due to the success and top ranking of California Wines, and subsequently inspired the 2008 film “Bottle Shock.” Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point will pay homage to this historical event, and relive the flavor of old and new world wines coming together for one magical evening

The French & California Horizontal Wine Dinner at Saybrook Point will be held on Saturday, February 20 beginning with a cocktail reception at 6:30pm, followed by an exceptional five-course dinner served at 7:15pm. Bill Monahan from Allan S. Goodman Wines of East Hartford, Connecticut will lead the wine tasting portion of the evening, and point out variables in the wines such as soil, non-fruit complexity, oak as a flavoring agent, and food compatibility. Each participant will be provided a scorecard to compare and rank his or her wine experience, and an overall vote will be tallied at the end of the dinner.

 Guests will also savor Executive Chef John Cortesi’s creative dishes expertly prepared using the finest ingredients.

The first course features Corn Meal Crusted Fried Local Oysters with Vindaloo Remoulade and Julienne Boston Bibb Lettuce, paired with Grandes Perrieres, Sancerre, Loire Valley, 2014 (France) and Groth Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, 2014 (California).

The second course offers a wonderful Pan-seared Monkfish Fillet, Napa Cabbage Spring Roll with Herb-encrusted Vine-ripened Tomatoes, and Drizzled Avocado Vinaigrette, paired with Maison Albert Bichot, Les Vaillons, Chablis Premier Cru, Burgundy, 2013 (France) and Chateau St. Jean, Chardonnay, Belle Terre Vineyard, Alexander Valley, 2011  (California).

The third courses features Slow-braised Ox Tail, Celery Root, Mashed Yukon Potato, and Sautéed Wild Mushrooms, paired with Pierre Amadieu, Vacqueyras “Les Gangeliere,” Southern Rhone Valley, 2012 (France) and Zaca Mesa, Rhone Blend “Z Cuvee,” Santa Ynez Valley, 2009 (California). The main entrée course of the dinner includes Rabbit Two Ways: Confit Flatbread with Goat Cheese & Roasted Tomato; and Loin wrapped in Prosciutto with shaved Fennel, Blistered Grape Tomatoes, and Crisp Leeks, paired with Peyredon Lagravette, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, 2011 (France) and Conn Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2013 (California).

Lastly, the evening concludes with an outstanding Layered French Crepe Cake with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream and Drizzled Chocolate Glaze.

Seaside Wine and Spirits from Old Saybrook will be in attendance, and guests can place orders for their favorite wine of the evening at specially reduced prices.

The French & California Horizontal 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 860.395.2000.

Where: Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point Inn
When: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Cost: $99.50 per person plus tax and service charge
Call: 860.395.2000 to reserve now

Fresh Salt at Saybrook Point

2 Bridge Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
860.395.2000
http://www.saybrook.com/restaurant/


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 www.saybrook.com

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Small Plate Tasting at NIXS Evergreen in South Windsor

Social Media Promotion


A Small Plate Sampling at NIXS new location  - NIXS Evergreen


Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to South Windsor CT and visit NIXS new location in the Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk. This was my first time at this picturesque shopping district and it won't be my last. Such unique little shops, with plenty of parking, and lots of great food places to try...like NIXS Evergreen!

Needless to say, as soon as I received the invitation to visit for a sampling with a group of some other CT foodlovers, I was in!



The interior is beautiful with a hip industrial whimsical vibe.
I know. I know...
It doesn't sound quite like it goes together, but trust me, it does!

Polished concrete floors and comfortable overstuffed seating  in beautiful teal jewel tones, with steel gray side chairs, and basic black linens and silver accents.



With a great bar that features some cool blue accent lighting. And some great drink specials too!




And, speaking of drinks we each jumped right in and ordered some of the fun NIXS specialty cocktails, with names like Bazzle Dazzle, Dirty Rotten Scoundrel, Bad Wolf, and more.... !!!

That's my Bazzle Dazzle on the far left. It was great. A hearty cocktail with a gin base. 


We started off with some shared small plates for the table.

Pictured below are the Buffalo Wings, but they also offer a Honey Dijon and Ginger Soy.

NIXS Evergreen Buffalo Wings


And we ordered a couple of cheese trays for the table!

NIXS Evergreen Cheese Tray
Assorted Cheeses with Fig Jam, Almond Brittle (OMG SO GOOD) drizzled with honey
Toasted Crostini

Then we each ordered a smattering of small plates to divulge in all by ourselves!

NIXS Evergreen Veggie Quesadilla 



NIXS Evergreen Salad

And Chef Sean De LaRosa himself came out to visit and say hello to our table!

NIXS Evergreen Naked Spicy Tuna Tartar


NIXS Evergreen Buffalo Mac Attack


NIXS Evergreen Fish Tacos

And this was my selection  - The Tuna Tartar Tacos! These had a nice warm heat that was tempered by a bit of guacamole. Yup. They were soooo good!

NIXS Evergreen Tuna Tartar Tacos



NIXS Evergreen Sliders

And not ready to call it a night - we went with some desserts as well! Delicious ice cream sandwiches and some s'mores dip!

NIXS Evergreen Homemade (!!!) Ice Cream Sandwiches



NIXS Evergreen Smores Dip

We had such a great time sampling some of the great items NIXS Evergreen has to offer!

Assorted Small Plates at NIXS Evergreen




Be on the look out for some great Happy Hour specials, like the one they are currently featuring
Five for Five which offers five specialty appetizers at only $5.00 each and $5.00 drink specials too!
See details about their Happy Hour Special ==> HERE


Be sure you Play Nice and visit NIXS Evergreen soon!

NIXS Evergreen

The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk
538 Evergreen Way
South Windsor, CT 06074

Follow them on twitter https://twitter.com/NIXSEvergreen


 Nixs is part of The Bostonian Hospitality Group, with locations in Boston, Nantucket, Hartford, South Windsor, Plymouth, and Newburyport. For more information, visit  http://www.nixsevergreen.com/.

 The Legend behind The Curse of William Fly

Nix's Mate is one of the smaller islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. In 1726, upon his arrest, officials brought pirate captain William Fly to Boston, where he was executed. His body was then gibbetted on Nix's Mate to serve as a warning to sailors not to turn to piracy. Before his execution, Fly famously scolded the hangman for incorrectly securing the noose, then retied it himself. His body, with those of two other pirates, is buried on the island. Pleading not guilty to the end, one pirate predicted the Island would sink into the sea to prove his innocence. Since 1803, the island has disappeared each day in high tide.


*******

Disclaimer: I was invited to the sampling by members of NIXS marketing team, however all opinions are my own.
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